2003 Regents' Medal for Excellence in Teaching
Awarded by the Board of Regents, the teaching excellence medal pays tribute to faculty members for their extraordinary level of subject mastery and scholarship, teaching effectiveness and creativity and personal values beneficial to students.
Kakkala "Gopal" Gopalakrishnan
Excellence in Teaching
Leticia Colmenares is an instructor of chemistry at Windward Community College. Her students have called her a "diamond among gems." Her skillful use of high tech teaching tools, such as audio-visual equipment, helps make the intimidating subject she teaches much easier to comprehend. As one enthusiastic student attests, "She has the ability to make chemistry come to life with all of her technological skills. Just as with any other subject, if the masses of information are broken down into comprehensible fragments, the subject becomes much more enjoyable to learn."
Colmenares encourages her students to ask questions when they are stumped and offers additional study sessions. Her dedication is also seen outside of the classroom, where she spends extra time with those who need the help.
"Colmenares inspires her students to strive for the best with her compassion and enthusiasm for teaching," says one of her nominators. "She spends a great deal of time and effort in learning to use up-to-date tools to make her subject more appealing to students. Understanding chemistry is difficult, and learning from her has enabled many students to build a firm foundation in chemistry for their future courses in biological sciences."