Elizabeth Thomas | Associate Professor, Director of Urban Studies
Office: 213 Clough Hall | Phone: (901) 843-3898 | Email: Thomase@rhodes.edu


Dr. Elizabeth Thomas is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Director and Plough Chair of Urban Studies. Her research focuses on social and cultural contexts for learning, adolescent engagement in community-based settings, and the potential of arts-based and participatory strategies for community research and action. She is interested in how young people′s understandings of themselves and others are shaped by specific educational experiences, but also how children and youth actively engage and shape their learning environments. She collaborates with children, university students, and community partners to conduct research and intervention in schools and other educational settings.


Ph.D., Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

B.A., Psychology, Georgetown University (Phi Beta Kappa)


Community Psychology
Introduction to Urban Studies

Selected Publications

Dalton, J., Hill, J., Thomas, E. & Kloos, B. (in press). Community psychology. In I. B.

Weiner (Series Ed.) & D. K. Freedheim (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of psychology: Vol. 1. History of psychology (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley. 

Kloos, B., Hill, J., Thomas, E., Wandersman, A., Dalton, J., & Elias, M. (2012). Community Psychology: Linking Individuals and Communities, 3rd edition. Cengage Publishing.

Langhout, R., & Thomas, E. (2010). Imagining participatory action research in collaboration with children: An introduction. American Journal of Community Psychology, 46, 60-66.

Thomas, E., & Mulvey, A. (2008). Using the arts in teaching and learning: Building student capacity for community-based work in health psychology. Journal of Health Psychology, 13, 2, 239-250.

Thomas, E., Place, N., & Hillyard, C. (2008). Students and teachers learning to see: Using visual images in the college classroom to promote student capacities and skills. College Teaching, 56, 1, 23-27.

Thomas, E., & Gillespie, D. (2008). Weaving together undergraduate research, assessment, and mentoring of junior faculty: The case of an interdisciplinary program. Innovative Higher Education, 33, 1, 29-38.

Thomas, E. (2007). Student engagement and learning in a community-based arts classroom. Teachers College Record, 109, 3, 770-796.