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NSU Optometry Professor Named 2006 DaVinci Fellow

The DaVinci Institute recently named Dr. Kippi Wyatt, associate professor of optometry at Northeastern State University, a 2006 DaVinci Fellow.

The DaVinci Fellows Award recognizes Oklahoma educators whose creativity has produced outstanding accomplishments, whether in the arts, humanities, natural or social sciences, business, or education.

"I am very honored to have been selected by the DaVinci Institute as one of the inaugural DaVinci Fellows," said Wyatt, who has been a professor at NSU for 12 years.

Wyatt was honored May 23 at a dinner in Oklahoma City with fellow award winners Dr. George Acquaah, Langston University; Dr. Wei R. Chen, University of Central Oklahoma; and Audrey Schmitz, Northern Oklahoma College. Each DaVinci Fellow also receives a $1,000 award from The DaVinci Institute.

Wyatt is a member of the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians and the American Optometric Association. She has served as a consultant item writer for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry. She has also received the Oklahoma Higher Education Conference Excellence in Teaching Award for NSU, and the Outstanding Professor Award from the first-year optometry class.

In the classroom, Wyatt has made her courses more student-centered, so she can facilitate learning for her students. One program she has instituted is the keypad response system, which allows students to type answers to questions asked in class.

"The students enjoy using the system very much, and they can answer the question without fear of being incorrect, as their responses are anonymous," said Wyatt. "Some of the benefits of this system include instant feedback to students regarding their answers and how they compare with the rest of the class, increased student participation in class discussion, and instant feedback to the instructor."

She has also introduced software animations of physiological principles, extensively uses digital images, and promotes group research projects - a favorite project of students in her classes.

"Because of the diversity of my students, I use a variety of teaching and learning strategies and try to offer my students more than one way to excel," said Wyatt. "In an effort to learn more about the learning preferences of my students, I have been administering learning style surveys for the past few years."

Wyatt has also sponsored research projects, such as the "Reading Comprehension of Text Presented at a Distance of 6 Meters Compared to 40 Centimeters," and "Designing an Educational Program for Estimating Cup/Disc Ratios using the Direct Ophthalmoscope."

The DaVinci Fellows Award is granted by the DaVinci Institute, a private partnership of leaders in higher education across the state of Oklahoma. The DaVinci Institute┬╣s mission is to promote a statewide creative renaissance through lectures, workshops, professional development, research, and advocacy.


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