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HPU Health Sciences Teacher Earns Healthy $5K Shout Out

Celebrating HPU assistant professor Christian Gloria's $5,000 Teacher Shout Out award June 26 on the Hawaii Loa campus are (from left) Gloria, Herff Jones representative Mary Chiang, Health Sciences program chairman Mark Tomita and College of Nursing and Health Sciences acting dean Dale Anderson. Photo from Chris Aguinaldo.

A Hawaii Pacific University assistant professor of Health Sciences recently won a national award based on votes and comments from his students.

Christian Gloria earned the Herff Jones Teacher Shout Out, which comes with $5,000 split between himself and HPU’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences (which operates on the Hawaii Loa campus).

He was one of only 10 national recipients and the only Hawaii awardee.

Armed with a Ph.D. in health behavior and health promotion from the University of Texas at Austin, Gloria joined the HPU faculty last fall, teaching both introductory and upper-level courses in personal and community health, health theory and health promotion. He also helped revive the student group Health Promotion and Wellness Association. The club visits schools to teach hygiene, nutrition and physical activity.

Gloria also researches the effect of positive emotions on health and wellness and conducts health-related workshops. (One example is the upcoming HPU Health and Wellness Fair, open to the public from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 10 on campus, and sponsored by his department and the Center for Student Life.)

HPU graduate Andrea Larkins nominated him for the Shout Out award, noting how he clicks with his classes: “He is always available and never fails to provide challenges and inspiration,” she wrote. “He pushes us to our full potential, and his passion is palpable!”

Gloria was a personal trainer after college, but realized that he wanted to help those who couldn’t afford high-end training.

“There are a lot of people out there, especially minority populations, who really need a lot of help,” he explained. “They also are the same people who couldn’t really afford to go a gym, or even be able to afford equipment or shoes to go running.”

The adjustment to Hawaii Pacific University, he added, was “a beautiful thing” and an easy transition because of the sense of family he found on campus.