University of Hawaii at Hilo Chancellor Don Straney honored two individuals with special awards presented during fall 2013 commencement.
Mike Purvis, a senior computer science major, received the inaugural Community Spirit Award, which includes a $500 cash prize. The award was established last 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.
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 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 fundraising drive that led to construction of a new care facility near the university’s campus.