World-renowed entomologist establishes scholarship at UH Mānoa

Contribution from Dr. Nan-Yao Su supports students at CTAHR

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications
Posted: Feb 2, 2009

"I was very fortunate to have an excellent mentor at UH, Dr. Minoru Tamashiro, who showed me the path to science. Now that I am in a position to give back, I hope to provide something for students to broaden their horizons." - Dr. Nan-Yao Su

HONOLULU—Dr. Nan-Yao Su and his wife Jill have established the Nan-Yao and Jill Su Endowed Fund for Entomology. This fund will assist graduate and undergraduate students studying entomology in the Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR).

Their gift will support students at CTAHR with scholarships, awards, research, travel to conferences and other related expenses as deemed appropriate by the department. Dr. and Mrs. Su provided $35,000 to create an endowed scholarship and established a Charitable Lead Annuity Trust that, UHF officials say, will generate an additional $90,000 for the endowed scholarship over the next 15 years.

A UH alumnus, Dr. Su revolutionized how we manage subterranean termites. As a distinguished authority on termite behavior, ecology and control and as the inventor of a top-selling termite bait product, Dow AgroSciences' Sentricon Colony Elimination System, he is extremely accomplished in both the academic and business worlds. Sentricon is among the most successful technologies licensed by the University of Florida, where Dr. Su is a professor of entomology. To date, Sentricon is estimated to have reduced pesticide use by more than 6,000 metric tons.

Born in Taiwan, Dr. Su moved to Japan in his youth. He completed bachelor's and master's degrees at the Kyoto Institute of Technology before coming to the University of Hawaiʻi where he earned a doctorate in entomology under the tutelage of emeritus professor Minoru Tamashiro. While working with Dr. Tamashiro, he formulated the integrated pest management approach to subterranean termite control on which the Sentricon system is based.

"We are deeply honored Dr. Su has established this gift to benefit our entomology students," said Andy Hashimoto, dean and director of CTAHR. "His pioneering work shows our students that science can profoundly improve our environment and our lives."

Dr. Su is an eminent leader in termite research. He has authored more than 200 publications, holds seven patents, and has achieved great success in attracting extramural funding for his research program. He advises the United Nations Environmental Program and the governments of New Zealand, Chile and the People's Republic of China. In 2007, CTAHR named him the Outstanding Alumnus for their centennial year.