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Kecia M. Thomas

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Emeritus Professor of I/O Psychology and African-American Studies
Founding Director of the Center for Research & Engagement in Diversity


1993      Ph.D. Psychology [Industrial/Organizational Psychology Emphasis], Minor area: Organization and Management [Smeal College of Business Administration], The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

1990      M.S. Psychology [Industrial/Organizational Psychology Emphasis], The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

1988     B.A. Psychology and Spanish, minor in Educational Administration, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

Research Interests

My research program focuses on understanding the psychology of workplace diversity, specifically how individuals and organizations resist or demonstrate readiness for diversity. My work is also concerned with the organizational experiences of marginalized groups, namely people of color, women, and sexual minorities and the impact their work and professional experiences has on their career mobility and overall well-being. My instructional program includes courses in the Psychology of Prejudice, Race and Identity, and  Diversity in Organizations. RED provides my students and me the unique opportunity to integrate these programs of research and instruction in order to further the diversity and effectiveness missions of UGA units, non-profit institutions, school districts, and traditional workplaces through workshop delivery, meeting facilitation, and diversity climate assessments.

Selected Publications

Books Authored

Thomas, K. M. (2005).  Diversity Dynamics in the Workplace. San Francisco: Wadsworth-Thomson. 

Volumes Edited

Thomas, K.M. (in progress). Diversity Resistance in Organizations, Volume 2 [Applied Psychology Series]. NYC: Routledge.

Thomas, K.M. & Ashburn-Nardo, L. (2017). Broadening the conversation: Why Black lives matter. A special issue of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion: An International Journal, 36(8). UK: Emerald Publishing.

Plaut, V., Thomas, K.M., & Hebl, M. (2014).  Race and ethnicity in the workplace:  Spotlighting the perspectives of historically marginalized groups. A special issue of, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.  Washington, DC:  APA.

Thomas, K.M., Plaut, V.C., & Tran, N.M. (2014).Diversity Ideologies in Organizations. [Applied Psychology Series]. NYC: Routledge-Taylor Francis.

Thomas, K.M. (2008). Diversity  Resistance in Organizations. [Applied Psychology Series]. NYC: LEA-Taylor Francis.  

Thomas, K.M. & Proudford, K.L. (eds.) (1999).Organizational Outsiders Within [special issue of Journal of Career Development] NYC: NY: Kluwer Academic/Human Sciences Press. 

For a complete listing of Dr. Thomas' chapters in edited volumes and research articles, grants/contracts, awards, and doctoral students,  please see her curriculum vitae.


In the News

Quoted in the article, “Does Faculty Diversity Need Targets?” April 6, 2015.

Quoted in the article, “Black and Not Feeling Welcomed.”  InsideHigherEd.Com. November, 2014.

Quoted in the article, “Affirmative Action Ending?” Diverse Issues in Higher Education, October 9, 2014.

Networking Expert for Minnesota Public Radio.  Podcast available at:

Diversity Resistance Expert for online radio show “Diversity Matters.”  Podcast available at

Thomas wins award from the Academy of Management and named Fellow of SIOP and APA.

Colorblindness research covered by the media.

Dr. Thomas  becomes Sr. Advisor to the Dean of Franklin College

Diversity initiatives developed by Dr. Thomas identified by the American Psychological Association as "exemplary strategies"

Recipient, 2004 University of Georgia Diversity Award from the Office of Institutional Diversity

August 2004: article on Dr. Thomas's work in the APA Monitor

Other Affiliations:
Articles Featuring Kecia M. Thomas

After 27 years on the faculty in the Psychology Department, we congratulate Dr. Kecia Thomas on her new position as Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Thomas has most recently served as Senior Associate Dean in Franklin…

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