Office of Student Academic Services (OSAS) Associate Director Denise Nakaoka is the 2016 NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education Sandra Kuchler Excellence in Mentoring Award winner. Of the highly competitive nominees, Nakaoka was selected for her role in mentoring UH Mānoa academic advisors and Mānoa Peer Advisors and for establishing the campus-wide GUIDE Academic Advisor Mentoring Program.
“OSAS is very proud of Denise for receiving this award,” OSAS Director Niki Libarios said. “It recognizes her passion, heart, and the significance of mentoring so that academic advisors can reach their fullest potential in the advising profession.”
Nakaoka was recognized during the November 2016 NASPA Western Regional Conference in Seattle, Washington. OSAS faculty and staff, including Reid Kuioka, Libarios, Denise Abara, Laurie Akana, Adam Tanners, Kori Ricci, Karen Wilson, and Geri Salvador, participated in the conference in support
With the College of Education for 25 years, Nakaoka oversees the daily operations of OSAS and ensures its core functions of recruitment, admission, advising, retention, and graduation are being executed at the highest level and students are being served with the same level of excellence.
“This award is a recognition of the importance of mentoring,” said Nakaoka. “I had several mentors who have had a profound impact on my life personally and professionally. I hope my efforts in mentoring students and advisors, as well as my work in establishing a university mentoring program for academic advisors, will enable others to experience the transformational power of mentoring.”
Named in honor of the former dean of students at California State University, the Sandra Kuchler award recognizes individuals for their ability to advocate and advise in administrative, organizational, and professional matters as well as to be an excellent role model for others.