Jonas, Thomas

Thomas Jonas

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Educational Background

  • Juris Doctor, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Speech Communication, Bowling Green State University

Professional Experience
Jonas started teaching undergraduates in 1965 and now has college teaching experience at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, primarily in the areas of interpersonal and organizational communication, semantics, conflict resolution, persuasion, and public speaking. He has also taught business, agricultural, and criminal law; criminal procedure and evidence; psychology and the law; juvenile justice; and interviewing/interrogation at the undergraduate level.  

During his return to teaching at University of Wisconsin-Platteville he was teaching public speaking and introduction to criminal justice, with the latter in the regular semesters having a distance education synchronous multi-location format in one section. During the winterim he taught persuasion and argumentation.

At the present he is retired and teaches in the criminal justice undergraduate and graduate on-line programs and occasionally teaches organizational communication in the short term on site UW-Platteville project management masters program in Wuhan, China.

At the graduate level he has directed theses and seminar papers in criminal justice and speech-communication, and taught graduate communication courses, especially research procedures for both the experimental and literary criticism modes.  

Licensed as an attorney in Wisconsin since 1982, he closed his practice in 2002 to return to teaching as an adjunct senior lecturer. A certified mediator in both caucus and conference format, he mediated more than 100 cases over the last five years of his practice, primarily in court-ordered mediation in family law and civil cases.  

Personal Information
Jonas grew up on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin, attended a one-room rural school, and taught high school English in Walworth and Burlington, Wisconsin. He has been married since 1967 to Patricia Petersen, now a retired high school English teacher and adjunct professor in the English department; together they have two grown sons, George Wendlin, a mechanical engineer/patent attorney in San Francisco area with SunPower Corporation, and Victor Petersen, also a mechanical engineer and lawyer but in private patent law practice with Faegre & Benson.  

He enjoys hunting and fishing with his sons, traveling to and working in China, cooking, and attending musical and theatrical performances with his wife. His interests are quite varied, from learning about antique US tractors to learning more about Eastern philosophy to learning Chinese at an advanced age.

Important additions to the Jonas family are Sophia Patricia Jonas, born November 1, 2000, who initially allowed him to add the title "Grappa" to his name. Sophie, daughter of George and Mary, was joined by a brother, Henry Thomas, on April 7, 2003. Madeline Lauren Jonas, daughter of Victor and Michelle, joined them on September 21, 2005, and she called him “Grampa China” while he was ending the three-year tour of duty for UW-Platteville as the on-site coordinator programs in Wuhan, China. Her brother, Cooper Oliver Jonas, joined on January 2, 2008.

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