Helmut Kae received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC) in 2007, and he has been a Professor of Microbiology at Leeward Community College (Pearl City, HI) since 2008, teaching microbiology and general biology class. One of his primary philosophies he has developed over his time at a community college is the belief in the power of mentoring. Thus, it has been his objective to have students involved in a number of activities that provide opportunities for them to grow into young, confident future professionals. A large part of his activities has been focused on having students involved in undergraduate research activities. While these students learn basic molecular biology skills, their involvement in hands-on research and solving real-world problems gives them the space to develop the many soft skills required that makes one a successful university graduate. And as the program continues, and the number of participants has increased, many returning students are providing mentoring to the new group of incoming students, building a community of sorts that sustains itself through peer-led mentoring and leadership. He is also passionate about bringing science to the community. He is involved in the Oahu State science fairs, as both a mentor to high school and middle school students, as well as a judge. He coordinates the Leeward Regional Science Olympiad tournament, and he is an active participant in a number of science-based community events.
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