Marilyn Thomas, Ph.D.

Dean of Arts & Sciences

Academic Affairs

Why Menlo? If the world is a shopping mall, Menlo is a specialty boutique in a cluster of big box stores. Here everyone has a name, a face, and an interesting life story to share.”
Marilyn Thomas, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Office: 650.543.3811

Education Background

  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1976
  • M.A., University of Minnesota, 1973
  • M.A., Marian University, 1965

Biography Academic Statement


Senior English faculty member Marilyn Thomas is also the director of the First Year Experience (FYE) program, and Dean of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Thomas has been teaching for over 45 years, 27 of them at Menlo College, which she considers ‘the jewel in the crown’ of her teaching experience. She stays in touch with a number of her students. In fact, she is now enjoying the thrill of seeing her former students’ sons and daughters in her classroom. She has taught every level from 1st grade through college, including working adults, her favorite level being college students. She had the privilege of living in China, teaching at Guangdong University of Business Studies in Guangzhou, which has helped her understand the cultural barriers international students have to overcome when they leave their homes in foreign countries to study in the United States. She has completed five postdoctoral fellowships, three at Oxford University, one at Cambridge University, and one at Yale University. She also completed postdoctoral study at the following universities: University of Maine, University of Iowa, Bennington College, U.C. Berkeley, and Stanford University.

Research Interests
  • Biography and history, especially of the Western World
  • Literary Criticism
  • Linguistics and how language is acquired

Professional Activities

Courses Taught
  • Freshman Year Experience
  • English Composition (I and II)
  • Creative Writing
  • Critical Thinking
  • Autobiography and Memoir Writing
Selected Publications
  • The Diary: Sex, Death, and God in the Affairs of a Victorian Cleric, Author House, 2009.
  • I Sang in My Chains: A Memoir, Author House, 2008.
  • Victorian Conscience: F.W. Robertson, (biography) Peter Lang, Inc. New York, 2001.
  • Church, City, and Labyrinth in Bronte, Dickens, Hardy, and Butor, (literary criticism) Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. New York, 1993.
Recent Presentations
  • Annual International Conference of the First Year Experience, Montreal, Canada, “The Art of Choosing a Common Book,” 2011.
  • Oxford University Round Table Conference, Oxford University, England, July 2008.
  • National Convention of the Association of British Popular Culture, “Queen Adelaide: the First Victorian,” 2003.
  • National Convention of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association, “Victorian Conscience,” 2002.
Awards & Honors
  • Honorary Member, Board of Governors, Harris Manchester College, Oxford University
  • Oxford University Round Table, 2008
  • Visiting Fellow, Oxford University, 1995
  • Scholarly Publication Award, Menlo College, 1994, 2001.