ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop University has selected Jane B. Thomas, professor of marketing, as the William H. Grier Professor for the College of Business Administration.
The Grier Professorship is awarded every four years to an excellent classroom teacher who is highly imaginative, dependable and in command of his or her discipline.
"Jane has a special gift as a teacher. She brings the subject to life," said Roger Weikle, dean of the College of Business Administration, who nominated Thomas. "Businesses, from small local stores to multinationals, serve as 'clients' for her classes and together they collect data, analyze situations and make practical recommendations. The businesses benefit from excellent work, and students learn lasting lessons through the relationships that are built."
Thomas is the fourth Winthrop professor to hold this honor. Gary Stone, professor of economics was the most recent Grier professor from 2002-05.
The designation was established in 1993 in memory of William H. Grier, a long-time member and chair of the Board of Trustees. He was the first male recipient of an honorary degree from the College of Business Administration, as well as a generous benefactor and servant of the university.
Thomas joined the College of Business Administration in 1990 after completing her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She earned tenure and promotion to associate professor in 1996 and to professor in 2004.
In 2004, four of her class projects were incorporated into the Winthrop Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) team portfolio. The 2004-2005 SIFE team won the Charlotte Regional SIFE competition and made the trip to nationals in Kansas City in only the second year for the program. She was awarded the Wachovia Teaching Prize as the outstanding teacher in the college in 2005.
During the 2005-06 academic year, Thomas and her classes consulted with True Note Bands, a Raleigh music school on pricing; local Nationwide insurance agent David Angel on advertising and a special campaign for special risk insurance; the Palmetto Pet Hospital in Fort Mill to refine a brand image; with Charlotte Preparatory School on awareness; McKenzie Gift Shop’s use of a mascot; and YogaOne on a Charlotte market analysis for the exercise industry.
Since being granted tenure, she has authored seven articles in good journals, written manuals for two textbooks, published 10 peer reviewed proceedings papers and delivered several other works to professional organizations.