Dr. James “Jim” Thomas was one of the legacy founders of the UWG Psychology Department. Working closely with Dr. Mike Arons they created an astonishing 45 new courses for the program which attracted students from all over the world to visit and study UWG’s unique approach of Humanistic Psychology. In honor of his contribution to the department the Jim Thomas Humanistic Psychology Award was founded.

The criteria for the scholarship are as follows:

  1. The recipient shall be a Masters student in psychology.
  2. The recipient will be a person who manifestly works with growing awareness, reflection, and courage to take personal responsibility toward living authentically and honestly and in so doing catalyzes and nourishes those around him or her.

Students choosing to apply should:

  • Watch for the announced deadline (usually each spring semester)
  • Prepare a brief (no more than 3000 words) description of how your work and/or experience expresses the above qualities, and send it to the chair(s) of the MA Awards committee

A departmental awards committee will review all applications and announce an awardee at the Student Psychology Annual Research Conference (SPARC) in April.


About Dr. James Thomas

Dr. James D. Thomas received a bachelor's degree from Georgia State University, a Masters in psychology from the University of Texas, and a doctorate in clinical and education psychology from Indiana University. He was a faculty member here in the mid-60s and asked Abraham Maslow to recommend a new faculty hire to initiate a humanistic emphasis. That person was Mike Arons. Dr. Arons was to say of Dr. Thomas, " Together Jim, I and the whole department created 45 new courses….Within a year, we had students coming from all over the world to this little school. " Dr. Thomas was also a passionate builder of cabins, and his work is scattered throughout Carroll County.

" Jim often hosted groups at the lodge he built on Jaybird Lane – and he enjoyed preparing meals for them. He also often served as the cook when the department got together at Mike Arons’ property or elsewhere. And he was a very good one. I remember a meal he organized around Thanksgiving one year when he roasted delicious deer meat that someone in the family had hunted for the occasion ." - Anne C. Richards