The student newspaper of Honolulu Community College

Autobody student returns home to teach at HonCC

A Honolulu CC auto body instructor is featured in a news article from Autobody News.   Here’s a peak at what the article has to say about Marlene Spence, who entered the Autobody Repair & Paint Program at the school, earned AAS degree two years later and now teaches in the same program.

By Autobody News
This is the first year Spence has taught at the community college. Growing up, she always had an interest in cars but spent most of her free time attending art and music classes. She attended Honolulu Community College as an art major and decided to switch to auto body, so she could learn how to custom paint.

After graduating, she worked at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard painting submarines for six months, one of which was the USS Keywest nuclear submarine.

“It was a great experience,” said Spence. “It was unlike anything I had done before.”

Over the next several years, she worked as a paint technician for a local Honolulu jobber, Hi-Line Distributors, as well as for Industrial Finishes in Oregon. She also owned a shop where she worked on custom motorcycles.

Through the years, Spence always had a desire to go back to the community college to teach. When the opportunity to become a lecturer presented itself in the latter part of 2019, she said it was an easy decision to return.

“It’s exciting and I love it,” she said.

She currently has nine students as part of the one-year program and focuses on a combination of lecturing and hands-on learning.

“I find that they retain more when they are actually doing the work,” she said.

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