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2019 Silver Circle Award Winner: John Hermann ’03

Since 1966, the Silver Circle Award has been presented to some of UIC’s best teachers. Winners, who are honored at their college commencements, receive $500 and their names join a long list of distinguished colleagues. But what makes the award especially meaningful is its selection committee: the graduating seniors.  John Hermann, DVM, MPH '03, clinical associate professor and faculty in the undergraduate public health programs, earned his second Silver Circle Award after garnering the award in 2016.

I believe in the pedagogical application of the golden rule — I teach my students the way I would like to be taught.  You also have to respect the students because not all of them learn the same way, so teaching techniques need to be modified.

John Hermann headshot.

What does it mean to win this award from the graduating seniors?

It’s an honor, of course, and I am deeply gratified. It’s also an indication that our pedagogical contract, between students as a community of learners and me as a resource and facilitator, is healthy, dynamic and productive.

What do you teach?

Epidemiology; health policy; ecologies of health; critical thinking; historical and contemporary challenges in public health.

How do you engage students in your courses?

Through a combination of interactive lectures and discussion, videos, individual and group projects; problem-based homework (epidemiology); and lots of short writing assignments

What is your advice to graduating students?

Lately, my last lecture to graduating seniors, whether they are undergraduates, graduate students, MD students, or DVM students, has been: “Your cell phone is supposed to be only a tool to make your life easier through easier access to information, greater productivity at work and study and enhanced communication; it is not supposed to be a substitute for living in the real world.”

Learn more about undergraduate public health