The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo honored several members of the University community at its 2016 Awards and Recognition Celebration held on Thursday, May 5.
Mathematics Professor Dr. Mitch Anderson was presented with the Excellence in Service Award, given to a faculty or professional staff for service-related professional skills to UH Hilo and the community.
Anderson is one of the most active professors in the UH Hilo Faculty Congress and the go-to faculty member for program review, assessment and accreditation, one nominator noted. He was a key author of the new Program Review Handbook that went into effect two years ago, and also spearheaded one of the nation’s biggest mathematical curricular redesigns by working with the State Department of Education to align its mathematics curriculum to state Common Core Standards (CCSS). His efforts have helped make Hawai’i a model for curricular alignment to CCSS.
Kaliko Trapp, lecturer, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language, received the Distinguished Service Award for Improving Student Life for making outstanding contributions beyond the boundaries of his official responsibilities.
His student nominator, Vanessa Winchester-Sai, who is largely confined to a wheelchair, credits Trapp with helping her get the most out of her educational experience. In addition to being an instructor, he provided the technical accommodations necessary for Winchester-Sai to participate in her other classes as well. She said Trapp has made a profound difference in her life, for which she is eternally grateful.
The Pūlama ʻIke Award, which recognizes a significant contribution to developing and promoting the spirit and mission of the University, was presented to Gail Makuakāne-Lundin, interim vice chancellor for student affairs.
As a member of UH President David Lassner’s Hawai’i Papa O Ke Ao task force to indigenize each campus, she has spearheaded activities to increase student success, faculty and staff development, and institutional and extramural funding. Makuakāne-Lundin has led the Kupa ʻĀina Summer Bridge program with Kamehameha Schools, which provides incoming students with a six-week residential experience focused on cultivating academic learning, personal development and professional skill sets. Her U.S. Department of Education grant-funded Ho’okahua initiative provided $1 million in improvements and renovations to the Hale Kanilehua dormitory while funding a Scholars-in-Residence program that included Dr. Manulani Meyer and Keali’i Reichel among its participants.
Dr. Mahavir Chougule, associate professor, department of pharmaceutical sciences, was awarded the Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi Award for Excellence and Innovation, which recognizes creativity in teaching, scholarship and artistic production at UH Hilo.
Chougule has contributed to UH Hilo’s training and research mission with innovative nanotechnology research, focusing on targeted delivery to improve the therapeutic outcomes of diseases such as cancer and asthma that resulted in filing a provisional application for a patent. His research has led to establishment of the first nanotechnology-based extramural funded lung cancer and asthma program in the State of Hawaiʻi, bringing national recognition to the University in the form of the American Association of Cancer Research Minority-Serving Institution Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research Award.
The Excellence in Building & Grounds Maintenance Award was presented to Kevin Hand, the University’s electrician.
Hand is currently UH Hilo’s only electrician, who is currently working on a campus-wide lighting conversion. The replacement of old fluorescent light fixtures with modern LED fixtures is enabling the University to maintain existing light levels with half as many lights, while saving an estimated 60 percent on electricity for lighting. He has also helped beautify the grounds and buildings by installing new conduits inside and underneath buildings.
Jamie Ouye, Housing’s senior resident student assistant, was named Student Employee of the Year.
Selected for a strong work ethic and attention to detail, Ouye plans and implements engaging training and staff outreach, and has coordinated various informational outreach and awareness programs, such as suicidal ideation, the effects of bullying, stress management, and the importance of community service. Ouye was also credited for going the extra mile for her co-workers by covering shifts during breaks and holidays to allow them to travel home to visit family.
The event also recognized retired employees and those receiving various years of service awards.