California State University, Long Beach
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Thoman Collects Early Academic Career Excellence Award

Published: July 17, 2012

Dustin Thoman

In Dustin Thoman, CSULB has found an interdisciplinary collaborator with expertise in online learning and a passion for promoting diversity, particularly in fields where women and minorities are underrepresented.

Hired in 2008 in a dual position as a social and quantitative psychologist, Thoman’s research focuses on understanding human motivational processes, particularly how and why people develop interests and sustain motivation for specific academic domains, careers and other lifelong pursuits.

He is a co-investigator for a highly prestigious National Institute of Health (NIH) RO1 grant, normally awarded to research-intensive institutions. Working with faculty from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM), Thoman is investigating cultural factors on undergraduate students’ motivation to pursue research in biomedical sciences. He is also part of a research team funded by the National Science Foundation to examine science students’ educational and career motivations in multiple areas of the country.

He is an internal evaluator of a program funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, designed to improve Latino students’ success in CNSM and the College of Health and Human Services. In addition, Thoman is an internal evaluator on a grant for the Minority Access to Research Careers program currently under review at NIH.

Thoman teaches demanding classes including an advanced statistics course, two graduate level courses – one seminar and one research course – and an upper division social psychology course which he has taught in both traditional and online settings.

Dustin Thoman

In addition to developing online courses at CSULB, Thoman has published research on student motivation in distance learning. His online classes have been so highly regarded that he has been asked by other faculty to help them best use instructional technology. Thoman also serves as a member of the College of Liberal Arts Technology Committee and previously served a faculty e-learning consultant.

Thoman has mentored students in the Psychology Department’s Career Opportunities in Research program, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the McNair Program, the University Honors Program, the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Program and has served as the faculty adviser for Psi Chi, the national psychology student honor society.