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UH Hilo faculty honored with teaching awards

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Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669

For Immediate Release

Three members of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo faculty received excellence in teaching and recognition awards during this year’s spring commencement, held on May 16.

Dr. Norman Q. Arancon, associate professor of horticulture, was presented the Board of Regents Excellence in Teaching Award. Arancon, an internationally recognized expert in vermiculture and vermicompost, has authored and co-written 14 book chapters, 46 articles in international scientific journals, and has been an invited guest lecturer/presenter at 111 national and international conferences and workshops. He recently co-edited three books highlighting his work in vermicomposting over the past decade. On campus, he is leading the effort to develop sustainable gardens where principles of sustainability are integrated, practiced and shared.

Receiving the Francis Davis Award was Dr. Norman Purves, instructor in physics and astronomy. Nominators describe Purves as a demanding teacher who devotes countless hours to assisting his students and pushes them to always do their best. Students say that he motivates them to learn more, fuels their drive to succeed and has led them to take part in cutting edge experiments which have brought them respect and recognition from the scientific community.

Colby McNaughton, instructor in education, is the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Lecturer or Instructor. Nominators describe McNaughton as an individual who works “tirelessly to create a multi-strategy, hands-on, comprehensive interdisciplinary course to bolster student content knowledge as well as introduce prospective teachers to relevant simulations and real-world scenarios.” Her classes engage students with a mix of questions, guided discussions and collaborative activities that target every type of learner. Students and colleagues alike say her approach to teaching is rigorous and transformational.

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