UH Hilo Honors Individuals with Special Awards

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Chancellor Don Straney honored two individuals with special awards presented during UH Hilo’s Fall 2013 commencement.

Team Poliahu - Featured from left to right: Ryder Donahue, Kayton Summers, Wallace Hamada, Professor Edwards and Mike Purvis.

Team Poliahu – Featured from left to right: Ryder Donahue, Kayton Summers, Wallace Hamada, Professor Edwards and Mike Purvis.

Mike Purvis, a senior computer science major, received the inaugural Community Spirit Award, which includes a $500 cash prize. The award was established this past September by Edward Yamasaki, a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in World War II, and recognizes students who demonstrate excellence in applied research, learning and innovation in their respective fields of study. Purvis is team captain of UH Hilo’s Team Poli`ahu that won the 2013 U.S. Microsoft Imagine Cup Championship and participated in the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Team Poliahu in front of Alexandrinsky Theatre for the awards ceremony

Team Poliahu in front of Alexandrinsky Theatre for the awards ceremony

The Chancellor’s Special Recognition Award was presented to Dr. David Hammes, professor of economics, who retired at the end of the Fall 2013 semester. Hammes received the UH Board of Regent’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2003. In addition to his teaching, he has conducted a number of economic feasibility and cost-of-living studies for UH Hilo and the UH System.

Hammes also serves on the Board of Directors for Hospice of Hilo and was Treasurer during the successful fund-raising drive that led to construction of a new care facility near the University campus.

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