NAAAP 100 awarded to Hawai’i’s Dr. Doris Ching
Inspiring, dedicated, and hardworking are the words commonly used to describe Dr. Doris Ching, who served as the first woman Vice President of Student Affairs at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH) from 1987 until her retirement in 2005. Dr. Ching is a tireless advocate of excellence, equal rights, diversity, and success for all students. Throughout her career, Dr. Ching has blazed the way for other student affairs leaders (especially women) to make a difference in their schools. She has achieved many accolades for her accomplishments, both nationally and locally.
Dr. Ching served as the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ (NASPA) president (she is the first woman of color to serve this position) from 1999-2000. She also received the Fred Turner Award for Outstanding Service to NASPA in 2004. At UH, Dr. Ching has received numerous awards including the UH Manger of the Year Award in 1994 and the UH College of Education Distinguished Alumna Award in 1995. More recently, she received the UH College of Education Award of Distinction in 2006.
Dr. Ching’s accomplishments in her career can be divided into two categories: local and national. At the local level, she elevated attention to students throughout the UH System, and increased the resources of student affairs which enabled greater and more sophisticated services to students. For instance, she helped to develop the Queen Liliuokalani Center for Student Services, bringing all student affairs programs under one roof. Dr. Ching and her staff created many of the programs that are in the Center, including the Women’s Center, Service Learning Program, Kuaʻana Native Hawaiian Student Services, and GEAR UP. Many programs were also expanded, such as career services and financial aid. Additionally, her research and training grants have secured UH millions of dollars.
At the national level Dr. Ching increased the visibility and leadership of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in NASPA, giving voice to a growing community. Dr. Ching has consulted in education and strategic planning at other universities across the United States, making her an invaluable influence helping to shape the nation’s student affairs programs. She also mentors professionals of all types, helping to groom the next generation of leaders.
Surprisingly, despite all of her successes and breakthroughs in education, Dr. Ching is very modest, especially when asked about her awards. For instance, she is still in awe of the many awards that she has received in her career.
Today, Dr. Ching is retired, but is still an active advocate for student development. In March 2012, with the publication of a new book, she helped give a voice to the Asian Pacific Islander community in a new way. Along with Dr. Amy Agbayani, Dr. Ching edited Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Higher Education: Research and Perspectives on Identity, Leadership, and Success, a compilation of statistics, narratives, and research on a neglected student population in higher institutions. The book, a NASPA publication, is the first of its kind. Dr. Ching, it seems, continues to break new ground even in retirement.