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Category: Announcements

Senator Gilbert Kahele recognizes UH Hilo “Adopt-a-Beehive with Alan Wong” program

UH Hilo Professor Lorna Tsutsumi, Chancellor Don Straney, and Chef Alan Wong (l-r at center holding plaques) were each presented a Certificate of Recognition by Senator Gilbert Kahele at the statehouse on Friday. The three were honored for their leadership in the “Adopt-a-Beehive with Alan Wong” program at UH Hilo. Photo courtesy of Alan Wongs Restaurants.
(l-r) State Senator Gilbert Kahele, UH Hilo Professor of Entomology Lorna Tsutsumi, UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney, Chef Alan Wong and Senator Clarence Nishihara. Photo courtesy of Sen. Kahele’s Office.

MEDIA RELEASE—Senator Gilbert Kahele honored key individuals involved in the Adopt-a-Beehive with Alan Wong program at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo with a Certificate of Recognition Friday. Those individuals are renowned Chef Alan Wong, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney and UH Hilo Professor of Entomology Lorna Tsutsumi.

Last year, Chef Alan Wong teamed up with UH Hilo to create the “Adopt-a-Beehive with Alan Wong” program in order to bring awareness of the honey bees’ critical decline in population. Now offered for a second year, the successful innovative program supports the education of student beekeepers, promotes research and development of healthy beehive practices in Hawai‘i, and educates the public about the vital role that honey bees play in sustaining agriculture.

“I was very impressed with this innovative idea that partners Chef Alan Wong and UH Hilo in educating their students and the community on the vital role that honey bees play in sustaining agriculture in Hawai‘i,” said Senator Kahele, who represents District 2, encompassing Ka‘u, Puna, Hilo.

Senator Kahele, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, co-adopted a beehive with Senator Clarence Nishihara, chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

There are 25 bee hives at the UH Hilo apiary located on the 110 acre Pana‘ewa farm that are used for the hands-on beekeeping laboratories. The hives are assigned to students who learn manipulation skills and then send public “adopters” monthly updates on the status of their hives.

According to the University of Hawai‘i, honey bees across Hawai‘i have helped sustain agriculture for over 150 years. But bee colonies began collapsing in 2007 due to the invasion of the varroa mite.

UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney has been a strong supporter of the program since its inception. He believes UH Hilo has the potential to become a global model in promoting research and educating the public about the vital role honey bees play in sustaining agriculture.

UH Hilo Professor of Entomology Lorna Tsutsumi has taught students the importance of sustainability for more than 25 years. She has said honey bees are responsible for the pollination of many important agricultural crops and their health and well-being is especially important as we strive to lessen our dependency on food imports.

The Senate Committees on Agriculture and Education passed House Bill 2100, relating to bees this past Monday, March 19. The bill would appropriate funds to UH for statewide bee hive research. The bill is now with the Senate Committee on Ways and Means for consideration.


Big Island Video News on statehouse ceremony and Adopt-a-Beehive program:

Stephanie Nagata appointed director of Mauna Kea Management

Stephanie Nagata


I am pleased to announce that Stephanie Nagata will continue her leadership of the Office of Mauna Kea Management. Her appointment as director of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM) was signed by President Greenwood.

Stephanie began working for OMKM in 2001 as its associate director and has served as interim director since 2008. During this time, significant and critical progress has been made on a number of issues regarding the Mauna Kea Science Reserve, development of the Comprehensive Management Plan and its four subplans, and development of the Major Projects Review Process.

Ms. Nagata has the extensive administrative experience to meet the challenges ahead and I look forward to working with her.

Don Straney

Matthew Platz confirmed as UH Hilo Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Matthew Platz


I am pleased to announce that, after a national search process, Dr. Matthew Platz accepted my offer of the position as Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at UH Hilo. President Greenwood today confirmed his appointment.

Dr. Platz will be joining us as Vice Chancellor in January, 2013. In the meantime, he will be making several extended visits to the campus so that he can participate in planning and get to know the campus.

Dr. Platz is currently Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry at the Ohio State University and Director of the Division of Chemistry at the National Science Foundation.

We look forward to him joining our ‘ohana.

Don Straney


Matthew Platz

B.Sc 1973 Chemistry, Mathematics SUNY Albany
Ph.D 1977 Chemistry Yale University
Post Doctoral 1977 NSF-Fellowship University of Chicago

Positions Held
1978 – 1983 Assistant Professor Ohio State University
1983 – 1987 Associate Professor Ohio State University
1987 – Present Full Professor Ohio State University
1994 – 1999 Department Chair Ohio State University
2006 – 2010 Vice Provost Ohio State University
2010- Director of the Division of Chemistry, National Science Foundation

Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award of the American Chemical Society
Remsen Award of the Maryland Section of the American Chemical Society
Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar
Sloan Fellowship
OSU Distinguished Scholar Award
OSU Outstanding Teaching Award
OSU Distinguished University Professor

Nomination period now open for UH Hilo 2012 Faculty and Staff Awards


Nominations are now being accepted for the following UH Hilo faculty and staff awards:

Recognizes creativity in teaching, scholarship, and artistic production at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Any full-time UH Hilo faculty or staff member is eligible. Teams consisting of two or more faculty or staff may also be nominated. (Students may be part of teams led by faculty or staff).

Presented to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to student life beyond the boundaries of their official responsibilities.

Presented to a building or ground maintenance employee who has made significant contributions to the University of Hawai’i at Hilo.

Presented to a faculty or professional staff member who provides service related professional skills to the University of Hawai’i at Hilo and their community.

Presented to an individual who has made a significant contributions to developing and promoting the mission and spirit of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo.

Click here for nomination instructions and forms on our awards website. The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 23, 2012.

Office of the Chancellor

Hawai‘i Community College launches “Local First” menus

Announcement from UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney.


Hawai‘i Community College, in partnership with the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, aims to support the development of farms and the agricultural industry on Hawai‘i island by showcasing the high quality and variety of local produce and products available through the “Local First” program.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 15, is the inaugural day for Hawai‘i Community College on Manono Campus to serve “Local First.” Chefs Allan Okuda and Sandra Barr-Rivera are putting together an exciting menu for this special day. Local foods will be featured in the cafeteria and in the fine dining Bamboo Hale.

The West Hawai‘i Campus, under the direction of James Lightner and Chef Paul, started Local First Friday on Feb. 3. The next will be this Friday, Feb. 17.

Let’s support our local farmers and businesses and the Local First program at both Hawai‘i Community College and UH Hilo.

Don Straney