Christine Ambrosino received a $5,000 teaching award from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Graduate Student Organization (GSO) as part of its 2020 Merit Based Awards. She is a doctoral student in UH Mānoa’s College of Education (COE) Department of Curriculum Studies and also holds a master’s degree in zoology from UH Mānoa.
Since 2008, Ambrosino has been with the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) where she currently works in the Marine Science Research Learning Center (MSRLC). She conducts research and develops place-based marine science and research methodology curricula for high school and college students. She has co-taught COE graduate students on Moku o Loʻe, also known as Coconut Island.
“I was very honored to receive this award, and it is timely encouragement as I wrap up my dissertation work,” Ambrosino said. “Having been trained as a researcher in the natural sciences, my confidence as an educator and education researcher sometimes wavers. This award has added to the support I already receive from my students and colleagues at the MSRLC and the COE who inspire and challenge me to develop my identity as both a scientist and an educator.”
Ambrosino said she has learned the importance of recognizing students as complex beings who bring valuable experiences and knowledge of their own to the classroom. By developing culturally-relevant, experiential curricula, she hopes to better engage and empower underrepresented students in science and spread the message to other science educators and researchers.
“On behalf of the curriculum studies department, we are so proud of Christine’s accomplishments in teaching and doctoral research with the support of her mentors, Malia Rivera of HIMB and Margie Maaka,” said Chair Patricia Halagao.
The annual GSO Merit Based Awards promote outstanding graduate student work at UH Mānoa, recognizing excellence in diversity, mentorship, research, service and outreach and teaching.