Meet Kalista Thomas

Student Spotlight

Meet Kalista Thomas; a 22-year-old human services major from Richmond Hill, Georgia.

Thomas came to Gordon State College in the fall of 2018 after attending a college fair in high school where she was introduced to Gordon and learned that the college offered her exactly what she wanted. She did not want to move too far from home, however, she did not want to be too close to home either. Gordon was just the right distance and offered a general studies program which gave her the time she needed to decide on a major.

When Thomas was younger, she wanted to be an artist. She loved to draw and still does, however, once she took her first college art class, she realized it was not something that she wanted to do long-term. After volunteering through the Campus Activity Board at Gordon, she realized her desire to help others, so she decided to major in human services. Now, she expects to graduate in the fall of 2022 with the goal of becoming a community outreach worker. She has also considered returning to Gordon to work and give back to the students and the college.

Due to her efforts, Thomas made the Dean’s List her freshman and junior year. She also earned an associate’s degree in general studies in 2020 and an associate’s degree in psychology in 2021, finishing both with cum laude status. Her favorite classes at Gordon were taught by Dr. Jessica Traylor and include Intro to Psychology and Psychology of Adjustment. She appreciates that Dr. Traylor challenges her students to connect what they learn to their personal lives, which she says helped students retain and value those lessons. Thomas is also thankful for taking English 1101 with Dr. LaRonda Sanders-Senu. Although the class was challenging, Thomas says she became a better writer because of it.

According to Thomas, when you arrive at Gordon, you are automatically family – whether you are a student, faculty member or staff member. She says that the members of the Highlander family truly care and look out for one another. During her time here, she has witnessed professors “go an extra mile” to provide her with meaningful opportunities and to ensure that she is okay. So, her message to prospective students is:

“When you come to Gordon, be prepared to be a part of a family. Some students only go to colleges for the education or the experience. But at Gordon it is different. Gordon not only believes that your education is important, but they also believe that your experience and well-being is important. Reach out to the professors and staff and to others... You will not regret the relationships that you will make.”

Thomas’ goal is to finish strong at Gordon, and then in the future, she hopes to become part of something bigger than herself in which she can help others. Aside from volunteering, she enjoys reading, helping her family around the house and cooking dinners for her grandparents.