Faculty Friday; Meet Dr. Camille Thomas, Physical Education

Posted: March 03, 2017 | Author: Abigail Wyatt | Read Time: 2 minutes

Camille Thomas has always loved sports. She grew up competing and claims she has tried every exercise activity at least once. When she found out there was a college major that combined her passions, exercise and the medical field, she took immediate interest.

Doctor Camille Thomas

Thomas received a bachelor degree and Ph.D. of Physical Education from Brigham Young University, and a Master of Physical Education from Northern Illinois University (NSU). She was hired as an assistant professor at NSU in 2006 before coming to SUU to teach in 2011. At SUU, she became the Physical Education and Human Performance Department Chair in 2014.

Thomas teaches the following classes:

  • PE 1098, Wellness Dynamics
  • PE 3060, Biomechanics of Sport and Exercise
  • PE 3065, Biomechanics of Sport and Exercise Lab
  • PE 4010, Methods of Strength and Conditioning
  • PE 4020, Research Methods and Statistics of Exercise Science
  • PE 4030, Clinical Applications of Exercise Science
  • PE 4040, Exercise Testing and Prescription
  • PE 4800, Studies in Exercise Science
  • PE 6010, Advanced Techniques in Training
  • PE 6020, Special Topics & Issues
  • PE 6070, Sport Psychology

Thomas specializes in disease prevention, coaching psychology, exercise prescription and the pathophysiology of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. She also teaches skills for coaching, soccer, racquetball, volleyball, weight training, swimming, cycling and basketball.

When it comes to teaching, she believes it’s the little things that make it worth it. “I love being able to see when a student gets it,” said Thomas. “It makes my day when I make a connection with my class, when I’m guiding thought instead of telling, or when I see a student reach the potential I knew they had.”

Her current research projects focus on sports and the outdoors: mountain bike wheel efficiency, rock climbing and a slackline balance study. Soccer, however, is her real passion. One of her most time-consuming projects yet is an ongoing analysis of the past two World Cup competitions to discover successful strategies. “Soccer is a chess game at 30 miles an hour,” she said.

Thomas’ favorite class to teach is PE 4030, Clinical Applications, which focuses on the healing and treatment of pathological diseases. In the course, students learn how exercise reduces depression, helps treat cancer, decreases ADHD symptoms and provides many other benefits. She also enjoys helping students with their own research projects and papers. “I wake up every morning excited to come to work,” she said. “I love feeling like I can help someone, even if it’s in a small way.”

Tags: Faculty College of Education and Human Development

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