AJ Thurston

AJ Thurston

AJ Thurston

Adjunct Faculty

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Dr. AJ Thurston is the Chief of Market Research for military recruiting within the Department of Defense Office of People Analytics. He manages a portfolio of nationally representative survey research in collaborative support of Service-specific enlisted headquarters recruiting commands, officer recruiting entities, and joint-Services entities as a DoD internal consultant. Dr. Thurston’s research predominantly focuses on the motivators and barriers to young adult’s interest in military service and strategies for addressing declining interest in military careers. He previously worked at Development Dimensions International and Drasgow Consulting Group. 

Dr. Thurston earned his Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of South Florida with a specialization in quantitative methods.  His research there focused on the application of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) techniques to understand situation awareness and safety performance in the workplace, and his dissertation leveraged a SEM approach in evaluating SEM global fit indices ability to detect the suitability of the circumplex model to fit and summarize simulated vocational interest assessment data. 

Within I-O psychology, Dr. Thurston maintains expertise in individual differences and their assessment, personnel decisions to include recruiting and personnel selection, statistical analysis and data visualization methods, and advancement in SEM. He has also published research in collaboration with clinical psychology peers for understanding the effects of combat exposure and high-stress military occupations on servicemembers mental health outcomes. 

Most recently, Dr. Thurston served on and helped to fully establish the Military and Veterans Inclusion Committee (MVI) within the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) as the Strategy, Plans, Operations & Topics Subcommittee chair. He currently serves on the SIOP Small Grants Committee, and previously served on the SIOP Visibility Committee as the Prosocial subcommittee chair. He is also a Marine Corps infantry veteran.

Courses Taught

PSYC 641: Foundations of Organizational Psychology 


Ph.D., Industrial-Organizational Psychology, University of South Florida (Minor: Quantitative Methods)

M.A., Industrial-Organizational Psychology, University of South Florida

B.A., Psychology, University of South Florida Saint Petersburg