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Category: Community Gatherings

UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College jointly sponsor faculty and staff leadership summit

The Leadership Summit held this past weekend gave faculty, staff  and students a chance to boost their skills as leaders in higher education within a cultural context.

At the kipaepae at the leadership summit. Photos courtesy of Hawaiʻi Community College I Ola Haloa.

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College (HawCC) are working together on professional development programs to increase faculty and staff knowledge and awareness of Hawaiian perspectives. The two campuses jointly sponsored this past weekend’s retreat designed to boost faculty and staff skills as leaders in higher education within a cultural context. This type of professional development strengthens the ability of both campuses to fully support Native Hawaiian students as they complete their higher education.

Saturday was Wahipana: Sacred Geographies of Hilo. The purpose was to have UH Hilo and HawCC faculty, staff, and students collectively develop a personal relationship to the Hilo community amongst sacred geographies. Some of the sites visited included:

  • Wakaomāui (Canoe of Maui)
  • Waiānuenue (Rainbow Falls) that includes Keanaohina (Cave of Hina), and Waiokuna (Water of Kuna)
  • Peʻepeʻe (Boiling Pots)
  • Puʻuōpeʻapeʻa (Bat Hill), Puʻuhālaʻi (Hill of Tranquil Breath) and Puʻuhonu (Turtle Hill)
David Lonborg (at right), UH President MRC Greenwoodʻs executive assistant, and David Olwell (left), American Council on Education Fellow, put on their kīhei to get ready for the kipaepae ceremony. Photo by Cam Muir.

At Sunday’s ʻAhaʻaha Leadership Summit  the discussion was about Leadership through Traditional Rites of Passage.

The participant numbers for the weekend were as follows: Saturday’s Wahipana O Hilo, 122 participants; Sunday’s ʻAhaʻaha Leadership Summit, 78 participants. On Saturday, David Lonborg, UH President MRC Greenwoodʻs executive assistant, and David Olwell, American Council on Education Fellow, both flew over from Honolulu to participate.

Some scenes from the summit:

Faculty, staff and student participants gather at Sunday’s leadership summit while Pele Kaio, center, a UH Hilo student majoring in geography and unuolehua hula student, chants the group onto Ka Pakapaka Malae ceremonial grounds.
At right, Jubilee Kuewa, interim director at UH Hilo’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action office, learns how to make hei  (string figures) with Wahineaukai Mercado, a UH Hilo pre-nursing major and unuolehua kumu hula trainee.
Marianne Takamiya, UH Hilo assistant professor of astronomy, makes hei (string figures like “cat’s cradle”).
Randy Hirokawa, dean of UH Hilo’s College of Arts and Sciences, prints his kīhei, a shoulder wrap used for special ceremonies.
On Saturday, the group listens to  Taupōuri Tangarō, PhD, assistant professor and department chair of Hawaiian life styles and humanities at Hawai‘i Community College, during a visit to Waiānuenue (Rainbow Falls), which includes Keanaohina (Cave of Hina) and Waiokuna (Water of Kuna).
One of the sites visited on Saturday was Peʻepeʻe (Boiling Pots).

Unless otherwise noted, all photos courtesy of Hawaiʻi Community College I Ola Haloa. Mahalo to all photographers!

Heritage Center opens at UH Hilo’s North Hawai‘i Education and Research Center

The Heritage Center will be an active educational facility that will foster pride and perpetuate the diverse heritage of Hamakua and North Hawai‘i while providing the community with a foundation to thrive in the future.

Officials and members of the community untie the maile at the blessing and grand opening of the North Hawai‘i Education and Research Center’s Heritage Center in Honoka‘a. From left, Eileen Momi Naughton, PhD, coordinator of the Heritage Center; Farrah-Marie Gomes, director of the North Hawai‘i Education and Research Center and interim dean at UH Hilo

MEDIA RELEASE– After several days of rain, the skies cleared up with perfect timing for the November 16 blessing and grand opening of the North Hawai‘i Education and Research Center’s (NHERC) Heritage Center in Honoka‘a.

As an outreach center of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (UHH), NHERC has continuously expanded since first opening in 2006. The NHERC Heritage Center represents the latest phase of expansion and has a vision of being an active educational facility that will foster pride and perpetuate the diverse heritage of Hamakua and North Hawai‘i while providing the community with a foundation to thrive in the future.

