From the series Faculty Awards for Excellence 2022–2023

2022–2023 Robert J. Kegerreis Distinguished Professor of Teaching

Marie Thompson

Marie Thompson

Lauded for her ability to inspire an enthusiasm for learning and critical thinking among her students and her contributions to multidisciplinary programs in the area of race, gender and health, Marie Thompson, Ph.D., received the 2022–2023 Robert J. Kegerreis Distinguished Professor of Teaching Award

An associate professor of communication and an affiliate faculty member of the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies program at Wright State University, Thompson has had a high impact not only in the College of Liberal Arts but also across the university for her contributions to multidisciplinary programs in the area of race, gender and health.

“She brings much-needed interdisciplinary perspectives to students and provides them with the support to think critically, reflect on their own knowledge and assumptions, and become self-directed learners and leaders,” said Gary Schmidt, Ph.D., dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Thompson plays an extremely important role in the liberal arts curriculum, especially through her courses in health Communication, race, gender and health, and Communicating through Chronic Illness and End of Life. Students from areas as diverse as medicine and nursing to public health and commutation have spoken highly of Thompson’s health communication course, calling it one of the most useful and inspiring courses they have ever taken.

Communicating through Chronic Illness and End of Life, which was initially developed to align with the Boonshoft School of Medicine’s annual Medical-Spirituality Conference, was also the inspiration for the Before I Die Wall. This unique interactive art exhibit encourages students to write about things they would like to do before they die.

“It’s really about thinking more deeply about the ways we live so that when we come to the end of our lives, we can see a life well-lived,” said Thompson. “Thinking about the end of life can inspire us to live meaningful lives. It can also help us begin talking with others, shifting and expanding our relationships, exploring our health care system and cultural ideals about death and dying.”

Thompson has served as coordinator of the Communication Program’s honors program since 2014 and has supervised many independent honors projects, mentoring undergraduate research on a range of important topics.

As a member of the Public Health Advisory Board at the Boonshoft School of Medicine, she was also instrumental in developing the health communication minor and the Bachelor of Science in Public Health. She is currently working with colleagues in English, history and anthropology to develop an Indigenous Studies Program.

Her impact stretches beyond Wright State, as she has been a key player in multi-college efforts to promote more effective communication strategies between patients and their care team, a matter that became even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thompson has completed multiple certification programs, including integrative somatic trauma therapy courses with Education for Racial Equity, and has been involved in the Courageous Conversations Academy.

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