Cameron University faculty member and student honored by DaVinci Institute

Cameron University student Morgan Harmon and faculty member Dr. Sylvia Burgess were honored recently by the DaVinci Institute as a DaVinci Scholar and a DaVinci Fellow, respectively. The awards were presented during a ceremony at the Oklahoma History Center to celebrate the creative accomplishments of Oklahoma educators and student teachers. Recipients of the DaVinci Scholar Award and the DaVinci Fellow Award are creative thinkers whose work represents academic scholarship, innovative approaches to teaching, and a passion for promoting creativity in the classroom.

Harmon, a senior in Cameron’s Elementary Education program at Rogers State University in Claremore, was one of five student teachers recognized as a DaVinci Scholar. The award recognizes student teachers who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their academic studies and preparation for teaching in Oklahoma. A resident of Owasso, Harmon is an active member of Student Oklahoma Education Association, Delta Kappa Gamma International Society for female educators and Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society. Harmon raised money to build a Little Free Library for her neighborhood school, then along with her husband, built the library receptacle and supplied the books. She played a key role in classroom research conducted by CU professors and was a presenter of the research at a national conference last fall.

Burgess, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Business, was one of five professionals honored as a DaVinci Fellow. The award recognizes faculty in higher education who have exemplified creativity and innovation in their academic disciplines. Burgess is a CU alumna who joined the Cameron faculty in 1995. She is also a partner at the legal firm of Burgess, Burgess, Burgess and Hightower. She was recognized for her commitment to developing and implementing a holistic, Distance Learning Ecosystem (DLE) model that allows for a seamless blended learning experience for face-to-face students, students at ITV receive sites, and online students. She has spearheaded the project for the past five years, and has led it to the second of three phases of implementation. Her goal is to serve the ever-changing needs and demands of CU students.

Committed to acting as “Oklahoma's Creativity Think Tank–promoting a statewide creative renaissance through lectures, professional development, research and advocacy,” the DaVinci Institute passionately supports a statewide initiative to improve education in Oklahoma and to encourage Oklahoma educators to use creativity as a way of redefining teaching and learning in the 21st century.

###

#17-072

May 3, 2017