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UH Manoa Faculty Awarded for Significant Contributions to Teaching and Student Learning

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Aug 13, 2004

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has awarded faculty members Kazi Ashraf, Carlos Coimbra, Candace Fujikane, Robert Littman and Lorrie Wong with the 2004 Chancellor‘s Citation for Meritorious Teaching. Established in 1986, the award recognizes UH Mānoa faculty who have made significant contributions to teaching and student learning.

Kazi Ashraf is an assistant professor in the School of Architecture. He strongly believes that architecture matters, and that design is an art of inherent optimism. His goal in architecture is "integrative thinking," where history, theory and practice are brought together. Ashraf believes that teaching architecture in the design studio environment is unique. He challenges students to discover their own potential, passion and determination. In his research orientation, Ashraf subscribes to the idea that architecture is more than a discipline or a profession; architecture and existence are unavoidably intertwined.

Carlos Coimbra is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Coimbra‘s teaching method balances clear exposure of fundamental concepts and careful selection of exciting problems with one-on-one mentorship and research inclusion. His goal is to form stand-alone, confident engineers who can tackle any problem. When Coimbra started his academic career, he wrote out 10 important rules that he believed could transform an instructor into a great teacher. The outcome of applying these rules has surpassed Coimbra‘s expectations and is reflected in the impressive achievement of his mechanical engineering students.

Candace Fujikane is an associate professor in the Department of English. Fuijkane‘s teaching philosophy centers on her commitment to social justice and place. She works toward enabling students to see themselves as having a role to play in struggles for greater social and political justice, particularly in Hawaiʻi. Fujikane encourages students to make connections among the texts they read, the essays they write and the community struggles that take place. One of her goals is to teach students how to write to save their lives. Fujikane works to show them that their analyses of literature should focus on issues that they are passionately engaged in and that they need to represent their positions on these issues.

Robert Littman is a professor of classics in the Department of Languages and Literatures of Europe and the Americas. Littman believes that the university acts as the guardians of civilization. Littman sees his function as a professor to transmit ancient culture to the present age. His major strength is his ability to synthesize and make connections in many disciplines. Littman‘s scholarly background covers classical philology, ancient history, art history, Egyptology, archaeology and Septuagint studies.

Lorrie Wong is an instructor in the Department of Nursing. Educating nurses to meet the challenges healthcare professionals face in the 21st century is a daunting task. To be a competent nurse, Wong believes that students must not only acquire a solid scientific knowledge base, technical skills and critical judgment, but they must also develop a personal philosophy for lifelong learning and compassionate care. She spends many hours researching and updating her lecture material to keep abreast of the rapidly increasing advancements in healthcare.

Recipients of the 2004 Chancellor‘s Citation for Meritorious Teaching will be recognized for their contributions to the university along with other UH award winners at a system-wide ceremony in September.

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