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UCO Professor and Dean Earn DaVinci Recognition

Luis Montes, Ph.D., and Jeanetta Sims, Ph.D.

April 6, 2022

Media Contact: Kyla Carter, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, UCO University Communications, 405-974-2127, kcarter25@uco.edu

UCO Professor and Dean Earn DaVinci Recognition

The DaVinci Institute, Oklahoma’s Creativity Think Tank, recently named a University of Central Oklahoma professor and dean as DaVinci Fellows. 

Jeanetta Sims, Ph.D., dean of the UCO Jackson College of Graduate Studies (JCGS), and Luis Montes, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at UCO, were named 2022 DaVinci Fellows.

The award recognizes higher education faculty whose creative, innovative accomplishments have made a significant contribution to their academic disciplines.

Sims is recognized for her accomplishments in cultivating an interdisciplinary, student research program called Diverse Student Scholars. As a recipient, she will receive a $1,000 grant to apply toward the project titled, “Maximizing Diverse Student Scholars to Build an Undergraduate Research Viral Ecosystem.”

Sims currently oversees the university’s graduate programming, policies, marketing, staff and budget. She is also the founding dean of University College, which is associated with UCO’s Quality Initiative and the first-year freshmen experience, Broncho Blueprint. In addition to her accomplishments, Sims manages the Broncho Education and Learning Lab (BELL), which is responsible for peer-tutoring, supplemental instruction and other forms of academic support to enhance undergraduate and graduate retention efforts.

Montes is recognized for his creative and innovative approaches in transformative learning. As a recipient, he will receive a $1,000 grant to apply toward his fellowship project titled, “Identifying Characteristics of High-quality IVE/Synchronous Virtual Courses.” This project will launch a series of workshops sharing examples of exemplary interactive video/synchronous virtual courses.

Montes began his career at Central in 2000 and has served as chairperson of the Department of Chemistry since July 2012. He was awarded UCO’s Center for Excellence in Transformative Teaching and Learning (CETTL) 21st Century Pedagogy Institute Teacher-Scholar in 2019 for creating a learning environment that promoted a high degree of transformative learning for his students. 

“Having two DaVinci Fellows named this year is in itself an accomplishment, but having the recipients be Jeanetta Sims and Luis Montes is especially noteworthy,” said Jeff King, Ed.D., executive director for CETTL at UCO.

“Their accomplishments and dedication to student success are well-known on our campus, and it is fitting that the quality of their work and the creativity they bring to helping our students’ success is now recognized statewide by the DaVinci Institute. UCO’s 2022 DaVinci Fellows epitomize the many ways we provide transformative educations to our students.”

The DaVinci Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing the arts, sciences, humanities and education in Oklahoma. They recognize the contribution and potential of higher education faculty members, promising pre-service teachers and in-service teachers.

For more information about the DaVinci Institute, visit www.davinciok.org.

For more information about Central, visit www.uco.edu.

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Editor's Note: Download art associated with this release at https://media.uco.edu/press/uploads/2022/03/davinci-74.jpg

Cutline: The DaVinci Institute recently named Luis Montes, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at UCO, and Jeanetta Sims, Ph.D., dean of the UCO Jackson College of Graduate Studies (JCGS), pictured left to right, as 2022 DaVinci Fellows. The award recognizes higher education faculty whose creative, innovative accomplishments have made a significant contribution to their academic disciplines. Each DaVinci Fellow will receive a $1,000 grant to apply towards their proposed fellowship projects.