Thomas Berkas


CB 144
612-330-1150 (MAL office)

I seek to lead the learning facilitation I do with a compassionate commitment to quality. This means I have a great deal of understanding for and a lot of experience working with at least some of the challenges faced by adult graduate students who are also working full-time. On the other hand, I am interested in my students demonstrating quality products that are indicative of the learning they’ve done in the courses I facilitate.

I have been involved in the area of adult education for much of the last 30 years. This ranges from fully online, blended and traditional face-to-face classes in higher education, but also adult nonformal education which I did with Malagasy farmers for over 5 years in rural Madagascar (where I first developed my philosophy and much of my pedagogy of adult education).

With Bachelors and Masters degrees in Engineering and a PhD in (Adult) Education and experience working in the areas of community, leadership, organizational and positive youth development, I am an eclectic addition to the MAL program.


  • B Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota.
  • MS Agricultural Engineering, University of Minnesota.
  • PhD Education, University of Minnesota

Courses I teach include:

  • ML553 – Design and Leadership
  • ML563 – Leadership in a Global Society
  • ML576 – Leading Innovation
  • ML580 – Colloquium on Contemporary Theories of Leadership

Publications include:

  • How to write a high quality Literature Review.
  • The 2006 Gulf Coast WalkAbout: A promising summer school program. Growing to greatness 2007: The state of service-learning.
  • & Hong, K. First steps in evaluation: Basic tools for asset-building initiatives.
  • Eoyang, G. & Berkas, T. H. Evaluating performance in a complex adaptive system. In M. Lissack & H. Gunz. (Eds.). Managing complexity in organizations.
  • Strategic review of W. K. Kellogg Foundation’s 1990-1996 service-learning projects.
  • Empowered to grow: Building on family strengths. Ph.D. Dissertation.