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Gerald Smith

He was a young preacher at a Pennsylvania seminary who saw wrongs. Gerald Smith, Sermons of the Dreamer. More...

Dr. David J. Moliterno

UK College of Medicine Division of Cardiology chief Dr. David J. Moliterno is committed to providing world-class care for the Commonwealth. More...

Kim Edwards

UK writing professor Kim Edwards' first novel, "The Memory Keeper's Daughter," has been chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers title. More...

UK Great Teachers

The UK Alumni Association began recognizing UK's outstanding teachers in 1961. Six professors received the honor this past spring. More...

A Knack for Teaching

Picture of UK Great Teachers

An art student is befuddled, but Ross Zirkle does not tell him what to do.

Instead, Zirkle chats with the student, occasionally asking a question, prodding the student for the vision he's seeking for the drawing or print he is making.

"(Zirkle) allows the student to find his own answer, one that is best suited for him individually," states a letter by the Studio Major Student Council in the University of Kentucky College of Fine Artss Department of Art.

The letter was the nomination that led to assistant professor Zirkle's selection by the UK Alumni Association for its annual Great Teacher Award. Zirkle was one of six professors to receive the honor this past spring.

The Alumni Association began recognizing UK's outstanding teachers in 1961. Students make the nominatio ns, with winners selected by the UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Awards Committee in cooperation with student organizations Omicron Delta Kappa and Mortar Board.

Others honored for 2006 are:

  • Kinesiology and health promotion associate professor Jody Clasey, College of Education, praised by her nominator for her "warm personality and depth of knowledge (that) combine to create an atmosphere that welcomes class participation. She acknowledges all questions, even those conveyed by body language, with a comprehensive answer and follow-up questions to ensure that the student as well as the rest of the class has a complete understanding of the material."
  • History associate professor Dan Rowland, College of Arts and Sciences, and director of the Gaines Center for the Humanities. Rowland's nominator cited his range of knowledge: "Rowland's expertise is certainly not confined to history or historical preservation. He is, in the truest sense, a Johannes factotum – a modern renaissance man. His knowledge of music, ritual, philosophy, linguistics, literature and countless other fields enriches the people around him every day."
  • Biochemistry professor Sidney W. Whiteheart, College of Medicine, whose nominator said he "was able to instigate active discussions which included everyone, even the most shy… (He is) always approachable and willing to help students develop their research skills, too."
  • Pediatric dentistry professor John Mink, College of Dentistry. Mink uses "lots of visuals, along with written information and examples. He also teaches by using hands-on activities. In clinic, Dr. Mink is excellent at telling students what needs to be done and why, but he will not do anything for the students so they learn by doing," reported his nominator.
  • Landscape architecture assistant professor Barry Kew, College of Agriculture, who "create(s) a well-rounded and engaging learning environment… Using a multi-faceted approach to teaching allows students to fully understand concepts and the ramifications associated with design choices. Barry's enthusiasm and range of teaching methods allow him to adapt his teaching style to better fit each group of students he teaches," his nominator said.

The UK Alumni Association will be soliciting nominations for the 2007 Great Teacher Awards from students Oct. 9 - Nov. 17.

For more information visit:
UK Alumni Association
Great Teacher Awards
Previous recipients

Text Only.    © 2006 University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506.    © An Equal Opportunity University
Site content: Office of the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs    Site maintenance: Academic Technology Group    Last updated: 10/26/10.