Senior Core Faculty
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Thomas is a Scholar-Practitioner with 20+ years of combined experience in health policy, biobehavioral/community health, mixed-methods applied research, human resources management, academic operations, and distance education policy/program management.
Dr. Thomas earned a Ph.D. in Public Policy & Administration with an emphasis in Epidemiology & Community Health from Virginia Commonwealth University. She completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. While at UAB, Dr. Thomas was also a Scholar in the Health Disparities Training Program funded by the Morehouse School of Medicine and at UAB, by the Comprehensive Cancer Center; and a Postdoctoral Trainee in the Department of Preventive Medicine. She also earned a Master's in Tourism from Temple University where developed her interests in event design/production; medical tourism; and policy implications for health systems, particularly of destination countries. She is published in peer-reviewed academic journals specializing in public health. She has taught courses in PA and health sciences at the graduate level; and health administration at the undergraduate level.
Dr. Thomas examines the interrelationships among individual, social, and environmental factors that shape health behaviors and prevent chronic disease /public policy. Her work focuses on gene-environment interactions in health disparities. She has conducted research/fieldwork on contextual determinants of chronic diseases, gynecologic cancers, taste genetics, and body image in women.