PHOTOS: UH Hilo 2015 Awards and Recognition

Several members of the UH Hilo ʻohana received special honors.

Chancellor Don Straney hosted the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo 2015 Recognition and Awards Celebration on May 14. Recognized at the event were Student Employee of the Year, UH Hilo Award recipients, retirees, and faculty and staff receiving years-of-service recognition.


Kristen Laguana stands with UH Hilo officials for photo. She holds certificates.
(l-r) Marianne Takamiya,professor and chair of astronomy (nominator); Kainoa Ariola-Sukisaki, academic advising; Student Employee of the Year Kristen Laguana; Don Straney, chancellor; Matt Platz, vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Kristen Laguana, a laboratory assistant responsible for maintaining equipment and proper operation of the astronomy lab, received the Student Employee of the Year Award.


Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi Award for Excellence in Innovation

Barry Taniguchi and Don Straney congratulate the winners.
(l-r) Barry Taniguchi, Kaleonui Hui, John Coney, Don Straney.
  • Kaleonui Hui and John Coney received the Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi Award for Excellence in Innovation. This award recognizes the creative use of technology in teaching, scholarship, research and artistic production by full time faculty or staff at UH Hilo. Hui and Coney were recognized for upgrading the physics freshmen labs, which included implementation of several new experiments, three major technical contributions, production of almost 50 videos for laboratory instruction and a major upgrade of lab manuals.

Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities

Susan Jarvi stands with UH Hilo officials for photo.
(l-r) John Pezutto (nominator), dean of the pharmacy college; Don Straney, Susan Jarvi, Matt Platz.
  • Susan Jarvi, professor of pharmaceutical sciences and director of the Pre-Pharm Program, was honored with the Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities for her work on rat lungworm disease, including basic and applied research as well as community advocacy and education. This award is presented to a member of the tenure track faculty or a full-time BOR-classified professional staff member for outstanding achievement in scholarly and/or creative endeavors, including publication of well-reviewed books, publication in refereed journals, or performances or exhibitions at the state or national levels.

Outstanding University Support Employee

Davelyn Cruz stands with UH Hilo officials for photo. She holds certificate.
(l-r) Thom Curtis, chair of social sciences division (nominator); Don Straney; recipient Davelyn Cruz; Matt Platz.
  • Davelyn Cruz, interim secretary, Division of Social Sciences, whose duties include accounting, course entry, and logistical scheduling for the division, was named the Outstanding University Support Employee. This award is presented to a university support service employee who has made significant contributions to UH Hilo.

Award for Professional Staff

Nadine Hara stands with UH Hilo officials for photo. She holds certificate.
(l-r) John Pezutto, Don Straney, recipient Nadine Hara, Matt Platz.
  • Nadine Hara was presented the Award for Professional Staff. This award is presented to a faculty or professional staff member who has made major professional contributions to his/her unit and to the university as a whole, and has made a positive impact on the welfare of students and colleagues at UH Hilo. Hara was recognized for serving as the fiscal specialist for the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy. In addition to preparing, managing and implementing the college’s budget, Hara serves as senior administrator to support staff members with grant projects, university funds and UH Foundation accounts.


(This list covers the period from May 2014 through April 2015. Anyone retiring after April 30 will be recognized at next year’s event.)

  • Nadine Austin, Auxiliary Services, 29 years.
  • Lynette Egusa, Financial Aid, 33 years.
  • Stephen Kaheiki, Jr, Library Services, 29 years.
  • Judith Kinoshita, Facilities Planning, 22 years.
  • Jubilee Kuewa, EEO/AA, 5 years.
  • Barbara Leonard, Associate Professor of Accounting, 12 years.
  • Steven Miura, Professor of Communication, 36 years.
  • David Montgomerie, Biology lecturer, 10 years.
  • Kenith Simmons, Professor of English, 35 years. Also served as Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
  • David Sing, Director, Nā Pua No‘eau Center for Gifted and Talented Native Hawaiian Children, 40 years.
  • Norman Stahl, Student Affairs, 13 years.
  • Lisa Takahashi, College of Continuing Education and Community Service, 33 years. (Office of the Chancellor for several years.)
  • Robin Takahashi, Assistant Professor of Health and Physical Education, 22 years.
  • Ronald Tamashiro, Auxiliary Services, 11 years.
  • Lillian Tavares, Education Assistant, 19 years.
  • Susan Yamada, Student Housing, 12 years.
  • Susan Yugawa, Graphics, 31 years.


1O Years

  • Harald Barkhoff
  • Kathryn Besio
  • Robert Chi
  • Keith Edwards
  • Jeanie Flood
  • Randy Hirokawa
  • Lori Hu
  • Deanna Manley
  • Drew Martin
  • Yoshitaka Miike
  • Yumiko Ohara
  • Grant Okazaki
  • Joan Pagan
  • Mark Panek
  • Chantell Schilling
  • Elizabeth Stacy
  • Misaki Takabayashi

20 Years

  • Gabriel Kipapa
  • Jené Michaud
  • Faith Mishina
  • Debbie Ogata
  • Cheryl Sarme
  • Claire Shigeoka
  • Janis Shirai
  • Aaron Yokomura

30 Years

  • Thora Abarca
  • Patricia Grossman
  • Gail Makuakāne-Lundin
  • Michael Marshall
  • Jan Zulich

40 Years

  • Lynn Shirai Tanimoto

-UH Hilo Stories