Malia Lau Kong, 2008 Excellence in Teaching Award


Photograph of Malia Lau Kong, the recipient of the 2008 Excellence in Teaching Award“I believe that all students can learn and succeed. It’s my job as a teacher to inspire them to want to learn and to help them succeed, not only in my class, but in life in general.”

That’s the teaching philosophy of History Instructor Malia Lau Kong.

The University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents honored Lau Kong in May at the WCC commencement ceremony with the Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Students who nominated Lau Kong agree. They say that she is cheerful and friendly, and uses classroom games and activities to demonstrate historical topics to make learning fun. She relates history to the present, showing historical connections to modern day living.

“I get satisfaction from teaching when students who are not necessarily motivated to want to learn history (since it’s “so boring”) discover that history can be interesting, is actually relevant, and they like learning about it so much that they push themselves to excel in the class!” said Lau Kong.

Nontraditional students returning to school find that studying with Ms. Lau Kong gives them confidence for approaching all of their classes. They say she is organized and gives clear instructions; she makes time for students, being sure that each understands the material; she is patient and clear in explaining her subject.

One student said, “She is a true inspiration”. Another said, “I wish that she taught more courses, because I would take them all.”

Malia Lau Kong is known for her positive influence and commitment to the success of students at Windward Community College.