LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 21, 2023) — 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. Martina Vasil is an associate professor of music education and School of Music interim director of Undergraduate Studies. She teaches undergraduate courses in general music methods and graduate courses in music education research and popular music education.
She is passionate about making music education more accessible and meaningful for all. This shows through her work in popular music education, Orff Schulwerk (an active approach to teaching music), and her service as president of the Association for Popular Music Education. Vasil is invested in graduate student success, conducting research on this topic and advising most students in the master’s and Ph.D. music education programs.
Prior to her appointment at UK, she taught kindergarten through eighth grade general music and instrumental music (band and strings) in Pennsylvania. Since 2018, she has taught children at Lexington Montessori School. Vasil has degrees from West Virginia University and Eastman School of Music.
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