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UH West Oʻahu professors recognized for 30 years of service

University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu
Julie Funasaki Yuen, (808) 454-4821
Public Relations and Marketing Department
Posted: Mar 6, 2008

In honor of their 30 years of service at UH West Oʻahu, Dr. William J. Puette and Dr. Ross Prizzia were recently recognized during the university‘s annual professional development day program.

"We are honored to have two such outstanding individuals as members of the university faculty," says UH West Oʻahu Chancellor Gene Awakuni. Dr. Puette and Dr. Prizzia‘s hard work, dedication and commitment to educational excellence have enriched the lives of our students and we are grateful for their extraordinary years of service."

As Director for the Center for Labor Education & Research (CLEAR) at UH West Oʻahu, Dr. William J. Puette developed a leadership skills seminar, a labor law course, programs on contractual grievance handling, parliamentary procedure and labor history. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Puette is a long-time resident of Hawaiʻi and taught Humanities and Language Arts at campuses throughout the University of Hawaiʻi System.

"I look back over the years I‘ve been on the faculty of CLEAR and UH West Oʻahu and I think, despite the books I‘ve written and the thousands of students I have taught, there is still so much to do," says Professor Puette. "I am sometimes proud to reflect on my part in how CLEAR and UH West Oʻahu have grown together, but I am also humbled by the even greater unmet goals that challenge the time I have left to make a difference."

During his years of service, Dr. Puette won numerous awards for his academic and community projects including the Penn State's Lowell-Mellett Award for outstanding media criticism, the George Meany Award for Outstanding Service to Youth by the Hawaiʻi State AFL-CIO and the Aloha Council of the Boy Scouts of America. In 2005, the University of Hawaiʻi awarded him the Hung Wo and Elizabeth Lau Ching Foundation Award for Faculty Service to the Community.

Dr. Puette is the publishing editor for a Hawaiian labor history series and author of numerous labor-related booklets. A Registered Parliamentarian, he was recently elected president of the Aloha 'Ohana Parliamentary Unit of the National Association of Parliamentarians. Dr. Puette holds an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania at Edinboro and a Ph.D. from the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa.

Dr. Ross Prizzia is the chairperson of the division of Professional Studies, which includes degree and certificate programs in Public, Justice and Health Care Administration as well as Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Business Administration and Accounting. As a Professor of Public Administration since 1976, Dr. Prizzia teaches and conducts research in human resources administration, environmental administration, comparative administration and disaster management.

He is the author of numerous journal articles, chapters in books and four books. He also served as peer reviewer for the Journal of Environmental Economics and the American Review of Public Administration. Dr. Prizzia holds an M.A. from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and a Ph.D from the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa. He received the UH Board of Regents Excellence in Teaching Award in 1987.

"What makes teaching so special at UH West Oʻahu is the opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of our students in advancing their academic goals and careers," says Professor Prizzia.

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