Campus News

'Great Teacher' Joseph Hammer Counsels Students Through Process to Do Good

What Are University of Kentucky Professors Like? Meet Joseph Hammer

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 14, 2021) — Six of the University of Kentucky's passionate and accomplished educators were surprised earlier this spring by student nominators and the UK Alumni Association as 2021 Great Teacher Award recipients.

Joseph Hammer is one of this year’s Great Teacher Award recipients. The UK College of Education associate professor and director of training in the Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology enjoys nothing more than helping his students succeed.

“I love helping people through the process to do good," Hammer said. "It’s not only helping them master the content but holding their hand and reassuring them as they deal with their own struggles and self-doubt as well as dealing with failure and mistakes. There is something uniquely gratifying in that, and I think that is a part of my calling.”

Hammer currently teaches counseling theories, techniques and practicum. He is a licensed psychologist in Kentucky and uses an integrative treatment approach (ACT, CBT, EFT) that prioritizes mindful awareness of cognitive, emotional, interpersonal and cultural processes.

Hammer came to UK after receiving his Ph.D. from Iowa State University in 2015.

When asked how he felt about receiving the Great Teacher Award, Hammer had this to say, “In the end the students are the recipients of our teaching and I think they are the best judges of how we are as instructors. Thank you so much for seeing my worth as a teacher and wanting to have that publicly celebrated. I look forward to continuing to live up to that award.”

Learn more about why this UK Alumni Association 2021 "Great Teacher" loves connecting with students to help them achieve what's wildly possible both in their future careers and in life in the video above.

Hammer is just one of the 2021 UK Alumni Association Great Teacher award winners. This summer, UKNow will highlight each of these Great Teachers. Watch their stories here.

Initiated in 1961, UK’s Great Teacher Award is the longest-running UK award recognizing teaching. In order to receive the award, educators must first be nominated by a student. The UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award Committee, in cooperation with the student organization Omicron Delta Kappa, then makes the final selection. Recipients receive an engraved plaque and stipend.

Joseph Hammer, one of UK's 2021 Great Teacher Award recipients
Joseph Hammer, one of UK's 2021 Great Teacher Award recipients.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.