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2015 Diamond Alum: Carmen Thompson, PCC History instructor

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Carmen Thompson.

Carmen Thompson.

Carmen Thompson of Northeast Portland is a PCC history instructor at the Sylvania Campus who teaches the classes “African-American History” and “Race and Racism.” She began her educational career at PCC and went on to get her master’s degree in African-American Studies from Columbia University and a doctorate in U.S. History from the University of Illinois. Her research interests include the history of slavery and the slave trade in early America and pre-colonial West Africa, early African American history, race and racism in America, and the Great Migration.

“I am honored to be named a PCC Diamond and to be included in such august company,” Thompson said. “(The opportunity to attend PCC) showed me what was possible through hard work and perseverance regardless of where you begin your journey, and that there are support systems there to assist you if you are willing to reach out and be reached.”

Thompson said she is committed to student success and completion, particularly in underserved and underrepresented communities. She has been the faculty advisor for the Multicultural Center’s student-led research project on campus climate and the chair of the History Focus Award committee. In addition, she is co-founder and co-chair of the college’s Dual Credit Program’s History Summit. For her efforts, Thompson was given the 2014 Social Justice Comrade Award by the Sylvania Multicultural Center.

“Work hard, dream big, and never give up no matter what,” she said of her advice to current students. “Have a vision for your life and pursue it feverishly. Use your education to answer the questions you have about the world.”

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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Sorry, but the comments have been closed. If you see something that doesn't belong, please click the x and report it.

x by Feature: College unveils its five Diamond Alumni for 2015 | PCC News 2 years ago

[…] Carmen’s Story: […]

x by Charissa 2 years ago


I had no idea that Sylvania had an African American studies program, let alone an African American instructor.

PCC’s curriculum has grown so much since I began taking classes there in the mid 90s. Not only are you still affordable, you have made Community College seem more like a University.

x by Charissa 2 years ago

Professor Thompson, I will see you next quarter.


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