Wayne Thomas has been named interim dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tusculum College, effective July 1.
Thomas has served as chair of the Department of Fine Arts and as associate professor of English. He has served previously as the chair of the English Department. He joined Tusculum College in 2005 and has not only continuously worked to serve his students and grow his departments, but has built several strong arts and humanities programs that have become part of the College’s culture.
“Under the leadership of Mr. Thomas, many students have successfully published, graduated and been admitted to graduate programs,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of the College. “Through the guidance of Mr. Thomas and other faculty members, many Tusculum students have received scholarships and built relationships to pursue master’s degrees at a wide array of universities including Columbia University, the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, the University of Central Arkansas, the University of Central Florida, the University of Tennessee, the University of Tennessee the School of Law, East Tennessee State University, Chatham University, Eastern Kentucky University, Washington University in St. Louis, Tampa University, the University of Memphis, the Art Institute of California and the Pittsburgh School of Mortuary Science.”
After being named the College’s first chair of the Fine Arts Department, Thomas was instrumental in the resurrection of the tradition of the Old Oak Festival, working to bring it back with a focus on fine arts, music, theater and writing.
During his time with the English Department, Thomas coordinated the annual Humanities Lecture Series, bringing guest authors to campus not only to share their works, but to meet with students and share their professional experiences through small panel sessions. He has previously served as editor of the Tusculum Review, overseeing the student-driven production of the College’s literary journal.
Professor Thomas’s essays, stories and plays have been seen in several literary journals and anthologies, including “Sudden Stories: The Mammoth Book of Miniscule Fiction” and “River Teeth.” In addition, he recently co-edited an anthology of Appalachian literature, “Red Holler.”
He has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre History and Literary Criticism from Georgia College, a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing/Scriptwriting from Georgia College and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing/Fiction and Nonfiction from West Virginia University.
Thomas is the 2012 recipient of Tusculum College’s Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award. He also received the alumni-presented National Living Faculty Award for dedicated service to students in 2013.