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Luke Flynn, center, was recognized as UH‘s nominee for Employee of the Year by President David Lassner and Board of Regents Chair Jan Naoe Sullivan.

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Luke Flynn has been selected as the university’s nominee for the Governor’s Award for Distinguished State Service as Employee of the Year. The award honors the state’s executive branch employees and managers who exemplify the highest caliber of public service and dedication to serving the people of Hawaiʻi.

As the director of the Hawaiʻi Space Grant Consortium and the Hawaiʻi Space Flight Laboratory, Flynn has brought tens of millions of dollars to the university.

man with rocket model
Luke Flynn

He oversaw the production of the university’s first space rocket launch—overseeing the design, construction and testing of the university’s satellite and the instruments that were launched on the rocket. As a result of his leadership, the university attracted several requests for additional space missions, as well as the construction of different satellites and/or instruments for other satellites.

Flynn also assisted UH Community College’s (Windward, Honolulu, Kauaʻi and Kapiʻolani) in drafting a successful NASA grant for $500,000 to operate Project Imua—a program to engage undergraduate students in project-based research with real-world STEM applications by developing small payloads for space flight.

His colleagues say that Flynn “has been an inspiration, catalyst and driving force for engaging UH Community College students and faculty in aerospace education and career awareness” and he “has almost single-handedly created a space program within the State of Hawaiʻi.”

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