VOLUME 12, NO. 1 OCTOBER 11, 2002


For several years I have served as the Faculty Development Coordinator here at Honolulu Community College. Many times I have been asked what the Faculty Development Coordinator does here at HCC. I explain that I am the Chair of the Faculty Development Committee. I go on to explain that the committee's major duties involve surveying faculty colleagues for their development needs and organizing development activities to meet these needs. I have never really taken the time to think about the word "development" until I read the following in a recent issue of The Journal of Faculty Development.

Development is a process of adding something, such as thoughts, feelings or behaviors, to what is there already. As 'that something added' is integrated unto what is there already, the whole is transformed. Development is not a process of subtraction and substitution, as in subtracting an old perspective and substituting a new one. Development is a growth and additive process. Often reluctance to attend Faculty Development activities is present because faculty members have a feeling that no professional development is needed or the feeling that in order to grow and develop, a subtraction or substitution in one's attitudes or behavior is needed. Please let me and the other members of the 2002-03 Faculty Development Committee know what development ideas and needs you have and attend as many activities as you can, knowing that your development is a growth and additive process. The committee members for this academic year include;

Jess Aki, COSME, Tech 2

Theron Craig, Admin Liaison

Leon Florendo, Hawaiian Programs, UC

Lei Lani Hinds, Lang Arts, UC

Xin Li, Library, Academic Support

Allen Tateishi, RAC, Tech 1

I, and all the members of the committee, are committed to help you make this a great 2002-03 academic year! We hope to hear from you soon.

Jerry Cerny
Faculty Development Coordinator


By Linc. Fisch

Playing the devil's advocate may serve useful didactic purposes in the classroom, but sometimes it can have negative consequences.

Strictly speaking, a devil's advocate is a person who upholds the wrong side or an indefensible cause perversely or for argument's sake. But in common usage, "playing the devil's advocate" is often done in order to ensure that alternate positions are given adequate exposure or to provoke a more aggressive or deeper advocacy of a predominant position. As such, it serves useful didactic purposes in the classroom and elsewhere.

For example, a government professor may strongly argue a Hamiltonian Federalist position so that students who might be more inclined to favor Jeffersonian Democracy may better understand the alternatives. Or if economics students predominantly favor an environmentalist approach, a strong statement of developer's rights may force them to sharpen their own case for careful conservation of resources through gradual, planned growth.

In workshops where I encourage considering the classroom as a dramatic arena, participants may be reluctant to take issue with my position when it comes time to pose questions. So I sometimes reverse roles and ask them questions as though they were the presenters and I were the audience collectively. I find that I can take more-radical positions and ask less-polite questions than they may be comfortable with, and accordingly their responses to "my" questions can be made more sharp. Further, participants own the responses more if they come from within the group, rather than from me.

For example, in my devil's advocacy role, I may say, "Well, it's nice to have time to add dramatic elements, flourishes, and all that to teaching, but I don't have the luxury in my field, mathematics. I have to deal with a large amount of content; I have to make sure that students are ready for the next course." The participants in turn can respond more aggressively, "What good does it do to simply 'cover' material, if it doesn't make sense to students? Isn't it better to use good communications techniques, rather than simply lay out the material?" I continue to weasel back at them until they make all the points I would have made - and made them more strongly than I might have been able to do.

There is always some risk in taking a position not necessarily one's own, of course, because students may not realize the motivation for doing that. Even if I say, "Let me play the devil's advocate for a few moments..." it may be necessary to explain to students what that means. Eventually, I bought a bright red 2XL T-shirt onto which my local novelty shop pressed DEVIL'S ADVOCATE in bold letters, and that seemed to help clarify things whenever I went into a deliberate role-playing mode.

The T-shirt is now a regular item in the collection of materials I carry to workshops and conferences, but I try to use it sparingly. Once I was in a group that was considering a case of Kathryn, a young teacher who was on the high road to gaining tenure but who seemed to be cutting ethical corners and neglecting teaching. For nearly forty minutes the group dealt with the situation in a rational and somewhat academic manner. In an attempt to add a great sense of practically, I finally donned my red shirt, stood and announced, "My name is Kathryn and I'm an Academic. I don't think you have any right to pass judgment on how I carry out my teaching responsibilities. And if you were dealing directly with me - as I'm now inviting you to do - I thing you'd find the simple "textbook" strategies you're throwing around are largely unworkable." In rising to the challenge thus presented, the group not only crescendoed the discussion to several higher levels of intensity, but they began to consider options grounded in reality, not just theory.

