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Memoir

Edwin J Thomas
Regents' Proceedings 189

Edwin J. Thomas, Fedele F. Fauri Professor of Social Work in the School of Social Work and professor of psychology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, retired from active faculty status on December 31, 1993, after 40 years of service to the University of Michigan.

A native of Flint, Professor Thomas obtained his A.B. and M.S.W. degrees in 1951 and 1953, respectively, from Wayne University, and his Ph.D. degree in social psychology from the University of Michigan in 1956. After serving as a research assistant at the Research Center for Group Dynamics from 1953-56, he joined the faculty in 1956 as assistant professor of social work in the School of Social Work and assistant professor of psychology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Professor Thomas was promoted to associate professor in both disciplines in 1959 and to professor in 1963 and was named the Fedele F. Fauri Professor of Social Work in 1986.

Professor Thomas is recognized as a leading scholar in the areas of behavior modification and intervention research, with particular emphasis on role theory and group behavior. His recent research has focused on unilateral therapy with the spouses and families of alcohol abusers. He has published an impressive body of articles and books, many of which have been translated into foreign languages. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Bradford in England and LaTrobe University in Australia.

In the School of Social Work, Professor Thomas served as head of the doctoral program in social work and social science, chair of the supervising committee for the doctoral program, and for many years as head of the human behavior and social environment area of the school's curriculum. He also was primarily responsible for the introduction and integration of social science knowledge into the master's program in social work Professor Thomas' retirement marks the departure of an esteemed member of the faculty of the School of Social Work who was devoted to the development and refinement of intervention theories and techniques, empirically based practice, and assessments.

The Regents now salute this faculty member by naming Edwin J. Thomas the Fedele F. Fauri Professor Emeritus of Social Work and professor emeritus of psychology.

Bio - The History of Social Work - Fellin

Edwin J. Thomas joined the faculty in 1956, holding a B.A. and an M.S.W. degree from Wayne State University and a Ph.D. degree in social psychology from the University of Michigan.

Prior to his appointment at the school, Thomas was a research assistant at the U-M Research Center for Group Dynamics. Based on his research and writing, Professor Thomas became a leading scholar worldwide in the areas of behavior modification, intervention research, and alcoholism and unilateral family therapy.

Thomas was a prime mover in the development of the Joint Doctoral Program in Social Work and Social Science, holding professorships in both social work and psychology. His students gained national reputations in social work education, a tribute to his excellence as a teacher, advisor, mentor, and scholar.

He was a Senior Fulbright Scholar on two occasions—at the University of Bradford and at LaTrobe University. In naming Thomas professor emeritus of social work and professor emeritus of psychology in 1994, the regents noted, "He has published an impressive body of articles and books, many of which have been translated into foreign languages."

During his tenure at the school as an "esteemed member of the faculty," Thomas received the university's Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, was named to numerous Who's Who listings, and was named the Fedele F. Fauri Professor of School of Social Work (Board of Regents, 1994).

In 2007 Professor Thomas was honored by the establishment of the Edwin J. Thomas Collegiate Professor of Social Work. Professor Emeritus Thomas currently resides in Ann Arbor.