2021 40 Under 40 Honoree: Alydia Thomas
“I think you really need someone to look up to and I try to be that for people.”
As associate director of student development and programming in the Office of Residence Life at Duquesne University, Alydia Thomas — who has experienced feeling undervalued or dismissed because of her race and gender — is passionate about mentoring students, particularly those who look like her.
“I think you really need someone to look up to and I try to be that for people,” she says. “If they can’t find that someone on campus, I try to be their person.”
As an adjunct professor, Thomas has taught a freshman seminar on strategies for success. She also has presented at several colleges and conferences on the topics of diversity and inclusion and spreading awareness about the experiences of BIPOC students, specifically Black women.
An executive committee member for Promise Legacy — which supports The Pittsburgh Promise — and an advisory board member for The Shyne Awards Foundation, Thomas founded Duquesne’s Black Resident Assistant Coalition and serves as advisor for Ebony Women for Social Change