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‘Great Teacher’ Joseph Hammer Counsels Students Through Process to Do Good

Written by Meg Mills, UK Public Relations

Photo of Dr. Joseph Hammer
Dr. Joseph Hammer

Six of the University of Kentucky’s passionate and accomplished educators were surprised earlier this spring by student nominators and the UK Alumni Association as 2021 Great Teacher Award recipients.

Dr. Joseph Hammer is one of this year’s Great Teacher Award recipients. The UK College of Education associate professor and director of training in the Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology enjoys nothing more than helping his students succeed. Watch Hammer discuss this honor.

“I love helping people through the process to do good,” Hammer said. “It’s not only helping them master the content but holding their hand and reassuring them as they deal with their own struggles and self-doubt as well as dealing with failure and mistakes. There is something uniquely gratifying in that, and I think that is a part of my calling.”

Hammer currently teaches counseling theories, techniques and practicum. He is a licensed psychologist in Kentucky and uses an integrative treatment approach (ACT, CBT, EFT) that prioritizes mindful awareness of cognitive, emotional, interpersonal and cultural processes.

Hammer came to UK after receiving his Ph.D. from Iowa State University in 2015.

When asked how he felt about receiving the Great Teacher Award, Hammer had this to say, “In the end the students are the recipients of our teaching and I think they are the best judges of how we are as instructors. Thank you so much for seeing my worth as a teacher and wanting to have that publicly celebrated. I look forward to continuing to live up to that award.”

Learn more about why this UK Alumni Association 2021 “Great Teacher” loves connecting with students to help them achieve what’s wildly possible both in their future careers and in life in the video above.

Hammer is just one of the 2021 UK Alumni Association Great Teacher award winners. This summer, UKNow will highlight each of these Great Teachers. Watch their stories here.

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.