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UH Manoa chancellor honors faculty with meritorious teaching awards

University of Hawaiʻi
Contact:
Diane Chang, (808) 956-0391
Director of Communications, Chancellor's Office
Posted: Aug 9, 2010

Jonathan Deenik
Jonathan Deenik
Michael Dunn
Michael Dunn
Joel Moffett
Joel Moffett
Michael Nassir
Michael Nassir
Katrina-Ann Kapa Oliveira
Katrina-Ann Kapa Oliveira
Jan Shoultz
Jan Shoultz
Six UH Mānoa faculty members—Jonathan Deenik, Michael Dunn, Joel Moffett, Michael Nassir, Katrina-Ann Kapa Oliveira and Jan Shoultz—have each been presented with a 2010 UH Mānoa Chancellor’s Citation for Meritorious Teaching by Chancellor Virginia S. Hinshaw. The annual award recognizes UH Mānoa faculty members who have made significant contributions to teaching and student learning.
 
Deenik is an associate specialist in the UH Mānoa Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences. His approach to teaching is founded on core principles: a passion for teaching, a mastery of the subject matter, the expectation that students will rise to meet high standards, and the creation of a safe and nurturing learning environment. He strives to create lively and animated lectures combining the use of pictures and stories that bring the subject of soil sciences to life. Deenik has developed an extension program consisting of an educational component—including formal workshops and outreach to farmers, agricultural professionals and the general public—and a strong participatory research component directed toward practicing farmers.
 
Dunn is an associate professor in the UH Mānoa Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences. He has made outstanding contributions to both his profession and the various nutrition and allied health fields, and to the training of graduate and undergraduate students through a well-balanced research and instruction program. Dunn’s core instructional duties are to teach basic science classes, such as nutritional biochemistry and the molecular effects of diet on disease processes. His nutritional biochemistry course is one of the most important knowledge domains for students majoring in food science and human nutrition. Beyond undergraduate instruction, Dunn excels in his teaching of graduate students. Without his leadership and advocacy, it is unlikely that the new interdisciplinary PhD program in nutrition would have been approved.
 
Moffett is an assistant professor in UH Mānoa’s Academy for Creative Media at UH Mānoa. As a teacher of art, Moffett has enormous respect for the creative process, and encourages students to take risks, experiment and explore. His aim in teaching is to develop students’ understanding of specific artistic principles, and cultivate their ability to apply these lessons to their film work. Spurred by both his commitment to building a film school and his focus on screenwriting, Moffett has created a number of “Filmmaker Initiatives,” whose main purpose is to help nurture underrepresented voices within the student community. He established the internship program for the “Lost” set that allowed students to participate in a 16-week program to learn about the local film industry. He won the best short film award at the 2008 London Independent Film Festival for his film, “Horsepower,” and the Award of Merit for a short film, “Poi Dogs.”
 
Nassir is an instructor in physics and astronomy at UH Mānoa. His workload duties have steadily expanded during the past nine years, and now includes 3-4 physics and astronomy courses each semester, plus physics lab supervision, astronomy lab coordination, lecture-demonstration improvement, undergraduate physics-major advising, student professional club advising, and service on both campus and departmental committees. Nassir believes that by demonstrating to his students the relevance and ubiquity of physics in their daily lives, engagement and interest will follow naturally. Nassir serves as a member of the Faculty Senate’s General Education Committee and provides analytical skills in dealing with trends in student behavior and improving undergraduate education.
 
Oliveira is an assistant professor and interim director of UH Mānoa’s Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language. The combination of Oliveira’s strong knowledge of Hawaiian language combined with her superior knowledge of Hawaiian language pedagogy makes her one of the best language teachers on our campus. As an educator, she seeks to nurture young scholars so that they too may establish their own roots and create niches of knowledge for themselves, their families, and their communities. As a teacher and mentor of both undergraduate and graduate students, Oliveira engages students to think critically about their application of Hawaiian language and knowledge with a strong emphasis on contextual learning. She developed and administered a highly successful summer immersion program for Hawaiian language students from across the UH system.
 
Shoultz is a professor of nursing in the UH Mānoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene. She is a key leader in the school’s effort to be directly involved with community development and health care in the state. Her specific nursing goals with students include development of lifelong learning, critical thinking and effective communication. Shoultz is an expert on the principles of Community Based Participatory Research. For a number of years, she has secured federal and state funding, and provided leadership for the Quentin Burdick Rural Health Project that offered interdisciplinary students an opportunity to experience the health-care needs of rural communities. She has coordinated and taught two interdisciplinary courses, Rural Health Teams and Child Welfare. The classes that she teaches contribute to the programmatic and institutional goals of the nursing school.
 
The six awardees will be recognized for their achievements along with other UH award recipients at the annual Convocation ceremony to be held September 14, 2010, at 10 a.m. at Kennedy Theatre on the UH Mānoa campus. The ceremony is open to the public at no charge, and no reservations are needed. For more information, visit http://www.hawaii.edu/about/awards.
 
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa serves approximately 20,000 students pursuing more than 225 different degrees. Coming from every Hawaiian island, every state in the nation, and more than 100 countries, UH Mānoa students matriculate in an enriching environment for the global exchange of ideas. For more information, visit http://manoa.hawaii.edu.