Golden Apple Award winners with Provost Jennifer Walsh (far-left) at Aloha Tower Marketplace: (left to right) Matthew LoPresti, Harm-Jan Steenhuis, Joelle Phillips, Ghazwan Hassna.
Matthew LoPresti receives the Golden Apple Award for 'Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching'.
Ghazwan Hassna receives the Golden Apple Award for 'Exceptional Service to the University'.
Joelle Phillips receives the Golden Apple Award for 'Excellence in Mentoring' .
Harm-Jan Steenhuis receives the Golden Apple Award for 'Distinguished Graduate Teaching'.
Valentina Abordonado received the award posthumously for 'Exceptional Lifetime Commitment to Service and Education.' Her family was present to accept the award on her behalf.
The HPU Golden Apple Awards are presented to HPU faculty each year and are a celebratory event that recognizes and commends faculty contributions towards advancing teaching, scholarship, and service to the University.
Golden Apple recipients were nominated by either faculty, staff, or students. The Awards are presented on behalf of the HPU Scholarship and Learning Resources Committee of the Faculty Assembly.
The 2022-2023 Golden Apple Awards are:
Excellence in Scholarship – Professor Mary Jane Rapport, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA:
Rapport, with extensive research experience, led interdisciplinary research projects and published nearly 70 peer-reviewed articles. Her work spanned physical therapist education, admissions, school-based and early intervention therapy, and more. She served on editorial boards for prominent physical therapy journals.
Excellence in Mentoring – Assistant Professor Joelle Phillips, DNP, RN:
Phillips demonstrated unwavering support in mentoring students, stepping up as an advisor and inspiring students to thrive. She extended her mentorship through Sigma Theta Tau, also mentoring Bachelor of Science in Nursing faculty members. Her accessibility, intelligence, and fairness made her an exemplary mentor.
Excellence in Service Learning – Assistant Professor Jennifer Merkle, JD:
Merkle's dedication to service learning stood out in her teaching of comprehensive service-learning projects. She engaged students in impactful research, fostering change in the Chinatown-Downtown neighborhood. Her commitment extends to volunteering opportunities at the Federal Detention Center, highlighting her excellence in service.
Exceptional Service to the University – Associate Professor Ghazwan Hassna, Ph.D.:
Hassna took on the roles of Faculty Senate and Assembly Chair and Program Chair simultaneously, advocating for faculty interests and shared governance. He dedicated extensive time and effort, managing conflicts, fostering discussions, and maintaining ethical decision-making. Ghazwan has been known to spend more time in the college than with his family during the last few years, spending almost all weekends and weekdays during his summer break in his office. His steadfast leadership earned him respect and gratitude.
Distinguished Teaching by an Adjunct Faculty Member - Meynard Enriquez, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT:
Enriquez has made a significant impact in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. He provided engaging lectures and labs, earning praise for his uplifting demeanor, kindness, and personalized guidance. Students appreciated his dedication and thoughtful explanations.
Distinguished Graduate Teaching – Professor Harm-Jan Steenhuis, Ph.D.:
Steenhuis' motivation and passion resonated with students. His innovative teaching structure, contemporary topics, and personal connections enriched student experiences. He dedicated time and effort to connect with students, preparing them for their careers.
Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching – Associate Professor Matthew LoPresti, Ph.D.:
LoPresti's commitment to teaching was reflected in his innovative approaches, personalized attention, and supportive environment. Students and colleagues lauded his engagement, dedication to individual growth, and safe learning space. His impact extended beyond the classroom.
Exceptional Lifetime Commitment to Service and Education - Valentina Abordonado, Ph.D.:
Abordonado's extensive and diverse contributions at HPU shaped its growth. She played vital roles in education, teaching and learning, curriculum development, and assessment. Her friendly nature, willingness to help, and collaborative spirit left a lasting impact on students and colleagues. The award is given posthumously, recognizing her exceptional service.
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