A crowd of over 100 individuals gathered for the community celebration. The Honoka‘a senior citizens set the tone with their beautiful songs and Lanakila Mangauil officially opened the program with traditional oli.

Distinguished guests graced the community with their presence or remarks. Delbert Nishimoto presented a message from U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye in which Senator Inouye shared, “History is the greatest teacher. The preservation of the age old traditions of indigenous cultures is of paramount importance as we guide our children and grandchildren. The resources provided at the NHERC Heritage Center will teach all who walk through your doors about the significance of the past and its impact on their future path.”

In a written message, Senator Daniel Akaka commented “A traditional saying of the Native Hawaiian people, ‘A‘ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka halau ho‘okahi, tells us not all knowledge is gained from a single source. The education our students gain in classroom is supplemented and enriched by their families, communities, and environment around them. This Heritage Center will serve as a source of bolstered knowledge, not only for those in academia, but for our entire community.”

Representative Mark Nakashima spoke about a community having vision and being able to match community needs with University resources through the NHERC Heritage Center. Vice Chancellor Simmons further expressed the University’s commitment to providing educational opportunities for North Hawai‘i communities and beyond.

Ahualoa resident and past Peace Corp member, Romel Dela Cruz, shared his thoughts from a community perspective about what the Heritage Center will provide for preservation and dissemination of culture through sharing of stories and experiences in the format of displays and exhibits.

Heritage Center Coordinator, Dr. Momi Naughton, shared how a Heritage Center advisory board was formed to help provide feedback, guidance and direction for the development of the Heritage Center. Naughton spoke about the diversity of the Heritage Center advisory board and how she sees her role as a facilitator for helping the community celebrate their history and heritage. She also acknowledged Dr. Quentin Tomich for his role in the preservation and historic documentation of the Hamakua area.

Kukuihaele resident, ‘I‘ini Kahakalau shared about how knowing one’s past, to understand one’s present, is key for ensuring hope for the future. Kahakalau is a current UHH student majoring in Hawaiian Studies and is a recipient of the prestigious UHH Chancellor’s Scholarship.

Farrah-Marie Gomes, NHERC Director and Interim Dean for the College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS), rounded out the program remarks. In the spirit of weaving together the Hawaiian culture, ranching and farming lifestyle and the plantation era, Gomes used lyrics from a country music song and personal experiences to ensure the community of the University’s commitment while challenging the community to take advantage of the opportunities that the Heritage Center is making possible.

Reverend Marcia Hartsock of the United Methodist Church in Honoka‘a performed the blessing of the NHERC Heritage which was followed by the untying of the maile lei.

All three rooms of the Heritage Center were then opened for public viewing. The Archives is intended to meet the needs of North Hawai‘i by keeping local cultural resources in our area so that it is easily accessible to the community. The Museum is yet to be developed with permanent exhibits – a planning grant has already been submitted for this purpose. The Gallery will provide changing exhibits.

The inaugural exhibit celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps in honor of those who helped with the training program in Waipi‘o Valley and those in our community who served in the Peace Corps. That exhibit was unveiled at the grand opening and will remain on display through the remainder of this year.

The NHERC Heritage Center will be open Monday through Fridays from 7:45am to 4:30pm, excluding state holidays. Student and volunteer opportunities are available. Please call Momi Naughton at NHERC for more information.

3rd Annual Best Bowl Cook-off held today; Taco Soup voted favorite dish

Shana Kaneshiro from the UH Hilo Financial Aid Office is this year’s Best Bowl Grand Champion.

Don Straney at the buffet.
Chancellor Don Straney and Marcia Heller, chancellor’s private secretary, are served culinary delights at the 3rd Annual UH Hilo-Hawai‘i Community College Best Bowl Cook-off.

Faculty and staff of University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College showed off their culinary skills today at the 3rd Annual Best Bowl Cookoff held at UH Hilo’s Student Life Center. Colleagues who attended were the official “tasters” and judges who voted for their favorite dish to determine the Best Bowl on campus.

Shana Kaneshiro from the UH Hilo Financial Aid Office is this year’s Best Bowl Grand Champion. Her winning dish was a delicious Taco Soup, garnished with sour cream and cheese served with tortilla chips. She won a one-year membership to the Student Life Center.

Sheila Kaupu from Auxiliary Services won Best Stew/Curry Style Bowl with her ono Kama Pulled Pork.

Jodi Kunimoto from the Advising Center won Best Bowl Dessert with her Red and White Delight, a medley of strawberries and cream with macadamia nut topping.

