Kristin Pauker


Associate Professor,
Department of Psychology

To Professor Kristin Pauker of the Department of Psychology, a successful teacher first and foremost passes on their love of a subject to their students. Reading testimony from students reveal that this is not a display of mere enthusiasm for one’s own work. Rather it is a complex structuring that creates pivotal moments when students are enabled to find themselves discovering their own passion. One first generation, underrepresented, financial needs Mānoa student describes the brilliance in Dr. Pauker’s structuring of a semester’s course as modeled on how research would be conducted. The undergraduate student found that “Professor Pauker and her graduate students treated me as a collaborator . . . making me confident in starting my own research project.” Finding himself fascinated by the intellectual content and supported by guidance and mentorship by Dr. Pauker, he managed every aspect of the project from creation to data analysis, subsequently applying for and being awarded funding to continue the work, presenting it at multiple academic and medical conferences. This is chronicles a level of teaching that changes students’ lives, and it is compelling to consider that this rigorous, research-based, scaffolded commitment to teaching and learning emanates from a woman described by her colleagues having an “easy going style,” who makes a concerted effort to learn her students’ names in classes with over a hundred students in attendance, and who monitors each student’s success after each exam with an individual email to those struggling. In Professor Kristin Pauker’s words, “In all my teaching endeavors, I infuse a commitment to diversity,” and this is articulated as inclusivity with respect to underrepresented students, and through an expanded spectrum of course content and of pedagogical practices.

Department of Psychology