Making a difference in the lives of people at the Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopment at the University of Missouri

Awareness

How is autism diagnosed?

How is autism diagnosed?

Autism is a spectrum with a wide range of…

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Read the latest Thompson Center research

Read the latest Thompson Center research

Individuals often begin to drink alcohol during adolescence and…

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How we talk about autism
A picture of Dr. Jennifer Sykes is shown. Dr. Sykes is a black woman who is wearing glasses. She is smiling and looking at the camera. Text says how we talk about autism featuring an interview with Dr. Jennifer Sykes, Thompson Center Psychologist. Supporting the Spectrum, a podcast by the Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopment.

How we talk about autism

Dr. Jennifer Sykes discusses the language we use when…

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Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day!

“Happy Father’s Day! We salute all of the autism…

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Cubing competition raises funds and awareness
Two boys sit inside at a table. One is solving a Rubik's cube and the other is watching him, serving as a judge. There is a large stopwatch attached to the table that shows the cuber's time.

Cubing competition raises funds and awareness

We had a great time at Cubing for Autism…

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May is Better Hearing & Speech Month

May is Better Hearing & Speech Month

Early signs of language disorders and early signs of…

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GET THE LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES FROM THE THOMPSON FOUNDATION

Myles Hinkel

Executive Director

Myles Hinkel began as Executive Director in June 2020. Myles leads the foundation’s three-pillar mission; fundraising, awareness, and advancing public policy. Prior to this, Myles was Director of Advancement for Gift Planning & Regional covering the West Coast for The University of Missouri. This was Myles’ second time with MU Advancement. He previously worked in the College of Arts & Science before taking advancement positions at Columbia College and the Missouri United Methodist Foundation. Myles, his wife Lora, and their two boys have been involved in the Thompson Center and the Thompson Foundation since their inceptions.

Katie Lynn

Director of Donor Relations

Katie Lynn oversees donor stewardship and marketing for the Thompson Foundation for Autism & Neurodevelopment. Prior to joining the Thompson Foundation in 2020, she worked for Major League Baseball’s nonprofit, the Baseball Assistance Team. Originally from Quincy, Illinois, Katie is a graduate of Tulane University and has also lived in Louisiana, Florida, New York, and now Missouri. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, singing, and playing violin.

Melissa Eston

Office Manager

Melissa Eston began her role as Office Manager in August of 2022. In her role, Melissa receives and processes donations, assists in event planning, and manages accounts receivable and payable. Melissa most recently worked in Healthcare Advancement at the University of Missouri. Prior to that, she worked as a Senior Strategic Communications associate in University Relations at the University of Missouri System. Her first experience working with non-profits was at Columbia College, where she served as a Coordinator for the Advancement division. Melissa is a Columbia College graduate with a BA in History. She lives with her husband, Chris, in Columbia. Melissa’s favorite part of working at the Thompson Foundation is seeing the tangible, positive impact its advocacy work has on the Thompson Center and the families it serves.

GET THE LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES FROM THE THOMPSON FOUNDATION

Sam Hayes

Director of Development

Sam Hayes joined the Thompson Foundation in December of 2023. During his previous six years with the University of Missouri, Sam raised over $6 million in philanthropic support for many areas across campus, including healthcare, the School of Journalism, Marching Mizzou, campus-wide scholarships, and the College of Arts & Science. Sam has a Bachelor’s in Parks and Recreation from Mizzou. Sam is honored to serve the Thompson Foundation, which has helped many people. He lives in Columbia, where he likes to hike with his wife, Samantha, their two sons, John and Teddy, and their chihuahua Louie.