Dr. Dwayne B. Thomas, Ph.D.
Dr. Thomas is the Founder, Chief Learning Officer, and Strategist for Thomas Leadership Solutions (TLS). He founded TLS as the MOTIVA Group, Inc. in 1998. The name change reflects the personal and professional development, and learning transitions of Dr. Thomas and the TLS Leadership Consultants.
Dr. Thomas has more than 35+ years as an athlete, coach, and educational and sport leadership professional. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education (Sports Management and Organizational Leadership) from Florida State University, where he was one of the first African Americans to graduate from the newly created Doctoral program. His area of expertise is in Program and Personal Evaluation, Assessment, and Monitoring of Educational and Sports Performance and Programs for Athletes, Coaches, and Sports Managers; Sport Governance (Olympic & Intercollegiate Leadership); Managing Diversity in Educational and Sports organizations; and Qualitative and Action Research projects. Upon graduation from FSU (1999) he received a letter of distinction from his Doctoral Committee Chair, Dr. Dewayne J. Johnson, as his hard work, determination, and academic acumen lead to significant changes to the expediency with which Doctoral students could complete the Dissertation process, as one of the top 2-3 graduates in his distinguished 27+ year career.
Dr. Thomas received a Masters of Arts Degree in Education (Sports Administration and Coaching) from The University of Iowa, where he was the only student to achieve distinction on the comprehensive examination required for the completion of his degree requirements (1988). He completed a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education Teaching (K-12) from Bethany College, in Lindsborg, Kansas (in pursuit if a career in professional American Football), after transferring from the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a two-time letter winner in Track & Field.
Dr. Thomas has been a member of the Academy in Sport Management education and Organizational Leadership since 1995. He has directed Faculty, Doctoral, Masters, and Undergraduate Research and academic programs. He recently stepped down as Chair and Program Director (Undergraduate) for the Sport Management Department. In this position Dr. Thomas directed the College through the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) accrediting process as directed by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA). The College was in defered action status (deficiencies were extensive and adequate information concerning compliance with principles was not included in the self-evaluation or self-study document or other related documents. Withing two years of taking over the process and in November 2014, the COSMA Board of Commissioners reviewed the Bachelor of Science in Sport Management (BSSM) program and determined that Dr. Thomas, successfully demonstrated that Lasell College's BSSM program met the 8 principles, is sistent with the consistent with continuous improvement and excellence in sport management education, and that through COSMA has established and received recognition as an Accredited program for a period up to September 2021.
Additionally, Dr. Thomas has served in a number of International, National, State, and local leadership roles. These roles have included:
- Director of Parks and Recreation programs for two major East Coast Cities.
- Director of Instructional Services, Director of Sports Leadership, and Associate Professor of Sports Leadership at Dominican University (DU) in River Forest, IL. At DU, Dr. Thomas created the Masters and Undergraduate Sports Leadership Concentrations in Organizational Leadership for the School of Leadership and Continuing Studies. He also collaborated with the Director of Graduate Education, in the College of Education, to create the first Sports Leadership Concentration in the Education Administration (Illinois Type 75) Certification Program.
- Director of Sports Management/Leadership programs at Columbia College Chicago, Johnson C. Smith University, and the University of North Florida.
- Director and Internal Consultant for the Special Olympics, Inc. Senior Management Team where he provided executive and leadership training for leaders and staff responsible for the more than 200 Special Olympics, Inc. (SOI) programs in 150+ countries. He also created the first SOI Leadership Development Institute, a leadership training program model selected by the US Leadership Council of Special Olympics North America (SONA) as the model program for all leadership efforts.
- State Coordinator for Physical Education and Physical Activity for the Florida Department of Education. At the FLDOE he was a member of the Grant Writing team that was awarded a $4 million grant from the CDC.
Dr. Thomas has recently created The World Sports University (WSU). WSU is a unique learning institution for persons looking to work in the SPort Industry. WSU students can earn a Masters of Science degree in Sport Business Management (MSSBM). WUS offers a specialized ANTES™ (Prior Learning Credit Program) for persons looking to receive College credit for prior work experience; the with Sport Industry experience, the Flex Core™ program, which allows each student to design a unique degree program to meet her/his individual career goals, and the Passport to Sports™ program, the bedrock of the MSSBM program, the PTS program is a unique international sport learning experience where students travel to International and National sporting events to learn from the leaders of the "Games!"
Dr. Thomas is a curriculum development specialist having created, revised, and directed Sport Management and Organizational Leadership program s for institutions in Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and North Carolina, and authored more that 35 organizational leadership and sport management education courses in traditional, blended, and online formats. After creating 17 industry leading courses, workshops, seminars, and training sessions, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recognized his achievements by issuing Dr. Thomas a "Outstanding Professional Provider" status (Carte Blanche) to create unlimited courses, workshops, seminars, and conferences on organizational and education leadership. He has presented acros