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David has been with CTAHR for more than 27 years, serving as a chair and professor in MBBE. His passion for teaching and ability to relate complex concepts in a way that makes the subject of molecular biosciences easier to understand has inspired confidence in his students to go further in their academic careers and achieve more than they once thought possible. David regularly ties in current events into his teachings, driving home the relevance and importance of the world of biotechnology and successfully engaging students to want to learn more. The spark that few can ignite in their students is a skill that he possesses, which is only part of what makes him deserve this year's Teaching Award. His impact as an educator and mentor was echoed through 15 letters of recommendation from current and former students, who cite the main cornerstone of their success being his teaching. Thank you, David, for your dedication, infectious spirit, and guidance to the next generation of scientists! Congratulations!
David will be honored at the 2022 CTAHR 'Ohana Banquet.
Thao is a professor in the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) program and has been with CTAHR for more than 11 years. In that time, she has built a reputation for engaging, encouraging, and inspiring the students she comes in contact with. She has persuaded countless students to join HDFS and find their calling. Through their interactions with Thao, many students start to believe in their ability to achieve goals they might not have thought themselves capable of. Beyond her duties as a professor and mentor, Thao has written two children’s books on social and emotional learning, freely distributed to teachers and heal/social service providers throughout the pandemic. Her coaching and guidance have paved the way for many of Hawaiʻi’s current educators and social workers. They are making a positive difference in the lives of our keiki and their families. Many of these former students note that Thao was a significant factor in their success, and for this, we recognize her with the Ka Pouhana award!
Thao will be honored at the 2022 CTAHR 'Ohana Banquet.
Cody, who graduated from CTAHR with an Animal Science degree and is a past Ka Hana Poʻokela undergraduate award recipient, is currently pursuing a Master's in Natural Resources and Environmental Management. Her critical data collection for her research project on the migratory patterns of 'o'opu nākea showcases her drive to give back to the community by conserving Hawaiʻi’s stream ecology and preserving native fish. Cody's active roles, serving as a CTAHR Student Ambassador since she was in her sophomore year of her undergraduate studies, as president of the graduate student organization “HI Stream and Ecosystems,” and as a volunteer educating K-12 students through Nā Wai ʻEkolu, showcase her dedication to academia, stewardship, and to make a genuine impact. Congratulations Cody! Thank you for your many years of dedication to the college.
Mililani Isaacs, known by most of us as “Michelle,” has been the PEPS Department Secretary for the past seven years. During this time, she has been excellent in processing paperwork for PEPS with a very high load of work, from grantsmanship to personnel hiring to travel documents to reimbursements. Michelle goes above and beyond to assist staff and faculty overcome challenges PEPS has faced, especially throughout the pandemic. She plays a significant role in ensuring that faculty maintain good standing with grant funding agencies and in keeping critical research projects functioning. Michelle takes pride in PEPS and CTAHR, always willing to volunteer to organize department gatherings to build camaraderie, and oversee security and maintenance issues in the building. She is proactive, proficient, engaging, and a good team-builder.
Every year, the Hawaiʻi Flower and Nursery Association (HFNA) hosts “Wedding Celebrations,” a workshop dedicated to the exquisite work of Hawaiʻi floriculturists. This year, several CTAHR floriculture experts contributed their expertise by sharing their research and knowledge in tropical flowers and foliage with the floriculture community.