Thelin is pictured third from left with colleagues from the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation.
Dr. John Thelin, professor of higher education in the UK College of Education’s Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, has received the 2014 Sturgill Award, an honor presented each year to a graduate faculty member who has provided outstanding contributions to graduate education at UK.
Thelin, who also has a joint appointment with the UK Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, came to UK in 1996. During that time, he has become nationally renowned as one of UK’s experts on higher education history, policies and issues. Thelin’s students benefit from his array of expertise in areas such as philanthropy, foundations and economics of higher education, as well as the study of college sports. Thelin enjoys bringing historical documents and events into contemporary discussions on significant issues in higher education.
Thelin is a past recipient of the UK Alumni Association’s Great Teachers Award and the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence, and was selected as a University Research Professor in 2000.
The Sturgill Award is named in honor of William B. Sturgill, who contributed to higher education through organizing and serving as president of the Hazard Independent College Foundation, in addition to working with legislators to develop the community college system in the Commonwealth.
Sturgill was born in Lackey, Ky., and graduated from UK in 1946. He has been involved in a variety of businesses, including executive and owner of several coal operations, East Kentucky Investment Company, Fourth Street and Gentry Tobacco Warehouses, and the Hartland Development Project. Sturgill served as both secretary of energy and secretary of agriculture under Gov. John Y. Brown Jr. He served 18 years on UK’s Board of Trustees, including serving as chair for 10 years. The Sturgill Development Building is named in his honor.
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