Personal profile


Dr. Suzy Thomas is a former middle and high school counselor and teacher who earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of California, Davis. She is a Professor in the Counseling Department, where she teaches the foundational Counseling Skills I and II sequence, Group Theory & Practice, Alcohol & Substance Abuse, and School Counseling Issues & Interventions. She also teaches in the Collegiate Seminar Program on campus. Outside of SMC, Suzy co-teaches in-person and hybrid courses in college admissions and career planning (CACP) certificate program at UC Berkeley, Extension, for both local and international groups of students. Suzy is a credentialed school counselor (PPS) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). She is actively involved in numerous professional organizations, including the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), the California Association of School Counselors (CASC), the American Counseling Association (ACA), the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), and the Western Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (WACES). She is especially proud to be one of the founding members of the Action Research Network of the Americas (ARNA), an international group of educators and community activists dedicated to the use of action research as a tool for social justice and grassroots change. Suzy is an advocate for school counselors and school-based reform in local, statewide, regional, national, and international venues. She presents regularly at school counseling and counselor educator conferences and has various publications in the areas of mentoring, collaboration, LGBTQ youth, legal and ethical issues in counseling, group counseling, action research, and school counseling reform. She was inducted into the H.B. McDaniel Hall of Fame in 2013 and recognized in 2017 as the School Counselor Educator of the Year by the California Association of School Counselors. 

Research Projects, Ongoing and Completed:
  • Researcher, Saint Mary’s College of California (10/15-present). Member of qualitative research team led by Dr. Rebecca Proehl, examining student success and organizational effectiveness at DeMarillac Academy in San Francisco; research team received 2015-16 Provost’s Faculty Research Grant to support the project.
  • Researcher, Saint Mary’s College of California (9/14-5/16). Designed original survey for department faculty, with IRB approval, on curriculum, teaching style, and mentoring skills and needs. Project resulted in presentation at the 2015 Conference of the Action Research Network of the Americas (ARNA), Toronto, Canada. 
  • Researcher, Saint Mary's College of California (February 2014 - June 2014). Designed original surveys on personal/social counseling, self-disclosure, and LGBTQ youth for graduate students, practicing school counselors, and counselor educators in the United States. Project resulted in presentation at the 2014 conference of the Western Association of Counselor Education and Supervision (WACES), Anaheim, CA.
  • Research Coordinator, AB1802 Joint Project with University of San Diego (February 2007 - December 2008). Provided oversight for graduate student action research projects; collaborated with researchers in Southern California to develop a statewide evaluation of the school counseling bill AB1802; assisted with meta-analysis of results from eight schools, which were shared at Summit II in 2007, followed by a publication in 2008 and a presentation at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in 2009 in San Diego, CA.
  • Researcher, California School Counseling Research Summits I and II (March 2004 - December 2007). Co-designed statewide online and evaluation surveys for participants in the California School Counseling Research Summits I and II.
  • Supervisor of Collaborative Action Research Projects (February 2003 - 2017) Supervised collaborative action research projects, including research design, implementation, and data analysis for graduate students placed in K-12 school settings in the larger Bay Area. Projects have resulted in numerous presentations at local, state, regional, and international levels.
  • Researcher, Joint Project between Saint Mary's College and University of San Diego (5/05). Conducted pilot study of school counselor perceptions of research and role issues using an original questionnaire. Project resulted in a presentation at the annual meeting of the California Association of School Counselors (CASC), Pomona, CA
  • Focus Group Leader, The College Preparatory School, Oakland, CA (1/02). Conducted focus groups with high school students to explore the usefulness of college Internet search engines. Project resulted in a paper presented at the 2002 meeting of the Western Association of College Admissions Counselors (WACAC), Stockton, CA.

Contact Information

Filippi Academic Hall - 263--Office hours arranged via e-mail
Phone: 4539
Fax: 376-8379
Mail: P.O. Box 4350

Related documents

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D. Education (Educational Psychology), University of California, Davis

… → 2001

M.A. Counseling, with Honors, Saint Mary's College of California

… → 1997

B.A. English, Phi Beta Kappa, University of California - Berkeley

Research Interests

  • School counseling and school counseling reform
  • Collaborative action research as a tool for advocacy and social justice in K-12 schools
  • Mentoring and professional development
  • Socialization and induction
  • Child and adolescent development issues


  • Counseling