Mike Thompson recently celebrated his 30th year as a member of the Rio staff. He has worked in a variety of offices as a member of our support staff, and also taught courses in film, radio and TV production as an adjunct professor for many years.
When did you start working at Rio? July 1988
How did you choose a career at Rio? I had small children and as a single father it was difficult to stay in the 24/7/365 world of broadcasting plus communication engineering jobs are hard to find in this area. This new position opened up at the college in 1988. It has been a position I have been able to shape and make my own through creating opportunities and advancing the department.
Where did you work prior to coming here? WOWK-TV13 and American Forces Network-Europe, Bremerhaven, Germany
What offices have you worked in? Instructional Media Center/Instructional Design & Media Services
What work are you most proud of doing during your time at Rio? Early on I secured an FCClicense for a radio station for the college which the following administration did not follow through on. More recently building a very nice radio/television studio and YouTube channel and the many classrooms that have been installed under my supervision that help faculty teach.
What is your favorite part of your job…and why? The many relationships with students and faculty where I have shared in marriages, births, deaths and the many philosophical conversations we have had.
What’s the part you could really do without? Budget cuts
What is your favorite memory of a student at Rio? There are many ranging from classroom interactions to fraternity events. One was the marathon television program done by Ryan Herron, a cancer survivor, and Brett George when they raised money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
What is your favorite memory of a faculty member at Rio? There are so many and most I shan’t speak of.
What is your favorite memory of another staff member at Rio? Getting married to my favorite librarian on our lunchtime on April Fool’s Day in 1993.
If you could spend the day with any historical figure, living or dead, who would it be?Jesus, because I like a good spiritual discussion. I have always wanted to talk to my German grandfather and my great, great grandfather Thomas Thompson to understand their life experiences.
What is your favorite book: Many books by Dolores Cannon
Favorite artist: Wassily Kandinsky
Favorite musician: Dave Grohl Group: Pink Floyd
Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction and Last of the Mohicans
Favorite food:? Pizza but I like exploring ethnic foods.
If you could move anywhere, where would you go? In the US, either the Smoky or Rocky Mountains. Overseas, Germany or England
Favorite quote: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” Hunter S. Thompson
If you couldn’t have a career in higher education, what would you do for a living? If I could start over I would be an airline pilot.
What are your hobbies (outside your professional activity)? Automobile restoration, motorcycle riding & photography.
Do you share your home with family or pets? My wife, Deb and I are empty nesters. Our three children (Adam, Gretchen & Carie) are in their 30’s and live on their own. We have three dogs, one being my Bernese Mountain Dog, Oliver.
What’s the one thing that most people don’t know about you? I’m a QHHT practitioner.