Cynthia Toms, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Kinesiology
(805) 565-6025

Office Location

Murchison Complex Office

Office Available

By Appointment


Global Health Education 

Research Interests

Intersection of student volunteerism and international development


Cynthia Toms, Ph.D., is associate professor of Global Studies and Kinesiology at Westmont College. She teaches courses in the area of food systems, global health, sociology of movement, global studies and special populations. As a former four-time All-American NCAA athlete and collegiate coach, her career began with teaching biomechanics and exercise physiology. However, after meeting her husband, a former professional triathlete at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, her journey carried her toward the field of global health education. Before coming to Westmont, she served as assistant director of the Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame, where she oversaw academic immersion courses for more than 1,000 graduate and undergraduate students annually. For three years, she served as the associate director and a faculty member at the Uganda Studies Program in Mukono, Uganda. She previously taught at Peking University and Huija Private College in Beijing, China. Dr. Toms also directs Westmont’s Global Studies Fellows Program. Since coming 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. Dr. Toms serves on the Board of Child Family Health International, is a co- investigator for the Global Engagement Survey serves on the editorial board for globalsl.org, a Web-based initiative of scholars amassing evidence-based tools and peer-reviewed research to advance best practices in global service, community-university partnership, and sustainable development.