University News

Thompson Named Interim Chair of Geography Department

June 10, 2008

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MACOMB, IL - - Sam Thompson, associate professor of geography at Western Illinois University, has been serving as interim chair of the department since Jan. 2, according to College of Arts and Sciences Dean Inessa Levi.

Thompson was appointed interim chair when geography Professor Chris Sutton returned to fulltime faculty work.

Thompson had served as the department's graduate program coordinator since he joined Western's faculty in 2002. In this capacity he oversaw graduate admissions to the department, coordinated the awarding of assistantships and was involved in numerous administrative activities, including assistantship contracts. He has been involved in administrative decisions through departmental planning processes in the graduate and undergraduate programs. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in geography and has served on departmental and college committees.

Thompson's research interests include studying enterprise zone programs as a planning tool for community development and planning process techniques, particularly planning with people. His most recent publication explores using consensus to create a true community design. Among other research activities this summer, Thompson is exploring the role of planning and infrastructure development in bringing about economic revitalization in midsized and small cities/towns.

"The college is grateful to Dr. Thompson for his willingness to step in to help," said Dean Levi. "His record of teaching, service and research will serve the geography department and the college well in the coming weeks and months as we search for a permanent chairperson."

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