“Professor Thompson’s course on ‘The Ethics of Star Trek’ is timely and important in today’s troubled world. Gene Roddenberry, with whom I worked for 17 years, always said that many episodes were like little morality plays — they spoke to human rights, equality, the futility of war and much more. Star Trek TOS is more than 50 years old, but it is a brand new thing to most Koreans, and Professor Thompson’s class is truly a pioneering effort to enlighten a new generation.” – Celebrated author and screenwriter Susan Sackett.
“Roger! Happy Birthday! So I understand that you are Korea’s first Star Trek professor? That must have a good story behind it. I wish you well and hope you have a wonderful day!” – Bill Shatner
“That’s pretty awesome, man.” – Rod Roddenberry, son of the Great Bird of the Galaxy, on my class.
“I have read the article [about you in Star Trek: The Official Magazine] and I am impressed. First that you conceived your course based on a series filmed over half a century ago. That’s more than impressive. And it is even more than that for me when I remember the drama and the trauma of my experience filming… You, Professor Thompson, in your Ethics of Star Trek Course, have taken a major step to restore Gene Roddenberry’s vision to its original course… Continue your pioneering, trailblazing undertaking. We praise and thank you and I’m sure Gene Roddenberry is smiling down on you..” – Ralph Senensky, director of six episodes of Star Trek TOS.
“Roger Thompson is boldly going where no Trekfan has gone before. He’s the first professor to teach a Star Trek course in Korea.” – Larry Nemecek, AKA Dr. Star Trek.
“How wonderful. The world certainly needs ethics.” – Gates McFadden, “Dr. Crusher” on Star Trek The Next Generation, on my class.
“ROGER THOMPSON is one of the foremost experts on Star Trek in the world. His class on the ethics of Star Trek and insights into the sociological underpinnings of this unique pop culture staple should be part of any curriculum about this iconic television series.” – Mark A. Altman (author, the bestselling Fifty-Year Mission series from St. Martin’s Press, co-host, Inglorious Treksperts podcast, writer/producer Free Enterprise).
“I think it is wonderful that you are teaching ethics as Star Trek is a perfect vehicle for that subject.” – Denise Okuda, coauthor of The Star Trek Encyclopedia.
“How very interesting to hear about your method of teaching ethics. If I were there, I would definitely enroll in your class. Thanks again for your effort to keep Star Trek alive.” – Sean Kenney, “Fleet Captain Pike” in the Star Trek TOS episode The Menagerie.
“I’m thrilled that the world has a professor — Roger Thompson — who has dedicated himself to teaching the ethics of Star Trek at the university level… not to mention in a country where many (if not most) students have no prior exposure to the Roddenberry universe! The nuances of Star Trek cannot be overstated; and the complexities which exist both within Starfleet — and in the individual cultures and situations in which Kirk et al. routinely find themselves — definitely warrant study and practical application.” – James Kerwin, Director, Star Trek Continues
“I had the honor of interviewing Professor Thompson for my column in the official Star Trek magazine. He not only teaches classes about the philosophy of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek but he’s been receptive to the new insights provided to him by his own students in South Korea. He has inspired them to share their own perspectives on Star Trek. Talk about reaching the next generation. Well done, Professor!” – Mark Phillips, co-author (with Frank Garcia) of the book, Science Fiction Television Series, 1959-1989.
“Despite a near universal following, the original Star Trek TV series is practically unknown in South Korea. In an initiative as pioneering as the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk and his crew of the USS Enterprise, Canadian Professor Roger Thompson is bringing awareness of this classic series to his students at Kyung Hee University, one of South Korea’s leading academic institutions. Whilst the first Star Trek series is a highly entertaining one, what is not always appreciated is the episodes often present complex moral dilemmas that deal with such ethical questions as good and evil, the abuse of power, corruption etc; areas that moral philosophers have struggled with over thousands of years. By devising his course ‘The Ethics of Star Trek’ Professor Thompson has introduced his students to these key ethical dilemmas in an entertaining, instructive and thought provoking way. Roger is ideally suited to teach such a course. As a child he was fascinated by the original series and memorised every episode. He was an avid collector of Star Trek ephemera; he possessed all the models, toys and books related to the first series and he retains his enthusiasm for Star Trek to this day. Not only has the feedback he has obtained from his students been excellent, but he has also received enthusiastic endorsements from many actors and others connected with the Star Trek canon.” – Robert J. Hartnett, MBA MSc FFA FRSA, Senior Teaching Fellow at Edinburgh Business School and Visiting Professor at Oslo University College.
“Professor Thompson, Atticus would approve of you as a civics professor… Keep fighting for civil rights in Korea!” – Mary Badham, the famous actress who played Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird.
“Professor Thompson, may you continue to teach patriotism, loyalty and courage! Aim high!” – Charlie Duke, Apollo 16 Lunar Module Pilot.
“Roger, very happy to read that our show inspired your work.” – The late David Hedison, who played Commander Crane, skipper of the nuclear research submarine Seaview on the cult classic series “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea”.
