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Making Higher Education Matter to Kentucky

E. Britt Brockman, M.D. Senate Chamber, Gatton Student Center
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s):
Dr. Aaron Thompson

The Department of Sociology and the UK Appalachian Center & Appalachian Studies Program are thrilled to host Dr. Aaron Thompson, graduate of the UK Department of Sociology and President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Dr. Thompson will be giving a public lecture entitled "Making Higher Education Matter to Kentucky"  at the E. Britt Brockman, M.D. Senate Chamber, in the Gatton Student Center at 2:30 pm on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022. From his start as a low-income minority youth in rural Clay County to Council on Postsecondary Education President, Dr. Aaron Thompson will share his story about the transformative power of higher education. Thompson will also speak about how his passions for closing opportunity gaps and increasing the value of higher education have influenced the state’s new strategic agenda for postsecondary education. 

If you would like to join virtually, please see the Zoom webinar registration information below.

Also join us also for a special coffee hour earlier in the day featuring Dr. Thompson at 10:00AM at the Appalachian Center or virtually, via Zoom.

Additionally, graduate students are invited to join Dr. Thompson for lunch in the Gatton Student Center, Room 331 at 12:00 noon. Students should RSVP to Justin Conder at

About Dr. Thompson

Dr. Aaron Thompson is a passionate advocate for higher education. As a first-generation college student from rural Clay County, Kentucky, he experienced first-hand the transformative power of a college credential. As President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, he works to ensure all Kentuckians have an equal opportunity to improve their lives through postsecondary education. Before taking the helm of CPE, Thompson served as interim president of Kentucky State University and as executive vice president, provost, and faculty member at Eastern Kentucky University. He has extensive leadership experience within the private and non-profit sectors and is a highly sought-after national speaker. Thompson has authored numerous books on diversity, cultural competence, first-year experience programs, retention and student success. 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 sociology from the University of Kentucky, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Eastern Kentucky University.