Robert Thomas has served as the chair of the Department of Health & Exercise Science at La Sierra University since 2001. Before coming to La Sierra he taught at Atlantic Union College in South Lancaster, Mass. for 13 years, where he also coached their NAIA volleyball team.
He has served in a variety of leadership positions including president of the Western Society for Kinesiology & Wellness, chair of La Sierra University’s Faculty Senate, chair of several search committees, chair of the Athletic Council at La Sierra, and chair of the church board at La Sierra University Church.
Robert has established two lines of research: 1) fitness-based research (including fitness and academic performance; the effects of repetition speed on strength development; and fitness levels of students in high schools and college); and 2) history and philosophy of physical education.
He has given scholarly presentations at several organizations including the Western Society for Kinesiology & Wellness; the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance; the 2nd International Congress for Physical Education at the Adventist University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; and the Seventh-day Adventist Health, Physical Education, Recreation Association. He has also presented at other events such as the Health & Fitness Symposium at Andrews University; the Summer Institute for Brain Learning at La Sierra University; and the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists K–12 Teacher Convention in Nashville, Tenn.
Robert has been recognized in several ways: receiving the Anees Haddad “Excellence in Faculty Governance” award at LSU; “Faculty of the Year” award for Service-Learning at LSU; Dr. G. Arthur Broten “Young Scholars” award at the Western Society for Kinesiology & Wellness; Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers (four times); the Zapara “Excellence in Teaching” award while at Atlantic Union College; and NAIA District V “Coach of the Year” for volleyball.
He is a member of several organizations including: American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM); American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD); National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); Seventh-day Adventist Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Association (SDA-HPERA); Southwestern District of the American College of Sports Medicine (SW-ACSM); and Western Society for Kinesiology and Wellness (WSKW).