UH West O'ahu faculty honored for excellence in teaching

University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu
Julie Funasaki Yuen, (808) 689-2604
Public Info Officer, Communications Department
Posted: Sep 5, 2014

Dr. Richard Jones
Dr. Richard Jones
Dr. Stefanie Wilson
Dr. Stefanie Wilson

Two UH West O‘ahu professors were recently honored with awards for their outstanding achievements in teaching.

2014 Regents Medal for Excellence in Teaching, Dr. Richard Jones

UH West O‘ahu Assistant Professor of Education, Dr. Richard Jones was recently awarded the Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching by the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents. The award honors faculty members who exhibit an extraordinary level of subject mastery and scholarship, teaching effectiveness and creativity, and personal values that benefit students. Jones teaches science education as part of UH West Oʻahu’s Education program.

“Dr. Richard Jones is an outstanding educator and does an incredible job teaching his students how to become excellent teachers themselves,” said UH West Oʻahu Chancellor, Rockne Freitas. “He is passionate about science education and inspires his students with his enthusiasm and effective methods for applying science concepts using real-world, local examples.”

Jones helps his students discover that science is more than a collection of cold facts, but a process of daily discovery. A true believer that science is everywhere, he adapts and modifies numerous lessons, labs, and activities to use local data, local geomorphology and local issues to which the students can directly relate. Students leave his classroom with a genuine appreciation and understanding of science and the ability to teach it themselves.

In addition to being an outstanding professor, Jones is an avid scuba diver, quilter and vintage Volkswagen enthusiast. He is currently President of the Hawaiʻi Science Teachers Association (HaSTA), a University Hawaiʻi Professional Assembly Board Member for UH West O‘ahu, and one of the Co-Principal Investigators for the University’s $245,000 STEM Center of Excellence Grant. In 2013, he was honored by the National Earth Science Teachers Association with the Thomas B. Ervin Distinguished Service Award for his many years of service promoting Earth science education. Jones also won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching; the Montana State University – Billings Award for Excellence; and The Tandy Prize for Excellence in Teaching. He was also recently appointed to the National Science Teachers Association Committee on College Science Teaching where he will help guide policies, programs, and activities related to the teaching of college science.

Prior to joining UH West Oʻahu, Jones was a High School and Middle School Science teacher in Montana and a Middle School Science teacher at Kauaʻi High and Intermediate School. He also worked at the United States Department of Energy as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow where he focused on Science Education Programs including the National Science Bowl and the Fuel Cell Car Challenge. In addition, he has participated in atmospheric research at the South Pole and Ocean Atmosphere Interface research aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship KaʻImimoana. Jones holds two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree from the University of Wyoming, and an EdD from Montana State University – Bozeman. 

2014 Outstanding Teaching with Laulima Innovation Award, Dr. Stefanie Wilson

UH West O‘ahu Professor Dr. Stefanie Wilson was awarded the Outstanding Teaching with Laulima Innovation Award for her achievement in online instruction for the BUSA 435 Strategic Management course. The award honors UH West O‘ahu faculty for their excellent use of technology in the classroom that enhances the student learning experience. Wilson received an award certificate and $300, and will share her course innovation techniques with UH West O‘ahu faculty at a Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence event this fall.

“Dr. Stefanie Wilson is a fine example of the excellent educators we have at UH West Oʻahu,” said UH West Oʻahu Chancellor, Rockne Freitas. “She constantly strives to offer the highest quality instruction for our students using the latest educational delivery tools that enhance student understanding of management concepts and technology.”

Wilson’s Strategic Management course explored the principles and tools for managerial use in the analysis, formulation, and implementation of strategy for organizations via advanced technology. She used tools including Elluminate, an online course delivery, web-conferencing multimedia system as well as chat line and discussion questions that focused on student input. Students collaborated with one another and were provided with extensive learner support. Using effective online teaching tools, Wilson created a course that kept students constantly engaged and accommodated a variety of learning styles.

A dynamic and passionate teacher, Wilson uses her combination of academic, business, and community service experience to impart knowledge from a theoretical and practitioner perspective. In 2009, she won the University of Hawai‘i Frances Davis Teaching Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. The award recognizes the dedication and demonstrated excellence of teachers of undergraduate students. Since joining the UH West O‘ahu faculty in 2006, Wilson has taught 18 upper division courses in a variety of ways, including in-class instruction, online, and via interactive television. In addition to seven years of instructional experience, she has over 17 years of corporate experience with Motorola, Inc. Wilson has always been fascinated with human intelligences and leadership. Her research and publication efforts expand on Howard Gardner’s “Theory of Multiple Intelligences” by providing new ways to think about leadership. Wilson is also an active member of the Rotary Club of Pearl Harbor.

UH West O‘ahu became a four-year, regional comprehensive university when it served its first class of freshmen in fall 2007. The University offers quality education, small classes and personalized attention at convenient locations. UH West O‘ahu serves approximately 2,400 students at its brand new, state-of-the-art campus that opened in the City of Kapolei in 2012. For more information, visit uhwo.hawaii.edu, twitter.com/uhwestoahu, facebook.com/uhwestoahu or call (808) 689-2800 or toll-free (866) 299-8656.