Kevin J.A. Thomas

Kevin J.A. Thomas

Professor of Sociology, Demography, and African Studies

Director, Undergraduate Program in Sociology

611 Oswald Tower
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-2387

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. PhD, University of Pennsylvania – December 2004


Ray Lombra Award for Distinction in the Social Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, 2019.
Co-Winner, Outstanding Book Award, American Sociological Association (Peace, War, and Social Conflict section):2018
Honorable Mention, Early Career Award, American Sociological Association (R.E.M. Section): 2014
Young Scholar, Foundation for Child Development: 2012 to 2014
Fellow, Rock Ethics Institute, Pennsylvania State University: 2009
Roy C Buck Award for Outstanding Scholarly Publication by a Junior Faculty member, College of Liberal Arts, Pennsylvania State University: 2009
David Bell Fellowship, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies; 2004
Population Policy Communication Fellow, Population Reference Bureau; 2003
Phi Kappa Phi Academic Honor Society: 2001

Thomas, K.J.A. (Fall 2019). Global epidemics, local implications: African immigrants and the Ebola crisis in Dallas. Baltimore; Johns Hopkins University Press.
Thomas, K.J.A. 2017. Contract workers, risk, and the US war in Iraq: Sierra Leonean labor migrants at U.S. military bases. Montreal; McGill-Queen’s University Press
Thomas, K.J.A. 2014. Diverse Pathways: Race and the Socioeconomic Incorporation of Black, White, and Arab-origin Africans in the US. Lansing; Michigan State University Press.

Thomas, K.J.A. 2019. “Parental influence and private school enrollment among children in blended families” Social Science Research. 79:247-257
Thomas, K.J.A. and Inkpen, C. 2017 “Foreign student migration to the US: pathways of entry, demographic antecedents, and origin-country contexts”, International Migration Review, 51(3): 789-820
Thomas, K.J.A. 2016. “Adoption, foreign-born status, and children’s progress in school”, Journal of Marriage and Family, 78(1)75-90
Thomas, K.J.A. and Tucker, C. 2015. “Child poverty during the years of the Great Recession: An analysis of racial differences among immigrants and US natives”, Race and Social Problems 7(4):300-314
Thomas, K.J.A. 2015 “Occupational stratification, job mismatches, and child poverty: understanding the disadvantage of Black immigrants” Social Science Research, 50: 203-2016
Smith-Greenaway, E., and Thomas, K.J.A. 2014: “Exploring child mortality risks associated with diverse patterns of maternal migration in Haiti”, Population Research and Policy Review, 1-23.
Thomas, K.J.A. and Inkpen, C. 2013, “Migration dynamics, entrepreneurship, and African development: Lessons from Malawi”, International Migration Review, 47(4): 844-873
Thomas, K.J.A. 2012 “Migration processes, family contexts, and schooling dropout among Black youth”; Demography, 49(2): 477-498
Thomas, K.J.A. 2012 “Race and enrollment disparities among the children of immigrants: An examination of differences between the children of Black and White Africans”; International Migration Review. 26(1), 37-60.
Thomas, K.J.A. 2012 “Migration, household configurations, and the well-being of adolescent orphans in Rwanda”, Population Research and Policy Review, 31(4): 587-607
Thomas, Kevin J.A. and Logan, B.I. 2012 “Female African Migration to the US and its policy implications”, Canadian Journal of African Studies, 46(2): 87-107
Logan, B I and Thomas, K.J.A 2012: “The US Diversity Visa Program and the Transfer of Skills from Africa”; International Migration. 50(2): 1-19
Thomas, K.J.A: 2012 “The human capital characteristics and household living standards of returning international migrants in Eastern and Southern Africa”, International Migration, 50(4): 85-106
Thomas, K.J.A. 2011 “Familial influences on child poverty in Black immigrant, US-born Black, and non-Black Immigrant Families”, Demography 48(2): 437-460
Landale, N., Thomas, K.J.A., and Van Hook, J 2011 “The living arrangements of the children of immigrants”, Future of Children, 21(1): 43-70
Thomas, K.J.A. 2011 “What explains the increasing trend in African emigration to the US?”, International Migration Review, 45(1): 3-28
Thomas, K.J.A. 2011 “Sociodemographic determinants of language transitions among the children of French and Spanish-Caribbean immigrants in the US”, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 37(4): 543-559
Thomas, K.J.A 2010 “Household context, generational status, and English proficiency among the children of African Immigrants in the US”, International Migration Review, 44(10): 142-172
Thomas, K.J.A. 2010 “Racial and ethnic differences in education-occupation mismatch status in South Africa and the United States”, Journal of International Migration and Integration, 11: 383-401
Thomas, K.J.A 2009 "Parental characteristics and the schooling progress of Black immigrant and native-born children", Demography 46(3): 513- 534
Thomas, K.J.A 2008: “Return Migration in Africa and the relationship between educational attainment and labor market success: Evidence from Uganda”, International Migration Review, 43(3) 652-674
Stevens, G., Dias R.H., Thomas, K.J.A, Rivera, J.A, Carvalho, N.,Barquera,S. Hill, K., Ezzati, M. 2008. “Characterizing the Epidemiological Transition in Mexico: National and Subnational Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors” PLoS Medicine 5(6): 900-910
Hill, K. , K.J. Thomas , C. AbouZhar , N. Walker , L. Say , M. Inoue and E. Suzuki (2007). "Estimates of Maternal Mortality Worldwide between 1990 and 2005", Lancet 370(9595) 1311-1319
Thomas, K.J.A. 2007: “Child mortality and Socioeconomic Status: Differences among immigrants and the native-born in South Africa”, International Migration Review, 41(1) 40-74
Madhavan, S and Thomas, K.J.A 2005: “Early Childbearing and Schooling: New Evidence from South Africa”, Comparative Education Review, 49(4) 452-467, Special Edition on Education and Public Health.
Thomas, K.J.A 2004: “Disability among the children of migrants in South Africa”, African Population Studies 19(2) Sup. B. 139-164
Thomas, K.J.A 2002: “Development Projects and Involuntary Population Displacement in Africa: Assessing the World Bank’s mitigation strategies” Population Research and Policy Review, 21(4): 339-349.

Research Interests:

Migration, Immigration, Race, Inequality, Families, Africa

Research Interests:


Migration, Immigration, Race, Inequality, Families, Africa

Urban, Community, and Spatial Sociology:

immigrant incorporation

Immigration and Incorporation:

Africa, race incorporation, adoption

Health and Life Course:

Migration, Immigration, Race, Inequality, Families, Africa