11 professors receive Regents' Medal for Excellence in Teaching

University of Hawaiʻi
Arlene Abiang, (808) 956-5637
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Aug 28, 2007

HONOLULU ? The University of Hawai?i Board of Regents have selected 11 professors from campuses across the university system as the recipients of the 2007 Regents? Medal for Excellence in Teaching. The award recognizes their extraordinary level of subject mastery and scholarship, teaching effectiveness, creativity and personal values beneficial to students.

JOHN BARKAI is a professor and director of the clinical program at UH Mā®¯a?s William S. Richardson School of Law. He teaches and writes in the fields of clinical legal education and alternative dispute resolution, which includes negotiation, mediation, and other alternatives to trial in court. He is known locally, nationally and internationally for his unique and creative teaching, his mastery of the subjects he teaches, and his scholarship, as well as his many leadership roles and community service outside the law school.

MARIA FABRO is an instructor in nursing at Kaua?i Community College. She views each student has having tremendous potential to do great, and states that it is her job as their teacher to help her students realize that potential. One student said ?she practices what nurses preach, and that is a healthy lifestyle,? and another said ?she is able to clearly teach difficult content while maintaining the entire class? interest, and she makes us want to strive to be our best.?

CYNTHIA FRANKLIN is a professor of English at UH Mā®¯a. Her approaches to literature foster students? ability to think for themselves, and she designs her courses with a focus on contemporary issues, asking that students analyze structures, practices, and approaches to knowledge. She builds a classroom community in ways that de-center the teacher?s authority and encourages students to try out and develop ideas through meeting with them one-on-one.

KATHLEEN FRENCH is an instructor in social science at Windward Community College. She has gained the respect as a scholar and leader in the college community for her positive influence and commitment to student success. For three years, she has coordinated Women?s History Month at Windward all on her own, getting grants, finding speakers, and arranging venues and publicity, with audiences growing every year.

COLETTE HIGGINS is an associate professor of arts and humanities at Kapi?olani Community College. She is actively involved in the campus? service learning program and in various professional development opportunities as they relate to her teaching endeavors. Colleagues note that she uses these opportunities and incorporates her experiences into her classroom, and has a high level of interest and enthusiasm in her subject.

KATHY HILL is a professor of accounting at Leeward Community College. She was the first in the accounting discipline to explore distance education, and she is a pioneer at delivering accounting classes with the use of cable TV broadcasting supplemented with Internet learning activities. Teachers and students praise her for her clear and concise method of teaching, especially through cable. Many students not enrolled in her classes use her cable class video tapes as a supplement to their traditional classes.

DONNALYN KALEI is an instructor in the Administration of Justice program at Hawai?i Community College. Students are inspired by her skills as a multi-faceted teacher, a caring mentor, and an innovative and progressive educator. She designed and created the curriculum for the Substance Abuse Certificate Program, and has been a leader in developing online classes. She has also served as an advisor for student organizations, inspiring them to give back to their communities and to become lifelong learners.

FEMAR LEE is an assistant professor in developmental studies and math at Honolulu Community College. Colleagues say she is as dedicated to her students outside the classroom as she is inside the classroom, and strongly believes that students, faculty and staff should be involved in the entire college experience. In addition to teaching and tutoring students, she is the advisor for numerous student clubs, a member of campus committees, and participates in enriching and educating math workshops.

JILL OMORI is an assistant professor of family medicine and community health at UH Mā®¯a?s John A. Burns School of Medicine. Her main objectives as a medical educator are to empower and inspire her students to want to be more than just good doctors, but rather great doctors who push themselves to be critical thinkers and lifelong learners. She is establishing herself as an expert in healthcare for homeless patients through the Hawai?i Homeless Outreach and Medical Education Project, and sharing this expertise generously with students and residents.

LORELLE ANN PEROS is an assistant professor of the business and hospitality program at Maui Community College. Students say she brings the subject alive for them, bringing her own personal experiences into her classroom teaching, coordinating hotel site visits, and teaching them what the ?Aloha spirit? is and how important it is not only in the hospitality industry, but in life itself. She is patient, understanding, and she inspires them to be advocates.

SHIRLEY YAMASHITA is a specialist in educational technology in the College of Education at UH Mā®¯a. She has been a leader in working with undergraduates in teacher education. Her extensive experience in developing and teaching online courses has made her an invaluable resource for other faculty. Her philosophy of teaching for both face-to-face and online learning environments is to ?exemplify all that you teach.?

Recipients of the 2007 Regents? Medal for Excellence in Teaching will be recognized at a systemwide awards ceremony on September 5, 2007.

For more information, visit: http://www.hawaii.edu/about/awards/teaching.php