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Dr. Sylvia Wilson Thomas named vice president of research & innovation

Sylvia Thomas

Vice President for Research & Innovation Sylvia Wilson Thomas

At the USF Board of Trustees meeting on December 5, 2023, President Rhea Law and Provost Prasant Mohapatra announced that Dr. Sylvia Wilson Thomas has agreed to take on the permanent role of Vice President for Research & Innovation. She has served as interim vice president for two years, and under her leadership, the collaborative work to enhance USF's research and innovation activities is already well underway.

Since joining USF in 2005, Dr. Thomas has had a long and successful career at the university. She is a professor in electrical engineering, an affiliate faculty member in medical engineering and a former assistant dean in USF’s College of Engineering. Among her many career milestones, Dr. Thomas is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, where she was a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow. She received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Howard University as an NSF Materials Research Center of Excellence Fellow and was a National Science Foundation EAPSI research fellow in Korea at Chonbuk National University during her doctoral program.

Her appointment follows a shift made earlier this year that transitioned USF's Office of Research & Innovation to move under the Provost & Executive Vice President. This functional shift combined the collective talents of Dr. Thomas and the entire Research & Innovation enterprise while leveraging the experience of Provost Mohapatra and enhancing collaboration across all three USF campuses and USF Health.

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