Cece Hampton ’24
Professor Signè Thomas is the K.W. Davis Visiting Lecturer here at Trinity and one of the newest members of the Formal Organizations department. Already highly favored among students, Professor Thomas emphasizes hands-on learning in the classroom. With an extensive background in formal organizations, economic education, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy, Thomas has a lot to offer the Trinity community.
Prior to coming to work at Trinity, Professor Thomas served as the Project Director for the Stavros Center for Economic Education at Florida State University (FSU). Before that, Professor Thomas attended FSU, earning her B.A. in economics and international affairs and M.S. in applied economics. During her senior year, Professor Thomas completed her honors thesis, which focused on the impact of economic freedom on women’s socioeconomic status. She worked under the guidance of her mentor, Jim Gwartney, who played an influential role in inspiring her path to teach in the field.
When asked about her passion for teaching and her research interests, Professor Thomas says that her “main interest is in economic institutions and how they impact human rights and poverty.” She hopes to pique some of these same interests in her students and “help excite students to get passionate about a particular subject and then motivate them to have the curiosity and build the research skills to test out various theories and ideas.” She says she prefers student-centered learning techniques, which is evident in the interactive lessons she fosters in the classroom through various games and student-led discussions.
Outside of the classroom, Professor Thomas is pursuing a PhD in economics through Francisco Marroquín University, where she is currently in the dissertation phase. She is also in the midst of coauthoring a textbook titled Economic Episodes of Civics and Government. With the written content finished, the textbook is now in its editing and design phase and scheduled to be published and printed in the early summer. Additionally, Thomas will soon be launching a teacher workshop series in the United States, similar to the workshops she’s conducted across Canada. The workshops aim to emphasize the importance of economic institutions in education by equipping high school teachers with the tools and lesson plans to facilitate fun, interactive activities in their own classrooms.
When asked about what she hopes to inspire in her students, Professor Thomas says that her main goal is to “inspire them to become better scholars. I try my best to do that by encouraging them to use academic sources to create compelling arguments with convincing evidence…and maybe throughout the process they will become passionate about entrepreneurial activities, formal organizations, or other things they had not considered before.”
Leave a Reply