UH announces recipients of the 2006 Hung Wo and Elizabeth Lau Ching Foundation Award

University of Hawaiʻi
Arlene Abiang, (808) 956-5637
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Jun 29, 2006

The University of Hawaiʻi has announced the recipients of the 2006 Hung Wo and Elizabeth Lau Ching Foundation Award for Faculty Service to the Community. The award recognizes significant contributions that strengthen ties between the university and the community. Established in 1997, it is presented annually to two faculty members (one female and one male) from Mānoa and two from other UH campuses.

Patricia Lanoie Blanchette, chair and professor of the Department of Geriatric Medicine at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, is recognized by her peers for being a committed leader in gerontology and geriatrics. Blanchette developed a formal gerontology and geriatric medicine curriculum for medical students, residents and fellows, to educate them about normal and pathologic human aging, the aging society and the provision of excellent medical care to elders. Her leadership resulted in one of the largest and best academic geriatric programs in the country. Blanchette also gives her time by serving on various local and national organizations such as: the Board of Medical Examiners, the Hawaii Medical Association, the Medical Executive Committee, Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific, the Alzheimer‘s Association, among many others.

Charles H. Fletcher, professor of geology and geophysics in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at UH Mānoa, is acknowledged for his devotion and team-building efforts in establishing new guidelines and policy for the protection of Hawaiʻi‘s shorelines and beaches. Over the last 15 years, Fletcher has worked closely with the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources and various county planning departments to nourish Hawaiʻi‘s beaches. He wrote the Hawaiʻi Coastal Erosion Mangement Plan, the state‘s only comprehensive plan, to address coastal erosion problems. In addition to his outstanding community service, Fletcher created an internationally-recognized research program at the school that has attracted more than $5 million in extramural grants to the university.

Linda Nishigaya, professor of sociology at the University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu, is honored for using her sociological insights and social research skills to benefit the university and the larger community. Nishigaya has touched many people and organizations on various levels. In the classroom, she continues to provide opportunities for her students to exceed as future sociologists by developing and implementing innovative courses into her curriculum. Nishigaya also generously gives her time to organizations like Upward Bound and the National Guard Youth Challenge, the Institute for Human Services, Hansen‘s Disease Settlement at Kalaupapa on Molokai, Hospice of Hawaiʻi, among many others. The Catholic Church community in the Makiki area, particularly Sacred Hearts Parish, have benefited from her recommendations in program planning.

Ken Staton, associate professor of music at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, has been a guiding force in bringing excellent orchestral music to the Big Island. His passion for music and for teaching is obvious through his years of service to the university. Staton created the first University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Orchestra, comprised of highly skilled students and community musicians from all over the Big Island and the other islands. The orchestra has created a sense of pride within the community. Staton also coordinates activities for the Hilo Community Chorus and oversees the university‘s chamber singers, an elite performance ensemble. Staton is instrumental in attaining major grants and donations to support his efforts in bringing professional musicians to Hilo to work with the students and community members.

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

For more information, visit: http://www.hawaii.edu/about/awards/index.html