Dwayne B. Thomas, Ph.D.Chair & Associate Professor of Sport Management
Office: Wass Hall
Department: Sport Management
Degrees: Ph.D., Sport Management and Educational Leadership, 1999, Florida State University; M.A., Sports Administration & Coaching, 1988, The University of Iowa;
B.A., Physical Education & Recreation, 1985, Bethany College
Dr. Dwayne B. Thomas, Ph.D. has more than 32 years as a training, leadership development professional, and member of the Academy. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education (Sports Management and Organizational Leadership) from Florida State University. His area of expertise is in Qualitative Research and Action Research projects and the perceptions and use of power and empowerment in organizations and executive leadership. He received a Masters of Arts Degree in Education (Sports Administration and Coaching) from The University of Iowa, and a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education Teaching (K-12) from Bethany College, in Lindsborg, Kansas.
Dr. Thomas has directed Doctoral, Masters, and Undergraduate Faculty, Research, and academic programs. Prior to becoming Chair at Lasell, he was the Director of Instructional Services, Director of Sports Leadership, and Associate Professor of Sports Leadership at Dominican University (DU) in River Forest, IL. At DU, Dr. Thomas created the Masters and Undergraduate level Sports Leadership Concentrations in the School of Leadership and Continuing Studies and collaborated with the College of Education to create the first Sports Leadership Concentration in the Education Administration Certification Program. He has directed the Sports Management/Leadership programs at Columbia College Chicago, Johnson C. Smith University, and the University of North Florida.
As a leadership professional, Dr. Thomas directed the Parks and Recreation programs for two East Coast cities and created the Professional & Leadership Development office for Special Olympics, Inc. a multinational sports organization. At SOI he served as Director and internal consultant for the Executive Management Team and provided executive and leadership training for leaders and staff responsible for the more than 200 SOI programs in 150+ countries. He also created the first SOI Leadership Development Institute, a leadership training program model selected by the US Leadership Council of Special Olympics North America as the model program for all leadership efforts. Dr. Thomas is the former State Coordinator for Physical Education and Physical Activity for the Florida Department of Education. At the FLDOE he was a member of the Grant Writing team that was awarded a $4 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Dr. Thomas has authored many courses, workshops, seminars, and conferences on organizational leadership and change, and has presented across the US, Western Europe, and South America. He uses innovative and creative approaches to address organizational, personal, and youth and community leadership development issues and concerns.
What do you like about teaching at Lasell?
"I have combined the educational and professional leadership styles and models from my public school education, military (US Marine Corps) training, advanced academic achievements, and professional work experiences to produce the pedagogical philosophies and best practices that I have found successful in attempting to enhance and enrich the learning experiences of each student, staff member, or person’s development, learning, and life.
The primary method that I love to use in my learning and leadership experiences is centered in the philosophical method presented by Socrates. Early in my professional career I decided that this method was the best method for me for two reasons. The first is that, with the Socratic Method the responsibility for developing the “best” questions rests with the teacher or leader. The second reason follows on the first in that developing the “best” questions for each lesson requires continual and perpetual self-evaluation and assessment of the teaching and leadership methodologies and strategies used.
The secondary teaching method that I use in support of the Socratic Method comes from Karl Marx’s interpretation of G.W.F. Hegel’s Dialectical Method. The dialectic is a practical and dynamic process aimed at providing students with insights and critical inquiry skills. Used in combination, the Socratic Method and the Dialectic allows for continued reexamination of the current issues in an attempt to challenge traditional assumptions and perceptions, seek alternatives, and to arouse students to higher levels of awareness and consciousness. The answers then are a result of collective and shared classroom experiences that are proactive and progressive. Students are empowered to take responsibility for a significant portion of their learning processes and I am able to infuse the classroom experiences with directly and indirectly related content and materials that contributes to their learning across the curriculum, while focusing on the state, University, or College mandated competencies.
I believe that learning is and can happen in all situations and settings. Teaching is an art and science with unlimited opportunities for the application of and dialogue about most topics. Teaching allows for creative approaches to facilitate understanding and awareness. The constant pursuit of adventures in learning and the demonstrated ability to enhance the learning experiences of a variety of students, faculty and staff groups makes each teachable moment special. Education is not a panacea. It is a means to and end; a positive, creative, purposeful, and sustaining end."
Read an Interview with Dr. Thomas here