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Governor’s Award Nominees Announced

Posted on | July 22, 2011 | Comments Off

headshots and group

Top left, Morris Lai, top right, Lui Hokoana and bottom, Waiʻanae Education Center

The university has nominated Mānoa’s Morris K. Lai, System’s Lui K. Hokoana (nominated by Windward) and the team from Leeward’s Waiʻanae Education Center Team for the 2011 Governor’s Awards.

Morris K. Lai

Lai was nominated for the Employee of the Year award. He is head of the Research and Evaluation Section of the Curriculum, Research and Development Group. With more than 36 years of state service and countless hours of selfless dedication to help scholars and educators alike, there is no questioning Lai’s knowledge and passion in preserving the Hawaiian language and culture. One of the best examples of his contributions is known as the “Laiberry” in the College of Education, a collection of nearly 4,000 books on Hawaiʻi and Hawaiian education. Lai has been a model “face” representing the university and exemplifies what a true community contributor should be. Read more about him.

Lui K. Hokoana

Hokoana has been nominated for the State Manager of the Year award. As the former vice chancellor for student affairs at Windward, Hokoana demonstrated his uncanny ability as a leader and manager while working on student recruitment and community outreach, accessing grants to enable training and development for faculty and staff, developing a mentoring program and promoting academic support strategies to improve student development. The results of his efforts are outstanding, and Hokoana has been described as a charming man who exudes goodwill and an interest in the well-being of students as well as a personal commitment to support faculty and staff. In May, Hokoana was appointed associate vice president for student affairs for the UH System. Read more about him.

Waiʻanae Education Center

The Leeward Waiʻanae Education Center Team is the nominee for Team of the Year. Laurie Lawrence and her team members Walterbea Aldeguer, Darwin Bohnet, Jayson Corrales, Genai Uʻilani Keliikuli, Emi Kaneshiro, Scott Kuraoka, William Gregg Longanecker, Summer Miles, Danielle Saito, Jean StavRue-Pe‘ahi, Jennifer Wharton and Danny Wyatt represent the Waiʻanae Education Center. This team has contributed greatly to the 144 percent growth in student enrollment at the Waiʻanae campus. They have also increased the number of class sections by 93 percent, through extending office hours and offering early morning and late evening classes. Guided by a core philosophy of “helping students succeed every step of the way,” this group of individuals has exceeded their own objectives and never lost sight of their common goal. Read more about them.

The three awards are 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. The nominees will be recognized at the Governor’s Awards Ceremony on Fri., Oct. 14, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol Auditorium.

Read the news release.

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