Merideth Thompson, associate professor in the department of Management, has been selected as the 2017 faculty fellow for USU’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies. The fellowship provides the opportunity for a faculty member to sit on the RGS executive board to gain insight on RGS functions and to provide a faculty-based perspective on RGS initiatives and programs.

“We on the RGS executive board greatly value the insight of the faculty fellow” said Mark McLellan, Vice President for Research and dean of the School of Graduate Studies. “And we are excited to be welcoming Dr. Thompson to our RGS family.”

Dr. Thompson has been at Utah State University since 2012. Her research focuses on bad employee behavior and the work-family interface. She is particularly interested in how abusive supervision and workplace incivility cross over to affect and employee’s family experiences. Her current research also investigates the impact of toxic workplaces on employee health and healthcare costs. Her work has been published in journals such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, the Journal of Management, and Personnel Psychology. She has also participated in RGS speaking events Sunrise Sessions, and TEDxUSU.

“Dr. Thompson is part of USU’s reputation of excellent researchers” said Jim Davis, head of the Management department for the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. “I am confident that she will be a valuable contributor as the RGS faculty fellow.”

As the RGS faculty fellow, Dr. Thompson will attend meetings such as the weekly RGS executive board meetings, RGS directors meetings, graduate council, and monthly Research Council meetings. Additional interface will include involvement in development and/or implementation of the Training for Research Faculty (TRF) and Graduate Training Series (GrTS) events. She will also have the opportunity to take the lead in additional initiatives as mutually agreed upon based on interest. Ultimately, the goal of the faculty fellow is to help integrate humanistic and creative scholarship with USU’s mission to build a socially and intellectually vibrant campus research community.

“I’m looking forward to expanding and enhancing the initiatives related to diversity in RGS” said Dr. Thompson. “Recruiting and retaining both a diverse research faculty and diversity among our graduate students is critical to developing researchers and educator who reflect the diversity of the U.S. This diversity is essential to providing a well-rounded and comprehensive higher education experience for students across the country”

Dr. Thompson succeeds Dr. Alexa Sand, who served as the first RGS faculty fellow. Dr. Sand is an associate professor of art history, and has taught at USU since 2004. She has served on the Council for Undergraduate Research as an arts and humanities councilor for the past six years, and participates actively in a national effort to support and develop research opportunities for undergraduate students across all disciplines. She was awarded the Caine College of the Arts Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year in 2011, and the Caine College of the Arts Researcher of the Year in 2014.

“Dr. Sand was our first Faculty Fellow and as such has paved the way with great contributions and real engagement”, McLellan commented. “She provided a voice for research faculty, as well as advocated strongly for the arts here at USU”.

One of Dr. Sand’s accomplishments as faculty fellow was facilitating the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science Plenary and Workshops, an event for which she worked with iUTAH and the University of Utah. The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science is part of the Stony Brook University and New York, and their work helps scientists convey the meanings and implications of their work to a lay audience. This event was put on to train researchers from all disciplines to more effectively communicate scientific concepts to public audiences. With an attendance rate near 200, and positive survey responses, the plenary and workshops were a definite success.

“Serving as the RGS Faculty Fellow gave me a complex and nuanced picture of USU’s vibrant culture of research, and a strong appreciated for the challenges inherent in sustaining and growing research and supporting high-caliber graduate programs.” Dr. Sand said of her time as the first faculty fellow. “I enjoyed working with Mark and his associate vice presidents, who provide excellent leadership, and whose teamwork will inspire my own approach to collaboration for the rest of my career”.

Dr. Thompson begins her year-long term as faculty fellow at the beginning for the spring 2017 semester. Watch her Sunrise Session and her TEDxUSU talk.

Meg Schneider | Project Management and Communications | Office of Research and Graduate Studies