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Jeff Zalar

Jeff Zalar
Assistant Professor of History and Ruth J. & Robert Endowed Chair of Catholic Studies in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences

The University Honors Program proudly presents Jeff Zalar with our Excellence in Teaching Award.

Dr. Zalar is an Assistant Professor of History and Ruth J. & Robert Endowed Chair of Catholic Studies in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences. His  research and professional writing has centered on religion and intellectual culture in modern Germany.  A first book manuscript addresses Catholic reading habits during the “long nineteenth century” (1750-1914) with an eye toward the meanings Catholics attached to the possession, consumption, and display of books.  A second book project considers the relationship between Catholics and German natural science.
His teaching seeks to integrate learning on three levels: the dissemination of disciplinary knowledge; training in pre-professional cognitive skills (analysis, oral disputation, higher-order reading comprehension, targeted and convincing writing, etc.); and the inculcation of intellectual and social virtues.  As such, it is structured to educate the “whole student.”

Comments from student students provide a window into Dr. Zalar’s teaching and impact:

“It has been a pleasure to work with and learn from Dr. Jeff Zalar. He is one of the most outstanding teachers that I’ve encountered at UC (or anywhere)! His teaching truly has a transformational impact on our students. The vision of the University Honors Program is that our students become global citizen scholars who lead innovative efforts toward solving the world’s complex problems. The transformational approach that Dr. Zalar takes to teaching brings this vision to life, offering a life-changing learning experience that challenges students to think about themselves as leaders in a global context. His focus on both the individual and community of learners creates a powerful learning environment in which students thrive. They are challenged to achieve beyond what they could have envisioned before meeting Dr. Zalar and, with his support, succeed in this. Personally, I learned more from this class just sitting in on it than I have in any other class I’ve taken, in undergraduate and graduate school. We are very lucky to count Dr. Zalar as one of our UHP faculty!” - UHP Student

“I also want to thank you for teaching this course so spectacularly. I certainly feel as if I have learned a lot over the course of this semester and I don't think I would have enjoyed a class on WWII as much without your teaching. This class was an amazing experience and I'll never forget it!” -Melissa Johns

We are exceptionally grateful for Dr. Zalar’s engagement and commitment to honors education at UC!