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The Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching is awarded by the Board of Regents as tribute to faculty members who exhibit an extraordinary level of subject mastery and scholarship, teaching effectiveness and creativity and personal values that benefit students.

Carina Chernisky

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Carina Chernisky

Carina Chernisky is a UH West Oʻahu public services librarian who uses a variety of different methods and formats to foster a collaborative learning environment that ensures student success. She considers the library her “classroom,” which is more dynamic and adaptable than a traditional classroom environment. She cultivates it to be a safe in-person and virtual haven where individuals can go to seek help for research issues, participate in engaging events and learn critical-thinking skills.

Chernisky offers a variety of synchronous and asynchronous information literacy workshops that help students become self-directed learners who can access information, evaluate sources, and engage in lifelong learning in and beyond the confines of the classroom.

“Carina is always so informative and relates the topic of the workshop to relevant news of the week. It’s always a pleasure to attend her workshops,” said a student.In addition to her primary reference and instructional duties, Chernisky has served as the on-site library project manager/co-manager for traveling exhibitions, and is a champion of open educational resources at UH West Oʻahu and throughout the UH System.”

Sothy Eng

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Sothy Eng

Sothy Eng is an associate professor of human development and family studies in the UH Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Eng observed from his required office visits with students how their education fits into their complex lives. From that, he enhanced his course requirements, and gained a heightened sense of empathy toward students and the families and communities from which they came.

The insights of educator Paulo Freire resonate with Eng: “The teacher is no longer merely the one-who-teaches but who is himself taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught, also teach…jointly responsible for a process in which we all grow.”

A student said, “Professor Eng and the students made it such an amazing class, a welcoming space” and “Little did I know his class would spark my future career goals of increasing the community’s access to food security and sovereignty.”

Colleagues praise him for inspiring students to be collaborative, creative and respectful, and consider him “a role model among his peers, ceaselessly energetic, professionally dynamic, and abundant in his aloha.”

Kerri Inglis

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Kerri Inglis

Kerri Inglis is a professor of history in UH Hilo’s College of Arts and Sciences and specializes in research and teaching in the history of health, disease and medicine, especially as it pertains to Hawaiʻi and the Pacific, within a global context.

Inglis has devoted her career to studying the history of leprosy in Hawaiʻi and has done extensive research on patients’ experiences on the Kalaupapa peninsula. Her award-winning 2013 publication, “Maʻi Lepera: Disease and Displacement in 19th Century Hawaiʻi,” stands as a seminal work on the subject.

Affectionately known as “Kumu Kai” to her students, Inglis is celebrated not only for her scholarly contributions but also for her profound impact on education. According to graduate student David Freund, her endeavors have not only advanced her own professional growth but have also enriched the educational journey of her students, who have actively participated in her projects.

Freund said Inglis “goes beyond the rote delivery of information, striving to instill a deep understanding of concepts and principles, enabling students not only to acquire information and skills but also to think critically and apply their knowledge effectively.”

Kristiana Kahakauwila

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Kristiana Kahakauwila

Kristiana Kahakauwila is an associate professor of English in the UH Mānoa College of Arts, Languages & Letters. For Kahakauwila, a teaching philosophy rooted in choice is one rooted in kuleana—in responsibility, privilege and a sense of ownership.

Her teaching leans into analysis of how a work is shaped, and from where it takes its inspiration in the context of race, gender, sexuality, ability, Indigeneity and other lived experiences. Her students express an experience of being treated not “only as students but as writers and readers. She gives us a chance to grow and progress, first and foremost, as artists.”

Kahakauwila’s innovative pedagogical technique includes asking students to take up the mantle of instructor at least once each term. A former graduate student describes Kahakauwila as a “devoted, kind and brilliant teacher who challenged students in a way that was joyful and meaningful.”

Martina Kamaka

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Martina Kamaka

Martina Kamaka is a UH Mānoa associate professor in the John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Native 花秀直播an Center of Excellence.

Colleagues credit her with being at the forefront of training medical students in patient-centered care and cultural competency well before these were goals of health care. A colleague speaks of her “dreaming, developing and delivering culturally relevant and sensitive education” for 23 years.