Once, a conference presenter who knew the history and purpose of the shirt, called out to me, "Help, I need that T-shirt!" and I gladly let her don it and play the role. Over the years, a number of people have commented favorably about the shirt, and some have said, "I've got to get one of those!" Such positive reinforcement! Of course I continued to play the advocate role whenever I thought it useful.

One of the more memorable occasions was at a conference on college teaching, in a session on "Speaking across the Curriculum." One of the issues was how can yet another objective be jammed into courses that are already overflowing. The presenters had a good take on responding to the question, but toward the end of the session I thought their main message on this was getting overshadowed by other messages of lesser import. Aha, I thought to myself, this certainly was a time, if there ever was one, for the devil's advocate to strike again. I put on the shirt, stood, and made my plea for "those of us in the 'hard sciences' who don't have time for such foolishness, uh luxuries - we have to COVER the material of our disciplines." The presenters pounced on me, as I expected and wanted them to do, and made their strong case on the issue, citing examples in which speaking activities had indeed been incorporated in the sciences and mathematics. Thus, the session ended on an emphatic and high note.

After the session, I waited to talk to my friends and thank them for making the strong response that I thought was appropriate to faculty of the ilk I had portrayed. At that moment, from over my shoulder came an intense voice, hissing, "I want you to know that what you just did was terrible. You just destroyed the session and all they were trying to accomplish. You reinforced all the negative attitudes in the room." I started to defend myself, pointing to the red shirt I still wore, but it was no use. My antagonist would have none of it. She twisted the knife in my one last time, "It was just terrible, terrible," whirled, and left the room. I was stunned. How could such a well-intentioned move go so wrong?

I stumbled into the lobby and saw a group of friends. I told them what had just happened and asked their opinions on it. In general, they dismissed the criticism. One friend said, "The only way to avoid possible adverse reactions is to never try anything new, different or creative. One always runs a risk, even with humor. You can't please everyone."

While I appreciated my friends' kind support, I still was quite uneasy. For one thing, I realized the several friends I talked to were all male. Later that day I talked with a number of women who had been in the session. They told met that they did not think that what I did was "terrible," and they were not offended by my actions. Slowly my shock and apprehension began to dissipate, but I was left much wiser that before. I realized that the line between making a dramatic move for didactic purposes and just pulling a stunt was a fine one. In a stunt, one's underlying motivation is to flaunt one's self - in essence saying "Look how creative I am." I realized that I must in the future be more careful to examine my motivation before making dramatic moves. And while risks attend almost any move, I want to be on the safe side of the line insofar as I can determine it.

I still play the devil's advocate on occasion. But now I play it more carefully and more deliberately, lest I inadvertently veer across the line of discretion. And my comeuppance taught me to not accept consistent positive reinforcement too blithely - a lesson in its own right.

So those of you would play the devil's advocate, take heed. Be wary of being blindsided as I was. Be careful to respond to reinforcement with at least a grain of your own common sense. Don't overdo any one strategy or technique. Before you take a dramatic action, be sure you have a valid educational reason for doing it, rather than just stunting.

But still take the risks associated with dynamic and creative teaching. Taken carefully, thoughtfully, and purposefully they can serve you well and as you intend them.

Linc. Fisch is an actively retired college teacher, administrator, and program developer who lives in Lexington, Kentucky. The Chalk Dust Collection (New Forums Press, 1996) is a compilation of his short educational articles and essays, most of them published over a seven-year period.

Reprinted with permission as originally published in The Journal of Faculty Development.


Idea #2: Encourage students to think - quite explicitly - about their thinking.

Give students specific suggestions for how to go about this. For example, most students left to themselves do not think very effectively as learners. Many have poor reading and listening habits. Most rarely ask questions. Most could not explain the thinking they are using in the learning process. Much of their thinking turns out to be short-term rote learning (memorization). We suggest that you discuss with students the kind of thinking they need to do to master the content you are teaching.

