Union College professor wins state Teacher of the Year Award

Published on
December 05, 2012

Union College assistant professor of wellness, Jennifer Hatfield, Ph.D., was recently named Health Educator-College/University Teacher of the Year for going above and beyond her regular classroom duties.

The award, presented by the Kentucky Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, is given to a current professor and association member who teaches health classes in a university or college setting. According to Hatfield, the nominations are submitted secretly, and then, once nominated, the professor is given an application to complete. This application is forwarded to a selection committee that chooses the winner.

Hatfield was recognized not only for her passion for teaching, but also for demonstrating an extraordinary level of dedication beyond the classroom. As supporting evidence, KAHPERD cited an email from a Union College student, who credits Hatfield with helping save the life of a family member.

“A few semesters ago, I took a First Aid/CPR class with Dr. Hatfield,” the email read. This student appreciated Hatfield’s enthusiasm in teaching the course but never expected that the information learned there would ever be put to use. “But in December, while home on Christmas break, my grandpa decided to have multiple aneurisms and a stroke. If it wasn’t for Dr. Hatfield (going beyond) what was required for us to know, my grandfather would not be here with us today.”

Hatfield said that her passion to teach others about health and wellness is what drives her in the classroom, and she is truly grateful and honored to be recognized.

“I am very passionate about educating others about their health and the health of others,” Hatfield said. “Life is all about choices, and I hope to influence and educate others to make the best decisions possible. We only live once in life. Why not be healthy and have fun at the same time?”

Hatfield was presented with the award at the annual KAHPERD conference, which was held in Louisville, Ky., from Nov. 11-13.

Union College is a private liberal arts college related to The United Methodist Church and located in Barbourville, Ky.