Carolyn Constantin


School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene

For Professor Carolyn Constantin from the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, the core elements of teaching and learning are comprised of: their reciprocal nature, the effectiveness of hands-on experience, and the significance of relationships in teaching and learning. These elements are present whether Dr. Constantin is leading teams of national and international professionals in nursing education or teaching her fields of research in genetics, genomics, and pathophysiology at Mānoa. Such topics generate great inquisitiveness but can pose immense challenges to students. Yet Professor Constantin’s students credit her with scaffolding difficult material, gradually increasing towards more complexity in ways that enabled them to do well, including in other courses and in their success in passing the nursing board exam. A colleague observing her classroom remarks that it was as if students ‘forgot to be intimidated’ by the work. Dr. Constantine’s presence is described by colleagues and students as passionate, inspiring, engaging, energetic, humorous and interesting. She innovates in her teaching, as when she made a modification of a team-based learning method inherent in healthcare education to foster critical thinking skills. Generated by a serendipitous moment during which Dr. Constantin was observing students naturally collaborating in groups to respond to questions, she began to structure quizzes as group processes. This innovation created a new social climate of active discussion of concepts and students teaching one another in developing correct responses. Teaching effectiveness relies on creating multiple opportunities for student success, so Professor Constantin diversifies learning activities to reach a wide range of learners. She takes the same approach in seeking assessment of her own effectiveness by seeking multiple resources for feedback on her teaching, including evaluations from students, colleagues and the Center for Teaching Excellence. She expanded her repertoire of teaching practices and formats from classroom to online by earning a graduate level Certificate in Online Learning and Teaching in the Learning and Design Technology Department. She firmly believes in the generative power of curiosity and enthusiasm in the development of students along their academic and life paths, and as a role model for these very qualities, Professor Carolyn Constantin is exemplar.

School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene