Nursing Professor Named 2020 Teacher of the Year

Hazel Downing with Teacher of the Year plaque

Associate Professor of Nursing Hazel Downing, RN, MN, Ed.D., was born and raised in India, experiencing extreme hardships. From a young age, Downing realized the possibilities to get an education are endless if she had the drive. After completing nursing school, she journeyed to the U.S. In addition to teaching at HPU, Downing is a Clinical Nurse Specialist for Critical & Emergency Care at Kuakini Medical Center. 

For 19 years, Downing has taught at Hawai‘i Pacific University, specializing in Comprehensive Nursing at the undergraduate level and Advanced Pathophysiology at the graduate level. Her recent scholarship at the International Council of Nurses was on Battling Obesity Among Nurses. Additionally, at the Nursing World Conference, she presented on the Impact of Nurse Obesity on Safe Healthcare Delivery. 

To promote global health, she worked with the HOPE School in Bangalore, India, and launched a free live online health education program for children living in impoverished neighborhoods.  Downing chooses presentation topics based on the children and their families’ specific health needs, teaching them about different diseases and simple ways to prevent these diseases.    

Downing cites the success of her students as one of her most significant accomplishments. In the classroom, Downing says she strives to encourage meaningful connections and influences among students without eliminating their inborn values, perspectives, ideas, or the truth.