“Roger Thompson is a man of utmost character and moral courage. He is a highly professional academic where the status-quo is not good enough. This makes a great teacher/professor. His students are very fortunate to have him as their teacher. He strives to make his students better than he was at that point. This is the ultimate goal of Socrates the model teacher and method. Roger has also done great work on the military reform issues, particularly with the U.S. Navy. This takes a man of extreme moral courage, as such efforts ensure that you will not get any work with the U.S. government, as they do not like the academic supported truth. I would be proud to have Roger on my team or teach with him.” – Award-winning author and renowned teacher Donald Vandergriff, MA FRSA, Major, U.S. Army (Ret’d).
“I have known Roger Thompson since 1989 at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia… His work has been widely recognized by the international naval authorities… He is a good team person as well as a skilled analyst. In 37 years as a naval officer and 16 as a research associate at Dalhousie University, I have worked with scores of young persons. I would place him in the top 10 percent.” – The Late Rear-Admiral Fred Crickard, RCN (Ret’d).
“It is easy to find information about Professor Thompson, showing that he is an internationally recognized expert in his field and that his work enjoys the respect of scholars and military professionals around the world… Professor Thompson is without equal… He has the ability to not only see what everyone else has missed, but to explain his reasoning so clearly that his intellectual path and his conclusions are irrefutable… He is not just a wonderful scholar, he is also a good man and I am fortunate to have had the good fortune to know him.”- P. Andrew Karam, Ph.D., respected author of the book Rig Ship for Ultra Quiet.
“I have worked with Professor Roger Thompson at Kyung Hee University Global Campus for several years, and I think he is a remarkable professor. He went to one of Canada’s most famous universities, Dalhousie University, where the standards are very high. He is not like any other foreign professor I know. Not only is he a first class teacher, with excellent student evaluations, but he is also a world class scholar. His books and research papers are respected around the world, and his students certainly benefit from being exposed to his formidable intellect and accomplishments… [He] is a true professor.” – Professor Lee Hyeran, my former supervisor, Kyung Hee University.
“Prof. Roger Thompson was one of the first colleagues I met when I was first employed by Kyung Hee University’s Graduate School of Education in 2008. His unbridled enthusiasm for the subject matter in his Civics lectures is inspiring, and he also endeavors to incorporate those principles into his daily life hence leading by example.” – Professor Sheridene Oersen, Kyung Hee University.
“I have known Roger Thompson for over a decade as a colleague and friend. In the field of academics, Roger demonstrates unique, thoughtful and creative approaches to reaching his audience. An example of this can be observed in the writing style utilized in his book, Lessons Not Learned: The U.S. Navy’s Status Quo Culture. Roger approaches the serious and almost taboo subject of military culture with a masterful use of language and dry wit to draw in his audience and disseminate challenging information in a less threatening manner. Similarly, Roger uses the vehicle of the Star Trek franchise in the classroom to challenge beliefs and further discussion of ethics within the cross-cultural setting of a South Korean university course taught by a Western professor. Roger is contemplative and thrives in environments where ideas and beliefs can be challenged and debated. Passionately opinionated, Roger has proven he can support his opinions with facts and has the open-mindedness to respect contrary opinions and even be persuaded in changing his own when presented with well reasoned, logical argument. I would suggest Roger’s greatest works and contribution to humanity have yet to be produced and enthusiastically await what is to come.” – S. Muncaster
“Roger Thompson was enrolled in a number of courses I taught in the Radio and Television Broadcasting program at Kingstec Community College in Kentville, Nova Scotia. Roger was an above average student who had a firm grasp of the political and social landscape of the day. His writing and analytical skills were strong and his work ethic exemplary. I have enjoyed keeping in touch with now Professor Thompson on social media and watching as his teaching career continues to unfold in South Korea.” – Graham MacDermott, Principal, Nova Scotia Community College (retired).
“Prof. Thompson’s class is one of the best classes I’ve ever taken in college! I didn’t know what Star Trek was until I took this class because Star Trek is not that popular in Korea. But after taking this class, I almost became a TREKKIE. I fell in love with Star Trek not just because it was fun. Professor Thompson pointed out what ethical considerations can be learned from each episode and provided related materials. Also, the assignments were interesting topics that I didn’t usually think about. Above all, I felt that Professor Thompson cared about and loved Star Trek so much, and it made me think that Star Trek was more attractive. Now I recommend Star Trek not only to my family but also to my acquaintances. Thank you, Captain Thompson!” – Lee Jiwon, Kyung Hee University student.
“Professor Thompson taught me most of the things I know about being ethical and he helped me exploit the logical part of me, which has enabled me to advance in my career. Professor Thompson is a very intelligent, understanding, and funny person. I can testify that he is very good at what he does.” – Courage Fidelis Usanaga, Kyung Hee University graduate from Nigeria.
