Campus News

'Behind the Blue': 2023 Great Teachers Spotlight — Derek Lane

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play and Spotify.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 27, 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. Derek R. Lane is a professor in the Department of Communication. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma and undergraduate degrees from Eastern Wyoming College, Chadron State College, and the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He has been a faculty member at UK since 1996.

In addition to teaching more than 30 different graduate and undergraduate courses, he has held administrative positions as associate dean for graduate programs in communication in the college from 2005-2009, senior associate dean from 2013-2020 and interim dean from 2018-2019. He also served as an endowed professor in the UK College of Engineering from 2004-2015.

His instructional and organizational risk and crisis communication research explains how humans understand, organize and use the information contained in face-to-face and mediated messages to improve behavior change in applied contexts. He has worked on several collaborative research teams that have secured more than $8.5 million in funding. He is a two-time recipient of the Great Teacher Award, initially given the honor as an assistant professor in 2000.

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify. Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue. Transcripts for this or other episodes of "Behind the Blue" can be downloaded from the show’s blog page.

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