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How Great Teacher Anna Voskresensky Inspires Students to Succeed

By Lindsey PiercyKody Kiser and Amy Jones-Timoney

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 2020 Great Teacher Award recipients. Anna Voskresensky is one of this year’s Great Teacher recipients.

“It means a lot to me, because I’ve always liked what I do,” she said. “I was so happy to receive this award.”

Voskresensky, a senior lecturer in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the College of Arts and Sciences, began teaching Russian studies in 1982. Since joining the UK family in 2005, Voskresensky has inspired students by creating lasting educational experiences.

“Her passion for the language and her love of the culture and just the way she teaches convinced me to become a dual degree student,” said Liam Jefferson, an information communication technology and Russian language student.

Voskresensky’s teaching methods extend beyond the classroom walls. She often invites students to her home to eat Russian dinners and to watch Russian films. Voskresensky values forming personal relationships with each of her students to help them achieve their fullest potential.

“I think learning a language really instills a lot of determination and perseverance in students. I feel like I have a lot more confidence in myself — knowing that I can learn a second language,” Jefferson said. “And now, I think I can do more than what I ever thought was possible before.”

Additionally, Voskresensky is a faculty adviser to the UK Russian Club and is highly involved with the organization’s planning and execution of programs. She collaborates with professors from the other language departments and from the UK School of Music to host annual poetry/piano recital events.

To learn more about what makes Voskresensky a “Great Teacher” and why Jefferson nominated her, check out the video above.

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.

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 three 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" two 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 four 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.