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CTAHR’s Outstanding Alumnus Award pays posthumous tribute to a distinguished graduate who has made important local, national, and international contributions—this describes the notable career of Dr. Lei Yamasaki. A Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences graduate, Lei was a nationally recognized shrimp disease expert and instrumental in maintaining the health of Hawaiʻi’s aquaculture animals.
The Dean’s Award for Excellence in Extension distinguishes an exceptional Extension faculty member or team whose work has demonstrated outstanding performance and significant results. The application for this award is the submission of an Extension Impact Statement. This year’s winning Impact Statement can be found on the CTAHR homepage.
Volunteers are the lifeblood for Extension programs such as 4-H and Master Gardener. The recipient of this first-ever Dean’s Award for Outstanding Extension Volunteer goes to Joe Simmons, Master Gardener volunteer. For many years, the Master Gardener program in the majority of states utilized an electronic volunteer management system created and hosted by the University of California – Davis. In 2019, this system was decommissioned, and it was up to each state to come up with a replacement system.
While only in her third year, Chynna headed the funding committee as a CTAHR Student Ambassador and was awarded an American Future Farmers of America degree after being a member for five years. An undergraduate in the Tropical Agriculture and the Environment program, she gone above and beyond to be a mentor and give back to the community of Hawai'i, whether that be through presentations to high schools to encourage students to achieve higher education goals or through volunteering with various organizations that work in sustainability, restoration, and education. Chynna is a model student who spreads her energy to all those she comes in contact with, and CTAHR is happy to recognize her with this award!
Congratulations to graduate students Rina Carrillo and Shannon Wilson for being selected recipients of the 2022 Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation, Honolulu Chapter! Rina and Shannon will be honored May 2 during the ARCS Scholar Awards Banquet at the Outrigger Canoe Club. Rina, a Dept. of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering PhD student, is researching the impact of global warming and heat stress on plants. Her research is important to the development of crops that are able to withstand heat stress and are more resilient in today’s rapidly changing environment. Her thesis involves “characterizing the function of protein disulfide isomerase (PDI9) in plants, investigating its role in endoplasmic reticulum stress pathways and in mitigating stress-induced abnormalities in Arabidopsis,” she explains. Rina will use the award funds to further her research in PDI9 as she strives toward achieving her PhD.