You should point out to students the danger of relying on rote memorization and periodic cramming as a way to try to pass the course. You should tell the students on the first day that thinking through the content is the key agenda in the course and that this task will be the business of the class.

From How to Improve Student Learning - 30 Practical Ideas by Dr. Richard Paul and Dr. Linda Elder


For those of you who have purchased the Hawai'i Entertainment Book in the past, you know what a great deal it is. Not only do you save money on travel, entertainment and services here on Oahu, but also throughout the State and the Mainland. The members of the Faculty Development Committee are once again selling books this fall. Books are great for personal use and make great holiday gifts. Each book can be purchased for $30 with the committee earning $6 on each book sold. The committee will use the funds earned from these sales to purchase leis and light refreshments at presentations throughout the year and support professional development for faculty members. Contact any Faculty Development Committee member to purchase your book today!


Congratulations to the following HCC faculty members who were granted tenure and/or promotions this past summer;

Tenure and Promotion/Instructor to Assistant Professor

Jerry Cerny, PCATT
Paul Jacoby, CENT
Kimo Keaulana, LA, Hawaiian

Promotion/Assistant Professor to Associate Professor

Jess Aki, COSME
Mike Jennings, AEC
Ivan Nitta, AMT
Craig Ohta, AMT
Bert Shimabukuro, AMT
Gordon Talbo, AMT

Promotion/Associate Professor to Professor

Sherrie Rupert, Student Services
Dallas Shiroma, CENT
Aaron Tanaka, CENT

Congratulations to the following HCC faculty members who received service awards;

Jerry Cerny, PCATT, 10 years
Chulee Grove, OESM, 10 years
Nadine Leong-Kurio, Library, 10 years
Cynthia Smith, History, 10 years
Bob Takamine, AERO, 10 years
Vern Takebayashi, ICS, 10 years
Lei Lani Hinds, Language Arts, 20 years
Marilynn Ito-Won, Student Services, 20 years
Lianne Nagano, CSC¸20 years
Dave Cleveland, Sociology, 30 years
Terry Haney, Philosophy, 30 years
Tom Ohta, Geography, 30 years

Congratulations to the following HCC faculty members who received special awards;

Aaron Tanaka, CENT - Board of Regents' Excellence in Teaching Award
Allen Tateishi, RAC - Hawai'i Association for Career and Technical Education's Outstanding Instructor


The following faculty members are new to our campus this fall. As you meet our new colleagues, please help make them feel welcome. They include;

Gregory Keane, Psychology. Gregory grew up on the Big Island, so he is a country boy to the core. He earned a BA in Psychology at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo, and then went on to earn both an MA in Psychology and an MA in Counseling (emphasis in clinical mental health) at Eastern New Mexico University. Gregory has a vast array of employment experience including working as a landscape designer and resort manager. In recent years, he has been counseling and teaching psychology. My current goal is to earn a PhD in Educational Psychology at UH Manoa. Gregory enjoy the beach, reading, politics, gardening, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and sleeping in.

Brenda Kwon, Language Arts. Brenda joins the Language Arts department this year after having taught for three years at 'Iolani School. Previous to that, she was an English instructor at Pasadena City College. She received her BA in English and Creative Writing from USC and her PhD in American Literature from UCLA. The author of "Beyond Ke'eaumoku: Koreans, Nationalism, and Local Culture in Hawai'i", a study of Koreans in the islands through literature, she is also a poet whose work has appeared in "Amerasia Journal", "dis.Orient Journalzine", and the anthology "Making More Waves". In her free time, Brenda enjoys film, music, and all things artistic and creative.

Grace Torigoe, Counseling. Grace is very excited to be here at HCC working with all of the wonderful students, staff and faculty. She was born and raised in Hilo and then moved to Tucson and earned a BSBA in Human Resource Management from the University of Arizona. Wanting to see a different part of the country, Grace then moved to Washington to attend Seattle University. She earned an Ed.D. in Student Development Administration. Grace previously work as a Counselor at Hawai'i Community College before moving to Oahu to work at HPU in the Career Services Center. She worked at HPU for one year before taking the position here at HCC. In her free time Grace enjoy playing with her dogs, eating and sleeping.

