UH Faculty Members Awarded Regent’s Medal

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The University of Hawai‘i reports that fifteen faculty members from across the state have been selected as recipients of the Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching, and three received the Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research.

UH Board of Regents’ Medal for Excellence. PC: University of Hawai‘i.

In addition, seven UH teachers have been recognized with the Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. A graduate of Windward Community College has won the Masaki and Momoe Kunimoto Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Vocational Education.

“Our outstanding University of Hawaiʻi educators, scholars and staff are some of the best in the world,” said President David Lassner. “We honor their dedication and commitment to address global challenges, to prepare our students to make a difference in the world around them, and to make the University of Hawaiʻi better every day.”

The Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes faculty who exhibit an extraordinary level of subject mastery and scholarship, teaching effectiveness and creativity, and personal values beneficial to students, was awarded to (bold denotes Big Island faculty member):

  • Jennifer Byrnes, assistant professor, Department of Social Sciences/Anthropology, UH West O‘ahu
  • Jennifer Darrah-Okike, assistant professor, Department of Sociology, UH Mānoa
  • Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, associate professor, Department of Political Science, UH Mānoa
  • Li Jiang, assistant professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, UH Mānoa
  • Philip Johnson, professor, Department of Information and Computer Sciences, UH Mānoa
  • Mark Sung Alapaki Luke, assistant professor, Hawaiian Studies, Honolulu Community College
  • Audrey Mendoza, assistant professor, Department of Language Arts, Windward Community College
  • Lew Nakamura, instructor, agriculture, Hawai‘i Community College
  • James Pietsch, professor, William S. Richardson School of Law, UH Mānoa
  • Mike Ross, instructor, Department of Math and Sciences, Kapi‘olani Community College
  • Suzette Scotti, assistant professor, Department of Arts and Humanities, Leeward Community College
  • Candace Tabuchi, associate professor, business, Kaua‘i Community College
  • Lance Walters, assistant professor, School of Architecture, UH Mānoa
  • Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit, professor, Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, UH Hilo
  • Elaine Yamashita, professor, Department of Social Sciences, UH Maui College

The Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research, which recognizes a faculty member’s scholarly contributions that expand the boundaries of knowledge and enrich the lives of all in the community, nation and the world, was awarded to:

  • Tim Li, professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, UH Mānoa
  • Craig Smith, professor, Department of Oceanography, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, UH Mānoa
  • Robert Toonen, professor, Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, UH Mānoa

The Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching recognizes dedication and demonstrated excellence as teachers of undergraduate students. It was established as a memorial to the late Frances Davis, who taught mathematics at Leeward Community College and UH Mānoa for 19 years. This year’s awardees are:

  • Sandra Claveria, assistant professor, human services, Hawai‘i Community College
  • Gigi Drent, professor, mathematics, Kaua‘i Community College
  • Karyl Garland, lecturer, English, UH Mānoa
  • Maureen Kearns, graduate assistant, mathematics, UH Mānoa
  • Matthew Knope, assistant professor, biology, UH Hilo
  • Michele Mahi, assistant professor, speech, Leeward Community College
  • Kamuela Yong, assistant professor, mathematics, health and natural sciences, UH West O‘ahu

The Masaki and Momoe Kunimoto Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Vocational Education rewards outstanding achievement and significant contribution to vocational and technical education by a community college faculty member or student. The award was established by family members to honor the namesakes’ role in development of the food industry in Hawai‘i. This year’s winner is:

  • Antje Martin, graduate, veterinary technology, Windward Community College


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