Michael A. Zilis

Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky

POLITICAL SCIENCE | American Politics |  Public Law & Judicial Politics | Political Behavior

Teaching Philosophy

​​I primarily teach in the areas of American and judicial politics, including courses on judicial decision-making, Constitutional law, and American political institutions and behavior. I developed my instructional philosophy through my experience as a private tutor, refining and adapting best practices for the classroom.  I use multiple instructional techniques to speak to diverse learners and personalize attention to students whenever possible.  I emphasize heavily student engagement and utilize both single period and multiple-week simulations in my courses. In 2019, I won the College's Outstanding Teaching Award at the University of Kentucky and was a finalist for the Provost's Award for Outstanding Teaching.​​​​

Outside of the Classroom

​I am committed to student success within and outside of the classroom, having advised students in independent studies or research internships in every semester since my first as an assistant professor. I have also shepherded original research projects that won departmental awards and were presented at local and national conferences as well as collaborated on co-authored projects with students that we presented at professional conferences. One of the primary benefits of one-on-one work is that it allows faculty to work directly with students that may lack the access to resources and opportunities of their peers.  I put this into practice by offering opportunities to a diverse group of students – not only those that perform strongly in the classroom but many others that express a passion for research or the study of law and courts.