Wagoner has worked since January 2009 as a supplemental instruction leader and tutor for REACH, providing study sessions, exam reviews and tutoring to students enrolled in Biology 240, “Unity of Life.”

Recently, Wagoner traveled to San Diego to receive the College Reading and Learning Association’s 2011 Outstanding Tutor of the Year award at the association’s annual conference.

“This award means a great deal to me because it feels like a recognition of all the time and effort I’ve put in to tutoring over the years,” Wagoner said. “I’ve had a lot of students tell me thank you, and helping them to succeed has always made this job more than worth it, but to be acknowledged and appreciated by my peers like this has been incredible.”

Besides working directly with students, Wagoner also played a key part in creating a Blackboard organization for posting weekly study materials and developed training materials for REACH to use to improve online tutoring.

“REACH is very proud of Thomas,” said Cathy Leist, REACH executive director.  “This national award not only recognizes Thomas as an outstanding student himself, but also recognizes the outstanding contribution that Thomas has made to the university as a peer tutor and SI study session leader. For REACH, this award given by the national professional organization which certifies our training programs, CRLA, confirms that REACH is providing peer training that meets the ‘best practice’ standards for its student employees.”

Wagoner is a University Honors student and will graduate Magna Cum Laude. While at UofL he has worked with professor Joe Steffen on cellular/ physiological research. He also is a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED), Mortar Board, Golden Key and the National Society of Collegiate Honors. He has been active with the planning and conducting of charity fundraising events with Phi Delta Epsilon, the pre-medical fraternity.

In addition to being a student, he is a senior airman with the Kentucky Air National Guard and has been deployed twice while enrolled at UofL: in 2008 to assist disaster relief in Eastern Kentucky during an ice storm and in 2010 to Haiti following the earthquake. He will graduate in spring 2012, and has been admitted to the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, which he plans to attend in fall 2012.