UH-Maui College faculty receive awards for excellence in teaching


The Maui News

Two University of Hawaii Maui College faculty have been honored for their excellence in teaching, UH announced Monday.

Kevin Omuro, a lecturer in dental hygiene at UH-Maui, received the Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes faculty who exhibit an extraordinary level of subject mastery and scholarship, teaching effectiveness and creativity and personal values beneficial to students, according to a UH news release.

Omuro is a licensed dentist who has been practicing in Hawaii since 1986. His passion is helping his students learn and watching them grow, and he is always trying new ways to make his classes exciting and interesting, UH said in a news release.

He was among 15 UH faculty members from across the state who received the Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching, while three received the Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research.


Another five UH teachers were recognized with the Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, including Joseph Keola Donaghy, assistant professor of music and faculty coordinator for the Institute of Hawaiian Music at UH-Maui. The award recognizes dedication and demonstrated excellence as teachers of undergraduate students.

Donaghy has worked with students to produce Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning and nominated albums and serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts, according to UH. Linguistically accomplished in Hawaiian, Te Reo Maori and Irish Gaelic, Donaghy is the developer of the Hawaiian keyboard and recently developed and released Hulihia, the Hawaiian version of the popular Wordle game.

“Our world-class faculty are the heart of UH,” UH President David Lassner said in a news release. “Every day they inspire our students as they model excellence in scholarship and engagement both inside and outside of the classroom to improve lives across our islands.”


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