The UH System

Who We Are

Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching

Teaching Medal Award Winner

D. Kapua'ala Sproat, headshot

D. Kapua‘ala Sproat

Kapua Sproat, an assistant professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law at UH Manoa

Sproat does more than teach Native Hawaiian and environmental law, indigenous rights and legal research and writing. Her instructional talents infuse Native Hawaiian values and the concepts of kuleana (responsibility and privilege), social and cultural context, critical thinking, integrated advocacy and high-level research and writing into her teaching.

She recognizes that some things cannot be absorbed in a classroom, so her courses include a service-learning component. In her environmental law clinic, for example, students work with actual clients in rural, neighbor island communities, enabling the students to interact with people from a range of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Her teaching philosophy, described as life-changing, is why a senior colleague at the law school describes her as an extraordinary, once-in-a-generation educator. By continually challenging her students with insight that comes through combined academic and real-world expertise, Sproat ensures future law school graduates can become highly competent, knowledgeable and effective attorneys.

The Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching is awarded by the Board of Regents as tribute to faculty members who exhibit an extraordinary level of subject mastery and scholarship, teaching effectiveness and creativity and personal values that benefit students. The board also awards the Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research.

Select a recipient for more about that individual.

Or view previous years’ winners: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003-1965


Richard Jones, headshot
Richard Jones
West O‘ahu
Helmut Kae, headshot
Helmut Kae
Paul Lavy, headshot
Paul Lavy
Michael Paulding, headshot
Michael Paulding
Kavita Rao, headshot
Kavita Rao
Sandra Sanpei, headshot
Sandra Sanpei
Jody-Lynn Storm, headshot
Jody-Lynn Storm
Gordon Talbo, headshot
Gordon Talbo
Alice Tse, headshot
Alice Tse