Classics professor Tara Welch wins student nominated HOPE Award

Tara Welch, professor and chair in the Department of Classics, is the 2015-16 winner of the HOPE (Honor for the Outstanding Progressive Educator) Award. It is the only award for teaching excellence bestowed exclusively by students. Seniors nominate professors and from the top five faculty members with the most nominations, the Board of Class Officers and Senior Advisory Board interview and select a winner.

Tara Welch receiving the HOPE Award at a KU football game. Photo courtesy Nick Krug and the Lawrence Journal World.

We asked Tara about her favorite course to teach, her love of soy lattes and her dream to dine with Julius Caesar.

Hometown:  Las Vegas, NV

Undergraduate major: Latin and Greek

What’s your favorite course to teach? Greek and Roman Mythology, CLSX 148

Why did you become a professor? I learned in grad school how much I love to teach.

“My favorite KU memory is…”  I have so many.  Here’s a recent one.  Just this year, I took a tour led by a colleague of the Latin inscriptions on campus.  It was a gorgeous day, it was Latin, and it was KU history.

The best advice I ever got: Always look at the bigger picture.

My 140-character soapbox: I don’t rant much.  Sorry to disappoint!

My guilty pleasure: Fancy coffee drinks – soy latte, to be precise.

My super power would be: Learning the language of anyone whose hand I shake.  I know, it’s unconventional, but how awesome would it be to speak to people in theiMTE4MDAzNDEwNDQxMTExMDU0r language?

What was the last thing you read for fun? I am reading the Percy Jackson series alongside my 11 year old daughter.

What inspires you? Beautifully written sentences.  Cheerful givers.

What’s at the top of your bucket list? Seeing the Aurora Borealis

What did you want to be when you were growing up? A neurosurgeon, of all things!

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? Julius Caesar.  He is said to have been a great dinner guest.