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2023 Nominations are now closed.

The Frances Davis Award, financed largely by faculty contributions, is a memorial to the late Frances Davis who taught mathematics at Leeward Community College and UH Mānoa for 19 years. Frances Davis was an inspired teacher dedicated to sharing her knowledge of mathematics with undergraduates attending the University of Hawai’i. The award recognizes recipients for their dedication to teaching, for their demonstrated excellence as teachers, and for their attention to undergraduate students.


2020Audrey Mendoza
2016Sam Geiling
2013Ross Langston
2011Letty Colmenares
2009Liko Hoe
2004Inge White

The following criteria should be used in judging among candidates for the award:

  1. Candidates must be full-time instructors (I2) or assistant professors (I3) at UH Mānoa, UH Hilo, UH West Oahu, or be full-time community college faculty ranked C2, C3, or C4; parttime faculty or lecturers in good standing. Graduate assistants at UH Mānoa are also eligible to receive this award. Nominations of graduate assistants will be handled separately by UHM’s Graduate Division.
  2. Candidates should demonstrate a record of dedication to teaching, excellence in the design and instruction of lower division or interdisciplinary undergraduate courses, and service to undergraduate students.
  3. Weighing priorities are as follows:
    • HIGHEST: Demonstrated professional expertise as exhibited in teaching success.
    • 2nd HIGHEST: Demonstrated interest and involvement on behalf of students.
    • 3 rd HIGHEST: Performance as exemplar for students.

Nominations may be made by any faculty member or student at the campus where the Frances Davis Award is to be presented.

To make a nomination, please submit a letter of recommendation which notes how the faculty meets the criteria and any supporting documents to Chancellor’s secretary Christine Pang (

Each nomination should be submitted with statements of justification from at least three persons, including at least one student and one faculty colleague. Information on courses the nominee has taught and examples which demonstrate his/her service to students should be included along with curriculum vitae.

Davis Award should be presented at Recognition and Awards Ceremony sponsored by beneficiary campus in concert with other excellence in teaching awards.


Frances came to Hawai’i in the early 1940s while her brother, Deland, was stationed at Hickam Field. She taught at Baldwin High on Maui through the war years, then returned to Michigan and taught at Michigan State for a short time. But Hawai’i had gotten into her blood and soon she was back here teaching mathematics at Leeward Community College and the University of Hawai’i. She continued to teach until her untimely death (auto accident) in 1968.

Deland is her only sibling. He now lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He and his wife, Marie, are frequent visitors of Maui.