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Five conferred 2010 humanities awards
November 01, 2010

Five individuals were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the humanities during the 2010 Governor's Humanities Awards rites at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Friday night.

NMI Council for the Humanities executive director Scott Russel and board chair Tracy Guerrero, along with governor's representative John Joyner, bestowed the special recognitions in five categories: Preservation of CNMI History, Traditional Cultural Practices, Research and Publication in the Humanities, Outstanding Humanities Teacher, and Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities.

Don Farrel was this year's awardee for preservation of CNMI history for his significant leadership efforts related to the 2010 public forum “The Manhattan Project and Tinian: An Educational Symposium and Memorial.” 

Farrel is a noted scholar, author, and historian who wrote the first CNMI history textbook and has researched and written extensively on the Commonwealth.

Donald Mendiola was recipient of the award for preservation of traditional cultural practices for his publication of Amot Chamorro and its contribution to the preservation of traditional healing. Amot Chamorro is a reference book that is a major step forward in an ongoing challenge to preserve knowledge and practice of ancient herbal remedies. Mendiola is a teacher of bilingualism, biculturalism, and a special amot course at Hopwood Jr. High School.

The award for research and publication in the humanities went to former chief justice Jose S. Dela Cruz for his contribution to local literature that documents, preserves, and narrates unique CNMI history, using voices within the community. This year, Dela Cruz published Colonialism to Self-Government: The Northern Marianas Experience, which offers in five parts an interesting take on the islands' cultural and political evolution.

Named outstanding humanities teacher for 2010 was Sudi Napalan for being an innovative educator who promotes literacy by teaching her students a love of reading and introducing them to lifelong learning through literature. The Saipan Southern High School teacher created Reading Rave, an active literacy program where students read, discussed, and share books with fellow students.

The Council bestowed the Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities award to the late Dr. Mau Piailug, who was represented by family members Henry Yarofalpiy, Tony Piailug, and Astrio Tawalpiy at the ceremony.

Mau Piailug was a master navigator whose life story has always been the stuff of legend. His greatest and perhaps most challenging voyage was the one taken within himself, as a teacher who shared this traditional knowledge in somewhat untraditional ways.

The award recipients said they are very honored to receive the prestigious recognition and vowed to continue their individual efforts to contribute more for the humanities.

Besides the five individuals, many groups and organizations were recognized as this year's Humanities supporters: Angil Design, Bridge Capital, DFS Saipan Ltd., Bank of Guam, Bank of Hawaii, Charitable Foundation, Bank of Saipan, Garment Workers Trust Fund, Guam Refinery, Mobil Oil Mariana Islands, Norma Marfega, Moylan's Insurance Underwriters, Pacific Development Inc., Tan Siu Lin Foundation, Tropical Laundry, Michael A. White & Winzler and Kelly.

Agencies and organizations that were named 2010 Humanities Partners in their programs and activities included CNMI Public School System and Board of Education, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Joeten Kiyu Public Library, American Memorial Park, Northern Marianas College, Museum of History and Culture, Marianas Cable Vision, CNMI Supreme Court, Saipan Tribune, and Marianas Variety.

The council also recognized former council board members Richard Moreno, Felicidad Ogumoro, Charles Reyes, and Alvaro Santos for their contributions to the council.

Also lauded were the artworks of CNMI students Kai Staal of Saipan International School; Emma McCollough-Stearns from SIS; Allison Madamba from SSHS; Ray Lizama of SSHS; Richard Matsuyama of Marianas High School; and Rozette Bunao of MHS.

The Governor's Humanities Awards ceremony is an annual event co-sponsored by the NMI Council for the Humanities and the Office of the Governor to recognize outstanding contributions to the humanities by individuals, groups and organizations.


This article is from Saipan Tribune.

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