Hundreds of Hawai‘i Community College students earn associate degrees and certificates each year, and their success would not be possible without the support of excellent faculty, staff and community partners.
Annie Bunker, a lecturer in the dance program, has motivated and mentored hundreds of students to become more well-rounded people, inspiring them to reach their highest potential in the spirit of Hawai‘i CC’s E ‘Imi Pono. “She taught me that mistakes are normal and learning from that will make me stronger,” said one of her students. Her infectious, bright nature, full of love, hope and humor, will remain with her students for a lifetime. One of Annie’s encouraging mottos to her students is, “Give everything you got, fall, and grow from it!”
Gordon Ching helped change the culture of the college with efforts to lift faculty morale. He also has gone out of his way to help students with donations of time and money to student clubs and UH Foundation causes, keeping lab hours on Saturdays, and his overall commitment and passion for teaching students. Gordon strives every day to leave the College a better place, and his acts of kindness and generosity during his 46-year career have bettered the lives of staff and students.
Outstanding Staff Member
Kirk Mikami is always ready to help others with his positive “can-do” attitude. Kirk works with students and staff from other offices in a collaborative effort to resolve any misunderstanding regarding financial obligations, aiding in a student’s success. “He has raised the bar for customer service in education,” commented a colleague. “He not only services students, but offers a listening ear and advice to staff as well,” said another. Kirk’s dedication and commitment to the College is also demonstrated through his numerous volunteer work with campus activities and assistance with student outreach.
Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching
Michelle Phillips’ passion for teaching and her commitment to student success come through clearly in all her endeavors at Hawaiʻi CC. Phillips is an innovative instructor who implements new materials and teaching strategies to help students connect with and understand the subject matter. With a teaching style that is interactive and encourages critical thinking, Phillips keeps her classroom in a wonderful balance of scientific rigor and well-designed activities. Students are passionate and effusive in their praise for Phillips, and her ability to connect with them in the classroom is one of her greatest strengths.
Chancellor’s A ‘Ali’i Award
Faculty members Toni Cravens, Sam Giordanengo and Claudia Wilcox-Boucher are the recipients of the 2018 Chancellor A A'ali'i Award. The three honorees served as advisors to the Associated Student Government leaders, dedicating countless hours and empowering the ASG Officers to give voice to the students. Along with their dedication and leadership, the three faculty members were committed to being more informed about student challenges, such as healthcare, housing, childcare, transportation and insecurities of food. Under the guidance of Claudia, Sam and Toni, the student leaders took on bold initiatives on campus to find solutions to include food distribution for students, advocating for bike support and creating mobile services to assist with taxi fare.