University of Hawaiʻi faculty members Alan Boyes, Stephanie Buelow, Dee-Ann Carpenter, Carolyn Constantin, Marta González-Lloret, Emily Kukulies, Siu Roger Kwok, Hongwei Li, Jaclyn Lindo, Steven Lundblad, Jon Magnussen, Kristin Pauker, Michelle Phillips, Ty Tengan and Paul Thornton were honored with the Board of Regents’ Medal for Teaching Excellence.
The award is a tribute to faculty members who exhibit an extraordinary level of subject level mastery and scholarship, teaching effectiveness, and creativity and personal values that benefit students.
Alan D. Boyes
Assistant Professor, language arts and humanities, Kauaʻi Community College
Alan Boyes was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and attended the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo before transferring to UH Mānoa to finish his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history. He joined the faculty at Kauaʻi CC in 2008, working to show his students the power of history and to share his love of the subject.
His philosophy of teaching? Ultimately, he aims to teach the class he would want to take. One that is engaging, wide-ranging, even-handed and honest. A class that marvels in the certainties and explores the uncertainties of the past. The kind of class that inspired him to love the study of history.
His students say this about Boyes: “He never ceases to amaze me with his dynamic ability and personality. His lectures are interesting and filled with enthusiasm. He is my first college history professor to change my least favorite subject to my most appreciated subject.”
Stephanie Buelow is a professor in the Institute for Teacher Education in the College of Education. She views her role as a critical literacy teacher educator to model how literacy can empower citizens in a democratic society.
Her deep commitment to cohorts working in field-based courses creates many hours outside regular teaching duties to build and maintain strong partnerships with administrators and teachers in the community. It involves close work with each teacher candidate in lesson planning, observation in the field, planning and facilitating seminars and arranging for guest speakers to infuse the learning with place-based and cultural-based experiences to support the candidates in a sense of place unique to Hawaiʻi.
One colleague states Buelow is “an emerging literacy scholar whose teaching informs her scholarship, and her research informs her teaching, and her service commitments close the circle.”
Dee-Ann Carpenter is an assistant professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). At the core of her teaching philosophy is a commitment to generate self-directed critical thinkers.
One student dubbed Carpenter the “Swiss Army knife” physician because of her flexibility in being able to masterfully serve distinctively diverse individuals and communities with an enormous range of health concerns from chronic disease to mental health, and then to influence medical students to want to learn what is required to follow that path. Her colleagues speak extensively to the scope of her influence within JABSOM, including her contributions to such programs as, ʻiImi Hoʻiōla Post-BaCCalaureate Program, Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence and the Certificate of Distinction in Native Hawaiian Health.
In every setting, Carpenter is considered to be a brilliant clinician who is masterful in relating to patients and teaching learners to navigate the complexities and intricacies of medical diagnosis and treatment.
Carolyn Constantin is an associate professor from the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene. Her core elements of teaching and learning are comprised of their reciprocal nature—the effectiveness of hands-on experience and the significance of relationships in teaching and learning. These elements are present whether Constantin is leading teams of national and international professionals in nursing education or teaching her fields of research in genetics, genomics and pathophysiology at Manoā.
Her presence is described by colleagues and students as passionate, inspiring, engaging, energetic, humorous and interesting.
Constantin diversifies learning activities to reach a wide range of learners and expanded her repertoire of teaching practices and formats from classroom to online by earning a graduate level certificate in Online Learning and Teaching in the Learning and Design Technology Department.
Professor, Department of Languages and Literatures of Europe and the Americas, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Marta González-Lloret has been a professor of Spanish in the Department of Languages and Literatures of Europe and the Americas for 20 years. She is considered one of the college’s most interdisciplinary faculty members, having taught at all levels of language, culture, reading, linguistics, technology and teaching pedagogy.
She is a principal contributor in developing the parameters and protocol for assessment of undergraduate Spanish programs. A colleague reports that few others have had as much impact on the preparation of current and future language educators and that González-Lloret is the department’s pioneer and top expert in language teaching and technology.
One life-changing opportunity in her courses are telecollaborative projects with other universities distant from Hawaiʻi. At the end of their journey, many students credit González-Lloret with having enlarged and transformed the trajectory of their academic journeys and aCComplishments.
Emily Kukulies is an associate professor and director of student life and development at Honolulu CC. Students praise Kukulies for providing the knowledge essential to prepare students for life during and after college as well as giving them a better chance at success in the future. They also say that she always encourages student growth and provides the opportunities for them to do so.
