RCUH Outstanding Employees

Each year, RCUH employees are recognized for their exemplary work. The following were recognized as the 2016 outstanding employees and were  honored at the awards luncheon on March 6, 2017 (click on name for video).

Outstanding Researcher/Project Manager Professional Staff

 1st Place: Tyler Bogardus

O‘ahu Army Natural Resources Program, Pacific International Center for High Technology Research

Tyler Bogardus has made highly significant contributions to the understanding of rat management in the islands. He initiated two important new technologies and refined existing strategies to better accomplish the job, requiring less “boots in the field.”  He organized the necessary management, research, and analyses, as well as assisted in the preparation of manuscripts on new strategies. He identified a serious problem with data submitted by a subcontractor and implemented a new program so that data collection could continue while problems with the subcontractor were resolved. He is a highly dependable leader of effective rat control in natural ecosystems with the Oʻahu Army Natural Resources Program in Hawaiʻi.

2nd Place Tie: Violet Horvath

Pacific Disabilities Center, UH John A. Burns School of Medicine

Violet Horvath completely turned around the Pacific Disabilities Center, growing it into a vibrant entity that is making a real difference in the lives of persons with disabilities. It took her vision of a team approach based on strengths and a new path, coupled with patience, persistence, thick skin, and an ability and desire to work with others to make these advances. People who are deaf and hard-of-hearing can now enjoy going to a movie just as much as someone without hearing loss. She is also working on a five-year strategic plan to provide post-discharge services for those who have had a stroke, traumatic brain injury, and/or spinal cord injury.

2nd Place Tie: Brett Taylor

UH Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research

 Brett Taylor completed four peer-reviewed journal papers on reef fish life history during 2015-2016 and supervised JIMAR scientists on a 45-day research cruise to the Samoan Archipelago. Brett’s leadership in the bio-sampling projects in the western U.S. Pacific Territories has greatly improved the effectiveness of efforts to collect reef fish samples from these data-poor fisheries. He skillfully dealt with Territorial island politics through meetings and engaging key individuals to garner support and strengthen partnerships. Brett also provided hands-on training to expand the capacity of local staff to conduct preliminary life history studies.

Outstanding Project Support Staff

1st Place Tie: Alisa Kimura

O‘ahu Invasive Species Committee, UH Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit

 Alisa Kimura makes the Oʻahu Invasive Species Committee (OISC) a great place to work. She consistently comes up with cost-savings and efficiencies and at the same time creates an atmosphere of camaraderie at the office that all her colleagues appreciate. She has demonstrated that she truly cares about OISC’s mission to protect the Hawaiian forest by going above and beyond to improve the financial health of the project by spearheading a fundraising campaign that will expand OISC’s donor base and enable them to receive private funds. These actions will increase the sustainability of OISC in the years to come and will enable OISC to expand, grow, and become more efficient in achieving their mission.

1st Place Tie: Angela Schultz

Pan-STARRS, UH Institute for Astronomy

 Angela Schultz is the lead observer for the Pan-STARRS telescopes on Haleakala. Pan-STARRS searches the sky every night for dangerous asteroids. During the year, Angela took the lead on planning observations of important transient events, including gravitational wave detections and neutrino burst detections. She worked many additional hours to fill in when two of the other observer positions became vacant. The Pan-STARRS telescope operation is heavily dependent on both her expertise and her dedication. Her tireless efforts have enabled the program to succeed, overcoming severe restrictions in resources.

Congratulations to all of the 2016 nominees for their outstanding service! (click on name for video)

Ryan ChilsonAcademia Sinica, Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics

Erin Fukaya, Diana Kucmeroski, Cheryl Vernon, Janos MolnarClinical Trials Office, UH Cancer Center

Josiah JuryKo‘olau Mountains Watershed Partnership

Derek KuboAcademia Sinica, Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics

Eiji KyonoSubaru Telescope

Fiona Langenberger, John Maurer, Joseph GilmorePacific Islands Ocean Observing System, UH Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research

Heide LiloHawai‘i Child Welfare Continuous Quality Improvement Project

Harriet Parsons East Asian Observatory/James Clerk Maxwell Telescope

Ranjani SrinivasanAcademia Sinica, Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics

Casper Vanderwoude, Michelle Montgomery, Heather Forester, Michael Adachi, Ersel Hensley III Hawai‘i Ant Lab, UH Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit

