N.C. A&T Names Thomas Director of External Affairs

By Jackie Torok / 10/19/2022

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 19, 2022) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University announced Oliver M. Thomas ‘06, Ph.D., has been named director of external affairs after serving in the position on an interim basis.

Oliver M. ThomasThomas will continue to direct the state and federal government affairs program to establish, cultivate and sustain relationships with government officials and other stakeholders to help ensure their understanding of N.C. A&T’s needs, in addition to managing the university’s Board of Visitors.

“We're very pleased that Dr. Thomas will continue to represent A&T at this pivotal moment in its history, as we focus campuswide on our position as a leading research university with aspirations of R1 designation,” said Chief of Staff Erin Hill Hart, to whom Thomas reports. “With his experience and dedication, he will champion A&T as a preeminent land-grant institution where high-achieving scholars engage in transformative teaching and learning, interdisciplinary research and community outreach.”

Before joining his alma mater in 2020, Thomas served as coordinator for Preparing Future Leaders (PFL) for the graduate schools of the University of North Carolina Greensboro and A&T. PFL is a professional development initiative for graduate students to develop essential skills for success in their fields and future careers. PFL offers two tracks for graduate students in all graduate programs: Preparing Future Faculty, designed to prepare graduate students for faculty positions in academia, and Preparing Future Professionals, aimed at readying future leaders in professional careers in the business, industry, governmental and nonprofit sectors.

As coordinator, he collaborated with campus partners in various departments to develop a workshop series, “Nourishing Your Professional Development.”

Previously, Thomas was assistant director of admissions and recruitment for the Wake Forest University School of Divinity, where he served on the Admissions and Scholarship Committee as well as the advisor of the Pastoral Care Committee. He developed the recruitment strategy that increased the student of color population from 8% to 43% between 2010 and 2014. He traveled throughout the Eastern region of the United States to meet with individuals discerning their call to ministry and community engagement.

Thomas is the author of “Toward a Pedagogy of Critical Liberative Theological Consciousness: Cultivating Students as Agents of Social Change.” His primary research focus is educating student-citizens to engage their ecclesial, local, national, and global community as agents of cultural and social change through the lens of participatory democracy. He is a member of the American Educational Studies Association, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and the South Atlantic Philosophy of Education Society.

Additionally, Thomas has taught “African American History to 1877” as an adjunct instructor in A&T’s Department of History and Political Science and “Introduction to Ethics” to graduate students as an adjunct instructor at Carolina Christian College.

Black Business Ink magazine named Thomas one of its “40 Under 40 Most Influential African Americans in the Piedmont” in February 2020. In 2014, he was inducted into the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers, Board of Sponsors and Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College. He also was the 2010 recipient of the John Thomas and Dorothy Porter Award in Vocational Formation and Community Ministry, given by Wake Forest University School of Divinity.

Thomas graduated magna cum laude from A&T with a B.A. in political science, from Wake Forest with an M.Div. and from UNCG with a Ph.D. in educational studies with an emphasis on cultural foundations. He holds a Certificate of Ordination from Mecklenburg General Baptist Association and Clinical Pastoral Education Certificate Level 1 from Wake Forest Baptist Health FaithHealth Education.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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