She encourages students to enjoy the journey while at college, and they say that makes it easier to stay in school. Kukulies provides the challenge and support they need to go beyond their perceived personal limitations and discover new things about themselves.
Kukulies is also commended for bringing the campus community together in fun, interactive and educational activities. Students describe her contributions as “an invaluable part of the campus that so many people rely on.” In addition to wearing many hats on campus, Kukulies takes on different roles in her students’ lives as a friend, sister, mother and mentor. She is the welcoming hand to hold and the encouraging push each student appreciates in their paths in college.
A student said, “Rrom all the knowledge and skills I have obtained from Emily Kukulies, I know that I can rise further than any challenge life may bring.”
Siu Roger Kwok enjoys being called “Leeward’s Mad Scientist.” With an office crammed with toys, games and bits of magic, his eccentric, yet engaging teaching methods nurture inquiry and curiosity in students. His innate ability to translate complex scientific concepts into relatable everyday situations typically results in his students saying, “He has completely changed my idea of science!”
Outside the classroom, Kwok mentors faculty, encouraging them to try new approaches and to become active in the educational science community in Hawaiʻi. He leads by example. Kwok was instrumental in the creation and expansion of the Hawaiʻi State Science Olympiad. The first was held at Leeward CC on March 3, 2005 with one participating school. The event has grown to more than 80 teams and 1,200+ students in what is now a statewide event.
Kwok is a driving force behind Leeward’s Discovery Fair, the largest community event offered by Leeward CC. His creativity in making science fun and approachable is evidenced by the delight and wonder in children’s faces as they participate in his hands-on activities or as they walk through Leeward’s Natural History Museum, which Kwok created using his own private collection of minerals, fossils and gems.
Kwok was also a recipient of a 2012 Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
Microbiology and Botany Instructor Hongwei Li, holds himself to the highest standards of excellence and, by example, inspires his students to strive for excellence themselves. He uses a number of teaching methods to encourage students, motivating them to succeed in ways they had not conceived.
Li creates a comfortable classroom environment that is conducive to learning by acknowledging each student’s individual worth. He devotes countless hours to help his students actively engage in undergraduate research. He strongly believes that laboratory research allows students to further understand what they have learned in the classroom.
He involves students in many extra-curricular activities, including the Windward Hoʻolauleʻa and food pharmacy. By presenting research posters at scientific conferences and meetings, students broaden their knowledge in settings outside the classroom.
Students regard Li as more than an exceptional teacher, and said, “He is our life mentor.” Li has enabled many students to see that they can achieve great things far beyond what they initially thought possible, and this mindset extends into all aspects of students’ lives.
Instructor, social sciences, Kapiʻolani Community College
Jaclyn Lindo teaches economics at Kapiʻolani CC. Through the implementation of a flipped classroom, Lindo’s courses uniquely synthesize economic theory, indigenous knowledge, ʻāina-and place-based learning, service learning, community engagement, undergraduate research and a sustainability mindset. By using the community and its resources as her classroom arena, she inspires students to reach out to find a niche that is empowering and fulfilling. She teaches her students to be a catalyst in their own self-discovery.
Lindo has presented at the UH Sustainability in Higher Education Summit and the UH Grand Challenges Summer Institute. She leads the sustainability-focused course assessment team of the Kapiʻolani Research Scholars Program and has received the 2018 UH President’s Green Award for faculty innovations in sustainability curriculum. She is part of the student-led cross-disciplinary team that includes chemistry, culinary arts and economics that received the 2018 Green Project Implementation Award. This project will generate biodiesel for use in sustainability-related projects on campus, to model energy cost savings and to explore product development by turning waste by-products into resources.
When she is not teaching, Lindo serves as the faculty advisor to the Economics and Business Club. She enjoys deepening her understanding of Hawaiian culture, exploring the islands’ unique ecology, and working with ʻāina-based community organizations.
Steven Lundblad is known as a popular and creative teacher, a remarkable mentor and a resource for students. Colleagues and students alike describe his teaching style as dynamic and interactive, with a wonderful mix of entertaining and thought-provoking lectures, in-class activities, discussion, group work and demonstrations.
Lundblad’s enthusiasm, energy, approachability and passion for geology ignite in many students a previously unrealized excitement about this discipline, which has made him the department’s go-to person for recruiting new geology majors. Through his geoarchaeology laboratory, Lundblad provides opportunities for students to assist in cutting-edge research, present findings at national conferences and co-author scientific papers. These activities have helped students gain entry into graduate schools and secure employment with valuable research experience under their belt.
