Associate Professor and Practicum Coordinator
Dr. Joy Thomas is an Associate Professor of Public Health in the Department of Public Health in the College of Health Professions. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education from Florida State University, a Master of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and a Doctor of Public Health, with an emphasis in Community Health Education and Behavior, from Georgia Southern University.
Dr. Thomas has eighteen years of practical experience with Community Based Participatory Research, bringing in both field level and academic experiences to solve complex health disparity issues. Prior to academia, she served in various roles, coordinating grants and award-winning projects for health departments, school systems, and non-profit organizations. Dr. Thomas served as faculty advisor, Associate Professor, and Program Coordinator for the Health Science program at Columbus State University. She received the 2017 Scholar of the Year Award for the College of Education and Health Professions at Columbus State University. In 2018, Dr. Thomas was named a 5 under 40 Rising Star for her service to the Chattahoochee Valley.
Dr. Thomas’ current responsibilities include coordination of the practicum experience course, and collaborative instruction of the grant development course for the MPH program. Her research interests include: Public Health, Health Disparity, Community Based Participatory Research, Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Research, Adolescent Health, Community Based Coalition Building, Behavioral Programming (Implementation/Evaluation), Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, Health Outcomes Research, Grant Development and Management, and Community-Academic Partnerships.
Her current research funding includes site-based technical assistance and evaluation support for the Academic Health Department implementation in local health districts across the state of Georgia. She is an active member of Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society, American Public Health Association, Georgia Society of Public Health Education, and Eta Sigma Gamma Health Education Honor Society.