A love of teaching led Dr. Thomas to leave a thriving veterinary practice to join
the faculty at California State University, Fresno in 1985. Since then, he has assumed
a variety of teaching, research, outreach and leadership training responsibilities.
Prior to being appointed as the interim associate dean in the fall of 2018, he served
as a college liaison for the California Agricultural Leadership Program (CALF), a
statewide leadership foundation to improve leadership skills within the agriculture
community. As an educator, Dr. Thomas has 22 years of experience teaching animal health,
infectious diseases and other pre-veterinary courses. He was an advisor for pre-veterinary
students in the department and faculty advisor for the Pre-Veterinary Association.
In 1999, Dr. Thomas prepared a proposal for a new Animal Science GE course, which
was accepted by the General Education Committee and is now available to students of
all majors. The course, Animals and Society, deals with ethics, appropriate care and
use of animals in our society including therapeutic uses. Being a strong advocate
of hands-on experience, he took a leave from the department in the fall of 2001 to
direct the Solutions Center. As director of the center he led a campus-wide program
that coordinates programs for teams of students seeking to answer specific, real-world
problems posed by industry.