Michael Thompson is on the senior staff of the Vice President for Research and the Founding Director of the Broader Impacts in Research (BIR) organization, http://bir.ou.edu/, at the University of Oklahoma. BIR was formally established on December 31st, 2013. The Broader Impacts in Research organization serves as a point of contact at the University of Oklahoma to institutionalize a Broader Impacts culture as well as gain knowledge and get help in developing, implementing, and evaluating high quality Broader Impact programs and portfolios for and beyond Agency and NSF Criterion. This is done by helping faculty and other investigators link their research, teaching, and public service to transformational outcomes that are relevant to individuals, diverse communities, and society at-large. Through the development of higher quality broader impacts, higher quality broader impacts programs, higher quality broader impacts portfolios, and BI identity, BIR is able to help all faculty be more impactful in every aspect of their professional careers.
In this position Dr. Thompson also advocates for the Scholarship of Broader Impacts (SoBI) as well as conducts research in broader impacts. Which allows his organization to model, develop, implement, and evaluate broader impacts by coming up with answers to questions like – (1) what does broader impacts look like on a university, local, regional, global, and international scale and (2) how can you create and implement meaningful faculty professional development that helps faculty to be more impactful and successful in every aspect of their professional careers? In 2015, Dr. Thompson also served on the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI) Working Group, which developed the Broader Impacts Guiding Principles and Questions for National Science Foundation Proposals.
Dr. Thompson has taught Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Physical Science and developed and taught Science and Engineering Learning Community Service-Learning courses. He has taught high school Chemistry and Physics, participated on Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) education committees to develop state education science standards, spent time as a private biochemical consultant for a company, opened a company, facilitated workshops on culture and diversity, and has worked with the Engineering Projects in Community Service-Learning (EPICS) University program. He was also one of the first individuals who established the EPICS high school program where he helped to develop and write curriculum, conduct workshops, perform site-visits, develop and implement EPICS high school research agendas, and strategically develop, implement, and analyze all of the evaluation and assessment protocols and received data. The EPICS high school program is now in many states across the nation.
Michael Thompson obtained a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from Saint Joseph’s College of Indiana. He received his MS in Biochemistry and a PhD in Chemistry from Purdue University. Dr. Thompson’s research involved manipulation of sinapoylated compounds and genetic sequences in the sinapate ester biosynthetic pathway and on Chemistry Education and aspects of Engineering Education during the completion of his PhD. Prior to joining the University of Oklahoma (OU) he was the Education and Outreach Coordinator for Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), Institute of Environmental Health (IEH), and the NSF Science and Technology Center (STC) for Coastal Margin Observation & Prediction (CMOP). During that time, he worked with industry, faculty, nonprofits, and students, connecting them at many levels and in many ways to help them complete their broader impacts.