UH graduate students select anthropologist P. Bion Griffin to receive first-ever Distinguished Graduate Mentoring Award

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Mar 14, 2005

The UH Manoa Graduate Division has announced that its first-ever Distinguished Graduate Mentoring Award will go to Professor of Anthropology P. Bion Griffin.

The award was established so that current or former students could nominate their faculty to recognize excellent mentoring — one of the foundations of outstanding graduate education. The UH Manoa Graduate Council selected Griffin from a pool of more than a dozen nominees.

"It is absolutely critical that our graduate students have the support and guidance of experienced, professional teachers and scholars in their fields," said UH Manoa Chancellor Peter Englert. "The Graduate Council identified qualities essential to an outstanding mentor, and matched nominees to these criteria — a though task, given the number of faculty who qualify."

Griffin came to the University of Hawaiʻi after he received his Ph.D. in Anthropology — with a specialization in archeology — from the University of Arizona in 1969. It was here that he combined his interest in Hawaiian archeology with research in the Philippines. More recently, his active research has focused on archeological survey work along the Mekong River in East Cambodia, and the initial stages of conducting ethnography of elephant use in Southeast Asia. He also currently serves as the Acting Associate Dean of the College of Social Sciences.

Griffin has served on 59 master‘s and doctoral degree committees, chairing 14 of them. His nominator pointed out that his consistent support for students includes such things as helping new students establish themselves in Hawaiʻi and within the university community, finding research sites in typically very remote areas of the Philippines, Indonesia and Cambodia — and even accompanying them to these sites. Later this month he will take seven students in his graduate seminar to Cambodia during the spring break — a project for which he obtained federal funding.

During its deliberations, the Graduate Council identified a "short list" of four finalists. In addition to Professor Griffin, the others were Professors Jeffrey Carroll (English); Frederick Duennebier (Geology ad Geophysics); and Marie-Christine Garneau (Languages and Literatures of Europe and the Americas).