Congratulations Oliver M. Thomas!

Posted on April 18, 2019

2019 Graduate Research and Creativity Expo – Winner

Congratulations to Oliver M. Thomas, ELC’s Ph.D. candidate for his recent success! Oliver is one of the 15 outstanding graduate student winners of the 2019 Graduate Research and Creativity Expo for his project titled “Students Can Change Systems of Oppression.”

Oliver’s research wrestles with the tension between the lived experience of oppression and the promise of freedom, in the United States, by coupling critical pedagogy and Black liberation theology to cultivate student-citizens as agents of social and theological change, toward the aim of changing all systems of oppression, which is vital for democracy.

Per Dr. Greg Bell, Associate Dean of The Graduate School “(The) Expo provides an opportunity for our students to articulate the importance and impact of their scholarship with a lay audience of community judges. In this way, it also serves to enhance UNCG’s reputation and build relationships in the community. We are grateful to all the students’ participants and faculty mentors for helping with these important efforts. Once again, this year our students exceeded the judges’ expectations. Several judges mentioned the outstanding quality of the students’ work and presentations and every judge I spoke to after the event enthusiastically asked to be invited back next year.” The winners were recognized on Wednesday, 4/3/2019 in the EUC Auditorium.

We are very happy and proud of Oliver and all who took part in this event. Despite their busy schedule, they still found time to participate in this event. Oliver is an active doctoral student who not only served as our graduate student Senator in The Graduate Students Association (GSA) from 2016 – 2018. (He was an alternate GSA Senator from 2015 to 2016). In addition, as ELC’s former Senior Teaching Assistant (STA), Oliver taught undergraduate education and non-education majors in the “ELC 381: Cultural Foundations of Education” course from 2016 -2017.  He currently serves as the Coordinator for Preparing Future Leaders (PFL), a graduate student professional development and career preparation program for The Graduate Schools of UNCG and NCA&TSU. Oliver’s faculty adviser is Dr. Leila E. Villaverde, Professor in the ELC Department.

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