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Galveston Campus Welcomes New Chief Academic Officer    

August 23, 2022

By Rebecca Watts

Texas A&M University at Galveston welcomes Dr. Deborah Thomas as the new Chief Academic Officer, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associated Provost of Texas A&M University. Thomas, an oceanography professor who specializes in the field of paleoceanography, brings nearly 20 years of experience in ocean science and education and is perfectly suited to help better position the Galveston Campus as the preeminent marine and maritime institution of higher learning.  

Deborah Thomas appointed Chief Academic Officer for the Galveston Campus
Deborah Thomas has been appointed Chief Academic Officer of Texas A&M University at Galveston

Thomas’ honors include being named a Montague Center for Teaching Excellence Scholar and receiving the college-level Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching from the Texas A&M Association of Former Students. She was the keynote speaker for the Shell Science Seminar at the National Science Teachers Association’s national conference and delivered the keynote address at a Texas A&M University Freshman Convocation. She has also been named a distinguished lecturer for the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. Additionally, her leadership was instrumental in establishing the R. Ken Williams '45 Radiogenic Isotope Geosciences Laboratory, which allows faculty and students to perform radiogenic isotope interdisciplinary research in fields such as marine geology, environmental sciences, paleoceanography and paleoclimate.   

Thomas joined Texas A&M University in 2004 as an assistant professor. She has since served as head of the Department of Oceanography from 2013 to 2016 and Dean of the College of Geosciences from 2016-2022. She received her master’s degree in marine sciences and her doctoral degree in geological sciences from the University of North Carolina. Her undergraduate degree is in geological sciences from Brown University. She has led international research teams through the International Ocean Discovery Program and successfully proposed and helped lead IODP Expedition 378 as co-chief. 

Thomas assumes the role from Dr. Antonietta Quigg, who has served as interim associate vice president for academic affairs, associate provost, and chief academic officer for the past 18 months.  


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Texas A&M University at Galveston is the marine and maritime branch campus of Texas A&M University which educates nearly 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students in science, business, engineering, liberal arts and transportation. It is driving the development of the blue economy in the Gulf Coast Region and is a critical contributor to Texas A&M's rare land-, sea-, space-grant mission with nearly $10 million in research expenditures.

Texas A&M-Galveston is also home to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, one of six state maritime academies and the only one in the southern United States, which trains over 400 cadets annually for maritime service and employment around the world.

Texas A&M-Galveston is located in Galveston, Texas on the Gulf Coast where it is surrounded by industry, environment and programs essential to fulfilling its special-purpose mission. Aggies are known for their deep commitment to the success of each other and their strong desire to serve.