Mark Yap receives the 2011 COE Transformation Award

Jenny Wells, Mark Yap, Christine Sorensen

We are nominating Mark Yap for the “Transformation Award.” Mark’s work has transformed the college in several ways. An IT Specialist in the College of Education’s Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), Mark Yap’s service extends beyond CRDG to the whole college. He has transformed the college IT infrastructure, classrooms, and events.

Mark anticipates technology needs, keeping the college at the forefront of innovations. He carefully researches available solutions and personally negotiates the best cost savings on the highest quality products. For example, Mark successfully negotiated with UHM ITS and vendors to bring high speed fiber optics to this side of campus, established wireless Internet connections to all our outlying buildings, and installed state-of-the-art instructional technology, including interactive smartboards, media projection, and sound systems, throughout the College.

As a member participant of the “Apple Developer Connection” (ADC), a national Apple network, Mark remains informed of the latest new Apple operating systems.  He is also a member of the national Filemaker Solutions Alliance (FSA).  Recognized by coworkers and colleagues for his specialized knowledge and capabilities, Mark is regarded as the Apple “consultant” to the entire College of Education. Again, anticipating needs, Mark has established inventory controls, regular hardware and software replacements, and essential archiving and backup systems. He personally has negotiated directly with Apple and other vendors to obtain the best cost savings, currently in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. He is currently working on curriculum delivery to web-based and mobile applications. He even transformed how the college handles our “computer trash.” Mark provides leadership and coordination expertise for the annual ewaste recycling program.

Mark has brought an elevated level of professional standards to our IT services. He has hired a team of exemplary employees whom he trains to provide exemplary “customer service.” His team reacts without hesitation, anticipating problems and reacting to events from fires, floods, tsunamis, power outages, and computer/server crashes, regardless of the hour or day of the week.

He received $2000 from the UH Mānoa Chancellor’s Office APT Professional Development funds for training on Xsan software.  He was the first to implement the solution in a K-12 and higher education environment in Hawai‘i. His innovative work on the documentary “Mo‘olelo Evaluation of Pihana Nā Mamo: The Native Hawaiian Special Education Project,” an evaluation of the Pihana Nā Mamo project, helped transform evaluation methodology. Video taped over a five year period, this story telling methodology is considered to be culturally appropriate as an evaluation reporting style and was accepted as a major reporting method by the federal government.

He has served as a member of the COE Technology Committee, COE Annual Recognition and Awards Committee, and collaborates effectively with Technology & Distance Programs (TDP) office. He has taken the lead in creating media displays, video taped interviews of COE awards recipients, and created televised public service announcements that effectively promote the image and reputation of the College of Education and the contributions of the University of Hawai‘i to the larger statewide public.

Mark has transformed all the college events he has touched through his work behind the scenes. Always ready to lend a helping hand, Mark has coordinated technology support, including personally owned high-tech sound systems, often brokering services from ITS and others, for the college recognition dinners, COE congress meetings, convocation, and special events. Often, Mark has taken personal responsibility for arranging the logistics of these events, outlining the program and timing of events, arranging for tents and furniture, and providing for video recordings for future reference. Unknown, unseen, and often unappreciated by most, Mark spends long hours prior to events transporting and setting up equipment and following events dismantling and storing equipment. Indeed, it is not uncommon to find Mark even personally cleaning tables and areas to be sure the College is seen in the best light possible.

Not only has Mark already transformed college classrooms, IT capacity, and the College’s events, image and presentations, he continues to keep his eye on the future, anticipating needs and possibilities and assisting the college in reaching its goals. Quiet and effective, Mark Yap does it all with quality.