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Frances Davis Award for Undergraduate Teaching 2002-2006 Award Recipients

Davis Award Winner

Yoshiko Okuyama, headshot

Yoshiko Okuyama

Yoshiko Okuyama is an assistant professor of Japanese at UH Hilo. Students and colleagues attest to her skill, quality of teaching and devotion. Okuyama Sensei, as students call her, inspires students to excel. She simplifies complicated concepts and schedules personal interviews to assess students’ progresses. One student wrote, "I loved class so much, I was willing to brave the flood of fall 2000 just so I could listen to her lecture." Another said Okuyama’s class is well designed to assure positive learning progression and student success.

Okuyama’s concern doesn’t end with the class bell. She came to the aid of students who wanted a course in conversational Japanese, helping establish a two-credit class at night. She’s also known to follow the progress of some students after they’ve completed her class.

Kenith Simmons, chair of UH Hilo’s humanities division, wrote, "Her teaching philosophy is intelligent and insightful, not only in its specific content, but also in that she constantly reflects on her teaching, making notes of what worked and what didn’t. In addition to her teaching, she has a strong research program and an impressive record of service activities. She has made herself a very valuable member of the community in every aspect of her professional life."

The Frances Davis Award for Undergraduate Teaching recognizes dedication and demonstrated excellence as teachers of undergraduate students. It was established as a memorial to the late Frances Davis, who taught mathematics at Leeward Community College and UH Manoa for 19 years.

Select a recipient for more about that individual, or view the most recent winners.


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