Cameron University senior Naomi Robinson, an early childhood education major from Indiahoma, has been named a DaVinci Scholar by The DaVinci Institute, a private partnership of leaders in higher education across Oklahoma.
One of four 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. Robinson’s service learning proposal, “Make A Difference: Community,” is geared toward use in a kindergarten classroom.
In her proposal, Robinson wrote, “This project gives students an opportunity to apply what they learn to help benefit their community. Not only are they learning to contribute to their community in positive ways, but they are also applying skills, problem solving, and developing empathy and kindness as they address critical needs in the world around them.”
CU faculty members Jami Huck, early childhood instructor/curriculum coordinator, and Dr. Emily Finney-Miller, assistant professor, nominated Robinson. Huck referred to her as an “exemplary student.” She said of Robinson, “Naomi Robinson is the type of teacher we need in our classrooms today. She has a strong desire and the drive to make a difference in the lives of each and every student. She is a very caring and supportive person who wants to teach her students to think critically and go further. She understands that students are motivated by having a say in their learning tasks. She will use the universal design for learning to allow students to use their strengths and learning styles to show what they know and always experience success.”
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.