Erin Wright, Coordinator, Native Hawaiian Vocational Education Project. Erin was born and raised in Kalihi and graduated from the Kamehameha Schools. She earned her bachelor's degree in Hawaiian Studies from UH-Manoa. After completing her degree at Manoa, she moved to Los Angeles to attend graduate school at UCLA. While at UCLA, she earned her master's degree in higher education and is currently working on completing her PhD in higher education as well. In her free time, Erin enjoys reading and watching "Animal Planet".



Lei Lani Hinds, Assistant Professor, Language Arts, attended the International Reading Association annual convention last April in San Francisco. The convention was titled, "Gateway to Global Understanding."

Doric Little, Professor, and Grace Ihara, Instructor, Speech, attended the National Association for Asian and Pacific American Education national conference last April in Chicago. They presented a descriptive report at the conference.

Frank Mauz, Associate Professor, Math, attended the T3 - Teachers Teaching with Technology international conference last March in Calgary, Alberta. He not only learned more about teaching with technology, but he gained knowledge that can be shared at HCC to make the College more competitive for National Science Foundation grants.


Paul Allen, Associate Professor, Ivan Nitta, Assistant Professor and Gordon Talbo, Assistant Professor, AMT, all attended the annual conference of the North America Council of Automotive Teachers this past summer in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At the conference they attended technical training workshops presented by automobile manufacturers and workshops on the use of the internet in teaching automotive technology classes.

Steve Chu, Instructor, ABRP, attended training this past summer at the Iowa Waste Reduction Center on how to be more efficient in spraying different shaped objects. At the training, Steven learned to use a spray system that can measure the amount of paint on the surface of an object. He also learned that by changing his spraying technique his transfer efficiency improved by 12%. He hopes to soon add this spray paint training to the ABRP curriculum and offer this program to the outside spraying industry.


Jess Aki, Assistant Professor, COSME, attended the 8th Annual Cosmetology Educators of America, National Educators Convention this past summer in Las Vegas. The convention theme was "You are the Universe" and offered 17 different classes in two days.

Jess Aki, Assistant Professor, Nancy-Beth Au, Professor, Phil Hervas, Instructor, Kathy Kamakaiwi, Associate Professor, and Lynnette McKay, Education and Academic Support Specialist, COSME, all attended Hairworld 2002 also in Las Vegas. This included the World Hairdressing Championship with attendees and competitors from six continents and over 40 countries. This championship competition is held every two years at a different location around the world and is considered the "Olympics of the Cosmetology Industry."

Cyndi Uyehara, Assistant Professor, ECE - PACE, attended a seminar presented by the Hawai'i Association for the Education of Young Children last March in Waikiki. The seminar was titled, "Helping Children Make Stories."


Heidi Ross, Director, Student Life and Development, attended the Campus Compact National Center for Community College annual national conference last May in Woodland Hills, CA. The conference was titled, "Service-Learning and Civic Engagement - The Keys to Unity."

Charlie Anderson, Coordinator, Diane Caulfield, Counselor, Rona Wong, Counselor, all attended the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors workshop last April held at Krauss Hall, UH Manoa. This workshop provided professional development for international educators.


Xin Li, Instructor, Librarian, Library, attended the Hawai'i Great Teachers Seminar on the Big Island in August this past summer.


Femar Lee, Instructor, Developmental Studies, Math, attended the affiliate leadership conference hosted by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics last June in Denver. The conference helped build leadership and promote awareness on issues facing math education.

Earl Nakahara, Associate Professor, Developmental Studies, English, attended the Hawai'i Great Teachers Seminar on the Big Island in August this past summer.


Bill Becker, Assistant Professor, Network Administrator, has been selected to be the Program Manager for the Carnegie Technology Education program. This program is a subsidiary of Carnegie Mellon University and provided a 10-course curriculum in software development that will be offered both for credit and non-credit throughout the UH Community Colleges. He attended Carnegie training in Pittsburgh this past July.


If your activities/news were not included in the Faculty Spotlight and you wish them to be, pass on the information to any Faculty Development Committee member. The information will be included in the next issue of the Faculty Development Newsletter

This newsletter was organized and published by the HCC Faculty Development Committee. Members: Jess Aki, Jerry Cerny (Co-Editor), Theron Craig, Leon Florendo, Lei Lani Hinds (Co-Editor), Xin Li and Allen Tateishi.

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