Thomas Herman is a geographer and geography educator based at San Diego State University, where he is the Project Director for the Young People’s Environments, Society and Space (YESS) Research Center. His PhD was earned in 2000 via a joint program of San Diego State University and UC-Santa Barbara after completing a dissertation focused on the personal-, family-, and community-level geographies of children in the culturally diverse and economically disadvantaged neighborhood of City Heights in San Diego. He started teaching at the college level in 1994, and he has been providing research and evaluation services to community-based organizations and local governments since 1996. Tom became the Director of the California Geographic Alliance in 2013 and embraced the mission of strengthening the quality of geography education available to California’s K-12 students. He has organized numerous teacher professional development workshops, created instructional resources, and contributed to the rollout of the new History-Social Studies Framework. Tom is also part of the leadership team for the California Global Education Project.
I am running for this position for many of the same reasons that motivate other CCSS leaders, and I commend those who take on important service roles. I want to do my part. I specifically want to have the opportunity to advocate for student-centered educational practice and to increase understanding and support for the discipline of geography in California schools. I think students and teachers can unite around social and environmental challenges they face together.