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Sam Thompson

Thompson named chairperson of geography at WIU

January 16, 2009

MACOMB, ILL. – Sam Thompson, associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Geography has been appointed chairperson of the department effective January 1. Thompson has been acting chairperson since January 2, 2008.

“Sam’s teaching, research, and service record to his department, the College, and the University coupled with his last twelve months of experience as acting chairperson make him the ideal candidate to fill this important role,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Inessa Levi. “The Department of Geography’s baccalaureate major in meteorology is one of the fastest growing in the college. The GIS Center, also located in the department, is an important part of our regional service goals. I am delighted that we have someone of Sam’s caliber to ensure these programs as well as the department’s other programs continue to thrive and grow.”

Thompson had served as the department’s graduate program coordinator since he joined Western's faculty in 2002. In this capacity he oversaw graduate admissions to the department, coordinated the awarding of assistantships and was involved in numerous administrative activities, including assistantship contracts. He has been involved in administrative decisions through departmental planning processes in the graduate and undergraduate programs. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in geography and has served on departmental and college committees.

Thompson’s research interests include studying enterprise zone programs as a planning tool for community development and planning process techniques, particularly planning with people. His most recent publication explores using consensus to create a true community design. Among other research activities this summer, Thompson is exploring the role of planning and infrastructure development in bringing about economic revitalization in midsized and small cities/towns.

“It is an honor and privilege to be selected as chair by the faculty in the Department of Geography and Dean Levi. As chair, I will continue to build on the standards and qualities established by my predecessor in the realm of excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. With a diverse and highly qualified faculty, I look forward to carrying on our traditional commitment to teaching and developing life-long learners. Also, I am proud to work with faculty members who dedicate a substantial amount of time involving students in their research. I look forward to continued enhancement and expansion of our signature program in meteorology, which is one of the most popular degree programs at WIU. I will continue to support the GIS Center, which is an integral part of the Geography Department. As the GIS Center provides first-hand project experience for graduate and undergraduate students, I am energized to expand this working arrangement under my leadership. In a nut shell, I will work with faculty and staff to enhance the department academic brand, and strengthen our ties to students, the College, University and the community.

Copy By: Jeff Dodd, College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: (309) 298-1828