UH Hilo announces teaching award recipients

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Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo honored faculty with excellence in teaching and recognition awards during this year’s spring commencement held on May 11.

Rayna Morel, instructor of communication, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Morel was described by one nominator as a teacher who engages students using clever and relevant examples that make abstract concepts more tangible and meaningful to them.

The Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching was presented to Dr. Kalena Silva, professor and former director, Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language. A key member of the team that made the College a reality, Silva is described as a teacher first and foremost. He helps students learn through studies of historical language resources, how to understand the relevance of those materials, relate that understanding to contemporary times, and understand the importance of viewing Hawaiian as a living, evolving language.

Dr. Faith Mishina, assistant professor, Spanish, received the Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. She is described as a committed teacher who helps students learn another language by using it as a window into the larger world of global opportunities.

Dr. Norman Arancon, assistant professor, horticulture, received the Chancellor’s Special Recognition Award for Contribution to Campus and Community. Arancon has pioneered research in the utilization of earthworm-worked soil amendment, referred to as vermicomposts, which has benefited Hawaiʻi’s agriculture industry and local communities. Students in his courses grow produce on campus that are given to students in residence halls and sold at a student-organized farmer’s market.

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