March 23, 2020 | By: Amy Jones-Timoney, Kody Kiser and Danielle Donham
Lexington, Ky.

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 Teachers."

David McNear is one of this year’s Great Teacher Award recipients.

To view the video, click here.

McNear is an associate professor of rhizosphere science in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Although he's the professor in the classroom, McNear says he learns just as much from his students as they do from him.

“My students have taught me to be patient, to be patient with them, with time and their schedules. It’s a very different student body than it was, and they have many more things that are pulling them in different directions,” McNear said. “I try to be as accommodating to those differences in schedules and backgrounds as I can be. So certainly, that involves a lot of patience and understanding.”

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 more videos featuring this year’s Great Teacher Award winners.


Danielle Donham,, 859-562-2660

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