Charlene Mersai will give talk on “Adaptation to Change: Cultural, Environmental, and Societal Change in Palau.”
SPEAKER:Charlene Mersai, National Environment Coordinator and Secretariat, National Environmental Protection Council, Ministry of Finance, Republic of Palau. TOPIC: Adaptation to Change: Cultural, Environmental, and Societal Change in Palau. DATE: Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. TIME: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. LOCATION: Sciences and Technology Building, room 108, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (campus map).
Charlene Mersai received her bachelor degrees in biology and anthropology from UH Hilo, a master in education from San Diego State University, and a post-graduate diploma on ocean resources management from the University of the South Pacific.
Prior to her current position she served as staff anthropologist at the Palau Ministry of Cultural Affairs, researcher for the Palau International Coral Reef Center, ethnobotanist and head of the Natural History Section at Belau National Museum, a Rock Islands coordinator and terrestrial conservation officer for the Palau Conservation Society, and regional coordinator for Micronesia Challenge.
She is Palauan and fluent in the Palauan language.
Funding made possible through the UH Hilo Office of the Interim Chancellor, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Department of the Interior Pacific Islands Climate Science Center at UH Hilo (a consortium of UH Hilo, UH Mānoa, and the University of Guam), UH Hilo Department of Physics and Astronomy, UH Hilo Minority Access and Achievement Program, and UH Hilo’s LSAMP Islands of Opportunity Alliance program. Co-sponsored by community groups the United Nations Association Hawai‘i Chapter, and the Micronesians United-Big Island.
The documentary film An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power will be shown Thursday, Oct. 26, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in room 108 of the Sciences and Technology Building. The showing will be followed by a live 30-minute webcast with former Vice President Al Gore.
The event is made possible through a Title III Native Hawaiian Serving-Institutions Grant under UH Hilo Office of the Interim Chancellor, Hawai‘i Community College Office of the Chancellor, Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center, and the UH Hilo Sustainability Committee.
A decade after An Inconvenient Truth (2006) raised public awareness about the climate crisis, now comes the powerful follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. Former Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight, traveling around the world meeting with climate champions and influencing international climate policy as he pursue the inspirational idea that the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion.
“I am extremely pleased and happy that Andrea will be joining the UH Foundation as the Hawai‘i Island regional director to provide effective and coordinated development between UH Hilo and Hawai’i Community College,” says Marcia Sakai, UH Hilo interim chancellor.
This new regional plan has been taking shape over the last year with support from former UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney, Hawai‘i CC Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas, foundation officials and key volunteers and donors.
“I am thrilled and excited to have Andrea on board,” says Solemsaas. “Now our philanthropic and advancement efforts will be taken to the next level of excellence with her leadership together with the talents of her team members.”
Furuli comes to the new UH Foundation position from the Hawai‘i Community Foundation where she has served as senior philanthropy advancement officer since June of 2015. Before that, she served at the UH Foundation in the UH Hilo Office of Development as associate director of development for eight years and then director for two years.
“We feel very fortunate to welcome Andrea back to our team,” says Rebecca Tseng Smith, vice president for development at the UH Foundation.
Furuli is a self-professed “Hilo girl” and a graduate of UH Mānoa and Mid-Pacific Institute.
In her letter expressing interest in the regional director position, she writes, “Positively contributing to a place where our families can flourish, parents can peacefully age, and communities can thrive are of upmost importance to me.”
The team that Furuli will be leading currently consists of foundation staff Andrea Christensen and Lisa Uyetake, with strong partnership from Nico Verissimo in alumni engagement. The new regional director will be hiring a new director of development for UH Hilo to round out the team.
-Via email communication to UH Hilo community from the UH Hilo Office of the Chancellor.
“The Dorrance Scholarship has become a model for providing educational opportunities to first-generation college students,” says Don Straney, UH Hilo chancellor. “(The Dorrances’) gift helps us to address that need, which is a core part of UH Hilo’s mission.”
The 2017 Dorrance Scholarship recipients and their high schools are:
Jeffrey Cushing, Kealakehe High School.
