Meet Our Alumni
BA Liberal Arts, Class of ‘90
Van Thompson, Ph.D.
BY ELENA ROMERO
Carlyle Van Thompson, Ph.D., has come a long way since his days as a train operator for the New York City Transit Authority. Nearly two decades and four degrees later, Dr. Thompson is now an accomplished writer, editor, mentor, and educator.
Starting his academic track at CWE in 1986, Dr. Thompson graduated in 1990 and went triple Ivy, earning his Master of Arts, Master of Philosophy and Ph.D. from the prestigious Columbia University. “At CWE I learned how to learn and manage my time,” says Dr. Thompson. “I developed good relationships with the staff and faculty who were always willing to go the extra mile to help me achieve my goals.”
According to Dr. Thompson, CWE provided a solid foundation in both African-American and American literature in addition to a number of great speech courses. “CWE is a place to achieve your educational dreams, especially if you are a worker,” he states. “Here you come study in a relaxed atmosphere with great faculty and staff.”
Dr. Thompson is currently an associate professor at Medgar Evers College where he teaches students to analyze and write about literature. In addition, he performs academic advisement and mentoring to students. Along with teaching hermeneutic writing, African American literature from the slave narratives to the present and American literature from the colonial period to the present are his areas of concentration.
Honors and Scholarly Awards:
• Valedictorian Class of 1990--Summa Cum Laude (GPA: 4.0)
• The Tragic Black Buck: Racial Masquerading in the American Literary Imagination. New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc. 2004.