Kamaka recognizes learning as experiential and occurring in diverse settings and unexpected contexts. In her experience, learning is balanced between mind, body and spirit at the micro level, and between communities/families, environment and spiritual sources of strength at the macro level. She said that the “most important point is for students who are future physicians to be able to communicate with patients with our hearts and our naʻau (intuition).”

A student called Kamaka “a big part of my journey in influencing the way I see myself, my relationship to the community and to my profession.”

Jenny Kelly

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Jenny Kelly

Jenny Kelly is an associate professor of animal science, and veterinary technician program director at Windward Community College, where she helps students navigate 贬补飞补颈ʻ颈’蝉 only veterinary technology program. She is also a doctor of veterinary medicine.

Kelly creates meaningful hands-on curricula that encourages student engagement with an innovative teaching method for her anesthesia and surgical assisting classes. One student said, “I loved how she was always frank and honest and very clear about her expectations. She isn’t afraid to ask questions to help you rearrange your thought process or lead you in the right direction….it was my favorite aspect of her teaching style. It has definitely helped me become more confident and efficient.”

Overcoming obstacles is one of her fortes. Kelly has extended support to students affected by the devastating fires on Maui, and has offered veterinary services in Lahaina to injured and burned animals.

A former student who is now an animal science lecturer said, “Dr. Kelly encourages me towards my goals, moving me forward to reach my full potential. Through her support she has equipped me with the strength to overcome any obstacle.”

Emily Moody

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Emily Moody

Emily G.A. Moody is an assistant professor of graphic design in the new media arts program at Kapiʻolani Community College. She teaches six courses including graphic design, typography, graphic symbolism, corporate identity, interface design studio and design portfolio.

Moody’s deeply rooted passion for design is shared with unabashed enthusiasm. She hopes that expressing her love for design and its applications will inspire the students to see the wonder of design and pave their pathway within the discipline. Each course is designed to provide students with a structured framework for experimentation and the cultivation of their unique approach to visual communication.

“You can tell Emily truly cares about her students and holds them to very high standards,” shared a nominator. “This in turn pushes students to reach their highest potential. She is passionate about design, teaching, and the success of her students. She creates an environment where we feel comfortable to share, fail, learn, and grow. Plus, she’s just a great person with a great sense of humor, which always makes it fun to learn!”

Steven Nakata

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Steven Nakata

Chef Steven Nakata is an assistant professor and chair of the culinary department of Kauaʻi Community College

Nakata puts his students first, and always tries to connect with each of them. He provides his personal cell number so they can reach him when needed, demonstrating a great level of dedication and commitment.

He brings a vast wealth of knowledge and experience from his past appointments as an executive chef and general manager. Service and cuisine are “in his blood.”

He has traveled internationally to parts of Europe, South America and the Caribbean and shares many learnings and adventures with his students. He is solid and accomplished with cooking methods, baking, sanitation and front-of-the-house training. He teaches with an openness and caring, a sense of humor and a strict, strong hand.

Nakata was overwhelmingly nominated by his students and colleagues. There are many successful students who have come out of the culinary program and Nakata was a big part of their growth, skill and confidence.

Michael T. Oishi

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Michael T. Oishi

Michael T. Oishi is an associate professor of English literature at Leeward Community College. Students respect Oishi for his clear and thoughtful instruction and his ability to make them feel heard and appreciated. Perhaps most notable is Oishi’s ability to get his students to appreciate and excel at what can be complex themes and material, whether it be tackling difficult moral dilemmas such as what it means to be human or an “outsider,” to exploring 贬补飞补颈ʻ颈’蝉 painful political past.

One student expressed, “He has left a truly remarkable impression on me… through his course I was able to deeply strengthen my connection to 花秀直播an roots, cultivate pride where there once was shame, understand the world around me with a greatly altered state of awareness. There are incredible professors here at Leeward CC… Professor Oishi stands apart in distinction.”

Susan Lum, professor of English literature and Arts and Humanities Division chair, at Leeward CC, states, “Michael embodies many of the qualities one hopes to see in a leader: diligence, humility, hard work, attention to detail and an eagerness to embrace challenges for the betterment of others.”

Over the years, Michael’s willingness to take on difficult tasks and his commitment to improving the work of the college and its employees has earned him not only a reputation as someone who is dependable, creative and efficient but also someone who cares deeply about people.

