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John Awakuni named State Employee of the Year

UH Manoa fiscal officer met challenging demands during flood recovery

University of Hawaiʻi
Jim Manke, (808) 956-6099
Chancellor's Office
Arlene Abiang, (808) 956-5637
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Oct 12, 2005

HONOLULU — University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Fiscal Officer John Awakuni received this year‘s State Employee of the Year Award for his outstanding contributions to the university‘s library services program. Awakuni was recognized by Governor Linda Lingle as one of three winners selected from 49 group and individual nominees, which included 17 teams made up of 910 State employees.

Awakuni was praised for managing a variety of impromptu tasks all while managing Hamilton Library‘s day-to-day business in the aftermath of the October 30, flood. He effectively guided and advised the library in the recovery by coordinating the purchasing, documentation and execution of tasks.

"I am truly fortunate to work for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library and share this award with the library administration, faculty, and staff, all of whom responded with dedication and commitment to the challenges presented by the October 2004 flood," said Awakuni.

"John has done an outstanding job for Mānoa during his many years of service on this campus," said Interim Manoa Chancellor Denise Konan. "We are so pleased that he has received this larger acknowledgement of his good work."

Awakuni has been an employee with the University of Hawaiʻi for more than 35 years. After receiving his bachelor‘s degree in accounting and finance from UH Mānoa in 1969, he started his career as a fiscal accounting specialist at the UH General Accounting Office. In 1986, he moved to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library as the library‘s fiscal officer.

Awakuni also volunteers his time to the University of Hawaiʻi Federal Credit Union, of which he has been a member for more than 25 years. He currently serves as chairman for their supervisory committee.

A resident of Alewa Heights, Awakuni has been married to his wife, Kathy, for 32 years. They have three grown children, daughters Joy and Teresa, and son, Peter. Teresa, their youngest, is a sophomore at Kapiʻolani Community College.

During his free time, Awakuni enjoys playing tennis on the weekends.

About the University of Hawaiʻi

Established in 1907 and fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the University of Hawaiʻi is the state‘s sole public system of higher education. The UH System provides an array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees and community programs on 10 campuses and through educational, training, and research centers across the state. UH enrolls more than 50,000 students from Hawaiʻi, the U.S. mainland, and around the world. For more information, visit