As the dean of the School of Business & Social Sciences, Thomas Kealy works with faculty who specialize in the examination and analysis of human choices, history and behavior. This is a powerful area of study which requires careful reading, data analysis and clear communication from students, a collection of skills valued by future employers.
Thomas has been a professor and department chair at Colby-Sawyer for 20 years. After he graduated from college, Thomas had a series of jobs teaching mountaineering in the Rockies and the Cascades. He also climbed some of the highest peaks in South America and Europe. Thomas says it was a nice job, but he was always drawn to an analysis of the ways that people have represented the natural world in art and literature, and how they learned and communicated their place in the natural world. To professionalize this interest, he returned to school to study the cultures of the Early Modern period in Europe, a point of origin for current approaches to the environment.
Thomas’s specific area of academic research is the representation of animals in the scientific literature of the European Renaissance, specifically in North Africa, Spain and England. The most important and influential aspect of his life, however, is being a father, and his desire to leave the next generation a better world with the possibility of hope and joy.
Even though these seem like unrelated and random experiences, for Thomas they come together in his role as dean: he is interested in creating an administrative environment in the college for both students and faculty which is equitable, humane and encourages success. Business administration and the social sciences are among the finest disciplinary fields to examine the ways that people think and express their ideas, and how writing and thinking critically ultimately influence choices made on a daily basis, and how we understand ourselves as a part of a larger, human, community.