SALEM - Jefferson County Commissioner Thomas Graham will give the commencement speech at 7:30 p.m. today at Kent State University East Liverpool Campus.
Graham is being welcomed back to his alma mater. He attended KSU East Liverpool in the early 1980s before completing his bachelor's of science in secondary education at the Kent campus. He earned a master of arts degree in sociology from KSU and a master's degree in clinical social work from the University of Pittsburgh.
In 1992, he was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from KSU. He has conducted extensive research in the field of social work education and has written dozens of critical reviews, papers and professional articles.
Graham's career in higher education began in 1987. During his tenure he has worked for numerous universities including KSU, Youngstown State and Franciscan University of Steubenville. Currently, he is the director of the sociology department at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has taught since 1988.
In addition, he serves his alma mater as an adjunct faculty member within the criminology and justice studies bachelor's degree program at KSU East Liverpool.
Graham worked in industry at Weirton Steel for eight years prior to beginning his academic career.
In 1980, he began his higher education journey at KSU East Liverpool. His love for education is exemplified by service to local school districts. He has served 10 years on the board of education for Toronto City School District and two years on the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School Board.
He also served on the Jefferson County Behavioral Health Board and was safety director for the city of Toronto, where he oversaw the police and fire departments.
He has been a Jefferson County commissioner for the last 10 years and currently serves as chairman of the commissioners.
He also been involved for two years as a trustee for the state of Ohio County Commissioners Association.
Graham and his wife, Diane, live in Wintersville. They own and operate Classic Cutters, a day spa and salon in Weirton.
Their daughter, Kayla Jo, is completing her degree in accounting and finance at Mount Union University.