Xavier Thompson smiles and stands in front of a research poster featuring his research

Class of 2024: Xavier Thompson

Xavier Thompson is graduating with a Ph.D. in kinesiology and will launch his career as a member of the faculty at Louisiana State University.

Audrey Breen

Originally from Prince George’s County, Maryland, Xavier Thompson will be graduating with his Ph.D. in kinesiology from the UVA School of Education and Human Development. During his program, Thompson conducted research on ACL reconstruction, as well as concussions.

In addition to his tremendous student scholarship, having published multiple articles in peer-reviewed journals, Thompson was recently recognized for his outstanding achievement as a graduate teaching assistant. This spring, he was honored with one of the University of Virginia’s All-University Graduate Teaching Awards, an award bestowed annually to only ten to twelve graduate students. 

Q. Why did you choose the UVA School of Education & Human Development for your program of study?

The people are what brought me here. The reputation of all the kinesiology faculty members preceded them. So, I knew that everyone at UVA was producing great research and were leaders in the field. 

I originally came to UVA as a research coordinator. Getting to know all of the faculty members and talking to their former students about who they were as people convinced me that this was the place for me.

Q. What is the most significant thing that has shaped your time while you’ve been here?

Mentoring undergraduate and master’s students has really shaped my time here. Seeing the spark in their eyes when they learn something that they are interested in or inspires them reignites my passion for what I do. 

I hope my impact on students will outlive the academic work that I have produced.

Q. What is one thing you learned during your studies that surprised you most?

I think as a graduate student you come in with big ideas of how things are supposed to go, but the biggest lesson for me was that it is ok to be wrong. Your research ideas and preconceived notions are supposed to be challenged. 

My research ideas have evolved so much because of finding the exact opposite of what I expected sometimes.

Q. Do you know what you will be doing next?

I’m excited to share that I will be joining the School of Kinesiology at Louisiana State University as an assistant professor! 

My time at UVA has prepared me well for the opportunity and I am looking forward to it.

Class of 2024 Graduation Profiles

We invite you to get to know a few members of the UVA EHD Class of 2024 as we celebrate the accomplishments of the entire class.

News Information

Media Contact

Audrey Breen

Research Center or Department

  • Kinesiology