Instructor Bios

Thom Gossom Jr
Actor, Writer, Speaker

Thom Gossom Jr Thom Gossom Jr. is a professional actor, writer, and communicator. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Gossom received his Bachelor of Arts in communication from Auburn University where he was the first Black athlete to walk on and earn an athletic scholarship in the Southeastern Conference and to graduate from Auburn. He later went on to earn a Master of Arts in communication from The University of Montevallo. He is featured in the HBO special, Breaking the Huddle, about the integration of Southern College Football. After "a couple of cups of coffee in the NFL," Gossom began his communications career at Bellsouth in the office of Public Relations. In 1987, Gossom struck out on his own and started his own PR Firm to supplement his writing and acting adventures.

A self-described "Working Actor," Gossom has starred as the title character, Israel, in the NYPD Blue Emmy winning episode, "Lost Israel," and in the recurring roles of City Councilman Ted Marcus in In The Heat Of The Night; Judge Blake Winters in Boston Legal; and as J.R. Ride in Jack and Bobby. Other television credits include guest star roles in CSI, Cold Case, The West Wing, and ER. Film credits include, Fight Club, Jeepers Creepers 2, and Miss Ever's Boys. Gossom's, theatre roles include, Speak Of Me As I Am, My Children, My Africa, Fences; and American Buffalo.

Gossom's writing credits include a published memoir, Walk-On: My Reluctant Journey To Integration at Auburn University (State Street Press, 2008), chronicling his role in collegiate football history. Gossom has also written and performed a critically acclaimed one-man play, Speak of Me As I Am. His latest work the A Slice of Life collection of short stories will be published in 2012.

An outstanding communicator, Gossom is a frequent speaker for universities, corporations, and civic organizations. He is also a partner in CYG Consulting a management consulting firm.

Leadership / Managing Up / Communication / Communicating Effectively During Conflict / Conflict Intervention and Resolution / Public Speaking / Acting