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Interim Chancellor’s Monthly Column: Spring 2018: An exciting semester of positive learning experiences for our students and community

Here are a few of the exciting things happening at UH Hilo as we work together to provide positive learning experiences and support to prepare students to thrive, compete, innovate and lead.

As UH Hilo heads toward the end of the spring 2018 semester and commencement, I’d like to share a few highlights with you.

Student accomplishments

Earlier in the semester, three UH Hilo students each received a 2018 UH President’s Green Initiative Award recognizing their initiative, innovation, creativity and civic engagement in campus and community sustainability with cash prizes. Kasey Buchanan received the Johnson Controls Green Leader Award for a campus waste reduction project. Kara Spaulding received the HEI Charitable Foundation Green Leader Award for developing sustainability curriculum in the arts and perpetuating natural and cultural resources. Zoe Whitney received an honorable mention for producing a UH Hilo Carbon and Nitrogen Report Card.

Group of students stand with representative.
State Rep. Mark Nakashima (center) stands with UH Hilo HOSA delegates (l-r) Jeremy Villanueva, Lark Jason Canico, Kelly Gani, Leslie Arce, Travis Taylor, Sheldon Cabudol and Deserie Pagatpatan. Missing: Daniel Kimura, Kateleen Caye Bio and Kendrick Justin Dalmacio. Courtesy photo.

UH Hilo students excelled at the 13th Annual Health Occupation Students of America–Future Health Professionals State Leadership Conference held on O‘ahu in February. All 10 UH Hilo delegates competing at the conference placed in their events, with one team taking first place in their category. In the process, students honed public speaking and interpersonal communication skills, gained knowledge, and networked.

Three students from the Marine Options Program at UH Hilo came home in April with four awards from the statewide MOP Student Symposium held on O‘ahu. The annual event features oral and poster presentations by undergraduate students from around the state. This year’s UH Hilo winners: Wheatley Crawley for best poster presentation (conservation at Wai‘opae), Michelle Nason received the John P. Craven Child of the Sea award (project on a coral nursery), and Julia Stewart won best research project (coral research using bioinformatics) and the Ana Toy Ng MOP Memorial award (for contributions to MOP).

These accomplished students—and many others too many to name here in this column—are already contributing in positive ways to local and global communities. Their research, leadership, sustainability, conservation and community-based projects are making an impact. I look forward to seeing more of their academic accomplishments and their work in the world after graduation.

Community

Group with sign Blue Zones Project Approved, sponsor logos.
Group gathers at event celebrating Blue Zones Project Approved status.

In April, UH Hilo received official designation as a Blue Zones approved workplace. The Blue Zones project is a worldwide initiative to promote healthy living and long lives. UH Hilo now joins a number of businesses and organizations working together to transform Hilo into a Blue Zones community by adopting healthy practices. As an institution of higher learning, we are already well-versed in developing healthy minds. We can now look forward to taking that next step to promoting overall physical well-being. Activities on campus include walking groups, healthy cooking demonstrations, and many other wellness pursuits.

The iconic Hawaiian double-hulled sailing canoe, Hōkūle‘a, visited Hilo in April as part of its statewide “Mahalo Hawaiʻi Sail” as the crew expresses mahalo to numerous communities for their support of the three-year Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage from 2014 to 2017. UH Hilo co-hosted an educational expo in April at Wailoa Pier where hundreds of schoolchildren and others from the East Hawai‘i community enjoyed tours of the Hōkūle‘a and hands-on educational activities to showcase ocean navigation’s connection to science, math, culture and conservation (photos). We’re proud of our very own Pwo Navigator and Captain Kālepa Baybayan and the many other people from the UH Hilo ‘ohana who participated in the worldwide voyage and the recent expo.

Public tours of Hōkūle‘a. UH Hilo co-sponsored Educational Expo, Wailoa Pier, Hilo.

A panel discussion on incorporating Hawaiian cultural knowledge with modern western science to meet the sustainability challenges facing Hawai‘i today was held at UH Hilo in February. The discussion was part of the 6th Annual Hawai‘i Sustainability in Higher Education Summit held over the course of three days on Hawai‘i Island. Delegations from all 10 UH campuses gathered to learn from local practitioners, national experts, and each other, and to set the action agenda for upcoming campus initiatives.

Looking forward

On July 1st, the new College of Natural and Health Sciences will be established. It will house the current Division of Natural Sciences, School of Nursing, and Department of Kinesiology and Exercise Sciences. Jim Beets, professor of marine science and current chair of the Division of Natural Sciences, has agreed to serve as the interim dean of the new college. A national search for a permanent dean will soon be launched.

And we have a recent update from UH President David Lassner about the search for the next permanent UH Hilo chancellor, now expected to be completed by the end of 2018 with our new leader in place in spring 2019.

These are just a few of the exciting things happening at UH Hilo as we work together to provide positive learning experiences and support to prepare students to thrive, compete, innovate and lead. I wish you all a safe and wonderful summer.

Aloha,

Marcia Sakai

Open forum at UH Hilo with UH President Lassner, May 11

President Lassner will deliver remarks and then do a Q&A to discuss ideas, concerns and aspirations for UH Hilo.

