Campus News

‘Great Teacher’ Lou Hirsch Inspires Next Generation of Leaders with Pop Culture, Relatable Content

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 12, 2020) Six of the University of Kentucky’s passionate and accomplished educators were recently surprised by student nominators and the UK Alumni Association as 2020 Great Teacher Award recipients.

Robert “Lou” Hirsch is one of this year’s Great Teacher recipients.

Hirsch is a lecturer in the Department of Plant Pathology and the director of Undergraduate Studies of Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology (ABT) and Agricultural Individualized Curriculum in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

“Hirsch is an animated, energetic lecturer who always keeps students laughing and learning. I remember he often used memes and other pop culture references in his lectures to help students learn and to be more relatable to students,” shared student nominator Katelyn Cox. “(He) lectures in an improvisational, personable manner that allows him to easily adapt to the needs of the classroom. I could not think of any other professor who does so much for his students while balancing so many other simultaneous responsibilities.”

To learn more about what makes Hirsch a “Great Teacher” and why agricultural and medical biotechnology senior Katelyn Cox nominated him, check out the video above.

The UK Alumni Association 2020 Great Teacher Award was recently bestowed upon six University of Kentucky educators. 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.

In the coming weeks, UKNow will share videos featuring this year’s Great Teacher Award winners.

Lou Hirsch instructs students in a classroom
Lou Hirsch instructs students in a classroom
Lou Hirsch instructs students in a classroom
Lou Hirsch instructs students in a classroom

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.