Dave Thomas, a PhD candidate within our Centre for the Study of Higher Education, has been inducted into the American Association of Colleges and Universities Future Leaders Society.
Dave, who is also an EDI adviser and an associate lecturer at Kent, was invited to join the Future Leaders Society after becoming a finalist for the prestigious K Patricia Cross Award. The award recognises graduate students who “show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education and who are committed to academic innovation in the areas of equity, community engagement, and teaching and learning.”
Each year, the award attracts hundreds of nominations from across disciplines. Dave is the only student from a university outside of the USA to be selected this year. Since he began his part-time doctoral studies in Higher Education in 2017, Dave has amassed an exceptional record of achievements including:
- engagement of student and staff communities at Kent through the Decolonise UKC initiative and the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Staff Network
- local community engagement that strengthened connections between African and Caribbean heritage residents in the Medway region and the University of Kent
- research on race equality and enhancing teaching and learning in higher education, particularly for minoritised students
- and service across the UK higher education sector on race equality.
During Dave’s doctorate, he contributed as a student success professional at Kent before recently taking up appointments as a Senior Advisor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Advance HE and Associate Lecturer in the Kent and Medway Medical School.
Professor Richard Reece, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education and Student Experience, says: ‘It is excellent news that Dave’s substantial accomplishments have been recognised. He will be able to exchange expertise with American colleagues on this very important aspect of higher education as he continues to grow as a leader in HE here in the UK.’