After 23 years, the Department of English will be saying goodbye to Professor Debby Thompson. Dr. Thompson has taught courses in modern drama, literary criticism, and creative nonfiction. Her works centers on the problem of identity, which she has infused into the teaching of both graduate and undergraduate courses. Over her career at CSU, Dr. Thompson has published in both of her fields. She has published scholarly essays in some of the best journals for literary criticism, delivered over 30 conference papers, and won several awards and accolades for her own creative nonfiction. Her first collection of nonfiction essays won the competitive Nonfiction Award from the well-respected Red Hen Press in 2020, and she has two more collections forthcoming in 2021. Most of her essays have received national recognition, winning 6 essay contests hosted by literary journals, a prestigious Pushcart Prize and 8 more Pushcart nominations, and a “notable” designation in 5 annual volumes of Best American Essays
Dr. Thompson was also instrumental in designing the MA in Creative Nonfiction. As interest grew, the MFA program incorporated Creative Nonfiction into the MFA as the third genre. Creative Nonfiction studies grew through Dr. Thompson’s dedication and passion. Through her work with undergrads and grads alike, Dr. Thompson has helped to provide space for students to put their own experiences onto the page through essays, memoirs, and other creative nonfiction. Dr. Thompson’s insight and talent have helped many students discover the power of their voices. Professor Thompson was awarded emerita status in 2021 for her career achievements.
Although she will be dearly missed, we are so excited for this next chapter in Debby Thompson’s life and wish her all the best!