Maui News

UH Maui Counselor Honored with Regents’ Medal for Excellence

May 16, 2017, 12:52 PM HST
* Updated May 16, 12:55 PM
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Shane B. Payba. PC: University of Hawaiʻi.

Maui’s Shane B. Payba, a Counselor at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College, was among a list of 14 faculty members selected as recipients of the Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching.  Three others were selected as recipients of the Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research.

Payba earned a bachelor of arts in psychology from UH Mānoa. Upon graduating, he worked with Kāhi Mōhala and the Department of Human Services Child Welfare Service.

In 1999 he accepted a position at Maui Community College as a counselor for the federally funded TRiO Upward Bound Program. There he honed his counseling skills working with and advising low-income and first-generation high school students. In 2004, Payba joined the college’s counseling department and became its special needs coordinator. For the next two years he served students with disabilities by facilitating academic accommodations.

In 2006 Payba transitioned to his current position as a liberal arts counselor. While holding this position, he has served the college and UH System in many roles, including: UH Maui College STAR representative and builder; Counseling Department director; Running Start coordinator; College Pamantasan Council representative; and co-advisor for the Kabatak Club, a College Filipino student organization.

Payba’s counseling interests and passions involve student recruitment, retention, persistence and transfer into four-year university programs. He is committed and dedicated to serving low-income and first-generation students, and helping students from Hawaiʻi’s local and underrepresented populations attain post-secondary education success.

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University of Hawai‘i President David Lassner said, “Our outstanding and dedicated faculty are second to none. We honor them and thank them for their work in uplifting our students and the communities we serve.”

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Six UH teachers have also been recognized with the Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. In addition, a Kapiʻolani Community College student is this year’s recipient of the Masaki and Momoe Kunimoto Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Vocational Education.

Top row, from left: Erick Cremer, Albert S. Kim, Kenneth L. Lawson, Winona K. Lee, Nicolas Logue, Michelle A. Manes, Tara B. OʻNeill, Derek Otsuji, Adam Pack, Shane B. Payba, Georgeanne Purvinis, Scott C. Sinnett, Cheri Souza and Carleen S. Yokotake. PC: UH

The Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes faculty who exhibit an extraordinary level of subject mastery and scholarship, teaching effectiveness and creativity, and personal values beneficial to students, was awarded to:

  • Erick Cremer, Assistant Professor, Nursing, Hawai‘i Community College
  • Albert S. Kim, Associate Professor, College of Engineering, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • Kenneth L. Lawson, Associate Faculty Specialist, William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • Winona K. Lee, Assistant Professor, Department of Native Hawaiian Health, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • Nicolas Logue, Theatre instructor, Windward Community College
  • Michelle A. Manes, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • Tara B. OʻNeill, Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies, College of Education, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • Derek Otsuji, Assistant Professor, English, Honolulu Community College
  • Adam Pack, Professor, Psychology, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo
  • Shane B. Payba, Counselor, University of Hawai‘i Maui College
  • Georgeanne Purvinis, Assistant Professor, Electronic Technology, Kaua‘i Community College
  • Scott C. Sinnett, Associate Professor, Psychology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • Cheri Souza, Counselor, Kapi‘olani Community College
  • Carleen S. Yokotake, Professor, Speech, Leeward Community College

2017 Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research honorees, from left, Christoph J. Baranec, James Dean Brown and Jeffrey R. Kuhn. PC: UH

The Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research, which recognizes a faculty member’s scholarly contributions that expand the boundaries of knowledge and enrich the lives of all in the community, nation and the world, was awarded to:

  • Christoph J. Baranec, Assistant Astronomer, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • James Dean Brown, Professor, College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature, Department of Second Language Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • Jeffrey R. Kuhn, Astronomer, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Left to right, top to bottom: John Hamilton, Nyle S. Kauweloa, Monica LaBriola, Denise Nelson-Hurwitz, John Signor and Mark A.J. Wilding

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The Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching recognizes dedication and demonstrated excellence as teachers of undergraduate students. It was established as a memorial to the late Frances Davis, who taught mathematics at Leeward Community College and UH Mānoa for 19 years. This year’s awardees are:

  • John Hamilton, Instructor, Physics and Astronomy, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo
  • Nyle S. Kauweloa, Graduate Assistant, School of Communications, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • Monica LaBriola, Assistant Professor, History, University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu
  • Denise Nelson-Hurwitz, Assistant Professor, Office of Public Health Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • John Signor, Assistant Professor, Music, Leeward Community College
  • Mark A.J. Wilding, Graduate Student, Department of Second Language Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Nathaniel Weeks. PC: UH

The Masaki and Momoe Kunimoto Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Vocational Education rewards outstanding achievement and significant contribution to vocational and technical education by a community college faculty member or student. The award was established by family members to honor the namesakes’ role in development of the food industry in Hawai‘i. This year’s winner is:

  • Nathaniel Weeks, Student, Information Technology, Kapi‘olani Community College
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