All attendees (cooks and tasters) received a punch card that allows five free visits to the Student Life Center.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

The award for Best Bowl Grand Champion goes to Shana Kaneshiro from the Financial Aid Office. Her winning dish was Taco Soup, garnished with sour cream and cheese served with tortilla chips.
Sheila Kaupu from Auxiliary Services won Best Stew/Curry Style Bowl with her ono Kama Pull Pork.
Jodi Kunimoto (at left) from the Advising Center won Best Bowl Dessert with her Red and White Delight, a medley of strawberries and cream with macadamia nut topping.

Top photo of Chancellor Straney by Tim Moore. Other photos by John Oshima.

2011 Fall Welcome: Faculty honored for tenure and promotion, new faculty introduced

UH Hilo faculty recently awarded tenure and/or promotion, along with new faculty and staff, were recognized at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s 2011 Fall Welcome event on August 26.

UH Hilo faculty awarded tenure and/or promotion this year were honored at Chancellor’s 2011 Fall Welcome. L-R, front row: Roberta Barra, Amy Saxton, Yoshiko Okuyama, Tam Vu, and Candace Wheeler. L-R, back row: Drew Martin, Kimberly Kainoa Ariola-Sukisaki, Kathleen Stacey, Carolina Lam, Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit, Yiqing Li, and Steven Herman. Missing in photo: Robin Takahashi.

Faculty recently awarded tenure and promotion were recognized at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s 2011 Fall Welcome event on August 26.

“The awarding of tenure and promotion is the university’s recognition of excellence in teaching, scholarship and service,” said Chancellor Don Straney at the event, which was held at the Campus Center Plaza. “We honor these faculty members on their achievements to date and look forward to the future, when we will see how they help shape our university.”

The following faculty have been awarded tenure and promotion:

  • Steven Herman, to associate professor, psychology.
  • Yiqing Li, to associate professor, tropical forestry.
  • Tam Vu, to associate professor, economics.
  • Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit, to associate professor, pharmacy practice.
  • Carolina Lam, to assistant specialist, Center for Global Education and Exchange.
  • Amy Saxton, to librarian III, library.

The following faculty members have been awarded tenure:

  • Roberta Barra, associate professor.
  • Yoshiko Okuyama, associate professor.
  • Kimberly Kainoa Ariola-Sukisaki, junior specialist, Kīpuka.
  • Kathleen Stacey, librarian, library.

The following faculty members have been promoted:

  • Drew Martin, to full professor.
  • Robin Takahashi, to assistant professor, kinesiology and exercise sciences.
  • Candace Wheeler, to assistant specialist, College of Continuing Education and Community Service.

New faculty and staff also were recognized and welcomed to the university ‘ohana/family. Please see the photos below for names of new faculty and staff who attended the event.

Armando Garcia-Ortega (at left), assistant professor of fisheries and aquaculture, is welcomed by Bill Steiner, dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management.
Leon Hallacher (center), division chair for natural sciences, welcomes new faculty Josh Walawender (left), assistant professor of astronomy and director of the Hoku Kea Observatory, and David Bishop (right), instructor of computer science.
Chris Frueh (center), division chair for social sciences, welcomes Eric Heuer (left) to the psychology department, and Emmanuele D'Artibale (right) to the kinesiology and exercise sciences department.
New faculty member Chris Lauer (left) of the philosophy department is welcomed by Cam Muir, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Tom Cowger (left), administrative services officer, is welcomed by Hank Hennessey, interim dean of the College of Business and Economics.
John Pezzuto, dean of the College of Pharmacy (center) welcomes new faculty (l-r): Paula Zeszotarski, Ana Barrenchea, Dana-Lynn Ko'omoa-Lange, and Jennifer Aguiar.
Farrahmarie Gomes (left), interim dean for the College of Continuing Education and Community Service, welcomes Laurel Luth to UH Hilo.
Norm Stahl (second from left), executive coordinator of student success programs, welcomes four new employees to student affairs. Left to right: Shelly Clark, associate director, residence life, university housing; Stahl; Holly Chang, academic advisor; Kelsey Iyo, admissions counselor; Jenna Waipa, resident hall manager.

Photos by John Oshima.

2011 New Student Convocation

The 2011 New Student Convocation was held on Tuesday at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo Performing Arts Center.

Chancellor Straney addresses new students at the 2011 New Student Convocation.