SHAWNEE — Junior education major John Clark is the first St. Gregory's University student to be named a DaVinci Scholar.
Five pre-service teachers are chosen each year to receive a DaVinci award, presented by the DaVinci Institute, a private partnership of leaders in higher education across Oklahoma.
Students are nominated by their universities, then submit a proposal for an interactive lesson plan that would allow students to learn about a topic and put those lessons to use in a real world setting.
“I was pretty surprised that I won,” Clark said. “It was a little bit of a shock because no one from St. Gregory's had ever won one. I looked at previous winners, and not many males had ever won it either.”
Clark's winning lesson plan focused on Arizona Senate Bill 1070, which gave law enforcement in that state the ability to ask anyone to provide proof of citizenship without first having committed a crime or suspicious act. He compared the bill to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which banned the hiring or immigration of Chinese workers, and to the Japanese internment camps following the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, which led to the rise of Mexican immigrant worker populations in the West during World War II.