School of Education Distinguished Alumni Award (2005)
School of Education
Ph.D. 1971


Dr. Sivasailam "Thiagi" Thiagarajan is the "Resident Mad Scientist" at The Thiagi Group, an organization aimed at helping people improve their performance effectively in an entertaining manner. The organization's long-term clients include AT&T, Arthur Andersen, Bank of Montreal, Cadence Design Systems, Chevron, IBM, Intel, Intelsat, United Airlines, and Liberty Mutual. In addition, Thiagaraian has worked with more than fifty different organizations in high-tech, financial services, and management consulting areas using training in specific areas such as rightsizing, diversity, creativity, teamwork, customer satisfaction, human performance technology, and organizational learning.

A 1971 Ph.D. graduate from Indiana University, Thiagaraian has contributed greatly to his field. He has published 40 books, 120 games and simulations, and more than 200 articles, including chapters on simulations and games for ISPI's Handbook of Human Performance Technology, ASTD's Training & Development Handbook, and the American Management Association's Human Resources Management and Development Handbook. Currently, he writes a monthly online newsletter, "Thiagi GameLetter", which features his training games and other creative interventions that deliver results quickly and effectively. Thiagaraian has served as the editor of NSPI Journal and Performance & Improvement for more than 10 years and also edits the simulation/game section in Sage Publication's journal, Simulation & Gaming. Previously, Thiagaraian has been the president of the North American Simulation and Gaming Associating (NASAGA), International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), and Association for Special Education Technology (ASET). He has won 17 different awards and Presidential Citations from ISPI, including the society's highest award, Honorary Life Member. He also received an Honorary Life Member award from NASAGA as well as its highest award, Ifill-Raynolds Award. IU awarded him the School of Education Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005.