Paula Thomson has been a dedicated educator, psychologist, choreographer, dancer and movement coach for 25 years. The California State University, Northridge kinesiology professor has impacted her discipline through her research and changed her students’ lives.
That dedication was rewarded Aug. 20 by Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander, who honored Thomson with a resolution for being named one of the top female professors in California by StateStats.org.
“It is an honor to recognize not only a great educator, but a true community advocate,” said Englander, who presented the resolution to Thomson. “In addition to her academic achievements, she is a member of Give an Hour and has provided pro bono psychological services to veterans and homeless patients in Los Angeles since 1997.”
Thomson, who has been at CSUN for seven years, has taught and/or choreographed at the Juilliard School of Music, Stratford Shakespearean Festival and Canadian Opera Company. She is an active researcher in the field of psychophysiology. Her research has focused on the field of creativity and the relationship to dissociation, trauma, attachment and psychophysiology in performing artists, athletes and patients.
“This (CSUN) is where my love for the arts converged with my scientific curiosity,” said Thomson, a resident of Studio City. Thomson said kinesiology professor Victoria Jaque, her research colleague, has guided her “into the world of scientific research.”
“Together we tackle the questions of stress and resilience, in particular, how do performing artists, athletes and individuals with functional disorders handle stress, both psychologically and physiologically,” Thomson said.
She said she was “deeply honored and grateful” to receive the recognition from the city council.
StateStats.org is a nonprofit organization that builds free, open source tools with the goal of increasing accessibility to education and information through the use of new technologies.
StateStats.org representatives said the list is designed to highlight post-secondary educators who have been recognized recently for excellence in the classroom, on campus, and/or in the community.