2010 DaVinci Fellows

Dr. Andrew Lang, Oral Roberts University professor of mathematics, is being recognized for his groundbreaking work in virtual worlds. Andrew entered the multi-user virtual environment of Second Life in January 2007. He wanted to investigate the possibilities of using virtual worlds as a platform for distance education, collaborative research, and data visualization. Subsequently he originated and co-founded the Open Sledware program, a worldwide open courseware initiative in Second Life. Creating Open source data visualization tools, Lang is known as an expert in the use of virtual worlds for collaborative scientific research, communication and visualization. The problem is data visualization is a complex one.

Dr. H. Brooke Hessler is the  Eleanor Lou Carrithers Chair of Writing and Composition and Associate Professor of English at Oklahoma City University.  Through her scholarship of teaching, she has distinguished herself as an innovative master teacher and gifted  scholar who has pioneered both service learning and arts integration initiative on the OCU campus.

Dr. Hessler’s 8-year collaboration with the bombing survivors, first-responders, and curators at the Oklahoma City National Memorial resulted in a unique opportunity for OCU students. Dr. Hessler’s students researched and developed digital exhibits that are published in the museum and converted into educational materials used by school children around the U.S. to learn about the bombing, its aftermath, and the Memorial’s message of hope.

Her essays on community-engaged pedagogy have been published in numerous scholarly journals and edited collections, including most recently the International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. In addition to her commitment to community engagement, Professor Hessler utilizes and infuses the arts into her teaching.  In that capacity she has provided energy and faculty leadership, stimulating innovative ideas for OCU’s arts integration initiative.

Dr. David Sabatini, University of Oklahoma professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, has compiled an exceptional teaching portfolio while maintain an outstanding performance in externally funded research, archival publications and professional service. In 2006, he formed the Water Technologies for Emerging Regions (WaTER) Center to meet the growing need for university-based program  with the personnel and resources to play a key part in the international water supply and sanitation scene through the transfer of appropriate and sustainable technologies. The mission of the WaTER Center is to promote health, education, development and peace by solving drinking water and sanitation challenges for impoverished regions in the U.S. and developing countries by sponsoring innovative teaching, research, service initiatives, and international leadership activities.

Dr. Linda Wilson, Associate Professor of Elementary Education at Northeastern State University, understands the necessity of preparing teacher candidates who can adapt activities for children who deserve the most creative, engaging, and challenging learning opportunities available.  She is an innovator and leader in the use of multiple technologies in her classroom which benefit teachers and students.  Those technologies which she has utilized include podcasts, Smart boards, Nintendo Wii, YouTube, TeacherTube clips, blogs and cell phone with all its applications. Her instructional podcasts are available 24/7 through the NSU Center for Teaching and Learning.

Dr. Riley Dunlap, Regents Professor of Sociology at Oklahoma State University, has played a vital and innovative role in creating the field of environmental sociology, one of the most vibrant areas within the discipline of sociology and a key component of international environmental social science. In contradiction to sociologists who failed to consider either the effects of environment on human societies or the impacts of societies on environmental conditions, Dr. Dunlap insisted that human societies are intimately related to the natural environment. The essay written in collaboration with his colleague Dr. William Catton provided the first definition of and justification for a field of environmental sociology. Many if not most colleges and universities now offer courses in environmental sociology and numerous graduate programs offer training in the field.

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