Each week during our 50th year we will focus on one of our 50 Faces of the Humanities. Tune in each Monday (beginning January 10th) to hear from citizens throughout the Commonwealth who support and promote the humanities in Kentucky. If you would like to be one of the 50 Faces and contribute a short video to this project, please contact Marianne Stoess at for details.

Kyland Carreon

2021 Graduate of Morehead State University

Kyland Carreon is a 2021 graduate of Morehead State University. He earned a bachelor of arts, majoring in philosophy and legal studies. Carreon is interested in pursuing a career in the legal field and has his eyes on attending law school. 

Tammy Horn Potter

Kentucky State Apiarist

Tammy Horn Potter grew up on a farm, but was determined never to do science, agriculture or math when she went to college. An English professor by training, Potter decided to help her grandfather with his bees in 1997 and immediately became smitten with them. Balancing her career as an English professor and hobbyist, Potter wrote Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation. She followed Bees in America with a second book, Beeconomy: What Women and Bees Teach Us About Local Trade and Global Markets. In order to write it, she went to Hawai’i during off-seasons from 2006-2010 to work in the queen bee production industry. 

As the 2006 National Endowment of Humanities Chair of Appalachian Studies at Berea College, Potter focused on large scale surface mining reclamation and specifically how it affected pollinators. From 2007-2014, with a generous grant from Ed and Elaine Holcombe, she started Coal Country Beeworks (based at Eastern Kentucky University), which worked with community partners to offer workshops, education, and practical beekeeping skills in Eastern Kentucky. 

In addition to working with coal companies to get more pollinator habitat included in reclamation, the Kentucky State legislature approved legislation that would let coal companies modify their reclamation with pollinator habitat. Another law was also passed that allowed Department of Transportation to include more habitat on highway rights-of-way. 

In 2014, Potter became the Kentucky State Apiarist. Her primary goals as apiarist are to document hive health, promote economic development, and provide education and outreach. 

Horn has served as president for Kentucky State Beekeepers Association, president of Eastern Apiculture Society, a director on Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, and been awarded the 2010 North American Pollinator Protection Advocate Award as well as the Kentucky State Beekeeping Association Lifetime Achievement Award and KSBA Beekeeper of the Year.


Dr. James M. Gifford

CEO and Senior Editor of the Jesse Stuart Foundation

Dr. James M. Gifford is the CEO and Senior Editor of the Jesse Stuart Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in 1979 to manage Stuart’s literary estate and to promote educational and cultural programs relevant to the late author’s life and works. Dr. Gifford received a B.A. degree from Maryville College, a M.A. degree from Middle Tennessee State University, and his Ph.D. in history from the University of Georgia. He has won professional awards as a teacher, author, editor, and publisher.

Dr. Gifford and his small staff have published more than 150 books, including Appalachian classics from Allan W. Eckert, Billy C. Clark, Harry M. Caudill, and, of course, Jesse Stuart.

Dr. Gifford has made more than 500 public presentations and published more than 50 magazine and journal articles, along with hundreds of newspaper articles. All of his efforts are to help Appalachian educators meet the challenges facing today’s educational system.

Dr. Gifford’s 2010 biography, Jesse Stuart: An Extraordinary Life, was nominated for the Weatherford Award for best book in Appalachian nonfiction. His Jesse Stuart: Immortal Kentuckian, a five-year effort which analyzes Stuart’s enduring influences, was published in 2015. That same year, he published Hidden Heroes of the Big Sandy Valley, a collection of 22 biographical essays about eastern Kentuckians whose great contributions to society have gone unrecognized.

In the late 1970s, Dr. Gifford declined an editorial appointment at Yale University because of his commitment to the people and institutions of Appalachia. In a recent article, he reflected on his life’s work: “The Jesse Stuart Foundation has become a sensitive interpreter of the hopes, dreams, and accomplishments of a great regional people. We have become your voice, too, speaking your unspoken thoughts, dreaming with you about things you had never hoped to realize, and stirring ambitions within you that had long been dormant in your soul. That’s what books do.” 

Governor Andy Beshear

63rd Governor of Kentucky

Governor Andy Besher grew up in Fayette, Franklin, and Clark counties and graduated from Henry Clay High School.  

He graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor's degree in anthropology and earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. 

Beshear served as the 50th Attorney General of Kentucky from 2016-2019 before assuming the Governor’s Office on December 10, 2019.

Dr. Linda LaPinta

Author and Spalding University Leadership Program Director

Dr. Linda Elisabeth LaPinta is a Louisville-based writer who, under her maiden name, Beattie, published four books with the University Press of Kentucky and has a fifth book, Kentucky Quilts and Quiltmakers: Three Centuries of Creativity, Community, and Commerce, in press with the same publisher. LaPinta’s feature articles and book reviews have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and journals nationwide.

Dr. John Ernst

Professor of History at Morehead State University

Dr. John Ernst is a Professor of History at Morehead State University. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Ernst earned a B.A. and M.A. in history from Eastern Kentucky University, and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Kentucky. Since 2003, Ernst has held many roles at Morehead including Director of the Appalachian Studies Program, Chair of the History Department, Execu-tive Assistant to the President, and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success. He is the author of Forging a Fateful Alliance: Michigan State University and the Vietnam War and co-editor of The War that Never Ends: New Perspectives on the Vietnam War. Dr. Ernst has served on the boards of many Kentucky organizations including Kentucky Humanities, the University Press of Kentucky, the Kentucky Historical Society, and Hindman Settlement School.

Sister Eleanor Craig

Loretto Community Historian

Eleanor Craig, SL, has been a Sister of Loretto since 1963 and an educator since birth. She graduated from Webster University in 1967, earned an MAT from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and an EdD from Boston University. She taught mathematics to high school girls at Loretto in Kansas City, where her personal passion for adventure history inspired her to develop and lead treks along the historic Oregon Trail. From 1998 to 2010 she created an award-winning program of outdoor adventure along the Western trails for teens who are visually impaired. Eleanor claims to have conducted more wagon trains to the West than the Mountain Men! From 2012 to 2021, Eleanor led a talented staff of archivists and preservationists at the Loretto Heritage Center on the grounds of the Motherhouse in Marion County, Kentucky.  She recently retired, but still serves in the Heritage Center as Loretto Community Historian.

Tommy Hines

Executive Director of the South Union Shaker Village

Tommy Hines is the Executive Director of the South Union Shaker Village. A native of Butler County, Kentucky, Hines is a graduate of Western Kentucky University with a degree in Music Theory and Folk Studies, and a Master of Arts degree in Historic Preservation. Hines began his career at the South Union Shaker Village in 1986 as Executive Director and Curator. He has served on the boards of a variety of organizations and has acted as consultant for restoration and interpretive projects at numerous historic sites and museums.

Heather Whitman

Curator/Registrar at the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center

Heather Whitman is an Ashland, Kentucky, native who graduated from Morehead State University with a B.A. in history in 2007. She began volunteering at the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center in Ashland the same year. In 2010, Heather was hired as their Curator/Registrar and has been in that role ever since. Heather takes great pleasure in sharing the history of the Ashland area with visitors. It is the museum’s desire to be a center for the humanities with an emphasis on local history, music, and art.

Michael Jones

Historic Preservation Program Administrator

Michael Jones is from Paris, Kentucky. He holds a B.A. from Morehouse College and an M.A. from the University of California, Riverside. Jones spent several years working as a museum curator for the Kentucky Historical Society and currently works for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet as a Historic Preservation Program Administrator. Michael Jones portrays Colonel Charles Young for Kentucky Chautauqua.

Dr. A. Gwynn Henderson

Education Director at the Kentucky Archaeological Society

A. Gwynn Henderson received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Kentucky in 1998. She is the Education Director at the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, a program of Western Kentucky University's Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology. Her archaeological research and publications focus on the ancient Native farming cultures of the middle Ohio Valley. As a public archaeologist, Henderson works with others to develop lessons, booklets, video programs, and workshops. An award-winning writer of children’s nonfiction, her articles have been published in several children’s magazines, and her book for adult literacy students in the Kentucky Humanities’ New Books for New Readers Series, Kentuckians Before Boone, is used in classrooms

Jerry Deaton

Retired Lobbyist, Author, Playwright, and Filmmaker

Jerry Deaton is a retired lobbyist originally from Breathitt County and currently living in Frankfort. He has written two books, Appalachian Ghost Stories, and Kentucky Boy. In addition, Jerry has written three plays, Tales From Bloody Breathitt; Long Ago and Far Away; and The Feuds of Bloody Breathitt. He also has written and produced two documentary films, The Feuds of Bloody Breathitt; and Harry Caudill: Man of Courage.

