Campus News

'I Love My Team' — Martha Riddell Named 2020 Great Teacher

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17, 2020) — “My own teaching philosophy is to help students achieve their potential.”

Martha Riddell from the University of Kentucky College of Public Health is one of the six educators surprised by their students’ nominations for the 2020 Great Teacher Award. Riddell said her teaching style comes from the energy her students give, by always inspiring her to be better.

“It made it particularly meaningful and affirming at the same time, that what we are doing is helping students achieve,” said Riddell.

Riddell is an associate professor of health management and policy, as well as the director of the Masters of Health Administration program. Being director gives her the unique opportunity to see students in all stages of their education – when they are deciding to move into graduate studies, while they are learning, in their internships and as they look for post-graduate positions.

“In transitioning into grad school, she was extremely instrumental and pivotal,” said Majd Jabbour, a College of Public Health graduate student who nominated Riddell for the Great Teacher Award. Jabbour said Riddell taught him to genuinely care.

“I hope to continue that message – to carry it with me wherever I go. Because I think it’s really important for me, as a future health care provider or administrator, to show that compassion to people,” said Jabbour.

Teaching students and preparing them for their futures is not something Riddell takes lightly. She is well known for her commitment to each of her students, and her perseverance in helping them succeed.

“It’s a very large responsibility. Helping students find their calling, find their strengths for service is truly extraordinary,” said Riddell. “I’m biased, but I think they’re great. To quote Coach Cal, ‘I love my team.’”

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Martha Riddell
Martha Riddell

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.