Thompson recognized for ‘distinguished service’ by NAGAP


Published July 16, 2015

“The NAGAP award represents the latest and much-deserved recognition of his extraordinary contributions to graduate education at UB and beyond.”
John Ho, vice provost and dean
Graduate School
Mick Thompson.

Mick Thompson accepts the Distinguished Service Award at NAGAP's annual meeting in New Orleans.

Myron A. “Mick” Thompson has held numerous positions across the university during his 48 years at UB.

He served as chief budget, personnel and operations officer in the Office of the Provost for a decade, and for nine years before that was associate dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics — one of three former faculties that merged to become the College of Arts and Sciences. Prior to that, he held leadership posts in enrollment planning and admissions.

But perhaps his most significant and long-lasting contribution to UB has been as associate provost and executive director of the Graduate School, where for 20 years he has helped shape graduate education at the university. His influence extends beyond UB as well, with service to a long list of professional organizations and work as a consultant to more than 40 institutions, both across the U.S. and abroad, assessing the performance and mission of their graduate programs.

In recognition of these contributions, Thompson recently was presented the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals – The Leader in Graduate Enrollment Management (NAGAP) at the organization’s annual conference in New Orleans.

The award, NAGAP’s most prestigious, publicly honors an individual who has contributed significantly to graduate enrollment management and NAGAP, and who is nationally recognized for excellence in graduate education.

NAGAP also gave Thompson honorary life membership in the organization.

John Ho, who is stepping down as vice provost and dean of the Graduate School on Aug. 1, has worked with Thompson for nearly a decade.

“The NAGAP award represents the latest and much-deserved recognition of his extraordinary contributions to graduate education at UB and beyond,” says Ho, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor of Physics.

Among Thompson’s numerous accomplishments, Ho cites several in particular:

  • Thompson serves in a critical role as UB’s principal contact with SUNY system administration and with the New York State Education Department regarding all post-baccalaureate academic programs. 
  • He nurtured development of the Office of Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS) and was instrumental in the introduction of GrAdMIT, UB’s online graduate application system. 
  • He guided the adoption of UB’s electronic dissertation-submission process for all master’s and doctoral programs. 

Ho notes that with his intimate knowledge of the workings of UB and New York State, Thompson also “has provided invaluable advice and assistance to numerous faculty, staff and students on a myriad of issues concerning graduate programs, including grievance and academic integrity cases.” 

In addition to his work on campus, Thompson has been active in various professional organizations related to post-baccalaureate education and has effectively represented UB to many external constituents. That lengthy list includes NAGAP — Thompson has been a member of its Education Committee and on the NAGAP team that developed the most recent edition of the “Essential Guide to Graduate Admissions” published by the National Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) — as well as the CGS, the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS), the National Professional Science Masters Association, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities’ Council on Research Policy and Graduate Education, the European Association for International Education and the Asia-Pacific Association for International Education.

“Receipt of the NAGAP Distinguished Service Award is especially meaningful to me,” Thompson says, “not only because it represents national recognition of my career efforts, but also because it signals the excellence with which graduate education and its management at UB is perceived at the national level.

“And that is particularly gratifying.”

He is quick to praise his “dedicated, loyal and hard-working” colleagues in the Graduate School, the Office of the Vice Provost for International Education and the Office of Graduate Enrollment Management Services. “I owe many colleagues, both at UB and beyond, thanks for their positive influence, friendship and support over the years,” he says.