LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 21, 2022) — The University of Kentucky Alumni Association started the Great Teacher Award program in 1961 to honor excellent teaching at the university. There have been more than 300 teachers honored since that first year. Nominations may only be submitted by current students.
To receive the award, a candidate must:
- Hold the rank of full-time lecturer or above and have been a member of the faculty for the past three years at UK.
- Have superior knowledge of the subject matter.
- Have original and innovative classroom presentations.
- Demonstrate concern for students, both inside and outside the classroom setting.
- Not have been a recipient of the award for the past 10 years.
A committee of the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors and a representative from the student organization Omicron Delta Kappa select the recipients based on objective rating and ranking of the eligible nominations submitted.
This episode of "Behind the Blue" spotlights one of the six 2023 Great Teacher Award winners. Kenton Sena is a lecturer in the Lewis Honors College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in literature from Asbury University, and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. His thesis research focused on forest restoration on reclaimed surface mines in Appalachia.
He received his Ph.D. in integrated plant and soil science (forest science emphasis), focusing on improving methods for detection and characterizing the distribution of a nonnative pathogen (Phytophthora cinnamomi) that causes disease in the American chestnut. He has published papers in journals such as Forests, Ecological Restoration, Science of the Total Environment, and Forest Ecology and Management.
His teaching and research interests include forest restoration ecology, environmental science, and literature of the environment. His service program engages students in environmentally relevant projects in Lexington and across the Commonwealth.
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