David Lassner
David Lassner

All members of the campus community at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo are invited to an open forum with UH President David Lassner.

DATE: Friday, May 11, 2018.
TIME: 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
PLACE: University Classroom Building, room 127.

President Lassner will deliver remarks and then do a Q&A to discuss ideas, concerns and aspirations for UH Hilo.

Message from UH President Lassner: Update on UH Hilo Chancellor search

The search committee expects to conduct campus visits with finalists at the start of the fall 2018 semester to ensure full campus input before a selection is made.

Dear UH Hilo faculty, staff, students and administrators—

David Lassner
David Lassner

In December 2017, we announced that the search for the next chancellor of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo began. A 16-member search committee was formed comprised of faculty, staff, students and community members and is co-chaired by Farrah-Marie Gomes, UH Hilo vice chancellor for student affairs, and Vassilis Syrmos, UH System vice president for research and innovation.

When we announced the search, we also noted that a professional search firm would be assisting with the process and we were concluding our efforts to competitively select a firm. The updated job announcement was posted in January with review to begin at the end of February. We hoped to expeditiously identify the next chancellor, who will play a critical role in strengthening UH Hilo’s unique position in the state and beyond, with my recommendation to the Board of Regents this summer.

The search committee has been moving the process along to meet this timeline. However, due to unexpected delays, a finalized agreement with the search firm is not yet in place. So as the semester comes to a close, and in consultation with the chairs who have discussed with the search committee, we are backing off this aggressive schedule to ensure that the search firm is onboard and fully engaged in assisting us identify the best possible candidates. We now expect to conduct campus visits with finalists at the start of the fall 2018 semester to ensure full campus input before a selection is made. This will still allow for a new chancellor to start in the spring 2019 time frame.

As our search continues, I appreciate the leadership of Interim Chancellor Sakai during this current academic year. I will also be making a recommendation to the Board of Regents to continue her appointment as interim chancellor until the new chancellor begins.

David Lassner

Hawaiian Healing Arts workshop for faculty and staff, May 3

To successfully create a culture of mental and emotional wellness for students on campus, faculty and staff are encouraged to create a culture of emotional wellness for themselves.

Dane  Kaohelani Silva
Dane  Kaohelani Silva

The University of Hawai’i at Hilo Suicide Prevention Committee and Counseling Services invites all faculty and staff to a Lomi Noho  (seated massage) and Hawaiian Healing Arts workshop by Kumu Dane  Kaohelani Silva sponsored by the Chancellor’s Professional Development Fund.

To successfully create a culture of mental and emotional wellness for students on campus, faculty and staff are encouraged to create a culture of emotional wellness for themselves.

DATE: May 3, 2018
TIME: 1:00 to  2:30 p.m.
PLACE: Campus Center, room 306.

This experiential workshop will include instruction on partner lomi noho (seated massage) as well as information about Hawaiian healing arts for self-care. Kumu Dane will introduce three local plants that are used by kanaka maoli (indigenous people) to preserve health and prevent pehupehu (chronic inflammation). They may be applied by participants during this session.

Bio

Kumu Dane Kaohelani Silva was born and raised in Hilo, Hawai’i Island. He grew up in the Hawaiian community of Keaukaha. During his youth, he was trained in healing and martial arts by native experts.

Educated in Hawai’i and the mainland, he completed a long career in academia, military and clinical practice. A leader in the field of integrative healthcare, he continues to promote the practice of  self-care as the foundation for family and community health.

Kumu Dane is currently developing herbal products for self-care and home care. Using medicinal plants from the garden, these oils and creams are designed to offer relief from pain, swelling and loss of function.

Information

For more information or disability accommodation contact Counseling Services.

General info about Counseling Services for staff and faculty.

Reservations

Participation is limited, RSVP online.

Lecture on diversity and multiculturalism by visiting scholar Gary Okihiro, May 2

The Chancellor’s Diversity Committee invites the university community and the general public to attend a talk by a nationally acclaimed scholar, founder and teacher of Asian American and comparative ethnic studies.

 

Gary Okihiro
Gary Okihiro

SPEAKER: Gary Y. Okihiro, PhD.
TITLE: “Diversity and its Discontents: How Multiculturalism Failed Us.”
DATE: Wednesday, May 2, 2018.
TIME: 5:00-6:00 p.m.
PLACE: University Classroom Building, room 100, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (campus map).

Free and open to the UH community and the general public. Light refreshments will be served.

Bio

Gary Y. Okihiro, PhD, is a visiting professor of American Studies at Yale University, a professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University, and the founding director of Columbia’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. He has taught, directed and developed the comparative ethnic studies programs at Humboldt State University, Santa Clara University, and Cornell University.

Prof. Okihiro is the author of 14 books, and his research focuses on the United States (including Hawaiʻi) southern Africa, Asian studies and world history. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Studies Association and Association for Asian American Studies, received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of the Ryukyus (Okinawa), and is a past president of the Association for Asian American Studies.

Sponsors

The talk is sponsored by the UH Hilo Chancellor’s Diversity Committee and the Droste Bequest.

Contact

Contact Patsy Iwasaki for more information or auxiliary aids/special accommodations to participate.

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