ECU Names Dr. Steven Thomas dean of School of Allied Health Sciences
(June 22, 2003)
Dr. Stephen W. Thomas has been selected dean of the East Carolina University School of Allied Health Sciences, effective July 1. Thomas has served as interim dean since April 2001.
A professor of rehabilitation studies at ECU, Thomas holds a doctorate in education and served as chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Studies in the school from 1998 to 2001.
ECU conducted a nationwide search this spring to fill the post. "Dr. Thomas has the vision, commitment and understanding to lead the School of Allied Health Sciences," said Dr. Michael J. Lewis, ECU vice chancellor for health sciences. "He was by far the best candidate for the job, and we look forward to working with him as the school expands its degree offerings and as the university moves forward on construction of a new facility for the school."
In 2006, the School of Allied Health Sciences will move into a new 127,000-square-foot building, part of a consolidated health sciences campus to be built using funds from the 2002 statewide higher education facilities bond referendum. Next summer, the university expects to break ground on construction of new buildings totaling 270,000-square-feet for the Schools of Allied Health Sciences and Nursing and the Health Sciences Library on property adjacent to the Brody School of Medicine and Pitt County Memorial Hospital.
Thomas replaces Dr. Harold P. Jones, who joined the University of Alabama-Birmingham in January 2001.
"I'm honored to be chosen as dean and am excited about the role that I will play in taking the school to the next level of excellence," Thomas said. "We're exceeding our goals in several areas, including enrollment, development of new degree programs and the movement of several programs from the bachelor's to master's and master's to doctoral levels."
Thomas sees the construction of the school's new facility and an emphasis on research as priorities on the allied health's horizon. "We have many strong research programs looking at different aspects of health care, and I plan to build on these," Thomas said.
Prior to coming to ECU, Thomas held academic, research and administrative positions with the University of Arizona in Tucson, the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Thomas earned his doctorate of education and his master's degree in rehabilitation studies from the University of Arizona and his bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
He and his wife, Melodie, have two daughters, Darby and Morgan, and a set of identical twin granddaughters.
The ECU Division of Health Sciences includes the Brody School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, the School of Allied Health Sciences and the Laupus Health Sciences Library.