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A leading voice for diversity: Kecia Thomas

Alan Flurry

Franklin College senior associate dean Kecia Thomas leads diversity efforts and initiatives throughout the university, supports faculty and graduate students success and helps recruit many of the most talented professors in the nation to UGA:

To add to Thomas’s long list of responsibilities, diversity within the university is her primary area of study. Thomas often works with organizations within UGA and other institutions in which she conducts a “climate for diversity study” and recommends ways to improve.

Thomas recently got the New Approaches Grant approved which is the collaboration with the College of Education.

“We have hosted what we call ‘Navigating STEM Retreats’ for underrepresented students. We bring in external speakers but also provide opportunities for the attendees to receive some coaching,” Thomas said.

Director of the Institute for Women's Studies and Professor in the College of Education Juanita Johnson-Bailey worked under Thomas for the grant and saw it through its “multi-layered application.”

Johnson-Bailey has known Thomas for 25 years. They first met when they were professors in the department of African American studies. Thomas became Johnson-Bailey’s boss when Thomas became associate dean and the department of women’s studies was put under her.

“Kecia has paved the way for so many people but at the same time, she's made way for other people. I have admired the way that she has been able to navigate the institution,” she said.

Terrific profile from the Red & Black of one of our most valued colleagues in the dean's office and all of Franklin College. An accomplished scholar and engaged mentor, Dr. Thomas combines expertise and heart in leadership that helps guide UGA to a future on par with its highest ideals. 

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