UH Hilo faculty, staff honored with awards

Date: Monday, June 4, 2012
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

Faculty and staff at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo were honored with prestigious teaching and recognition awards during this year’s spring commencement held on May 12.

Dr. Yu Cheng Qin, assistant professor of history, received the Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching. Described as “passionate about history and cultural diversity,” Qin is committed to expanding students’ horizons by disseminating knowledge and improving understanding of rich and important civilizations. Students praise Qin for his passion and for encouraging critical thinking.

The Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, which recognizes a junior faculty member within the UH System, was presented to Dr. Marianne Takamiya, assistant professor of astronomy. An enthusiastic teacher, advisor and student mentor, Takamiya “sets the bar very high in her classes yet manages to instill confidence in her students that enables them to rise to the occasion,” a nominator noted.

Also honored was Bridget Awong, general manager, Sodexo Dining Services, who received the Chancellor’s Certificate of Recognition. The award was established last year by Chancellor Don Straney to recognize faculty and staff whose accomplishments and contributions exemplify the vision of UH Hilo to prepare students to thrive, compete, innovate and lead in their personal and professional lives.

Awong, a leader in sustainability on campus, created “Local First,” an initiative that emphasizes the use of locally grown and produced food, which makes up over 60% of all the food served in the UH Hilo dining hall. The program has expanded into a partnership with Hawaiʻi Community College and UH West Hawaiʻi.

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