Ingelia White, a professor of botany and microbiology at Windward Community College was awarded the 2015 Masaki and Momoe Kunimoto Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions in Vocational Education. She is the creator of the agripharmatech certificate of achievement with two concentrations—plant biotechnology and ethnopharmacognosy.
White developed four unique facilities used for student research and hands-on training—the Kuhi Laʻau-Tropical Plant and Orchid Identification Facility, the Tissue Culture and Plant Biotechnology Laboratory, the climate-controlled greenhouse for orchid growing, and the Bioprocessing Medicinal Garden Complex for growing medicinal and nutritious plants for nutraceutical research and bioproduct manufacturing.
This successful certificate program has graduated numerous students. Some graduates enter the workforce in science related fields or became agribusiness or plant-based product entrepreneurs. Her hands-on teaching style instills self-confidence in students and deepens their interest, participation and learning in plant science and pharmaceutical fields.
White recently developed a pathway certificate of competence in plant-food production and technology. She initiated a credit/non-credit collaborative certificate partnership with Windward CC’s Hiilaniwai Food Service Innovation Training program to improve student recruitment, completion rates and expansion of workforce development initiatives. These joint certifications have greater value in competitive job markets. She also recently built a partnership with Kailua High School to provide dualcredit botany classes on their campus starting in fall 2016, allowing students to receive the college certificate while in high school. These partnerships will produce skilled workers ready to enter the workforce and pursue degrees in plant science fields.
More about the Kunimoto Memorial Award
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 Hawaiʻi.
UH News video on Windward CC’s agripharmatech program
Windward offers unique agripharmatech program, March 11, 2014