UH Manoa employee Charles Nelson named state employee of the year

Second straight year a UH employee wins top state honor

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Oct 6, 2006

HONOLULU — Charles Nelson, agricultural equipment development working supervisor in the molecular biosciences and bioengineering (MBBE) department at UH Mānoa, was recognized for his hard work and valuable contributions to the State of Hawaiʻi and honored as the state employee of the year by Governor Linda Lingle.

Governor Lingle announced this year‘s top employee, manager and departmental team at the annual Governor‘s Awards Ceremony. The winners were selected from 51 exceptional group and individual nominees, including 17 teams made up of 198 state employees.

This is the second straight year that a UH employee has taken the top honor. John Awakuni, a fiscal officer at UH Mānoa, received last year‘s state employee of the year award.

"I extend my sincerest congratulations and appreciation to Charles for his contributions to the university and the State of Hawaiʻi," said UH President David McClain. "Two years in a row now, a UH employee has been honored by the Governor, and this is a testament to the excellent staff we have throughout the University of Hawaiʻi system who everyday provide outstanding service to our students, faculty and community."

Nelson was selected to represent the University of Hawaiʻi for his efforts in designing and building devices that make research, extension and instruction projects possible for the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR).

His hard work and creativity have developed many technologies that benefit Hawaiʻi‘s people and environment, such as disinfestations machines that help growers combat invasive pests and biological treatment systems that clean contaminated dairy wastewater at CTAHR‘s livestock farm on Oʻahu‘s North Shore and at a commercial Oʻahu dairy.

"Charles‘ dedication and ingenuity have produced new technologies that benefit Hawaiʻi‘s people and protect our environment," said the Governor.

Nelson is committed to lifelong learning and applies his knowledge and skills to developing MBBE‘s website, setting up the department‘s server, maintaining the student computer lab, and training students to use the shop‘s machine equipment safely. Also, following the 2004 Mānoa flood, he volunteered for important and time-consuming responsibilities that were crucial to the university‘s recovery efforts.

A volunteer selection committee of five individuals from non-state government organizations reviewed the 51 nomination packets and rated them according to defined categories. The committee then presented its recommendations for the three awards to Governor Lingle.

Established in 1907 and fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the University of Hawaiʻi is the state‘s sole public system of higher education. The UH System provides an array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees and community programs on 10 campuses and through educational, training, and research centers across the state. UH enrolls more than 50,000 students from Hawaiʻi, the U.S. mainland, and around the world. For more information, visit www.hawaii.edu .