Irvine, Calif., Sept. 24, 2020 – Michael Dennin, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, Dean of the Division of Undergraduate Education, and Professor of Physics & Astronomy, was named one of the 2020 Innovators of the Year (IOTY) by the Orange County Business Journal (OCBJ). The IOTY Awards recognize five innovators who are affecting real change in the Orange County community. This year marks Vice Provost Dennin’s fourth IOTY nomination and first win.

Vice Provost Dennin expressed his gratitude in response to OCBJ’s announcement:

“I’m honored to be named one of the 2020 Innovators of the Year, and it’s a privilege to stand alongside these amazing leaders and trailblazers who are at the cutting edge of their respective fields. Most importantly, I’m proud to represent UCI knowing that my work makes a real difference in the lives and success of our students.”

Throughout his career at UCI, Vice Provost Dennin has consistently strived to promote pedagogical innovation, educational accessibility, and inclusive excellence across campus. His proudest accomplishments include: overseeing the creation of the Anteater Learning Pavillion, California’s first active learning facility; the development of Student Success Initiatives, which offers a variety of support programs and services to assist UCI’s diverse student body and improve their educational and future outcomes; and supporting the establishment of the First-Generation Faculty Initiative at UCI, which is now being implemented across the entire UC system. More recently, Vice Provost was also recognized for his work in helping UCI students, faculty, and staff transition to a remote environment amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Vice Provost Dennin, his efforts are dedicated to helping students reach their full potential:

“My office, the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning (OVPTL), is dedicated to helping students find success both at UCI and in their future endeavors. However, the definition of success is different for every student—there’s no single path. This is why my team and I focus on creating a diverse array of opportunities, resources, and programs for our students to choose from. Our commitment to innovation is the key to empowering their lifelong success.”