Get to Know Dr. Charles B. Thomas, Jr., Assoc. Professor of Sociology!

Thomas_Charles13(04) Name: Charles B. Thomas, Jr.
Title: Associate Professor of Sociology
Department: Sociology/Anthropology/Criminal Justice

Classes I’m teaching: Race and Ethnic Relations (AFA-SOC-270); Social Psychology (SOC-220); Black Families (AFA-SOC-WGS-359)

Professional Interests/Activities: I’ve served as a former vice president of the Michigan Sociological Association, and have served on its board. I’ve served as a reviewer for professional journals in my field. I greatly enjoy the intellectual stimulation, and opportunities to interact with colleagues, available when attending annual meetings of my professional groups.

In May of 2014, Dr. Thomas was a member of the Michigan Road Scholars’ Tour, “a five-day traveling seminar on the State of Michigan. This educational tour exposes participants to the state’s economy, government and politics, culture, educational systems, health and social issues, history, and geography.” ( These tours allow faculty members to gain a deeper understanding of the environments their students call home, and encourage the faculty to be involved with the issues of those communities. They also encourage discussion and cooperation between faculty members who may not have otherwise met.

For a detailed view of his Road Tour, visit the 2014 Tour site.

Research Interests: study of human values; racial and gender inequality

Awards: Olivia P. Maynard and Olof Karlstrom Faculty Award for Civic Engagement (2009); Faculty Distinguished Service Award (2006); Michigan Campus Compact (MCC) Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award (2004)

Degree(s)/Education: Ph.D., Social Psychology, Harvard University; M. A., Social Psychology, Harvard University; B. A., Psychology, Cornell University

Memberships: American Sociological Association; Michigan Sociological Association; Association of Black Sociologists; Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

How I fell in love with my field: As an undergraduate, I took eye-opening social science courses dealing with issues related to social inequality and social justice. I developed a strong interest in these concerns, and pursued them in my undergraduate honors thesis, in graduate school, and have continued to focus on them during my professional career.

What I hope for my time at UM-Flint: I’ve been active in the life of the university for many years, and I eagerly anticipate continuing to make the contributions I can to its mission and to promoting its values in the future.

Three things you should know about me:

  • I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • I very much enjoy the benefits of traveling, and have lived in or visited numerous states in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, West Africa and Europe.
  • One of my fondest memories is regularly attending performances of blues artists in numerous small blues clubs when I lived in Baltimore, MD many years ago.