Source: UH News
Honolulu Community College (HonCC) assistant professor of Hawaiian Studies, Mark Sung Alapaki Luke, is one of fifteen University of Hawaiʻi faculty to be awarded the Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching. This annual awarded is presented by the Board of Regents as tribute to faculty members who exhibit an extraordinary level of subject mastery and scholarship, teaching effectiveness and creativity and personal values that benefit students.
When asked about this gifted and well-loved teacher, students speak about his “extraordinary aloha,” “unwavering dedication to higher education,” and “vast knowledge of the Hawaiian culture.” They appreciate and deeply feel that he “wants students to learn,” “motivates to think critically about society” and encourages them to “share their opinions and express themselves.”
One student remarked that what makes this professor’s teaching so extraordinary is that it “comes from a place of passion, pain, but also hope.” Passion because he cares deeply about his subject, pain because that subject deals with a long history of discrimination and dispossession experienced by Native Hawaiians, and hope because of his sustained commitment to build a future for Hawaiʻi based on the principles of fairness, equity and empowerment.
Among colleagues, this kumu is respected for his commitment to the campus community demonstrated in his sustained efforts to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture and empower Native Hawaiian students. Luke’s leadership and advocacy have been critical to the success of projects aimed at indigenizing the campus, including the creation of the AA degree in Hawaiian studies, the expansion of the Hawaiian Center, construction of the campus hale and the building of the malo.