Matthew WungSubaru Telescope


UH Faculty Excellence in Research

RCUH provided a $5,000 cash award to each recipient of the UH Regents Medal for Excellence in Research. The three 2016 faculty awardees and summaries of their research are presented below:

Brian W. Bowen

Brian Bowen is a Research Professor at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. He has made outstanding contributions to the conservation of marine species such as sea turtles, shrimp, sturgeon and white sharks. Since joining HIMB in 2003, he has trained 23 graduate students, and sits on the committees of another 14 graduate students. He has published approximately 200 peer-reviewed publications, garnering over 13,000 citations. This sought-after speaker has given 16 guest lectures in the past three years and, over his career, has presented 90-plus times. His competitive grants represent more than $6 million of extramural funding. This American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow earned the Kobe Award for lifetime achievement in aquatic biology.

Loïc Le Marchand

Loïc Le Marchand is a Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center. He has contributed significantly to the field of cancer epidemiology, and was one of the first epidemiologists to study the role of genes and the environment on cancer incidence. His work has been nationally and internationally recognized. He was a member of the 2015 IARC (International Agency for Research in Cancer) committee that reviewed evidence for processed meat as a carcinogen, and was recognized on the 2015 Thomson Reuters’ “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds and Highly Cited Researchers” list. Extremely successful at obtaining grant support, he brings in several millions of dollars to the University annually. He always strives to build a research environment that fosters the training of new scientists.

Kristin Pauker

Kristin Pauker is an Assistant Professor in the College of Social Sciences’ Department of Psychology. She is described by a nominator as a young scholar whose thoughtful and careful research has contributed to developmental science with an impressive scope and breadth. She is making significant contributions to developmental and social psychology in the areas of intergroup attitudes, racial bias, interracial anxiety and essentialist beliefs. Using cutting-edge methodology, her research particularly focuses on the timely and important topic of racial prejudice. Since joining UH Mānoa in Fall 2011, she has published 12 peer-reviewed journal articles and a book chapter, with four manuscripts currently under review and a number under preparation. She has also been successful in obtaining federal funding to support her scholarly works.

UH Student Excellence in Research

In 2016, three $500 student awards were funded by RCUH. The recipients of these awards were:

Megan Ansdell, Graduate Student (Doctoral Level)

Megan Ansdell has pursued her academic interests with distinction at well-known institutions abroad, but returned home to Hawaiʻi to pursue a doctorate in astrophysics at the Institute for Astronomy. Her research is in the exciting area of formation of planetary systems, and she has already published four first-authored refereed papers on her work. She also just completed a paper on her groundbreaking survey of the Lupus cluster, one of the youngest nearby clusters undergoing active star formation. Her surveys of this and other star-formation regions are being made with the new ALMA telescope array, which provides 10 times the angular resolution and sensitivity of previous surveys of star formation regions. These surveys will permit studying planet formation on spatial scales similar to that of our own solar system.

Keisha Bahr, Graduate Student (Doctoral Level)

Keisha Bahr brings tremendous intellectual insight and positive energy into her PhD research at the Hawaiʻi Institute for Marine Biology. Her dissertation work focuses on identifying species and community level responses to local and climate change impacts in the estuarine coral reef ecosystem of Kāneʻohe Bay, in particular coral bleaching. She published her entire dissertation prior to her defense. She has won several awards, including the “Best Graduate Poster” at the annual UH Albert Tester symposium. Due to her natural leadership, she was selected to serve as chair for a novel session that will focus on coral bleaching, monitoring, management responses and resilience at the International Coral Reef Symposium. Most notably, she co-wrote and is co-investigator on a fully funded National Science Foundation grant in the Division of Ocean Sciences.

Ryan Gough, Graduate Student (Doctoral Level)

ryanGoughAwardsRyan Gough is not only one of the top PhD students in the Department of Electrical Engineering, but he has also gained recognition within the international microwave community. He was named the 2014 ARCS Scholar of the Year, the first time a UH engineering student garnered the award for achievement among all sciences within the University. His work on creating dynamically reconfigurable circuits and antennas using liquid metals brings to mind the futuristic shape-shifter in the Terminator movies. This graduate student has made such fundamental advancements in the area that the nation’s foremost expert, a North Carolina professor, flew to Honolulu for Gough’s dissertation defense. He is unmatched in writing extramural proposals, communicating to a wide array of audiences, mentoring undergraduates, and providing service to the professional community.