Students able to nominate star faculty

By Genevieve Adams

It’s so easy, a student should do it.

UK students can nominate great teachers and recognize them for their efforts.

The UK Alumni Association is accepting nominations for its annual Great Teacher Award now through May 6.

Only students can submit nominations, and the faculty member must have been a part of UK faculty for the past three years.

Students are welcome to tell the nomination committee why they think a teacher deserves to be recognized for their superior efforts in education and involving their students.

“I nominated my teacher I had last semester because I feel like teachers don’t get the recognition they deserve,” student nominator Hollis Gargala said. “The person I nominated, I think, went beyond what he needed to and I think sincerely wanted his students to do well and succeed in his class.”

The Alumni Association encourages students to think about a teacher who has impacted them and take the time to fill out a form online to get a teacher recognized.

Jill Smith, associate director for clubs and programs for the Alumni Association, said the award is important because the core of the university is great teaching.

“For teachers to be nominated for their work in the classroom means a lot to them,” Smith said. “It’s another way for students to thank them for what they’ve learned (and) to thank them for the experience they’ve provided in the classroom.”

Robin Boughey, the clubs and programs assistant at the Alumni Association, said the award process takes almost a year.

“We start accepting nominations in the spring for the teachers that will be rewarded in the fall,” Boughey said. “We have a committee that reads over them and ranks them based on the content of the nomination.”

Once selected, the teachers are surprised in their classrooms with balloons and the smiling faces of the students who nominated them.

The Alumni Association also sponsors a the banquet for the teachers they choose from the nominations.

“We host the banquet then, and they’re recognized for their efforts, and they invite family and friends and anyone they want to spend this time with,” Boughey said.

The program brings together the three components of the university: the students who nominate, the teachers being nominated and alumni.

“If my teacher does get nominated, I can’t wait to see his face!” Gargala said. “It’s a big deal and accomplishment to be liked by your students, and all teachers should know that.”

To nominate a teacher, visit the UK Alumni Association’s website.