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The School of Social Sciences & Behavioral Studies


Biographical Sketch

Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Behavioral Studies, past Chair of the Education Department, past interim Vice President for Enrollment Planning and Student Life and past Chair of the Social Sciences and Behavioral Studies Division at Lincoln University in Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, Dr. Thomas is the recipient of numerous awards. Most recently her biographical sketch was selected for publication in the Pennsylvania Commission for Women’s Role Modeling Book for Minority Women.

In February, 2006, Dr. Thomas was honored with the President’s Award from the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education. Dr. Thomas was also honored with the C. Delores Tucker Award by the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus in 2006. Moreover, Dr. Thomas was featured in the February 2005 Black History Month issue of American Legacy Magazine in a special section entitled “Teaching Black History Today.” In the Spring of 2003, Dr. Thomas was the recipient of the “Most Eloquent” and “Most Dedicated Academic Dean” Awards from the Lincoln University Student Body. In February, 2002 she was presented the W.E.B. DuBois Community Service Award by the President of the Harrisburg Community College. Her awards also include the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award, the Sojourner Truth Award from the National Association of Business and Professional Women, the Outstanding Educator Award from the Black Dupont Employees, the Mary E. Baltimore Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education from the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education, Outstanding Faculty Member Award from Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Outstanding Educator plaque from the Minority Employees of the Xerox Corporation, the Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching from the administration at Lincoln University, the Finer Womanhood Award, “Women in Education Award,” from the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Beta Delta Zeta Chapter, the Basilius Award for Outstanding Contributions to Students from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, and most recently her biographical sketch was published in Who’s Who Among American Teachers and Who’s Who Among Intellectuals. A Learning Institute at Raising Horizons Charter School in Philadelphia is named after Dr. Thomas.

A widely sought after keynote speaker and educational consultant, Dr. Thomas has been the Commencement speaker for the Pennsylvania State University-Media, Pennsylvania campus, Gwynedd Mercy College, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, the Governor’s School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania for the First World Graduation. She regularly serves as a consultant in both basic and higher education on topics such as: Oral Language Proficiency, Multicultural Education, Teaching Methodology, Discipline Without Damage, Curriculum Development, Interpersonal Relations on the Job, Recruitment Strategies for Minority Students and Faculty, Male/Female Relationships and the African American Experience, to name a few. Dr. Thomas also serves as Chair of the Scholarship Committee for the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education.

Several of her most provocative published articles include: “A Case for the Language Consideration in the Interview Dynamic of the Black Family: Merits and Demerits,” Pennsylvania Conference on Higher Education Journal, (Vol. 9, Fall 1991), and “Black Youth in Urban Schools: Attrition, Performance, Self-Concept,” The State of Black Philadelphia Journal, (1990). She is one of the four editors of the first edition of Exploring The African American Experience: A Multidisciplinary Approach (1996) text in which her chapter is entitled “Language and Empowerment: A Case for the Language Consideration in the Interview Dynamic.” Dr. Thomas also serves as Co-editor of the Third Edition, 2007 African-American Text, and Co-editor of the Journal of Social and Political Thought. Her educational background includes the Bachelor of Science Degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in English and Spanish, a Master’s Degree from Duquesne University in Education (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), and a Doctor of Education degree from West Virginia University (Morgantown, West Virginia) in Speech Education. She studied Spanish at two Language Institutes, the University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, Washington) and Kalamazoo College (Kalamazoo, Michigan). She has also done post-doctoral study at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois on a Lilly Foundation grant.
Dr. Judith A.W. Thomas was a double major at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in English and Spanish and is certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to teach English and Spanish. She regularly addresses English As A Second Language teachers on the methods, techniques and strategies to use with students and adults whose first language is other than English.

A recipient of the Danforth Award for Scholarship and Teaching, a past Scholar-in-Residence at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, a past member of the Board of Managers for the Philadelphia Foundation, a past board member of the Chester County Historical Society, past Chair of the Education Sub-Committee for the Governor’s Advisory Commission on African-American Affairs, past President of the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education and the Chester County Education Foundation, Dr. Thomas is married to Dr. James A. Thomas, a physician. They are the parents of a daughter who is a graduate of Howard University and the Georgetown University Law Center and twin sons who are graduates of Hampton University and North Carolina Central University, respectively.




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