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President Boren Announces Inaugural New Residential Colleges Masters

Mark Morvant and Keith Gaddie were selected as the first masters for the University of Oklahoma’s soon-to-be-constructed Residential Colleges.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Mark Morvant, an organic chemist and an expert in the implementation of teaching strategies that successfully engage students, and Keith Gaddie, a political scientist and a specialist in working with students on data engagement, have been selected as the first masters for the University of Oklahoma’s soon-to-be-constructed Residential Colleges.

“Dr. Mark Morvant and Dr. Keith Gaddie are truly master teachers, and their appointments as OU’s inaugural masters will transform our students’ undergraduate experience through a living/learning environment that incorporates technologies and fosters student engagement,” said OU President David L. Boren. 

As masters, Morvant and Gaddie will build community and unity within their respective Residential Colleges. They will define goals and expectations while encouraging academic and social achievement and camaraderie built upon the participation of residents in “family” dinners, civic dialogue, intramurals, and college traditions, such as house motto, colors and crest.

Morvant has been serving for three years as executive director of OU’s Center for Teaching Excellence, which is designed to better assist faculty with implementing technology-driven course enhancements and advanced features of the electronic course management system.

Morvant’s strategies were targeted to provide OU faculty time to work in one-to-one interactions with students. Morvant has increased the numbers of OU faculty who use new and emerging technologies and other high-impact instructional techniques to help drive student success.

Gaddie is one of the original founders of OU’s Public Opinion Learning Lab, a faculty-supervised student and staff research center dedicated to the understanding of the choices people make based on data.

Gaddie, who has taught the introductory American Government class as OU for two decades, guides students in data collection, examination and analysis to help them better understand decision-making processes.

Both educators will work with their house residents to help establish a “personality,” culture and house environment that will encourage collaboration and foster academic success.

Morvant joined the OU faculty in 2006 as an associate professor of chemistry; in 2011, he was named assistant chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to teaching classes and leading labs in organic chemistry, he has taught the First-Year Mentoring Program, developed and led the conjoined study abroad courses Chemistry in Italy – Organic Chemistry I and Chemistry and Culture of Wine in Italy, and taught the 9,000-student Janux course, Chemistry of Beer.

While at OU, he has been recognized with the College of Arts and Sciences’ Longmire Prize for Outstanding Teaching and with the Regents’ Award for Superior Teaching.

Morvant earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry magna cum laude from Tarleton State University and his doctoral degree in organic chemistry from OU.

Gaddie, who is Chairman of the Department of Political Science, joined the OU faculty in 1996. He teaches courses on political parties, campaigns, elections, and Southern Politics.

He is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of 14 books, including The Triumph of Voting Rights in the South, which was recipient of the Julian J. Rothbaum Award for the outstanding book published by the OU Press in 2009 and the V.O. Key Award for the outstanding book on Southern Politics, presented by the southern Political Science Association in 2011. Gaddie is coeditor of Social Science Quarterly along with OU College of Arts and Sciences Dean Kelly Damphousse.

Gaddie has offered commentary, interviews, or served as a guest broadcaster for several local, national and international media outlets. He currently serves as a regular contributor to KGOU 106.3 FM (National Public Radio) and KWTV-9 (CBS).

Gaddie earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida State University and master’s and doctoral degree in political science from the University of Georgia.