January 31, 2018

Robert Paratley, who teaches in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment's Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences degree program, received the UK Alumni Association 2018 Great Teacher Award from the University of Kentucky Alumni Association.

Paratley and five other award recipients were honored at the UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award Recognition Dinner Jan. 30 at the Hyatt Regency in Lexington. They were recognized during the Vanderbilt University vs. Kentucky men’s basketball game later that evening as well.

Cecelia Tio, a senior majoring in NRES, nominated her professor as "undoubtedly one of the smartest people I have ever met. You could put this professor in the middle of woods, with no prior knowledge of the area, and he could identify almost every plant and tell you its history.”

Paratley, who is curator of the University Herbarium in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, has co-led an education abroad program in Coast Rica for NRES students since 2013. There they focus on topical ecology, land use and related environmental issues.

Describing an experience she had with Paratley in Costa Rica, Tio said, “He would take us on hikes in the rainforest and be able to identify almost every plant and tell us about them. It’s very hard to be able to identify plants at such a level because there are hundreds of thousands of plants that live in the rainforest ecosystem.”

Back in the classroom, she describes her professor as “always enthusiastic and engaging. He always answers students’ questions with the utmost respect and no question is too dumb in his class. He makes students feel like equals and individuals rather than a name on a roster.”

Learn more


Gail Hairson, 859-257-3302, gghair2@uky.edu

News Topics: