Each year, the chancellor recognizes the leadership and service of University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa faculty, staff and students committed to enhancing the university’s mission of excellence. The 2018 Awards ceremony was held on April 27 at Kennedy Theatre*.

“As the university strives to provide a rigorous and meaningful learning experience for all of our students, we know that it truly takes a campus-wide team of dedicated faculty, advisors and staff to develop graduates who are well educated and prepared to enter a global 21st century workforce,” said UH Mānoa Interim Chancellor David Lassner. “These exceptionally talented and hard-working individuals are being recognized for excellence and innovation in teaching, research, academic advising, mentoring, community service, encouraging and nurturing diversity and service to this campus.”

2018 Mānoa Awards winners

Robert W. Clopton Award for Distinguished Service to the Community

The Robert W. Clopton Award for Outstanding Service to the Community recognizes a UH Mānoa faculty member for playing a socially significant role by applying intellectual leadership and academic expertise to the improvement of the community.

Jill Omori, associate professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine
Deeply integrated with Omori’s teaching and research at UH Mānoa is her service to the homeless, which has had a significant and profound impact upon the lives of thousands in our island communities through the Homeless Outreach and Medical Education (H.O.M.E.) project. (more)

Mānoa Chancellor’s Citation for Meritorious Teaching

The Chancellor’s Citation for Meritorious Teaching recognizes Mānoa faculty members who have made significant contributions to teaching and student learning.

Henri Casanova, professor in the Information and Computer Sciences Department
Casanova’s course materials contain multiple pathways for students to explore both traditional and cutting-edge research through interactive in-class programming exercises, code examples inserted throughout presentations and carefully designed assignments for out-of-class problem solving. (more)

Lysandra H. Cook, associate professor in the College of Education
A strong influence on Cook and an expression of her commitment to teaching and learning is Project Laulima, a federally-funded grant on which she has served as project director since 2012. (more)

Priyam Das, associate professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning
Her wide range of teaching practices include innovations like place-based projects that situate students in community settings. (more)

Richard R. Day, professor in the Department of Second Language Studies
Day inspires students to envision the art and science of teaching as achievable for them “rather than as a form of unreachable wizardry.” (more)

Randall K. Minas, assistant professor in the Information Technology Management Department
Minus brings a new area of expertise to undergraduate majors: how to analyze the neurophysiological and psychophysiological responses of users of information technology. (more)

A Zachary Trimble, assistant professor in the College of Engineering
Through teaching practices based on the Feynman Technique, Trimble generates discovery, nourishes passion and stimulates curiosity in students, enabling them to develop critical thinking competency. (more)

Mānoa Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Service

The Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Service honors Mānoa staff members who demonstrate outstanding work performance, service and leadership.

Gina M. Bagarino, office assistant in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
With her diverse work experience and amicable personality, Bagarino has become the heart and soul of the office and has proved to be a dedicated individual. (more)

Marcus N. Hayden, fiscal manager in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
A 13-year employee of the university, Hayden joined CTAHR in 2016 and has encouraged growth and development amongst his staff and helped regain control of the college’s budget. (more)

Jameson Ramelb, landscape manager in Buildings and Grounds Management
During his four years with the department, Ramelb has made significant improvements to the UH Mānoa campus and motivates staff to take on projects they can be proud of. (more)

Valerie J. Yontz, specialist and practicum coordinator in the Office of Public Health Studies
Yontz is credited for her “exceptional contributions to the achievement of the department’s program objectives and success.”(more)

Dr. Amefil “Amy” Agbayani Faculty Diversity Enhancement Award

The Faculty Diversity Enhancement Award from the UH Mānoa Commission on Inclusion and Diversity recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to enhancing diversity.

Erin Kahunawaikaʻala Wright, assistant professor in the College of Education
Wright’s deep understanding of student affairs combined with her presence and scholarship as a Native Hawaiian faculty member inspires Native Hawaiian, local and other students to aspire to earn terminal degrees. (more)

Peter V. Garrod Distinguished Graduate Mentoring Award

Established by the UH Mānoa Graduate Division in 2005, the Distinguished Graduate Mentoring Award allows graduate students to nominate faculty for excellent mentoring, one of the foundations of outstanding graduate education.

Tamara B. Ticktin, professor in the Department of Botany
Over the past 17 years, Ticktin has had the privilege of mentoring and learning from a large and diverse lab of graduate students from Hawaiʻi and across the globe. (more)

Outstanding Academic Advisor and Academic Unit of the Year Award

The Council of Academic Advisors recognizes an individual or unit who, over the past two years, has demonstrated excellence and/or innovation in advising, and/or has made a significant contribution to the advising community.

Ernest “Niki” Libarios Jr., was the director of the College of Education Office of Student Academic Services
As an academic advisor, Libarios worked tirelessly to support underrepresented students in higher education, securing multiple grants to provide scholarships, host campus visits and waive test fees. (more)

The Manoa Advising Center
Since its creation in 2008, the Mānoa Advising Center (MAC) has been assisting students in selecting a major that best fits their interests, abilities and goals. (more)

Student Excellence in Research Award

The Student Excellence in Research Award is awarded by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research in recognition of outstanding scholarly research endeavors by students while they pursue a degree at the doctoral, master’s or bachelor’s level.

Samuel Grunblatt, doctoral student in the Institute for Astronomy
Grunblatt studies exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) orbiting distant red giant stars, which are future versions of our Sun. (more)

Zhibin Liang, doctoral student in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering
Liang is passionate about neurosciences and conducts innovative and rigorous investigations on Alzheimer’s drug discovery. (more)

Nathaniel Wehr, master’s student in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management
Wehr’s research examines the ecological relationship between feral pigs and soil microbial and macroinvertebrate communities, relationships that have been largely undescribed and represent important knowledge gaps in the management of invasive species, as well as public health in the Pacific Islands. (more)

Student Employee of the Year Award

The Student Employee of the Year Program was created in 1986 by the Mānoa Career Center to recognize and highlight the achievements and contributions of student employees on the UH Mānoa campus.

Kuaiwi Laka Kahiwakapu Pili I Haupapanui Makua, undergraduate student in kinesiology and rehabilitation science
Makua, who works as a Native Hawaiian Student Services Scholar Center assistant, effectively utilizes the concepts she is actively learning in her classes, the experiences she has had as a student employee and in her volunteer work and the values she developed in her home and family life to create accessible lessons through which she can teach others. (more)

*A separate UH News story will be published recognizing all the Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching, Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research and the Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching honorees.

—By Arlene Abiang

large group of people on a stage
The 2018 UH Mānoa Awards Ceremony honorees.