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President's Council Announces 2024 Service and Leadership Awards

Brigham Young University–Hawaii is pleased to announce this year's recipients of the V. Napua Baker Award, the Sione Feinga Award, the President's Appreciation Awards, and the Exemplary Employee Awards. These awards acknowledge exceptional employees who have demonstrated a strong commitment and dedication to their roles within the university.

Rachel Kekaula

V. Napua Baker Award

Rachel Kekaula, Counseling Services Director, received the V. Napua Baker Award.

Kekaula's nominator said, "Rachel is professional and does a great job creating a wonderful environment to work in. She is spiritually grounded and great at sharing her insight and knowledge with our team. Rachel has demonstrated great organization and efficiency throughout my time at the counseling center. Rachel deserves to be recognized for her professionalism in addressing sensitive and complex matters that affect our BYUH students and faculty."

Jill Nakachi

Sione Feinga Award

The Sione Feinga Award was presented to Jill Nakachi of the Faculty of Sciences.

Being described as "a detail-oriented, hard-working, and friendly office manager who loves Jesus Christ." Nakachi handles sensitive issues in a "Christlike way" and handles added work pressures with "care and grace." Her nominator added, "She is very kind to the students and remembers their names, which makes them feel welcome and improves their desire to be at school. She serves on an employee benefit committee and works hard to look after us."

President's Appreciation Awards

The first recipient of the award was Maelanie Valentine of Health Services.

Her nominator expanded on Valentine's expertise saying, "I am honored to nominate Maelanie Valentine. She is reliable, knowledgeable, and kind to all she meets. There are so many office duties to mention. She has been with BYUH Health Center for almost 11 years, maybe more. One small change she has implemented made the fall New Student Orientation Week run more efficiently. We aren't all perfect, but she goes above and beyond to help our health center team work together efficiently."

The second award recipient was Rainn Takashima of Human Resources.

The nominator of Takashima said, "Rainn has improved the training for managers in the last year. I have felt so much more support from HR in my personal development and position. Rainn has also provided training to my student workers, which has helped our team improve in work ethics and customer service. I can't express enough how professionally she interacts with others, including myself. She is very detail-oriented and knowledgeable in her position. She greatly contributes to our managers' performance on campus because she supports this university."

Maelanie Valentine (left), Rainn Takashima (right)
Maelanie Valentin and Rainn Takashima received President's Appreciation Awards at the 2024 Ho'omaika'i Employee Appreciation Night

Exemplary Employee Award

The following award recipients have demonstrated exceptional care for students, leadership, mentoring, self-improvement, and teamwork skills.

Teaching: Katsuhiro Kajiyama, Faculty of Culture, Language & Performing Arts
Scholarship: Philip McArthur, Faculty of Culture, Language & Performing Arts
Citizenship: Jeff Christiansen, Faculty of Business & Government
Adjunct: Caryn Houghton, Faculty of Arts & Letters