NAPERVILLE, Ill., March 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Anita Thomas, Ph.D., has been selected as the 11th president of North Central College beginning July 1, 2023. In North Central's 162-year history, Thomas is the first woman and the first person of color chosen to become the long-serving president.
"Having the opportunity to become part of this extraordinary institution is truly a great joy and honor," she said. "North Central is preparing our next generation of leaders and—in partnership with faculty, students, staff, the board, alumni, and the Naperville community—I am honored, humbled and ready to lead the College in the next phase of its storied history."
Since 2019, Thomas has served as the executive vice president and provost at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn. As chief academic officer, she provided strategic leadership for the university's academic programs and implemented the institution's academic master plan, including the planned launch of the Office of Intercultural Engagement and Social Justice.
Thomas was previously the founding dean of the College of Applied Behavioral Sciences at the University of Indianapolis, where she oversaw academic programs in psychology, social work, mental health counseling, and art therapy. Thomas also served for 10 years at Loyola University Chicago, where she was a faculty member and graduate program director for counseling psychology and later associate dean for academic affairs and research in the School of Education.
A native of Louisville, Ky., Thomas holds a doctorate degree in counseling psychology and a master's degree in community counseling from Loyola University Chicago. Her bachelor's degree in education and social policy is from Northwestern University.
Thomas is known nationally for her scholarship on racial socialization in African American families, stereotypical roles of African American women and girls, and the development of critical consciousness and resilience. At St. Catherine, she has helped to build an inclusive community of women to learn, lead, and be empowered to work for social justice.
"A college campus is the best place to address diversity and equity issues, a place to 'unify diversity,'" she said. "As educators and lifelong learners, we have an opportunity to encourage diverse voices and leadership that will enhance the campus and serve as a model for students as they advance beyond college, bringing about more diverse perspectives around the table."
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SOURCE North Central College