By Barbara Stamets

(August 18, 2011) James Thompson, professor of Special Education, is the recipient of the 2011 College of Education Outstanding Teacher Award. This award is given annually to a faculty member who exemplifies innovation and excellence in teaching, and who has made significant contributions toward the ideals set forth by the College of Education.

Thompson received his bachelors degree in Special Education and master’s degree in Educational Administration from Illinois State, and has taught undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs at the University since 1995. During his tenure, he has also made valuable contributions to research and scholarship in the College. He was awarded the College of Education Outstanding Researcher in 2003, and in 2009 was inducted into the Million Dollar Club for receiving more than one million dollars of external grant funding. He has also received four awards for service and research from the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities and the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

In addition to his most recent teaching honor, Thompson recently received a four-year, $1.6 million multi-institutional grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Education Institute on Educational Sciences to establish norms and validate applications for an assessment scale that he co-authored with Vanderbilt University and the University of Kansas.