HPU Names Its 2018 Teacher of the Year

Wendy Lam and students at graduation

Associate Professor and Chair of Hospitality and Tourism Management Wendy Lam, Ph.D., was named the 2018 HPU Teacher of the Year at the May 10 Commencement ceremony. In alignment with the strategic plan of the College of Business to provide project-based learning opportunities to its students, Lam’s students may learn from industry guest speakers or they may work on a real-world project for an industry client.   

Over the spring term, students in her Special Events Management course worked with the nonprofit ClimbHI, serving as the event planners of the organization’s 2018 Oahu Leadership, Exploration and Inspiration — or LEI — Career Fair. Sponsored by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the objective of this conference is to inspire Hawaii’s youth to select careers in the Hawaii visitor industry. The Career Fair was a success, meeting the goals of the event. More than 600 Oahu high school students got to see firsthand the many career opportunities available in the hospitality and tourism industry, which were presented by the 62 businesses that set up booths. 

In recognition of “Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching,” Lam received an HPU Golden Apple Award in 2016. In 2017, through the College of Business Scholarship Endeavor Program fund, she attended the Cornell University Tourism Research Summit in New York.   

This summer, she will present research papers at the International Academic Conference on Business in Barcelona, Spain and at the Asia Pacific Tourism Association Conference in Cebu, Philippines. 

Lam’s HPU involvement includes serving as the co-organizer for HPU’s annual Capstone Symposium since 2014, member of the General Education Curriculum & Learning Assessment Committee since 2013, and faculty advisor for the Travel Industry Management Student Organization.   

Her community involvement includes appointments on the McKinley High School Academy of Finance and Academy of Hospitality and Tourism Board and the Travel2Change Board.

One student who nominated Lam for the award said, “She only wants the best for her students in and out of the classroom. She is so considerate of each and every one of her students’ needs, wants, and career goals and helps along the way. She has personally gone out of her way to call me and suggest internship opportunities.” 

Another student nominator said, “She constantly motivates my classmates and me to go above and beyond throughout the course of our semester with her. From the first day of class till the end, she has always been so encouraging of each student.” 

These students are just two of the many students Lam -- endearingly referred to as “wonderful Wendy” by her students -- has impacted over her nearly 30 years of teaching at Hawai‘i Pacific University.