Thomas begins new role as director of faculty engagement

Chippewa Thomas, an associate professor in the College of Education, was recently named Auburn University’s director of faculty engagement in the Office of the Vice President for University Outreach.

As director of faculty engagement, Thomas will ensure faculty members have detailed and accurate information regarding outreach requirements as part of the tenure and promotion process. She will also work to develop incentives designed to increase Auburn’s outreach initiatives and will share information about collaborative projects with members of the university’s leadership team as well as the university at large. She will report to the assistant vice president for university outreach.

Thomas said she will work to strengthen the Competitive Outreach Scholarship Program and the annual Outreach Scholarship Symposium and to ensure that faculty engagement aligns with goals for outreach explained by the university’s strategic plan.

“I look forward to using some of the skills I have as a counselor and counselor educator to be an advocate for faculty,’’ said Thomas, who began her new role this week. “I will be able to be the faculty voice for university outreach.’’

Thomas will maintain ties to her department and college, teaching a course once a year, continuing to advise masters and doctoral students, direct dissertations and serve on the College of Education Diversity Committee.

“If I’m going to be working with faculty and engaging them, I need to remain active doing some of the things that faculty do; like teaching, advising and mentoring students,’’ she said.

Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Tuskegee University and completed two degrees in Auburn’s College of Education, a master’s in community agency counseling and a doctorate in counselor education and supervision. She recently earned the Fannie R. Cooley Award for Distinguished Professional Development from the Alabama Counseling Association.

Thomas joined the Auburn faculty in 2005 and served as coordinator of the Community Agency Counseling master’s degree program in the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation and Counseling.