Jill Laughlin, educational specialist at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Lyon Arboretum, was recognized as UH Employee of the Year as part of the Govenor’s Awards for Distinguished State Service. The award is designed to honor the state’s executive branch employees and managers who exemplify the highest caliber of public service and dedication to serving the people of Hawaiʻi.
Laughlin joined the Lyon Arboretum team in 1992 and has contributed immensely to the development of educational and volunteer programs that strengthen the arboretum’s presence and outreach in the community. The arboretum hosts approximately 50,000 visitors each year who participate in classes, research projects and activities and Laughlin has been instrumental in developing and facilitating non-credit education classes, workshops, special projects and K–8 education programs as well as programs open for the general public.
Under her management, Lyon Arboretum hosts 7,000 K–12 students per year as well as a number university students, community groups and volunteers. This includes designing and developing educational materials, coordinating volunteer operations and maintaining an active and rigorous events calendar.
Laughlin has also brought the arboretum into the digital age by boosting their social media presence and QR code and audio guide by cell tour and improving the Lyon Arboretum website and mobile app.
Said Lyon Arboretum Director Carl Evensen “Jill has selflessly and vigorously supported many facets of Lyon Arboretum’s mission in research and education and greatly increased the University of Hawaiʻi’s presence and stature in the community. Through her efforts, Lyon Arboretum has been able to offer exceptional education services to many individuals and groups throughout Hawaiʻi.”