Stephanie Lewis, Kohala High School.
Jaylyn Mahoe-Subica, Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School.
The Dorrance Scholarship was established by Bennett and Jacquie Dorrance at the Arizona Community Foundation in June 1999. The innovative, four-year, need-based award provides local students who are the first in their family to attend college, up to $10,000 a year in direct financial assistance. Recipients will also participate in a custom-designed summer bridge program, international travel, conservation experience, an entrepreneurship program and employment preparation, bringing the total estimated value of each award to more than $90,000.
The Dorrance Foundation began offering up to 10 scholarships a year to Hawaiʻi Island high school graduates attending UH Hilo in 2012. The latest awards bring the total number of recipients to 59.
Mathew Estrada, program coordinator, Dorrance Scholarship Programs, at mestrada[at]azfoundation.org or (808) 339-4500.
Last month, the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo hosted a Baseball Cultural Tour with players from Chuo University, Tokyo. Chuo is one of the highest ranked academic schools in Japan—located in Tokyo, it has nearly 25,000 students on four campuses.
The Chuo delegation of 35 players, four coaches and administration officials arrived in Hilo on Feb. 19 for a one week cultural tour on Hawai‘i Island and O‘ahu.
The Chuo delegation lodged in UH Hilo on-campus housing for the duration of their visit on Hawai‘i Island, and during their stay, there were two exhibition games, Chuo vs Hilo, on Feb. 21 and 22. As is fitting for a cultural exchange tour, the two-game series split with Chuo winning the opening game by a score of 7-3 and Hilo winning the second game 2-1. I should note that Chuo won the Japan equivalent of the College Baseball World Series in 2016.
The games were a highlight of the tour, part of a larger context of connecting and sharing aloha. This type of cultural exchange strengthens a natural partnership, building on a longstanding relationship between Hawai‘i and Japan. UH Hilo is also currently working collaboratively on common, modern challenges with several universities in Japan in a wide range of fields: business, pharmacy, traditional medicine, disaster resilience, technology, and sustainability.
So it’s only natural to extend that connection through athletics, and baseball in particular. Chuo University is inspirational in its athletic achievements, producing many champions and Olympians, and it was an honor to have them visit and play here.
On Feb. 20, the Vulcan Baseball team, in partnership with the Japanese Community Association of Hawai‘i and the Hawai‘i Japanese Center, hosted the Chuo baseball team and their delegation at a welcome reception that included dinner.
I enjoyed giving welcome remarks at the dinner along with Baseball Coach Kallen Miyatake; Director of Athletics Patrick Guillen; Dennis Kauka representing Mayor Harry Kim; Ryan Chong from County Parks and Recreation; Art Taniguchi, Honorary Consul General of Japan; Ivan Nakano, President, Japanese Community Association of Hawai‘i; Russell Arikawa, President, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawai‘i; Reverend Naohiro Hotta of Hilo Daijingu Church; and Koji Ikeda, Head Baseball Coach at Chuo University.
I’d also like to give a shout out to Hawai‘i State Representative Mark Hashem (Kāhala, Hawai‘i Kai), who was instrumental in the initial discussions three years ago to make this trip a reality, along with Terry Yagihara and Nathan Yoshioka from Honolulu who helped bridge the ties to Chuo University and UH Hilo.
This was truly a community event. On behalf of UH Hilo, I would like to extend mahalo to the Chuo University baseball team for coming to Hilo, the Hilo business community and Booster Supporters of the Vulcan baseball team, Arnold and Eloise Hiura (Hawai‘i Japanese Center), Gladys Sonomura and the volunteers at the Hawai‘i Japanese Center, Barry Taniguchi of KTA Superstores for his longtime support of UH Hilo, Derek Kurisu, George Yoshida, George and Shirley Ito for video, John Oshima for photography, and Reiko Hamano for interpretative services.
The future intent is to return the series trip to Tokyo to play Chuo University in 2018, then either host Chuo again in 2019 or another Japanese team in future years.