Thomas J. Thomas Of Wilkes University Honored For Contributions To Higher Education Opportunity Programs
Thomas J. Thomas Jr., executive director of University College at Wilkes University and a resident of Plains Township, has received the Tri-State Consortium Award for Excellence and Service to the Community. Thomas was presented with the award at the Tri-State Consortium Of Opportunity Programs in Higher Education awards recognition banquet held in April in Tarrytown, N.Y.
The award recognizes an individual for contributions to the consortium and to educational opportunity programs in the United States, particularly in the states of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The award – considered the consortium’s most prestigious recognition – is given to an individual who has performed with excellence in his or her profession and has provided high-quality service to underrepresented, first generation, underprepared or economically disadvantaged student populations.
Past award recipients include Arnold Mitchem, founder and former president of the Council for Opportunity in Education; Thomas Mortenson, senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education; and Glen Lang, former assistant secretary for higher education for the state of New Jersey.
The award recognized Thomas for his work to support access to higher education for students from low-income families and from other under-represented groups. This includes his political advocacy on behalf of educational opportunity programs at the state and federal level and serving as president of the Act 101 Pennsylvania Association for Educational Opportunity.
In his position at Wilkes, Thomas coordinates the work of the Act 101 Educational Opportunity Program, advising and career services, disability support services, transfer student services, tutoring and supplemental instruction and the TRIO Upward Bound Program. University College at Wilkes also administers the First Year Bridge Program and the Undeclared Majors Program.