- Carthage College
Thomas Wolff brings to Carthage more than 45 years of diverse experience in teaching, educational leadership, music performance and therapy, geriatrics, business, sociology and psychology.
He has performed on trumpet with the Henry Mancini Show, the Johnny Mathis Show, Holiday on Ice, the New York City Ballet Road Company, the Bach Chamber Orchestra & Chorus of Milwaukee, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons Road Show, and the Charleston, W. Va., Symphony Orchestra. He served for 24 years as an exemplary judge for the Wisconsin School Music Association, officiating throughout Wisconsin as clinician and adjudicator for district and state school music festivals, in addition to serving with the National Teacher Corps in Appalachia.
In addition to formerly holding three church choir directorships, Prof. Wolff also held the position of music director of the Kiwanis Youth Symphony Orchestra of Racine, headlining with that orchestra at three international Kiwanis Conventions in Minneapolis, Toronto and Orlando, with additional performances at Disney World in Florida.
Accompanying his music endeavors, Prof. Wolff also held teaching positions in the Ashland, Ky., public schools; South Milwaukee Public Schools; Milwaukee Area Technical College; Gateway Technical College; Alverno College, Milwaukee; Northeastern Illinois University-Chicago; the University of Wisconsin-Parkside; and Carthage College. Holding department and division chairmanships, along with building leadership positions in public schools, he also taught graduate and undergraduate courses in music, sociology, history, economics, philosophy of education, and psychology at the above-named colleges and universities.
Upon retirement from the South Milwaukee Public Schools, Prof. Wolff joined the Carthage faculty in 2006 as a member of the Education Department, where his principal responsibilities include teaching courses in history and philosophy of education, educational psychology, advising students, and making supervisory visitations for student teachers in the public schools.
Prof. Wolff earned a Ph.D. degree with high honors in psychology and behavioral science at California Coast University. He also holds an M.S. degree in educational psychology and a B.S. degree in music and music education, both from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Additional graduate studies were done at Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Clinical work in music therapy also was conducted with Professor Leo Muskatevic at UW-Milwaukee.
He has earned the Consortium for School Assessment and Design Award through the Milwaukee Area Suburban Public Schools; the Collegial Award for in-Service Presentations and Staff Leadership through the South Milwaukee Public Schools; the National Arion Award for Music Leadership in the Community from the Lion’s Club; the Brass Bell Award for Youth Leadership and Community Service Award, both from the Kiwanis International; the University Honors Award for Education Thesis Mentoring and the Distinguished Service Award from the College of Arts and Sciences Education Program at Northeastern Illinois University; the Bishop’s Award for composing and performing an original work, titled “Seven Choral Acts of Worship,” for the United Methodist Church District of Southeastern Wisconsin; and was inducted into Delta Epsilon Tau, the national honor society for extraordinary high academic achievements and leadership. In addition, he has served on the board of directors of the Racine-Kenosha chapter of Phi Kappa Delta International Education Foundation.
Prof. Wolff is also a member of Division 15 (Educational Psychology) of the American Psychological Association and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national music honorary fraternity. His research interests include the application of Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences in a model middle school music education curriculum; motivation and attribution theory issues among reluctant learners; the socio-psychological effects of popular music in adolescent development; cognitive processing differences among gifted and talented populations; the neurological “grammar” in music processing; pre-frontal cerebral immaturity in adolescents and its relationship to risk-taking behaviors; and excuse-making, lying, and cheating in high stakes engagements.
His topical presentations to school district faculties have included “Oppositional Defiant Disorders in School Children,” “Attribution Theory and Explanatory Styles in Success and Failure Situations,” and “Applications of Emotional Intelligence in Adolescent Peer Relations.”
Professor Thomas Wolff brings to Carthage more than 45 years of diverse experience in teaching, educational leadership, music performance and therapy, geriatrics, business, sociology, and psychology. He teaches courses in history and philosophy of education, and educational psychology and assessment.
Visiting Associate Professor of Education
- Ph.D. — psychology and behavioral science, California Coast University
- M.S. — educational psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- B.S. — music and music education, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Additional graduate studies at Northwestern University, University of Wisconsin Madison
- EDU 1010 Education and Society
- EDU 2010 Educational Psychology and Assessment
Prof. Wolff’s research interests include:
- The application of Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences in a model middle school music education curriculum
- Motivation and attribution theory issues among reluctant learners
- The socio-psychological effects of popular music in adolescent development
- Cognitive processing differences among gifted and talented populations
- Pre-frontal cerebral immaturity in adolescents and its relationship to risk-taking behaviors
- Lying, cheating, and excuse-making in high-stakes engagements.
Prof. Wolff’s topical presentations to school district faculties have included “Oppositional Defiant Disorders in School Children,” “Attribution Theory and Explanatory Styles in Success and Failure Situations,” and “Applications of Emotional Intelligence in Adolescent Peer Relations.”