Michael Thompson Scholarship Fund
Professor Emeritus Michael Alford Thompson, Professor of Medical Physics for 27 years at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Health Professions, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away on January 2, 2009 at the age of 59. He retired in 2007 from the faculty of the UAB Nuclear Medicine Technology Program after suffering with Parkinson’s disease for 7 years. His 30 year career at UAB began in 1977 as a Radiation Safety Monitor in the Occupational Health Safety Office. He transferred to the School of Health Professions in April of 1980 and began utilizing teaching experience he obtained at Francis Marion College in Florence, South Carolina, where he taught Physics and Mathematics from 1974-1977. In May 1986, just six short years after joining the faculty, he was honored with the School of Health Professions highest faculty award, the Joseph F. Volker Outstanding Faculty Award. He received the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award in May of 1993 and twice (1995 and 1997) was a finalist for the highest faculty award given by UAB, The Ellen Gregg Ingalls / UAB National Alumni Award.
These faculty awards are a testament to Michael Thompson’s reputation as an outstanding educator. Numerous former students were led to the field of Health Physics through Professor Thompson’s efforts. He continuously promoted the field and would personally hand out application forms to students he thought had any interest in health physics. As a long-time member he would sign off on the applications and personally mail them into the society. Many former students went on from the UAB NMT Program to pursue a Health Physics degree at Georgia Tech with recommendations provided by Professor Thompson.
In addition to being an outstanding educator for the School of Health Professions and promoter of the field of health physics, Professor Thompson created and marketed many educational materials through the years. His Principles of Radiation Protection Video Series has been sold internationally. His most recent undertaking has been educational PowerPoint CD packages which have included topics on nuclear instrumentation, radiologic physics, radioactive decay processes, and radiation protection. In 1994, he led the effort for publication of a text book for radiography entitled “Principles of Imaging Science and Protection” from the W.B. Saunders Company.
Professor Emeritus Michael Thompson was beloved by the many students he taught over his 30 year career and will be remembered for being a kind, gentle, and generous person who gave all he could to his students to help them in the learning process. Being a talented educator and a dedicated professor devoted to life-long learning, he will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate enough to be his students.
In an effort to honor the contributions Professor Thompson made during his career at UAB, the NMT Program will establish a student scholarship in his name as a lasting remembrance of Professor Emeritus Michael Thompson. If you would like to contribute to this fund please send a check to:
Katie Davidson Adams
Director of Development
1530 3rd Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35294-3361
Make check to “UAB SHP” and in the subject line written to the Michael Thompson Scholarship Fund.