Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching for a Graduate Assistant

Graduate teaching assistants play a significant role in facilitating the education of undergraduate students at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UHM). Established in memory of the late Ms. Frances Davis, who taught mathematics at both UHM and at the Leeward Community College for 19 years, the Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching for a Graduate Assistant recognizes excellence in undergraduate teaching. Each year, an award is presented to an outstanding UHM graduate teaching assistant who demonstrates excellence in instructional activities.

Please Note:  There are TWO Frances Davis Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching awards: one for faculty and one for graduate teaching assistants.  This nomination process applies only to the nomination of Graduate Teaching Assistants.  Please do not nominate faculty using this process.  Visit the web site for the Center for Teaching Excellence for instructions on how to nominate faculty.

Amount of Award

The award consists of $1,000.


Any UHM graduate assistant with a teaching assignment within the previous two academic years (fall through summer) may be nominated.  Graduate students who were not a Graduate Teaching Assistant in that time frame are not eligible for this award.  Qualified candidates must also be enrolled during the academic year (i.e., fall and spring semesters), in which the selection is made. Past recipients of this award are ineligible to be nominated again.

Nomination Guidelines

Nominations may be submitted by any current or former student or faculty supervisor.To be considered, Graduate TAs will need at least three nominations which shall include one from a student whom they taught during the two-year eligibility timeframe and one from a faculty supervisor for their TA appointment. Each nomination should be submitted with a statement of justification for the nominee. Nominees with submissions that meet the criteria above will receive further information on the candidate application process and deadline.

Nomination Procedure and Deadline

Nominations must be submitted online via the Frances Davis Award Nomination form between October and December 1.   Awards will be conferred the following Spring semester. Any nominations submitted after December 1 and/or not using the online form will not be considered.  Graduate Division will notify the nominees and provide further instructions for the submission of their application materials. The Graduate Council will select a finalist and forward its recommendation to the Dean of Graduate Division.

If you encounter problems accessing the appropriate online form, please contact: Please ensure you are using your UH email account to access the form. This form cannot be accessed via a personal or non-UH email account.

  • Frances Davis Award Nomination form

Nominee Information

Eligible nominees will be invited by the Dean of Graduate Division to submit materials electronically for review by members of the Graduate Council. If any of the requested materials are missing, the student’s application will not be considered. Materials to be submitted include:

  1. A statement of Teaching Philosophy and Achievements,
  2. A current curriculum vitae,
  3. If available, syllabi for each course you taught during the two-year evaluation period.
  4. Any other supporting material evidencing creative and innovative teaching that you may wish to include.

Detailed instructions and a template to follow will be included in the Dean’s invitation.

Selection Criteria

The following criteria will be used in evaluating each nominee’s application:

  1. Subject Mastery and Scholarship
    1. Demonstrates a mastery of the relevant subject matter;
    2. Has the ability to organize, emphasize and clarify ideas, elicit useful questions, communicate knowledge beyond the mere exchange of information;
    3. Not only clarifies concepts presented by the instructor, but also blends news ideas into the discussion.
  2. Teaching Effectiveness and Creativity
    1. Has developed effective skills in the art and craft of teaching;
    2. Is consistently well prepared;
    3. Presentations are clear and interesting;
    4. Evaluations of students are fair and reasonable;
    5. Encourages and motivates learning;
    6. Open to new techniques and approaches to stimulate learning and has demonstrated this in innovative ways.
  3. Personal Values Beneficial to Students
    1. Has an interest in student learning and in the quality of the learning environment;
    2. Enthusiastic about teaching;
    3. Approachable, tolerant of different viewpoints, sensitive to cultural, ethic, and gender differences among students;
    4. Treats peers and faculty with respect.

Past Award Recipients

2024 Maximillian Soares Miehlstein, Psychology
2023 Manca Sustarsic, Educational Foundations
2022 Hoa Le, Second Language Studies
2021 Heewon Kwon, Psychology
2020 Sabrina Diemert, Civil Engineering
2019 Maureen Kearns, Mathematics
2018 Rain Wright, English
2017 Nyle S. Kauweloa, Communication and Information Sciences
2017 Mark A.J. Wilding, Second Language Studies
2016 Joel A. LeBel, Philosophy
2015 Rex Troumbley, Political Science
2015 Chamil Rathnayake, Communication and Information Sciences
2014 Jacob Terrell, Linguistics
2014 Angela Haeusler, Second Language Studies
2013 Joshua Irvine, Civil and Environmental Engineering
2012 Sean Trundle, American Studies
2011 Erin Cozens, History
2010 Karyn Mo Wells, American Studies
2009 Joanne Birch, Botany
2008 Matthew Savage, Speech
2007 Susan Dixon, Geography
2006 Amy Donahue, Philosophy
2005 Tasha R. Wyatt, Educational Psychology
2004 Mie Hiramoto Sanders, Linguistics
2003 Brandon Ledward, Anthropology
2002 Mark Panek, English
2001 Carolyn Neel, History
2000 Anne Megan Evans, Theatre

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