Kimberly Koide Iwao, a College of Education (COE) doctoral student, has been awarded a Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching. This is the highest honor awarded to university faculty, particularly because the nominations come from students and colleagues. As one of three finalists, Iwao was selected for exhibiting an extraordinary level of subject mastery and scholarship, teaching effectiveness and creativity, and personal values that benefit her students.
Iwao is enrolled in the Learning Design and Technology (LTEC) PhD program and the LTEC Certificate in Online Learning and Teaching (COLT).
“Kimberly is not only a passionate teacher, but she is also an enthusiastic student,” LTEC Professor Christine K. Sorensen Irvine said. “She cares about her work, and she is a dedicated team member in group assignments. I remember being impressed that she had her own successful legal practice, was teaching law classes for Kapiʻolani, and enrolled in our doctoral program simultaneously. Her passion for legal education was apparent in my classes as well.”
A lecturer in law at the University of Hawaiʻi Richardson School of Law since 2019, Iwao has been an instructor for the Legal Education Program at Kapiʻolani Community College (CC) for the past four and half years. She teaches several introductory classes, as well as the capstone internship course, incorporating real-world experiences as a licensed practicing attorney while increasing her skillset for the online environment.
Iwao also earned her BEd in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English from the COE before earning a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. She says teaching has always been her passion.
“In high school, I was employed as an after-school care assistant and a tutor to elementary and middle school students,” Iwao stated. “After college, I obtained my bachelor’s degree in education and then a law degree. While practicing as an attorney, I assisted one of my law partners with teaching his business law class at a private university. After leaving the law firm, I pursued my desire to teach and was hired at Kapi’olani CC as a full-time instructor.”
Dr. Susan Jaworowski, Paralegal Program Director in the Business, Legal, & Technology Education Department at Kapi’olani CC, said, “We are very proud of Kim for receiving the 2021 Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching. She exemplifies the quality that we offer students in the Paralegal program. We are sure that she will continue to excel in the LTEC doctoral program.”
One of Iwao’s mentors and colleagues, Jaworowski earned her PhD in LTEC from the COE. Iwao says she is responsible for encouraging her to apply to the program, knowing it would benefit her in her teaching of online law courses.
“I am so fortunate to have so many amazing mentors and supporters,” Iwao concluded. “While I was a student teacher in the COE, my mentor teacher and first role model in the field of education, Aileen Moriwake, was kind and compassionate. At Kapi’olani CC, Dr. Susan Jaworowski has been an inspirational mentor and colleague through her advice and guidance, as well as her leadership, work ethic, and dedication to our faculty and students. In the legal field, Richard Philpott, Esq., Edmund Saffery, Esq., and Nelson Befitel, Esq., have been instrumental in shaping my career as an attorney and business professional. Last but not least, my parents, my husband, and two children are my number one cheerleaders and supporters of my passion for teaching, my legal career, and my pursuit of my doctoral degree in the Learning Design and Technology Program.”