Dr. Thomas, The Teacher of Many Topics
“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, people told me I was a natural.” – Thomas
Dr. Jacqueline Thomas is a French Professor at Texas A&M University- Kingsville. She is from Bristol, England. She has taught at TAMUK for over thirty years. “She knows the insides and outside of French, I have learned a lot from her, more than I expected” Spencer Wingert said, a Senior, History Major, and student of Dr. Thomas.
There is something special about Dr. Thomas that distinguishes her from other professors. She has taken advantage of the opportunity to teach in at least two countries. She has impacted her students, and colleagues on local, national, and international levels. At one point in time, Dr. Thomas received the key to Kingsville from the Mayor because of her dedication and service to the people of Kingsville, Texas.
She is valued for her virtues and has received numerous awards. She stands as a role model and a teacher of many aspects in life. She gives her students advice inside and outside her classroom. She always displays her care and passion for her field. She’s left a lasting impression on students and faculty. “I love her, I am an Industrial Management student and even I enjoy French with Dr. Thomas,” said Mariee Cruz, an undergrad, and student of Dr. Thomas.
Dr. Thomas has been uplifted on various occasions for many reasons and she remains humble. She was rewarded by the French government for her expertise and for being a prime example of the French community.
There is one reward that will never subside and will remain an honor to Dr. Thomas for a lifetime. That is the Regents Professor award of the Texas A&M System. “I cried when I got the Regents Professor Award and the students gave their tribute,” said Thomas.
This award requires the Chancellor or Chief Executive to nominate a professor worthy of the Regents Professor award. They are highlighted for their excellence within the institution, community, and most of all, the Texas A&M System. “There are at least three areas the nominee has to fill,” Thomas said.
This award comes with great responsibility and requires the person to have exemplary qualities. “You’d get a medallion and you’re supposed to wear that to all official engagements, like graduations and you’d get nominated for your service in your profession,” “You have to be a good teacher,” said Thomas.
The Regents Professor Award, is an award of merit. It is the most respected award to be given by the Texas A&M System. Not only was it an honor for Dr. Thomas to receive this award, but even more so because she was the first woman to receive it at Texas A&M University- Kingsville! “I was so excited, that was the biggest honor I had ever received at that point,” Thomas said.
Once a professor is selected as a Regents Professor, they will from that point on, remain. Her picture can be seen in College Hall on TAMUK’ s campus. Additionally, Dr. Thomas has been in a successful marriage for forty-six years. They met in England. “We met as undergraduates at the University of Hull.” Dr. Thomas said.
“I married in 1971 in England, it’s something you have to work at” she said.
Thomas brings the same passion for impacting peoples’ life into her marriage. “You look with your heart, don’t look with your eyes, and don’t look at the outsides because they will change,” Thomas said. “you have to look inside and you marry for that. If you marry for the physical stuff, or money, that can change,”
In any aspect of life Dr. Thomas always utilizes her passion and knowledge to teach others. “I think that you have to follow your heart in whatever you do, whether in your career, life, or marriage choice,” she said.