“Prof. Thompson’s classes and his teaching style showcase at first a person dedicated to the betterment of society, someone who truly hopes that through his courses the students will become strong pillars of their community. It is, however, the manner in which he uses popular culture to send these ideas across and to generate conversation that makes both him and his classes unforgettable. He understands that in order for young students to want to learn about civics and ethics, a fresh approach is needed, and he delivers through his extensive knowledge, his passion and his openness. As one of his former students, I can only be grateful for his contribution to my education, and his guidance during my undergraduate studies and after.” – Andreea Petrescu, Kyung Hee University graduate from Romania.
“I took this civic education class back in 2013 when it was brand new. Professor Roger Thompson makes the class interesting and guides the students through civics with his enthusiasm and knowledge. I especially liked how the class focused on in-class discussion, teamwork.” – Ingrid J. Brynildsen, Kyung Hee University graduate from Norway.
“Professor Roger Thompson’s civics class at Kyung Hee university was a great experience. With his extensive knowledge of John F. Kennedy as well as his enthusiasm towards making the world a better place, Professor Thompson motivates students to become the best versions of themselves and good citizens to cause positive global change. As a personal favorite class of mine, there was a well balanced amount of both academic knowledge but also of relatable and applicable skills. I would highly recommend this class to anyone as it was a really enjoyable experience that I have reaped benefit from to this day.” – Lauren Leblanc, former Kyung Hee University student from Canada.
“Star Trek has been loved since its first airing in the 1960s. It has been so popular for its timeless philosophy, music, culture, science and humor. This class is fun and educational. It is the only Star Trek class in Korea where you can easily understand culture and philosophy and rethink your moral values. Roger Thompson, a Star Trek expert who has also been featured in the Official Star Trek Magazine, is the best professor to teach this course.” – “Tex” Jeon, Kyung Hee University student.
“Teaching is a noble profession and no one does it with more class, devotion and dignity than Professor Thompson. I know because I took both of his classes: the civic education class and the ethics class linked to Star Trek. But these words are just labels used to identify his classes. Otherwise it’s impossible to describe what Professor Thompson teaches just in a few words. And what he gives his students has an invaluable importance for the well-being of any society and its members. The professor, through the words of the 35th president of the United States of America, John F. Kennedy, transmits to his students the values that are required to be not only a good citizen but a wonderful person as well. Among the values I was lucky to learn are patriotism, honesty, integrity, and good faith. I remember something he said that will stick with me forever: ‘You young people are very fortunate to get into a good university and after graduation it’s your duty to help the less fortunate to the best of your abilities.’ Since then I started rethinking my future projects to include more people whom I could help.” – Boubacar Bah, Kyung Hee University student from Mali.
“I recommend Mr. Thompson’s civic education class, I took it in the 2nd semester of 2018 and really enjoyed the class. Students don’t just memorize and spit out the information on a test, but can actually take the material outside of the class and apply it to their everyday life. Students also learn how to be more interactive with society such as donating food or blood to worthy causes, as well as learning about the Peace Corps and about many everyday heroic people that can inspire them to make a difference and participate within their communities. I believe Mr. Thompson has a strong passion for teaching and that he really cares about the material and topics discussed in class. The class is also discussion-based in which Mr. Thompson encourages participation from all his students, so that the students can learn from each other about different perspectives on societies in South Korea and also other countries as well. Overall, I encourage any student to take Mr. Thompson’s civics class.” – Nikki Muggli, Kyung Hee University student from the USA.
“Last semester I had the opportunity to take the Global Citizen class with Professor Thompson. I think the class is well created to teach students about citizenship through studying President Kennedy’s life. I really enjoyed the class and the activities we conducted. I also was inspired by Professor Thompson to be a better citizen everyday and to share what I learned. Now I’m volunteering in a local hospital in order to serve my country. If you are thinking about taking this class, don’t hesitate, you will enjoy it.” – Sara Martinez Escobar, Kyung Hee University exchange student from Columbia.
“Professor Thompson’s civics class focused on discussing what could be considered as core values in the meaning of citizenship such as truthfulness, courage, patriotism, honesty and so on. Students could learn through discussing steps taken by exemplary people, given by the professor – both real, historical cases and some fictional cases- and proposed by the students themselves. As Professor Thompson’s prime example was former US president JFK, I found it interesting that theoretical values discussed could be combined with learning from occurrences of the somewhat recent past. If a student is interested in learning civics through experience and also finds discussing history appealing, I would definitely recommend Professor Thompson’s civics course.” – Gyeong-Ik Min, Kyung Hee University graduate.
“Professor Roger Thompson has helped me communicate comfortably and freely. Even though I sometimes used the wrong expression in English, the professor always listened to my opinion. So I was able to be courageous enough to present and communicate more actively in class. I was happy to know about the civic awareness in the United States, not the contents of these classes that are frequently encountered in Korea. After taking Professor Thompson’s “Citizen Education” class, I was able to understand that the civic spirit was important in the United States and what the history of the United States was like. This helped me grow up to be an intellectual who combines freedom, peace and noblesse oblige. Likewise, Professor Thompson’s class was satisfactory to me both in terms of teaching style and in terms of content. I was very happy to take such a good class with him. I really want to say thank you to the professor!” – Kim Na-yeon, Kyung Hee University student.