“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.” – Susan Sackett.
“That’s pretty awesome, man.” – Rod Roddenberry, son of the Great Bird of the Galaxy, on my class.
“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.
“I wish classes like [Thompson’s] had been offered when I went to school!” – Marc Cushman, acclaimed author of the superb These Are The Voyages books.
“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
“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.
“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, Acclaimed Teacher and Former U.S. Army Senior Officer, Donald Vandergriff.
“Professor Thompson, while still in his twenties, earned worldwide acclaim for his work on combat motivation in naval forces, and was decorated by the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy in 1993. This is a very impressive accomplishment for someone so young. I note that his highly successful MA thesis Brown Shoes, Black Shoes and Felt Slippers: Parochialism and the Evolution of the Post-War U.S. Navy was published twice, and has been used as a textbook at the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Again, Professor Thompson has proven more than capable of producing leading edge and first class research that is respected in academic and professional circles around the world.” – Acclaimed Author Colonel Douglas Macgregor, 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, PhD, Acclaimed 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.
“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).
“You are a great professor and I wish that you keep teaching and promulgating the amazing ethics of STAR TREK!” – Inna Jung, Kyung Hee University graduate.
“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.
“This is Ivy from the department of French. I’ve just finished my last exam on Star Trek. As I just said, I spent a whole year in your courses. I was very honored to have those because I could learn about JFK and the Star Trek world. When I was preparing for the mid-term exam, I had no idea how to do it. I got a grade which I thought was very poor. However, this time, preparing for it was quite exciting because every episode was interesting. Then, I realized I was becoming a trekkie. When Spock was dead in the film The Wrath of Khan, I was so sad realizing that there’s also an end of those characters. (Spock is my favorite. I know you like Kirk the most as you once mentioned in the class). This is the end of my freshman year and the end of the 2nd semester at Kyung Hee. I actually did finish every English course that I should have. I do not know if I can meet you again in class, but I hope I do have another chance. Thanks a lot for teaching me for a year. Actually, nobody has taught me for a whole year even the professors in my major. I think this is why I’m feeling sad now. Thank you. Live long and prosper.” – Ivy (AKA Her Jung In), Kyung Hee University student.
“Hello, professor! I’m Jung Jin. I wanted to say hello since it’s my last class, but I couldn’t say goodbye because it’s a test. Professor! You worked hard every day during the vacation. Thanks to my professor, I was able to take really good classes. You were kind to me even though I wasn’t good enough. You were considerate of me and understood me. I have never seen such a professor in 4th year. Whenever I fell behind in class, other professors ignored me or scolded me, but you didn’t. Thanks to you, I have developed a passion for studying English. Again, thank you very, very much. And finally, your Kyung Hee University song is so fun! Always be happy!” – Jung Jin Kang, Kyung Hee University student.
“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.