Name: John Thomas III

Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee

Education: B.A., Morehouse College; M.P.A., Princeton University; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Chicago

Job title: Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

How long have you worked at the College? Since August 2022

What are your job responsibilities? I teach two to three classes a semester in the political science department ranging from general introductory courses to upper-level electives for majors. I also collaborate with colleagues in the women’s and gender studies, Latin American and Caribbean studies and African American studies programs. Recently, the Program in the Carolina Lowcountry and the Atlantic World invited me to join their advisory board. I’m also the secretary for the political science department faculty meetings.

What do you like most about your job? My students

What question do you get asked most in your job and what’s your typical answer? Q: “Do you give extra credit?” A: “It’s in the syllabus.” (In most classes, yes.)

What’s your favorite location on campus and why? Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, tied with Stern Center Garden. Not only is the Avery Center structurally beautiful, but it also has a captivating history that is important to the story of CofC and Charleston as a whole. Stern Garden is a favorite because of the pond with its turtles and because there’s a stone dedicated to my fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, from the family of a CofC alum.

What are your hobbies? My hobbies include keeping up with my favorite reality TV Shows (the 90 Day Fiancé franchise and Love After Lockup), trying out new restaurants, traveling and going to live jazz or Latin music shows. I’m also determined to finish my scuba diving certification before 2024.

What personal and/or professional accomplishment are you most proud of? Personally, I’m proudest of losing weight during the pandemic. Professionally, I’m proudest of finishing my Ph.D. and presenting it to the Afro-Peruvian and Afro-Ecuadorian communities that participated in my research.

Name a creative work (book, movie, performance, etc.) you enjoyed recently – why? A live performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I’m an avid Harry Potter fan and one of my oldest friends surprised me for my birthday with Broadway tickets to go see it live in New York.

What was your favorite TV show growing up? Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

What’s next on your bucket list? Visiting the Starbucks roastery in either Milan, Tokyo or Shanghai

What is something your campus colleagues would be surprised to know about you? Given that my collection of 500+ Starbucks mugs is becoming well-known, something else that people would be surprised to learn is that I spent a summer as a T-shirt vendor at Black cultural festivals throughout the mid-South.

What was your first job? Organizing inventory at Alkebu-lan Images bookstore in Nashville

What’s your favorite Lowcountry restaurant? Hannibal’s Kitchen

Describe your perfect day: No rain and low humidity with a cold lemonade or fresh coconut water by a beach in the Caribbean … or a day spent at the Chicago Starbucks roastery.

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