Bobbie Ann Wrinkle

Adult Programming Coordinator at the McCracken County Public Library

Bobbie Ann Wrinkle is the Adult Programming Coordinator at the McCracken County Public Library. She joined the library staff in 1991. She initiated and directed the library’s adult programs in 1994, creating the nationally recognized Evenings Upstairs series. Other programming that Ms. Wrinkle developed include the library’s popular 101 series and Front & Center events.

Wrinkle is a 26-year member of the American Library Association, working with the Public Program Division. She also serves as a resource for librarians throughout the Commonwealth and the nation who are launching adult programming at their library.

Wrinkle is a graduate of Murray State University, 1999 cum laude, with Bachelor of Arts degrees in library science and English literature.

She holds a professional certification from Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives.

She is a graduate of Leadership Paducah Class 9.

She is actively involved in the community having served on the Market House Theatre & Yeiser Art Center Board of Directors and is currently serving on the William Clark Market House Museum board of directors

Gracie Davis

2022 Morehead State University Graduate

Gracie Davis is a 2022 graduate of Morehead State University with majors in history and legal studies. She served as the President of the Women in Law and as the Treasurer of Alpha Lambda Pi, Morehead’s Legal Studies Club. She plans to attend the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law.

Nathan Mick

Director of Advocacy for Federal and State Affairs at the American Association of Orthodontists

Nathan Mick serves as the Director of Advocacy for Federal and State Affairs at the American Association of Orthodontists.

Prior to AAO, Nathan managed state and local government affairs in the Southeast region of the U.S. serving as Vice President of Advocacy for the American Heart Association. His previous work includes nearly a decade focused on economic and community development, working for site selection data firm in New York and he served as the first economic development director for Garrard County, Kentucky.

Nathan served as deputy chief of staff for former U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during Hagel’s years in the United States Senate, and deputy campaign manager and political director for Chicago Cub’s co-owner and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts’ campaign for United States Senate.

Nathan earned his master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the United States Naval War College and bachelor’s degree from Centre College. He is also a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute. Nathan volunteers with numerous organizations, including the American Council of Young Political Leaders, Kentucky Arts Council, Lexington Chamber Chorale, the Lexington/Fayette County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and the Roma Advisory Group at the United Nations. He and his wife, Maggie, have a daughter and son and reside in Lexington, Kentucky.

Dr. Chelsea Brislin

Associate Director of the Gaines Center for the Humanities at the University of Kentucky

Since 2018, Chelsea Brislin has been the Associate Director for the Gaines Center for the Humanities at the University of Kentucky. Prior to working with the Gaines Center, Brislin was the Honors Pathway Program Director and served as the Director of Recruitment for UK’s Lewis Honors College. She serves as affiliate faculty for the Appalachian Center and has also taught dozens of courses at UK including English, Appalachian Studies, Communications, and Leadership.

Brislin holds bachelor of arts degrees in French and art history from the University of Kentucky, a master of arts from New York University’s John W. Draper Program in Interdisciplinary Humanities and Social Thought, and a doctorate of philosophy in Literature from the University of Kentucky.

Kevin Hardesty

Kentucky Chautauqua Actor

Kevin Hardesty received his B.F.A in acting/theatre from the University of Kentucky in 1986, and has since performed professionally in theatre, film, and television, including prominent leading roles in Biloxi Blues, Hamlet, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet. Kevin is a member of Kentucky Humanities' Kentucky Chautauqua cast, portraying Daniel Boone and Henry Clay.

