Fanice Thomas, a Columbia Heights resident and Kenya native, was selected a Metropolitan State University outstanding student. Thomas was chosen spring semester outstanding undergraduate student in the university’s College of Health, Community and Professional Studies. She was one of 986 bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate students receiving degrees at Metropolitan State’s commencement exercises on May 4 in St. Paul.
Her research addresses how Western media have contributed to negative body image for Kenyans. Thomas conducted three studies involving about 200 Kenyan females and males still living in Kenya and those who immigrated to the United States both recently and years ago. She has presented her findings to national, regional and Minnesota professional psychology associations including the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the Midwestern Psychological Association.
Thomas, 30, arrived in the United States in 2002. Her future plans include graduate school in psychology, where she hopes to continue her body-image research.