About Broader Impacts in Research (BIR) Staff & External Members


Michael Thompson, PhD aka "The Broader Impacts Guy"

Michael Thompson is on the senior staff of the Vice President for Research and the Founding Director of the Broader Impacts in Research (BIR) organization at the University of Oklahoma. BIR was formally established on December 31st, 2013. The Broader Impacts in Research organization serves as a point of contact at the University of Oklahoma to institutionalize a Broader Impacts culture as well as gain knowledge and get help in developing, implementing, and evaluating high quality Broader Impact programs and portfolios for and beyond Agency and NSF Criterion. This is done by helping faculty and other investigators link their research, teaching, and public service to transformational outcomes that are relevant to individuals, diverse communities, and society at-large.  Through the development of higher quality broader impacts, higher quality broader impacts programs, higher quality broader impacts portfolios, and BI identity, BIR is able to help all faculty be more impactful in every aspect of their professional careers.

In this position Dr. Thompson also advocates for the Scholarship of Broader Impacts (SoBI) as well as conducts research in broader impacts. Which allows his organization to model, develop, implement, and evaluate broader impacts by coming up with answers to questions like - (1) what does broader impacts look like on a university, local, regional, global, and international scale and (2) how can you create and implement meaningful faculty professional development that helps faculty to be more impactful and successful in every aspect of their professional careers? Dr. Thompson blogs on many of these (SoBI) concepts which include: NSF broader impacts; conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of broader impacts; and a global understanding of broader impacts as well as his thoughts in general on the broader impacts movement. For more information on his blog visit, http://thebroaderimpactsguy.com/blog/. In 2015, Dr. Thompson also served on the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI) Working Group, which developed the Broader Impacts Guiding Principles and Questions for National Science Foundation Proposals.

Dr. Thompson has taught Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Physical Science and developed and taught Science and Engineering Learning Community Service-Learning courses. He has taught high school Chemistry and Physics, participated on Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) education committees to develop state education science standards, spent time as a private biochemical consultant for a company, opened a company, facilitated workshops on culture and diversity, and has worked with the Engineering Projects in Community Service-Learning (EPICS) University program. He was also one of the first individuals who established the EPICS high school program where he helped to develop and write curriculum, conduct workshops, perform site-visits, develop and implement EPICS high school research agendas, and strategically develop, implement, and analyze all of the evaluation and assessment protocols and received data. The EPICS high school program is now in many states across the nation.

Michael Thompson obtained a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from Saint Joseph’s College of Indiana. He received his MS in Biochemistry and a PhD in Chemistry from Purdue University. Dr. Thompson's research involved manipulation of sinapoylated compounds and genetic sequences in the sinapate ester biosynthetic pathway and on Chemistry Education and aspects of Engineering Education during the completion of his PhD. Prior to joining the University of Oklahoma (OU) he was the Education and Outreach Coordinator for Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), Institute of Environmental Health (IEH), and the NSF Science and Technology Center (STC) for Coastal Margin Observation & Prediction (CMOP). During that time, he worked with industry, faculty, nonprofits, and students, connecting them at many levels and in many ways to help them complete their broader impacts.

Contact Information:

Michael Thompson, PhD
Director of Broader Impacts in Research (BIR)
Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR)
Affiliate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Oklahoma (OU)
201 Stephenson Parkway., Ste. 3207
Norman, Oklahoma 73019
Phone: 405-325-5484
Fax: 405-325-6029
Email: mthompsonvpr1120@ou.edu


Tomisha Riddle, AAS (Choctaw, Creek)

Tomisha is the Digital Specialist for the Broader Impacts in Research (BIR) organization for the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) at the University of Oklahoma (OU). As the BIR Digital Specialist, she helps the university’s faculty create and design a digital identity.  The responsibilities that reside with being a Digital Specialist are: designing and conceptualizing websites, uploading and managing content, troubleshooting any problems with OU’s online website builder “Create”, hosting workshops, creating and animating illustrations, marketing, and editing videos.

Her love of digital creating flourished in 2011 while attending Tulsa Technology Center (TTC). As an exceptional student Tomisha graduated at the top of her class. Her achievements include: receiving The Most Excellent Student of the Year award, being a member of Skills USA and The National Technical Honor Society. Her certifications as an editor, production assistant and producer prepared her for the next stage of her life, college.

After graduating TTC she attended Tulsa Community College (TCC) from 2012 to 2015. She began working for TCC while earning a digital media specialist degree. This included TCC’s radio station “The Grid”, and the T.V. station “Channel 21”, where she was responsible for floor managing and editing videos.

Because of her love of filmmaking Tomisha worked with Ed Taylor, former TCC professor, and a team of others to create the documentary “Tulsa: Finding 66”. This documentary sought to discover the significance Tulsa had in the creation of Route 66. Tomisha and the rest of the documentary team received the State Historic Preservation Officer’s Citation of Merit. In addition, they received an award from the Oklahoma chapter of The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).

Hired by the Choctaw Nation in 2015, she developed a video series with Next Thought and The South Central Climate Science Center (SCCSC). Next Thought creates videos for OU’s online social learning environment JANUX. There she was a production assistant and a video editor. Besides helping with video, she also worked as a web content manager for the SCCSC. The SCCSC is part of a collection of Climate Science Center providing tools and resources like climate change, wildlife preservation and land preservation

Between 2013-2016, Tomisha has won Tulsa’s Living Arts 24hr Video Race, a competition where filmmakers create an original film in 24 hours. To challenge the filmmakers, the theme, line of dialogue, and prop are revealed at the stroke of midnight. Her latest win entered her into the Tulsa American Film festival.

Tomisha has worked on a feature film and several short films.  She is developing three short films. These films will be shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Guthrie, Oklahoma; and London, England. Currently, she is attending The Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Oklahoma for Creative Media Production.

Contact Information:

Tomisha Riddle, AAP
Broader Impacts in Research (BIR) Digital Specialist
Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR)
University of Oklahoma (OU)
201 Stephenson Parkway., Ste. 3200.6
Norman, Oklahoma 73019
Phone: 405-325-5484
Fax: 405-325-6029
Email: Tomisha.Riddle-1@ou.edu

External Members

Dr. Kirsten (Kiki) Sanford

Dr. Kiki is dedicated to making science accessible. She is recognized as one of the top science media personalities in the nation and is a specialist in learning and memory. Dr. Kiki obtained her doctorate in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology with an emphasis in Neurobiology and a Bachelors of Science degree in Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology from the University of California, Davis. She has worked for OnNetworks, Revision3, TWiT.TV, The Video Project, Discovery Communications and The Science Channel, and has appeared on CBS’s The Doctors. With over a decade of multi-media communications and production experience, she founded Broader Impacts Productions, a boutique production company specializing in science storytelling, distribution, and impact analysis.



Mr. Nick Lafave

With 18 years of teaching at the middle and high school levels, Nick is an Apple Distinguished Educator, a National Board Certified Teacher, a PolarTREC teacher, and an Educational Technology consultant and speaker. Nick’s experience in education has shown him that it is not enough for students to simply read about science—they need to conduct actual scientific research. In an effort to give all students real connections to science, Nick founded Make Broader Impacts http://www.makebroaderimpacts.org/, an organization that connects students and teachers to scientists and researchers.