Cathy Thomas


Professional Title: 
Assistant Professor
About Me (Bio): 
Cathy Newman Thomas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Missouri. She began her tenure at the University of Missouri in 2009 having earned her doctorate in Special Education with an emphasis in Learning Disabilities and Emotional and Behavioral Disorders at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Thomas’ research interests focus on technology in preservice teacher education, inservice professional development, and for students with and at risk for disabilities. She is interested in using learning theory to support the development and identification of technology enhanced evidence-based practices. Her work is focused on how technology can be used to develop teacher knowledge and skills that improve academic and behavioral outcomes for students with and at risk for disabilities and the affordances of technology that provide access to the general curriculum for students with and at risk for disabilities. Dr. Thomas is the recipient of the 2013 Isabelle Lyda Professorship. She is a co-investigator on the QuEST: Quality Elementary Science project, with her contributions centered around on professional development, universal design for learning, and providing access to the general curriculum for diverse learners. In 2010, she was the recipient of the Richard Wallace Research Incentive Grant to conduct a synthesis of the literature on multimedia anchored instruction in K-12 education. Dr. Thomas teaches coursework in the undergraduate teacher preparation program. Her primary teaching responsibilities have been to prepare undergraduate preservice general education teachers to implement inclusive practices, covering special education law and procedures, characteristics of disability, evidence-based interventions for students with disabilities, and behavior management. In Fall of 2013, Dr. Thomas presented a doctoral course in technology for students with disabilities. Dr. Thomas is the editor for the Council for Learning Disabilities newsletter, LD Forum, and reviews for several journals including Amity International Journal of Teacher Education, Intervention in School and Clinic, and the Journal of Special Education Technology. She serves on the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children Research Committee and is the University of Missouri Representative to the Higher Education Consortium for Special Education Representative. She is a member of the Advisory Group to Disability Services has served on the College of Education Financial Awards and Diversity Committees. In, 2012, she was selected for the inaugural class of the University of Missouri Faculty Scholars program.
University of Missouri

This project is examining an innovative model of situated Professional Development (PD) and the contribution of controlled teaching experiences to teacher learning and, as a result, to student learning. The project is carrying out intensive research about an existing special PD summer institute (QuEST) that has been in existence for more than five years through a state Improving Teacher Quality Grants program.