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Dr. Thelma B. Thompson is the President of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Maryland, a role she has held since July 2002. A native of Jamaica, Dr. Thompson earned a diploma in teacher education from Bethlehem Teachers College in Jamaica. Her family moved to the Washington area in the 1960s. She later earned her Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) in 1970, Master of Arts Degree in English in 1972, and her Doctoral Degree in English literature in 1978, all at Howard University.

Dr. Thompson has taught at all levels of education (from elementary to graduate school) since beginning her professional teaching career in 1960 in Jamaica. In the 1970ís, she taught English and literature at Howard University, the City University of New York, and Bowie State University. Dr. Thompson began her 11-year service to the University of District of Columbia in 1979 working in various capacities, including Director of Freshman English, Assistant Chairperson in the Department of English, and, ultimately Associate Dean and Professor in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. From 1990-1998, Dr. Thompson was Dean of the School of Arts & Letters at Norfolk State University. She later served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Norfolk State from 1998-2002 before becoming President of University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The Modem Language Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, Phi Beta Kappa and the African-American Writers' Guild are among her many professional associations. She is the former national president of the College Language Association and a co-founder of the Caribbean Studies Association. Dr. Thompson also has served as co-chair of a Southern Association of Schools and Colleges leadership task force for redesigning the accreditation guidelines for a number of southern institutions.

She is the author of dozens of essays, journal articles and editorials, most addressing issues in education. Her book The Seventeenth Century English Hymn: A Mode for Sacred and Secular Concerns was published in 1988.She wrote the poem "Centurion," which appears in the 2002 Critical Essays on W.E.B. Dubois' The Souls of Black Folk. Dr. Thompson has been the recipient of several scholastic honors and awards, including: election to Phi Beta Kappa; Outstanding Alumni of the Year from Bethlehem Teacherís College; and a special award from the University of the District of Columbia for promoting understanding between peoples of different cultures.