On April 27, 2018, four College of Education (COE) faculty members were recognized by the UH Mānoa Office of the Chancellor during an awards ceremony at Kennedy Theater. Stephanie M. Buelow and Lysandra H. Cook each received teaching awards, Erin Kahunawaika‘ala Wright received an award for enhancing diversity, and the late Ernest “Niki” Libarios Jr. was selected for his work in academic advising.
“We are honored to have these amazing faculty members receive such important awards,” Dean Nathan Murata said. “This is a testament to the quality and dedication of our faculty in the COE”
Buelow, a Board of Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching recipient, has served as an assistant professor of elementary literacy in the COE Institute for Teacher Education for the past five years. She previously worked as an elementary teacher and literacy coach in the Hawai‘i Department of Education (HIDOE) for twelve years before transitioning to UH. Her areas of research include disciplinary literacies, new literacies, and teacher learning from preservice to inservice. She currently has numerous publications included in Literacy Research & Instruction, Reading Horizons, The Reading Teacher, The Journal of Language and Literacy Education, and The Middle School Journal.
Associate Professor in the COE Department of Special Education, Cook was awarded a Chancellor’s Citation for Meritorious Teaching. With the COE for 13 years, she received a 2017 Leadership Service Award for her role in designing the merged Exceptional Children and Elementary Education program (ESEE) with Associate Professor Jamie Simpson Steele. In 2016, Cook received a best practitioner article “Kirk Award” from the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Learning Disabilities for her work with Professor Bryan Cook on research designs and special education research.
The Dr. Amefil “Amy” Agbayani Faculty Diversity Enhancement Award was presented to Erin Kahunawaika’ala Wright. An assistant professor in the COE Department of Educational Administration, Wright has a background in student affair and served as the Director of Native Hawaiian Student Services at UH Mānoa. She was recently invited to join the National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates’ advisory panel for a new survey instrument under development at the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center. As the awardee of the Agbayani award, she will receive $2,500 for conference travel or educational materials.
Libarios was given the Outstanding Academic Advisor Award posthumously. With the COE for nearly 20 years, he passed away unexpectedly on August 19, 2017. The former Director of the Office of Academic Services in the COE, he was devoted to helping others and broadening access to education for all people. Libarios was an elementary school teacher for the HIDOE, an instructor at Leeward Community College, and a counselor at Honolulu Community College before coming to UH. He is credited with being the leading force behind the University’s Be a hero. Be a teacher. campaign.
Read more about the awardees in the UH News article.