In Memory

AAERI Founder, Dr. Sherwood Thompson

As researcher and professor, he wanted to bring enriching evidence to his classes that supports the proposition that all people are truly created equal and that an informed and supportive environment promotes personal growth and a healthy society.

Dr. Sherwood Thompson was born on January 7, 1952 in Greenville, South Carolina. After dedicating his formative years to hard work and fighting for racial equity and social justice, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg (Upstate), a Master of Education and a Doctor of Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In addition to several faculty fellowships, he was also awarded numerous Certificates to observe his excellence in training and leadership.

Dr. Thompson was the former Executive Director of the Model Laboratory School and of Teacher Education Services, former Assistant Dean of the College of Education, and former interim Chief Diversity Officer at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). He was awarded the 2016 Higher Education Excellent in Diversity (HEED) Award for innovative diversity program development. Dr. Thompson was a tenured full-professor at EKU.

Dr. Thompson attained distinction through a lengthy and productive career, directing campus-wide diversity programs for three major Division I universities, as well as one regional polytechnic university. Professor Thompson served on the editorial boards of the Kentucky Journal of Excellence in College Teaching and Learning, Journal for the Advancement of Educational Research, and he was a reviewer for the International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, and the Journal of Negro Education. Additionally, he served as the Principle Investigator for the Call Me Mister® Program, an African American male teacher leadership program and for The Best Should Teach Program, a teaching excellence program for district and College educators. Dr. Thompson also served as an international delegate, guest lecturer and educator in China, India and Pakistan. In 2015 he was awarded the Salzburg Global Seminar Fellowship in Salzburg Austria. He excelled in building global citizenship awareness and international programs, as evidenced by his frequent visitations and scholarly presentations at international universities and conferences.

While a professor of educational leadership in the College of Education at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), Dr. Thompson dedicated three years to collecting, compiling and scrutinizing more than 300 diversity and social justice terms in order to become familiar with language that supports a sense of appreciation of human differences. The result was the Encyclopedia of Diversity and Social Justice, a unique, 900-page, two-volume set edited by Thompson filled with “comprehensive and systematic collections of designated entries that describe, in detail, important diversity and social justice themes.”

Dr.Thompson’s body of work also includes five books and listing in the Encompass Digital Repository with over 60 scholarly papers. His most recent books were titled Critical Conversations of Women Faculty: Coping with Differences between Female and Male Counterparts, and Views from the Frontline: Voices of Conscience on College Campuses.

Other than AAERI, he was most proud of his brainchild, Ideal Educational Concepts and Solutions, LLC, dedicated to innovations in interactive educational materials and gaming. He was a diversity and inclusive excellence blogger who loved to share his insightful and thought-provoking reflections on current educational issues. His areas of research interest included educational leadership, post-secondary educational trends, organizational development and race and social justice. He was an avid reader, loved traveling, music, writing, bicycling, and new technology. He had an affinity for artwork, “real McCoy” cookie jars and butterflies. He believed in staying informed, mindfulness and meditation, and striving toward your fullest potential. He was a friend, mentor and educator to students and other educators around the world.