UH West Oʻahu Assistant Professor of Mathematics Michael Furuto won the 2016 Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching. The medal is awarded to University of Hawaiʻi faculty by the UH Board of Regents for an outstanding level of subject mastery and scholarship, and teaching effectiveness.
Furuto is a dynamic educator who is passionate about his students, their learning, and working together to achieve overarching goals. He is a strong proponent of using a variety of pedagogical approaches to optimize student learning and strives to exemplify the saying “Give a man a fish; and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Furuto endeavors to help students succeed both in-and-out of the classroom, and emphasizes real-world application problems to assist students in connecting math to their everyday lives. He has mentored students from all over the state, including Kahuku High School, Punahou School, Mililani High School, Mid-Pacific Institute, and Noelani Elementary School.
A UH West Oʻahu student commented, “Dr. Furuto is a wonderful teacher who clearly cares and strives to see each student be the very best they can be.”
“Michael Furuto is the best professor I have ever had,” said another UH West Oʻahu student. “He goes out of his way to make sure his students fully understand the material. He’s always available when we need him and he always greets us with a friendly smile inside and outside of class as well.”
A UH West Oʻahu faculty member commented, “Michael’s dedication and support for his students is outstanding. I’ve been teaching for 40 years and he’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever known. He truly wants all of his students to succeed and they thrive off of that.”
Furuto was raised on the North Shore of Oʻahu in Hau‘ula and Lā‘ie. He received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University Hawai‘i, a master’s degree from the University of California, Riverside, and a Ph.D. from Oregon State University.