Dr. Richard Taylor

Kenan Visiting Writer at Transylvania University

Dr. Richard Taylor, a former Kentucky Poet Laureate teaches English and Creative Writing at Transylvania University.

Penny Peavler

Cultural Tourism and Associates

Penny Peavler is the principle of Cultural Tourism and Consultants. She spent more than 30 years working in museums and leading cultural attractions in Kentucky and is currently a member of Kentucky Humanities' Board of Directors.

Dr. Andrew Rosa

Associate Professor at Western Kentucky University

Dr. Andrew Rosa is an Associate Professor and Undergraduate Advisor at Western Kentucky University. His teaching and research interests in African American intellectual and social movement history is grounded in the interdisciplinary fields African American Studies, Diaspora Studies, and American Studies. His related interests include racial foundations of academic thought, Black radicalism, comparative slavery, Black Atlantic history, and Pan Africanism. In addition, he thoroughly enjoys leading the Study Abroad opportunity to Trinidad and Tobago and being a part of a growing interdisciplinary and globally conscious department and program at WKU. 

Dr. Rosa is a graduate of the W. E. B. Du Bois Department of African American Studies at the University of Masschusetts, Amherst, and is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards for his research. In 2015, he was awarded the University College Faculty Award for Research and Creativity at Western Kentucky University.

Ashley Runyon

University Press of Kentucky Director

Ashley Runyon got her start in publishing as a work-study student at the University Press of Kentucky. She earned her bachelor's degree in integrated strategic communication and master's degree in communication from the University of Kentucky. After working in various positions in design, marketing, and production at the Lexington Herald-Leader and Blood Horse Publications, Runyon returned to UPK as a marketing manager and then senior acquisitions editor while also coordinating fundraising and development. She then moved on to work for Indiana University Press and Red Lightening Books. Runyon returned to Lexington in 2020 when she was named the director of the University Press of Kentucky.

Yolantha Harrison-Pace

Performing Arts Specialist

Yolantha Harrison-Pace is a performing arts specialist. For 30 years she has designed and facilitated academic programs in dance and the performing arts. She also conducts storytelling and poetry writing workshops, is the founder and facilitator of V.O.I.C.E. (Voices of Influence Creating Encouragement) and S.P.E.A.K.!!! (Stop, Please End Abuse to Kids!!!), and is the author of a book of poetry, Wing-Plucked Butterfly. Harrison-Pace has received a number of awards and honors, including the 2004 YOUnity Guild Humanitarian of the Year Award and the 2004 Urban Spectrum Poetry Book of the Year Award. Yolantha has been a long-time storyteller for Prime Time Family Reading.

Ashleigh Adkins

University of Kentucky Student

Ashleigh Adkins is a student at the University of Kentucky majoring in both Linguistics and Modern and Classical Languages, Literature and Culture: Japan Studies. Currently they are attending Waseda University through the Education Abroad department offered by the University of Kentucky and hopes to pursue Japanese Linguistics in their post graduate degrees with a focus in Dialectology.

Eddie Price

Author & Educator

A lifelong Kentuckian, Eddie Price is the award-winning author of the historical fiction novels Widder's Landing and One Drop—A Slave!, and the illustrated children's books, Little Miss Grubby Toes Steps on a Bee! and Little Miss Grubby Toes Plays with Fire! He has also written a historical book titled The Unlikely Trio—The Winners of the 1913 Kentucky Derby.

A graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan College and Western Kentucky University, Price taught history for 36 years. He also taught part-time classes for 21 years at Owensboro Community & Technical College. In that time he received Ashland Oil’s Golden Apple Teaching Award, was included in Who’s Who Among America’s High School Teachers, and won the Outstanding American History Teacher Award from Kentucky Association for the Teachers of History and Kentucky Council for the Social Studies. Murray State University named him Outstanding Kentucky High School Teacher in 2000. He also received the Excellence in Teaching Award from Campbellsville University in 2012. His students voted him “Teacher of the Year” numerous times.

Price is a Kentucky Chautauqua® performer and a Speaker for the Kentucky Humanities. He is active in the Hancock County Historical Society and helped organize the Young Historians Club.

