Staff Spotlight: Jocelyn Thomas
Name: Jocelyn Thomas
Title: Assistant to the Chair
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Alma Mater(s): Morris Brown College
Degree(s): B.S. in Office Administration
Tell us about what you do in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC).
I am the assistant to the Chair in the School of LMC. My main responsibility is to manage and coordinate the Chair’s office administrative services and prioritize work assignments. I coordinate administrative aspects of reappointments, promotions, tenure, and hiring, along with coordinating special events.
Who had the greatest influence on your education and/or career path?
My mother, Eartha Christie, was the most influential person in my life and career path. She earned a scholarship to Xavier University after graduating from high school in 1962. Unable to accept the scholarship, she went on to marry and raise a family, becoming a mother of five. She was the strong matriarch of our family, instilling in her children the desire to do their best and achieve their goals and dreams.
My mother never forgot her aspiration to attend college. When I was in my early teens, she applied to the University of Miami and was accepted at the age of 33. She knew it would take dedication to juggle school while caring for a family, but she was up for the task. My mother graduated from the University of Miami with a B.A. in Exceptional Student Education with summa cum laude honors. She then went on to earn a Master of Arts in Education from Barry University and a specialist degree from Nova Southeastern University. If that wasn’t enough, she was also a poet. Her example instilled in me the desire to pursue a college education. In 1991, a few years after graduating from college, I landed a job at Georgia Tech.
My mother passed away in 2019, but her legacy of the importance of education, balanced with life, lives on through my three children: Chelsey Thomas, Auburn University, Industrial Design ‘10; Jordan Thomas, Georgia Tech, Industrial Design ‘16; and Kelli Thomas, University of Connecticut, Human Development and Family Studies ‘18. Kelli is also currently a Graduate Assistant working on her Master’s at Texas Christian University.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy working with people, creating, and solving problems.
Why did you decide to work at Georgia Tech, and what's the best part about working here?
I sought employment at Georgia Tech, because I knew Georgia Tech was an institution where I could grow and expand my creativity in technology. The best part about working at Tech is that I get to express myself creatively.
While working in LMC, I found that a hiring instrument was needed to work more efficiently and to eliminate large amounts of paperwork during our hiring process. I worked closely with our IT department and developed an email instrument to control the applicant paper flow. I then housed applications on the server, allowing faculty to view the candidate’s materials online, which allowed me to move files and work more efficiently. I tweaked and used my tool from 2010 until 2020. In 2020, Georgia Tech rolled out an institute-wide hiring instrument to streamline the hiring process.
What moment in LMC/at Georgia Tech stands out as the most memorable?
The most memorable moment at Georgia Tech was when my son, Jordan Thomas, a former student assistant for LMC, graduated from Georgia Tech in 2016, with a degree in Industrial Design. Jordan is most known for being on a three-person design team that designed a custom-engineered shoe for Miss Georgia, Maggie Bridges, who is also a graduate of Georgia Tech.
Maggie wanted a shoe resembling the Ramblin’ Wreck to wear in the Miss America pageant's "Show Us Your Shoes" contest. The shoe was recognized as being the first 3D-designed shoe to be worn in the pageant and received many accolades. The first shoe was so popular that Jordan was tapped again to help design the 2016 shoe for Miss Georgia, Patricia Ford, another graduate of Georgia Tech, who competed in the Miss America Pageant. Patricia wore a shoe that displayed lights and was inspired by the Atlanta skyline.
Do you have any advice for LMC students at Georgia Tech?
My advice to students would be to be confident, humble, and don’t let obstacles hold you back from accomplishing your goals and dreams.
When you're not working, what do you like to do?
I like to write, run, and dance in my spare time.
If you weren't doing this, what would you be doing?
I would be working full time in my Christian ministry.
Do you have an outstanding student, faculty member, staff member, or alumni you'd like to see spotlighted? Nominate them here.
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