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Cameron elementary education student, Air Force veteran named DaVinci Scholar

Cameron University senior Kimberly Scalberg, an elementary education major from Elgin, has been named a DaVinci Scholar by The DaVinci Institute, a private partnership of leaders in higher education across Oklahoma. One of three DaVinci Scholars selected in the state, she will receive a monetary award from The DaVinci Institute in her first year of teaching in Oklahoma.

The DaVinci Scholar award is designed to honor pre-service teachers whose academic accomplishments and service to the university are deemed notable. Winners were determined using four criteria: GPA, a service learning proposal, a letter of nomination and creativity. Scalberg’s service learning proposal, "Branching Out: Navigating the Roots and Reaching for the Overarching Canopy of Government," was created to help students emerge as informed, engaged citizens ready to actively participate in democratic processes, bridging theory and practice for a fair and just society.

Scalberg was nominated for the honor by CU faculty member Dr. Michelle Smith. “I came to know Kim when she was a student in my Introduction to Teaching course in the fall of 2021,” Smith says. “It was at that time that I recognized her exceptional abilities. She goes above and beyond in everything she does.”

A retired master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, Scalberg served for more than 24 years as an award-winning physical therapy technician, supervisor and manager. During her service, she found joy in mentoring young airmen to success. After retiring, Scalberg transitioned to education, where she discovered her passion for helping struggling students at an alternative school serving students with conduct disorders and high-functioning autism. Her dedication and heart for teaching were quickly recognized, leading her to be entrusted with roles ranging from behavior intervention to office management, where she continued to make a profound impact on students' lives.

After she graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education in May, Scalberg plans to leverage her diverse background and nurturing approach to inspire and empower future generations. With a commitment to recognizing each student's individuality and potential, she aspires to foster an inclusive and supportive learning environment where every child can thrive and succeed.

The DaVinci Scholar program was established in 2003 to recognize outstanding teacher education graduates from Oklahoma colleges and universities who are exemplified by their creative teaching methods and potential to influence their students.



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