Two Chaminade professors have been recognized for excellence in teaching and academic scholarship.
Dr. Jolene Cogbill, assistant professor of Biology, was named the inaugural recipient of the 2020 Chaminade University Excellence in Teaching Award. The honor celebrates teaching that has lasting and positive impacts on students and exemplifies innovative or transformative teaching practice.
Chaminade Provost Dr. Lance Askildson helped establish the Excellence in Teaching Award to underscore Chaminade’s commitment as a teaching institution. Award recipients receive $1,500 and public acknowledgment with a permanent display at Sullivan Family Library.
“Teaching excellence can make all the difference in a student’s academic career and should be recognized for its incredible importance to our University and broader community,” Askildson said.
“Great teaching can inspire students, challenge them and ignite their academic passions.”
Cogbill specializes in in Cellular and Molecular Biology, Developmental Biology and the teaching and design of biological lab techniques. She is also a Ho’oulu STEM academic navigator and coordinator of academic enrichment and outreach programs at the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
Her accomplishments in the classroom include:
- Developing a central theme to connect the semester and various lab units;
- Focusing each lab around the scientific method with an emphasis on hands-on learning;
- And creating a place-based curriculum that intentionally—and authentically—incorporates Native Hawaiian culture and ways of knowing, allowing for points of connection for all students.
Dr. Guanlin Gao, assistant professor of economics, was also honored for her work.
Gao was named the 2020 recipient of the Fr. John F. Bolin Excellence in Scholarship Award, which recognizes Chaminade faculty members who have contributed substantial scholarship to their field of study. Awardees also receive a $1,500 prize and acknowledgment in a permanent display.
Gao is an applied microeconomist who conducts policy-driven research in behavioral, public and experimental economics and the economics of education. She seeks to deploy research-based evidence to help policymakers make decisions that benefit society, and in the last 12 months has published four papers in peer-reviewed journals and presented at five academic conferences.
Gao said she has also a strong commitment to innovative pedagogical approaches.
“I encourage the development of my students’ moral character and personal competencies,” she said, adding that she seeks to educate her students for adaptation and change but also challenges them to be the change. “I deeply believe that everyone can do their share to make the world a better place.”
Askildson congratulated both Cogbill and Gao for their achievements. “These two professors exemplify excellence in teaching and scholarship,” he said. “These awards recognizing their outstanding efforts are well-deserved and I look forward to all they will bring to our academic community—and to our students—in the years ahead.”