Dana Thomas has served as an academic advisor in the Department of Biological Sciences since September 2014 and as Coordinator of Advising since May 2020. As an advisor, she is committed to guiding, supporting, encouraging, and advocating for students as they navigate their intellectual and professional development as biologists. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Vassar College and briefly worked for the National Park Service before obtaining master’s degrees in ecology and evolutionary biology and education from the University of Michigan. Over the years, Dana’s research interests have evolved from plant-soil interactions and global change ecology to diversity, inclusion, and equity in post-secondary STEM education. In 2023, she completed her PhD in Educational Leadership, Policy and Human Development: Higher Education Opportunity, Equity, and Justice at NC State. In addition to her advising, administrative, and research endeavors, Dana assists external Biological Sciences transfer students in their transition to the university by teaching an orientation course, co-managing a peer mentor program, and collaborating with campus and community partners to improve the transfer experience. She is also invested in connecting students with undergraduate research opportunities.
Specialties: Current and prospective transfer students, CODA, undergraduate research, ecology, evolution, and conservation biology, zoology, diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM
Fun Fact: Dana grew up on a horse farm in Northern Virginia and she enjoys spending as much time outside as possible. For the past 20 years, she’s been section hiking the Appalachian Trail with her mom. They might actually finish it fairly soon!