Dr. Thomas is a Visiting Lecturer with a passion for teaching and mentoring. As a Public Health Social Worker with over 30 years of experience working with communities, teaching and conducting re-search, she aims to engage students with a collaborative experience-based approach. She’s moti-vated by issues of inequality and injustice and has always worked in partnership to further the voice of marginalized individuals and communities. Dr. Thomas earned a PhD in Social Work and an MPH from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MSW from the University of South Florida. For rest and relaxation, Dr. Thomas enjoys fiber arts, painting, photography, gardening, cooking, and spending time with her dog and friends.

Areas of Specialty

  • Community Assessment, Program Planning, & Evaluation
  • Maternal and Child Health

Key Publications

  • Rauktis, M.E., & Thomas, T. Reflective Practices in Supervision: Why Thinking and Reflecting are as Important as Doing. In Cahalane, H. (Ed). Contemporary Issues in Child Welfare Practice. Springer Press, 2013.
  • Quinn S., Thomas T. & McAllister C. Lessons from the 2001 Anthrax Attack: A Conceptual Model for Crisis And Emergency Risk Communication. In Seeger, MW & Sellnow T. & Ulmer R (eds). Crisis Communication and the Public’s Health. NJ: Hampton Press, 2007.


Dr. Thomas has partnered for 20 years with an Early Head Start program in Pittsburgh, PA conducting esearch, community needs assessments, and program evaluations. The topics explored through this partnership include community violence, gentrification, health, mental health, fatherhood, and school-readiness. Youth engagement and community development, urban gardening/farming and local food systems, health communication, family support services, and re-flective supervision are areas of previous research. Dr. Thomas mainly utilizes qualitative research methods, including interviews, focus groups, participant observation, and Photovoice and works in underserved communities. Social justice, equity, empowerment, and compassionate care have been at the heart of her research.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Population Health
  • Population Health Assessment and Planning
  • Population Health Program Planning