The Graduate College is proud to announce that Aaron Thompson from Statistics is the winner of the 2022 Graduate College Excellence Award for Graduate Contacts. The award is given annually as part of the Graduate College’s Annual Workshop for Directors of Graduate Study and Graduate Contacts. It recognizes staff members whose service has exceeded expectations in enhancing graduate students' experiences and has positively impacted their graduate program or department's operations.
Thompson is described by nominators as highly skilled, perfectly approachable, and exemplary in all facets. In his six years in the role, Thompson has streamlined admissions processes, created robust graduate student handbooks and resources, and served as a sounding board for student ideas and concerns. His welcoming personality and can-do attitude has made him a favorite among students, faculty, and staff. The committee was most impressed by his work in student recruitment initiatives. Thompson was the primary planner for a new student visit day last spring that resulted in landing many excellent new students. Last summer, he was instrumental in launching the Blackwell Summer Scholars program to encourage students from underrepresented populations to enroll in graduate programs in Statistics.
Graduate Contacts are integral to the success of our graduate students and provide invaluable service to the university and its community of students, faculty, and staff. They put care and compassion into everything they do, going above and beyond to support and encourage our graduate students at every step of their academic journey, from welcoming them to campus, supporting them through the good times and the challenging times, and celebrating with them at the end of their degree. For all of this, we are truly thankful to each and every one and proud to celebrate this year's award recipient.