Campus News

'Behind the Blue': 2023 Great Teachers Spotlight — Jennifer Bird-Pollan

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 5, 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. Jennifer Bird-Pollan is the associate dean of academic affairs and the Judge William T. Lafferty Professor of Law in the UK Rosenberg College of Law. She teaches courses across the tax law curriculum and her research lies at the intersection of tax law and philosophy, specifically regarding the taxation of wealth transfers and issues of sovereignty in international taxation.

Bird-Pollan earned her bachelor’s degree from Penn State University, her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. Prior to coming to UK, she practiced law in the tax department of Ropes & Gray in Boston. She won the College of Law Duncan Teaching Award in 2017 and was recognized by the Women’s Law Caucus as the Outstanding Faculty Member in 2014 and 2022. From 2014-2015, she served as the Fulbright Visiting Professor at the Vienna University of Business and Economics in Vienna, Austria.

Bird-Pollan serves as the faculty advisor to the Tax Law Society and the Women’s Law Caucus. From 2018-2020, she served as chair of the University Senate Council at UK.

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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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