His dedication also extends beyond the lab and classroom. Lundblad volunteers at science fairs and science olympiads, trains local teachers and helps them obtain grants to improve their science curricula. Those who know him as a teacher and a colleague say Lundblad doesn’t just produce better students, he also produces better scientists.
Associate Professor, music, University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu
Jon Magnussen is an associate professor of music at UH West Oʻahu. Magnussen is a tireless proponent of music on campus, working long hours overseeing the program, teaching, arranging performances and seeing that concerts by the university band or chorus are properly promoted. He takes so much work home with him that he’s stopped using a backpack to carry it all, instead he is a familiar figure on campus dragging a large, rolling briefcase behind him.
One of his students commented, “The most significant factor to teaching is passion: passion for the subject, and passion to help others become better. Dr. Jon’s passion for what he does was obvious from the very first course I’ve taken from him.”
Magnussen’s many contributions go beyond inspiring students. He helped design the Humanities Division’s creative media concentration, has served on the campus’ Distance Education Committee and served as the vice chair/recorder for the faculty senate. Remarked a colleague, “Throughout his teaching, creative achievements, and service, Jon infuses the Humanities Division and UH West Oʻahu as a whole with a wonderful spirit of collegiality.”
Kristin Pauker is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Social Sciences. In all her teaching endeavors, she infuses a commitment to diversity. This is articulated with respect to underrepresented students and through an expanded spectrum of course content and of pedagogical practices.
One first generation, underrepresented, financial-needs Mānoa student describes the brilliance in Pauker’s structuring of a semester’s course as modeled on how research would be conducted. The undergraduate student found that “Professor Pauker and her graduate students treated me as a collaborator, making me confident in starting my own research project.”
This rigorous, research-based commitment to teaching and learning emanates from a teacher described by her colleagues having an “easy going style,” who makes a concerted effort to learn her students’ names in classes, and who monitors each student’s success after each exam with an individual email to those struggling.
Michelle Phillips’ passion for teaching and her commitment to student success come through clearly in all her endeavors at Hawaiʻi CC. Phillips is an innovative instructor who implements new materials and teaching strategies to help students connect with and understand the subject matter. With a teaching style that is interactive and encourages critical thinking, Phillips keeps her classroom in a wonderful balance of scientific rigor and well-designed activities.
Students are passionate and effusive in their praise for Phillips, and her ability to connect with them in the classroom is one of her greatest strengths. She maintains a mentoring relationship with former students who have graduated or transferred.
The positive energy and attitude she brings to her teaching benefits not only her students but also her colleagues and the broader campus community as she participates in committees and other initiatives.
Phillips has a wide range of teaching experience that includes middle school community colleges and four-year universities. She is a Generation XI Wo Learning Champion, helping to design enrichment and professional development programs for her UH colleagues.
Ty “Kawika” Tengan is an associate professor in both ethnic studies and anthropology in the College of Social Sciences. Aʻo aku, aʻo mai (teach, learn) is the philosophical grounding and organizing principle of his teaching practice.
A colleague credits the success of the college’s Nā Koʻokoʻo Native Hawaiian leadership program to Tengan’s aʻo approach. He inspired undergraduates, non-traditional students and high school students to become collaborative, responsible, steadfast leaders while striving for their own academic success. Another colleague characterizes Tengan’s teaching practices as incorporating anthropological holism, critical thinking, self-reflection, experiential learning, engagement/advocacy and qualitative research methods woven together throughout all his courses.
Students speak of being “humbled that a well-respected Hawaiian leader and scholar does not entitle himself but rolls up his sleeves and gets into the work with all his haumana, leading by example.” Said one of his students, “It is Professor Tengan’s steadfast belief that the aʻo of our land and our ancestors, both present and past, holds the key for true educational transformation.”
Paul Thornton is a psychology instructor at UH Maui College. He earned his PhD in social psychology from the UH Mānoa, where his research interests included emotional contagion and attraction. Thornton is passionate about social justice and currently serves as a co-commissioner on the UH Commission for LGBTQ+ Equality.
Thornton is a teacher of patience, passion and compassion who inspires students through his creativity and enthusiasm for his discipline of psychology. He is also dedicated to improving his skills through professional development and participates in programs to give back. He is instrumental in campus programs designed to introduce and develop student connection, such as creating opportunities to better understand and access campus resources.
His students and colleagues describe his enthusiasm as contagious. As a professional, Thornton maintains an engaged class with genuine conversations and a signature sense of humor, while remaining approachable to all.