UH faculty receive Frances Davis award for dedication and excellence in undergraduate teaching

University of Hawaiʻi
Arlene Abiang, (808) 956-5637
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Jun 20, 2006

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaiʻi has selected four faculty members from campuses across the university system as the recipients of the 2006 Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. In memory of the late Frances Davis who taught mathematics at Leeward CC and UH Mānoa for 19 years, the award recognizes UH faculty members who demonstrate outstanding dedication and excellence as teachers of undergraduate students.

Amy Donahue is a doctoral candidate in philosophy at UH Mānoa. As a teaching assistant, Donahue has taught several introductory philosophy courses and has proved to be a stellar teacher. Her passion for philosophy enables her to challenge her students and provide them with tools from various traditions to analyze and critique their beliefs and actions. Her professor noted, "Her innovativeness of approach, analytical acumen, connecting the philosophical material to be taught with personal moral and political commitment and sheer dedication to the job, set standards that even we—senior and seasoned teachers can emulate."

Grace Ihara was an associate professor in speech at Honolulu Community College. She is posthumously recognized for bringing her wealth of knowledge and experience as a speech pathologist into the classroom. She helped many students "find their voices" and use them responsibly. She collaborated with colleagues to find ways to help students discover and use the power of speech. Ihara was also working on a curriculum that would enhance cross-cultural communication for non-native speakers of English. A colleague wrote, "Combining discipline and affection, high humor and keen wisdom, Grace exemplified and embodied—always with a unique sense of personal style—the best practices of her discipline."

Kendall Inada is an insturctor of classics in the Department of Languages and Literature of Europe and the Americas at UH Mānoa. Students elect Latin not only because of its intrinsic importance, but because of Kendall‘s reputation as a teacher and the caliber of his instructional aids, which employs scenes from history, mythology, and popular culture. In 2003, Inada founded the first Classics Club at UH, which explores the classical influences on present-day moviemaking. A colleage comments, "He has become an indispensable member of the Classics faculty, who has devoted himself to teaching the lower-level language courses with rigor and compassion."

Lorelle Solanzo-Peros is an instructor of hospitality and tourism at Maui Community College. Since being hired as the program‘s sole faculty member in 2001, she has redesigned the curriculum to meet national accreditation standards. Under the new curriculum, rigorous classroom academics are combined with focused internship and mentoring opportunities to provide a strong, experential educational foundation that will prepare students to be leaders and managers in the hospitality industry. A student wrote, "My journey at Maui Community College has been great because there was a teacher like Ms. Lorelle Solanzo Peros."

The recipients will be recognized for their contributions to the university along with other award recipients at a system-wide ceremony in September.