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Dr. Anita Thomas to be the 11th President of North Central College

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On March 21, Anita Thomas, Ph.D., was named the 11th president of North Central College. The school expects her to resume official duties on July 1, 2023. In North Central’s long history, Thomas is the first woman and person of color to become the school’s president.

Thomas said that having the opportunity to be a part of the institution is a great joy and honor. She also said North Central is preparing the next generation of leaders, and she was ready to direct the college in the next phase of its history. Dr. Anita said she would partner with faculty, staff, students, the board, alumni, and the Naperville community to achieve this.

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Since 2019, Thomas has operated as the executive vice president and provost at St. Catherine University. As a chief academic officer, she provided strategic leadership for the university’s academic programs. She also implemented the institution’s master plan. This included the planned inauguration of the Office of Intercultural Engagement and Social Justice.

Thomas was previously the founding dean of the College of Applied Behavioral Sciences at the University of Indianapolis. In this role, she oversaw academic programs in psychology, mental health counseling, art therapy, and social work. Thomas was also a faculty member and graduate program director for counseling psychology at Loyola University Chicago. Later, she became the associate dean for academic affairs and research at the School of Education. 

As a native of Louisville, Ky, Thomas holds a doctorate in counseling psychology from Loyola University Chicago. She also has a master’s degree in community counseling from the same school. Thomas’s bachelor’s degree in education and social policy is from Northwestern University.

Nationally, Dr. Anita Thomas is famous for her scholarship on racial socialization in African American families. The scholarship also covers stereotypical roles of African American women and girls and the development of critical consciousness and resilience.