Renowned Chemistry Professor Stephen Thompson Honored with Board of Governors Undergraduate Teaching Award

Stephen Thompson, professor of chemistry and director of the Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education at Colorado State University, is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Board of Governors Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.

"For more than 30 years, Stephen Thompson has set very high standards of excellence in teaching and innovation at Colorado State, and well-represents the world-class faculty at this university," said Colorado State University President Larry Edward Penley.  "On behalf of the Colorado State University community, I want to congratulate Professor Thompson on this well-deserved honor."

Thompson has taught 54,960 undergraduate students in 2,501 courses over 34 years at Colorado State, and he is best known and lauded for his seminal and revolutionary innovations in small-scale chemistry and small-scale science.

In considering Thompson’s outstanding teaching abilities, Professor Emeritus Bruce Dale, agricultural and chemical engineering, said: "Every year we ask our graduating chemical engineering students to evaluate their education here at Colorado State. Fully half of our students mentioned Dr. Thompson by name and indicated what an excellent teacher he was in the undergraduate chemistry courses."

"Steve’s innovations seem to be accelerating as his career develops. His latest work on bringing tablet PCs into his small-scale chemistry is just as remarkable as his earlier innovations," said Dan Binkley, a colleague of Thompson.

Thompson’s philosophy of teaching and learning successfully transfers and translates low-cost, high-tech, digital array research modes, methods and techniques into the classroom. Small-scale science allows students access to the contemporary world of cutting-edge science and allows them to be engaged and learn by becoming real scientists.

Thompson was honored as one of the first four University Distinguished Teaching Scholars in 2000. In 1984, he was named as a University Honors Professor and was granted the U.S. Department of Education Mina Shaugnessy Scholar Award. In 1988, he received the CSU Support Group for Adults with Learning Disabilities Award for outstanding dedication and effort, and in 1992-1993, he was the first recipient of Colorado State’s N. Preston Davis Award for Instructional Innovation.

He received an Alumni Association Teacher of the Year Award in 2003, and in 2004, he was honored as an Outstanding Teacher in the Department of Chemistry by the Students as Leaders in Science and by the College of Natural Sciences.