UH-Hilo Faculty Members Honored at Spring Commencement
Four faculty members were recognized for excellence Saturday at the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s spring graduation ceremonies.
Rayna Morel received the Chanellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
An instructor of communication, Morel was described as a teacher who engages students using clear and relevant examples to simplify abstract concepts.
Kalena Silva, a professor and former director of the Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elekolani College of Hawaiian Language, was given the Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Described as a “teacher, first and foremost,” Silva was recognized for teaching with the use of historical language resources and helping his students understand the relevance of such materials. Silva also helps students relate those resources to contemporary times and to understand the importance of viewing Hawaiian as a living, evolving language, school officials said.
Other honors bestowed Saturday included the awarding to Norman Arancon of the Chancellor’s Special Recognition Award for Contribution on Campus and Community.
Arancon, an assistant professor of horticulture, has pioneered research into the use of an earthworm-worked soil amendment – known as vermicomposts – which has benefitted Hawaii’s agriculture industry as well as local communities.
Students in his courses grow produce on campus that is shared with students in residence halls and sold at a student-organized farmer’s market.
Faith Mishina, assistant professor of Spanish, received the Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
Mishina was described as a “committed teacher who helps students learn another language by using it as a window into the larger world of global opportunities.”