Dr. Cynthia Williams Resor

EKU Foundation Professor, College of Education Public Relations Director

Cynthia Williams Resor taught high school social studies and sixth grade before deciding to pursue her dream of obtaining a Ph.D. in history. She is currently a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Eastern Kentucky University and has taught undergraduate and graduate teacher education courses, social studies for teachers, medieval history, U.S. history survey courses, humanities, and led study abroad classes. She has also conducted a wide variety of professional development sessions, published several articles in various journals related to history and social studies education, and served as a consultant for a Teaching American History grant. 

Dr. Resor was selected as a 2019-2021 EKU Foundation Professor. Eastern Kentucky University established the Foundation Professor program in 1987 to recognize "creative self-motivated exemplars of the ideal college professor." The selection criteria for this prestigious award are based on EKU's standard for promotion, tenure, and merit in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and services.  

Dean Scott Davison

Interim Dean of the Caudill College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Morehead State University 

Scott A. Davison is a Professor of Philosophy and Interim Dean of the Caudill College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Morehead State University. He is the author of God and Prayer (Cambridge, forthcoming 2022), Petitionary Prayer: A Philosophical Investigation (Oxford, 2017), and On the Intrinsic Value of Everything (Continuum Press, 2011) and serves as the Associate Editor for Faith and Philosophy.

Before arriving at Morehead State, Prodessor Davison earned BA and MA degrees in philosophy before completing MA and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Notre Dame.

Elaine A. Wilson

Somerset Community College

Elaine A. Wilson is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Somerset Community College; a proud member of the Kentucky Humanities Board of Directors from 2013-2018; the 2014-2015 President of the University of Kentucky National Alumni Association Board; and is currently a member of the Friends of Kentucky Libraries Board, the Kentucky School Boards Association Board, the Somerset Independent Schools Board of Education, and the Women United with the United Way of South-Central Kentucky.

Blair Thomas Hess


Blair Thomas Hess is the co-author of four Kentucky travel guides including My Old Kentucky Road Trip and The State of Bourbon and a forthcoming fifth book about the history and culture of the Bluegrass State. A born and bred Kentuckian, Blair is a communications professional and travels the state as an ambassador of its tourism and traditions.

She lives in Frankfort with her husband and daughter.

Dr. Aris Cedeño

Governor's Scholars Program Executive Director

Aristófanes Cedeño, born and raised in Panama, earned the degree of Attorney at Law at the University of Panama and obtained his Ph.D. in Spanish literature from Michigan State University. For 15 years, he worked as a Professor at the University of Louisville. His research interests include natural law, the nineteenth century, and the Romantic Movement. He has published and edited two books and several papers in these areas.

Dr. Cedeño joined Kentucky’s Governor’s Scholars Program as faculty in 1992 and has served the program as Campus Director (NKU 1995-2001), Academic Dean (1998-present), and Executive Director (2006-present).

Dr. Cedeño serves on the Board of the National Conference of Governors' Schools. He served on the Kentucky Humanities Board of Directors from 2007-2020. He has also completed appointments as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow (2006-07, University of Pittsburgh) and a Bingham Fellow (Louisville, 2012).

Jayne Moore Waldrop


Jayne Moore Waldrop is a Kentucky writer and attorney. She knows her home state from end to end, having grown up in far western Kentucky in a family of displaced Appalachians who returned home often to visit eastern Kentucky. She’s also lived and practiced law in Louisville, and she’s been an enthusiastic member of Lexington’s writing community since moving to central Kentucky.

She is the author of Retracing My Steps, a finalist in the New Women’s Voices Chapbook Series, and Pandemic Lent: A Season in Poems, both published by Finishing Line Press. Her linked story collection, Drowned Town, was published in 2021 by University Press of Kentucky through its Fireside Industries imprint, a partnership with Hindman Settlement School.

Amanda Driscoll

Children's Book Author

Amanda Driscoll was born, raised, and still resides in Louisville, Kentucky. She is the author and illustrator of four picture books: Little Grump Truck (2021), Klondike Do Not Eat Those Cupcakes! (2018), Wally Does Not Want a Haircut (2016), and Duncan the Story Dragon (2015), all published by Knopf.

