Cynthia Toms, Ph.D., is Professor of Global Studies and Kinesiology at Westmont College. She has worked at the intersection of health, communities, and higher education for more than 15 years. Cynthia has held posts at the Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame, Uganda Studies Program in Mukono, Uganda, and Peking University in Beijing, China. Since moving to Santa Barbara in 2013, she has partnered with the Food Bank of Santa Barbara to research food security, along with her students, on the Westside of Santa Barbara, most recently serving as the principal investigator for a projects addressing food security among at-risk Santa Barbara County college students from 2016-2021. Her work has been supposed by grants from the USDA, American Immigration Council/CCCU, California Endowment and the Santa Barbara Foundation. Cynthia is the founding director of Westmont’s Global Studies Minor and Fellows Program as well as Westmont’s Global Health Semester in Uganda. She was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2019, and was awarded Dissertation of the Year by both the Comparative International Education Society (CIES) and the International Association for Research in Service-learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE).
Cynthia is actively involved as steering member of the Community-based Global Learning Collaborative, a network of educational institutions and community organizations working to advance ethical, global learning and research for more just, inclusive, and sustainable communities. She also serves on the board of Child Family Health International as well as the Santa Barbara Alliance for Community Transformation (SB ACT). Cynthia and her husband met at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and lived throughout the world before settling in Santa Barbara with their three active sons.