February 19, 2014 at 10:35 PM
RANDOLPH, NJ- On Tuesday evening, Feb. 18, Dr. Diana Thomas officially took her seat as the newest member of The Randolph Board of Education. Thomas was sworn in by business administrator Michael Neves as her family proudly looked on to share in the special moment.
Thomas and her husband, Anand Hariharan, have lived in Randolph for six years. They have three children, an eighth grader at RMS, as well as a first and second grader at Shongum. Thomas has led volunteer workshops related to math in the Randolph library for both children and adults, and has served as a room parent.
Currently Thomas is a professor of mathematics and the director of the Center for Quantitative Obesity Research at Montclair State University in New Jersey. She holds joint research appointments at the Columbia University New York Obesity Research Center and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana. She has spent over a decade modeling biological phenomena, and her research has appeared in many journals. Her work has also been covered by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other publications. Thomas frequently collaborates on research projects with undergraduate students at Montclair and was recently awarded the Mathematical Association of America-NJ Distinguished Teaching Award.
Thomas' vision involves a commitment to strong integration of STEM fields that translate into real applications and a rich appreciation of the arts. Added to this vision is her active interest in keeping children physically active and making healthy food choices, according to Thomas.
Thomas quickly got down to business, taking her seat and listening in as the board discussed some decisions which needed to be made given the entrance into budget season. Thomas “abstained” for the evening, until she can get up to speed on the current agendas.
After the meeting, Thomas expressed, "I'm looking forward to collaborating effectively with the other board members and infusing my background in higher education to their considerable and distinct wealth of expertise."