For more information about Amanda and her books, visit her website at

President William T. Luckey Jr.

President of Lindsey Wilson College

Dr. William T. Luckey Jr. became the eighth president of Lindsey Wilson College on July 1, 1998. Luckey began working in the admissions office at Lindsey Wilson in 1983 and worked his way up to Director of Admissions, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Vice President for Development, and then Vice President for Administration and Finance.

President Luckey holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Wabash (Ind.) College; a master's degree in business administration from Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management; and a doctorate in higher education administration from Vanderbilt's prestigious Peabody College. He has been published and lectured widely on the subject of the "scholar-ship of teaching."

Luckey is married to the former Elise Hendrickson of Oldham County, Ky. Elise was a member of the Kentucky Humanities Board of Directors from 2013-2018.

Dr. Ann C. Hall

Professor of Comparative Humanities, University of Louisville

Dr. Ann C. Hall is a Professor of Comparative Humanities at the University of Louisville. She currently teaches drama, film, and comparative humanities.

Her publications include "A Kind of Alaska: Women in the Plays of O’Neill, Pinter, and Shepard" and "Phantom Variations: The Adaptations of Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera."

Linda Gorton

Mayor of Lexington

Linda Gorton, the longest continuously serving member of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council, is serving her first term as Lexington Mayor. Mayor Gorton was elected on November 6, 2018.

A native of Ohio, Mayor Gorton has lived in Lexington most of her adult life. In addition to her 16 years on the Council, including four years as Vice Mayor, Mayor Gorton has been a dedicated volunteer in our community.

Charles W. Boteler

Retired Judge

Charles W. Boteler was a Kentucky trial judge for nearly 30 years in Hopkins County.

He has served on the Board of Directors for Kentucky Humanities since 2017 and is currently Board Chair.

He and his wife, Jonelle, now live in Middletown.

Cammie Jo Bolin

Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Albany 

Cammie Jo Bolin is a Ph.D. candidate in American government at Georgetown University and recently joined the University of Albany faculty as an assistant professor of political science.

Her research explores questions of identity, representation, and participation in political and religious contexts in the United States. With Dr. Benjamin Knoll, she’s coauthored "She Preached the Word: Women’s Ordination in Modern America."

Before graduate school, she worked at Kentucky Humanities. This opportunity demonstrated the value of public scholarship, something she works to incorporate into her own research.

Mike Berry

Secretary of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet

Michael E. Berry was appointed by Governor Andy Beshear to serve as Secretary of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet on December 10, 2019. Prior to his appointment, Berry served as the longest serving President and CEO in the history of the Kentucky Derby Festival.

Berry holds a BA in American Studies and Political Science from Georgetown College and is a graduate of Waggener High School in Louisville.

President Tori McClure

President of Spalding University

Tori Murden McClure was named Spalding University's President in 2010, having served previously as a vice president and trustee. Taking lessons learned as an adventurer and explorer in Antarctica, Kenya and the Atlantic, as well as working for the Mayor of Louisville and Muhammad Ali, President McClure leads through collaborative leadership that brings diverse voices and experiences together.

She holds a bachelor’s from Smith College, a Master of Divinity from Harvard University, a law degree from the University of Louisville and a Master of Fine Arts in writing degree from Spalding. She is author of the memoir, A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean, which details her journey to become the first American to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

President McClure is sought after as a speaker and presenter on a variety of topics, including religion and theology, leadership, higher education, adventure, and athleticism.

Dr. Aaron Thompson

President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

Dr. Aaron Thompson is the President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Prior to taking the helm at CPE, Thompson served as Interim President of Kentucky State University; CPE Executive Vice President and Provost; and faculty member and administrator at Eastern Kentucky University. He has extensive leadership experience within the private and non-profit sectors and is a highly sought-after national speaker. Dr. Thompson has authored or co-authored numerous books and peer-reviewed publications on diversity, cultural competence, first-year experience programs, retention, and student success, among other topics. In 2019, he was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame.

Thompson received his doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Kentucky, with an emphasis on organizational leadership. He earned a master’s degree in industrial sociology from the University of Kentucky, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Eastern Kentucky University.