Mitchell Okamura

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Mitchell Okamura

Mitchell Okamura is an assistant professor of speech at Honolulu Community College.

Through encouraging an active, experiential approach to classroom learning, Okamura embodies the principle of Ma ka hana ka ʻike (in doing, one learns). He penned a quote that he often shares with his students, “To be something you have never been, you have to do things you have never done.” He focuses on getting students to do different things via activity-based learning everyday and building pilina (relationships) with each other, the course content and the instructor.

“After the pandemic, I had no motivation to attend any in-person classes that weren’t specifically related to my major,” said a student. “On my first day of speech class, I was so nervous. However, after experiencing Speech 151 with Mr. Okamura, my outlook changed. I felt motivated for the first time in a long time and actually had faith that I would pass the class and have fun while doing it.”

Okamura earned hisBA in speech and MA in communicology from UH Mānoa. He started his career in education in 2004, and has taught in the UH system as a graduate assistant, lecturer, instructor and assistant professor.

Nicole Reyes

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Nicole Reyes

Nicole Reyes is an associate professor of educational administration in the UH Mānoa College of Education. She shares the vision of UH Mānoa’s strategic plan: “the education of students is the core mission of the University; it is the reason we exist.”

To be a faculty at home on Oʻahu means she is serving those who represent the potential and future of what our institutions of higher education could be. Her students respect that her teaching is grounded in social justice, saying that “her deep passion for education has shaped my future research.”

A graduate student said Reyes was not only an “expert on qualitative research, but genuinely invested in fostering a collective and communal learning environment.”

Students said Reyes’ mentoring practices of inviting them into co-presenting and co-authoring with her, provide an experience of “what it means to be a serious faculty mentor and researcher,” inspiring students “to emulate the radical care with their own future students.”

A student said, “She turned my PhD experience from black and white into color.”

Stephanie Teves

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Stephanie Teves

Stephanie Teves is an associate professor in the department of women, gender and sexuality studies in the UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences. Teves connects with local students through a shared sense of place and welcomes students new to Hawaiʻi by applauding their sense of adventure.

“Under her guidance, I became a haumāna (student) who did not simply complete coursework but became enthralled with researching and received a scholarship for a project with Dr. Teves as my project mentor,” said a student.

Teves encourages students to learn from one another and explore who they are in a global sense. Her teaching has included the development of an undergraduate certificate in queer studies.

Another student said, “All of her students were treated with utmost respect and given the space to learn enthusiastically, while being sensitive to the differences that exist among us.”

A colleague said, “A beloved teacher, mentor and kumu, a visionary thinker, Lani has pursued undertakings that have transformed the educational landscape of the university.”

Richard Wallsgrove

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Richard Wallsgrove

Richard Wallsgrove is an associate professor in the William S. Richardson School of Law. An alumnus of the school, he attributes his approaches to teaching to those from whom he learned.

He is described by colleagues as being on the cutting edge of clean energy law. He believes in and aligns his teaching with the mission of UH Mānoa as a Native 花秀直播an Place of Learning, with respect for ʻāina (land) and engaging students in understanding how atmospheric dynamics is explained and rationalized in 花秀直播an and other Indigenous cultures.

Students describe him as embodying principles of empathy, rigor, passion and respect, saying “he makes us better.” Colleagues speak to how “In these polarized times where schools, colleges, and law school campuses alike are struggling with polarization, Rich’s thoughtful brilliance stands out.” As a teacher, mentor and colleague, he is, “a teacher’s teacher in every sense,” and respectful and sensitive to the needs of students from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Aubrey Weston

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Aubrey Weston

Aubrey Weston is an instructor and coordinator for UH Maui College’s accounting program. Her commitment to teaching is evident in the numerous nominations she received for the award for teaching excellence.

Students praise Weston for her willingness to go above and beyond to support their learning journey. A student said, “Her enthusiasm for teaching shines through as she acts not only as a professor but also as a mentor, guiding students through complex concepts with clarity and patience.”

Weston’s organizational skills and professionalism create a conducive learning environment, where students can easily navigate course materials and assignments. Her creativity makes learning enjoyable and engaging for her students.

A student said, “I can say that I love taking accounting, and this is 100% thanks to Aubrey.”

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