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Tag: Marcia Sakai

UH Hilo faculty and staff invited to attend upcoming webinar on assessing academic advising programs

The webinar is sponsored by the Office of the Interim Chancellor and UH Hilo Professional Development Committee.

UH Hilo seal, red lettering University of Hawaii and the state motto.A webinar is scheduled to provide valuable insights into how the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo can better assess and enhance academic advising programs and initiatives to meet retention goals and the overall enrollment management plan.

Assessing the Effectiveness of Your Academic Advising Programs  

DATE: Thursday, November 30, 2017.
TIME: 10:00 a.m.
PLACE: Student Services Center, room W-201, UH Hilo campus.

Objectives

  • Understand the differences between assessment and evaluation.
  • Review the relationship between institutional mission and student
    learning outcomes.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of assessment tools, techniques, and
    strategies and the purposes which they serve.
  • Learn how to interpret assessment data and communicate findings to
    various constituents on campus.
  • Focus on using assessment results to implement enhancements to the
    advising program.
  • Recognize that assessment is an ongoing process.

Sponsors

The webinar is sponsored by the Office of the Interim Chancellor and UH Hilo Professional Development Committee.

Contact

Gail Makuakāne-Lundin.

Tuition available for workshop on website content

This class is designed for anyone who has or would like to build a website, whether it’s for personal use or growing a business.

UH Hilo seal, red lettering University of Hawaii and the state motto.The College of Continuing Education and Community Service is offering free employee tuition through the support of the Chancellor’s Professional Development Fund for the following course:

WORKSHOP: Website Content
DATE:
Mondays and Wednesdays, November 13-29
TIME: 2:00-4:00 p.m.
PLACE: Edith Kanaka‘ole Hall, room 112, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

This class is designed for anyone who has or would like to build a website, whether it’s for personal use or growing a business. Learn how to create and revise content to be most effective and engaging, while focusing on techniques to streamline website content that will make it easier for users to find, understand, and act on the information shared. By the end of the class, students will have the architecture and content necessary to move on to the next step of building a simple, compelling website.

Apply for free tuition online.

For more information, contact the College of Continuing Education and Community Service at (808) 932-7830 or email ccecs[at]hawaii.edu.

Interim Chancellor’s Message: New data science program leading the way to a sustainable future

The program is part of a statewide project funded by the National Science Foundation, which awarded the UH System $20 million last year to do a five-year study of water sustainability issues throughout the state.

By Marcia Sakai.

I am pleased to share an update on the exciting new data science degree program at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. The program is multidisciplinary in scope with elements of geophysics, microbiology, cyberinfrastructure, data modeling, indigenous knowledge, and economic forecasting. Students will learn how big data sets, from seemingly unrelated areas, can be used to solve complex problems.

Data science is a field that can have great impact on our local communities and environment. The collection and analysis of big data in areas such as water resources, for example, can reveal patterns and trends that can alert decision makers such as lawmakers and policymakers about the directions needed to ensure future stability for our island and state. This is especially important in relation to human behavior—for example, analyzing statewide water resources can reveal things our communities can do better to use and conserve water more efficiently.

‘Ike Wai

The UH Hilo data science program is part of a statewide project funded by the National Science Foundation, which awarded the UH System $20 million last year to do a five-year study of water sustainability issues throughout the state. The project is called ʻIke Wai (Knowledge, Water) and has the overall goal of gathering new data on groundwater flow, sustainable yield, and economic impact. The data will help communities and state decision makers preserve Hawaiʻi’s water resources for the future.

Travis Mandel

Four tenure-track professors will lead the UH Hilo program. The first two were hired over the summer: Travis Mandel, assistant professor of computer science and Grady Weyenberg (who grew up in Hilo), assistant professor of mathematics and statistician. They will be joined in the near future by the others in the natural and social sciences.

While developing the UH Hilo data science program, our faculty team will work with ‘Ike Wai data scientists and water researchers around the state, collaborating alongside local communities, indigenous peoples, government agencies and businesses to generate the scientific data. Partners also include undergraduate students, graduate students, postdocs and junior faculty to address water challenges at the academic and policy level.

‘Ike Wai student scholars

Grady Weyenberg
Grady Weyenberg

As part of our program, a cohort of ‘Ike Wai student scholars will be chosen each year to do research and analyze the data collected (this year’s scholars are currently being chosen). The scholars will work with six faculty across natural science fields on research projects including investigation of local flora and fauna, genetics, and improving educational software. This is an invaluable training ground for our students, and when they graduate, they will have the background and skills needed to start professional careers in related fields. This is of immense benefit to our local communities and state.

Developing curriculum

Since Travis and Grady’s arrival, they have been hard at work on the process of getting approval for a certificate program in data science, which will be followed by a baccalaureate degree.

Meanwhile, proposals have been submitted to launch four new courses: three in computer science and one in math, which will form the core curriculum. Two of these courses will focus on computer programming and language, statistical techniques, and data plotting.

Grady is primarily involved in the development of the math course with focus on computing language and statistics, which will be attractive not only to students who are earning a data science certificate, but also to anyone in a natural science program (or even beyond) who needs an introduction to applied data analysis techniques. Target date to launch the new course is fall of 2018.

Travis is the new data science hire in computer science. He is also working on the design of the certificate and its courses, proposing a new course on cutting-edge machine learning techniques that will take students to the “next level” of data analysis. His research interests lie in the realm of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Specifically, he is interested in how we can use data to automatically improve human-focused systems.

While the university is developing curriculum, we also need to ensure that students are getting a good background in specialized techniques that will be useful for local industries, such as renewable energy and agriculture. It will be this practical application that will make the biggest impact on our local communities and economy.

Outreach

Faculty have recently begun reaching out to local schools and businesses, with the intent to ensure that a smooth transition can be created from secondary education to the university and through the data science program to the workplace. It will be wonderful to see high school students exposed to some of the interesting problems that can be addressed with data science before they get to the college level.

The development of the data science initiative makes us very proud of our campus—we are educating our students to be the problem solvers of our state’s future while helping to protect and conserve the islands’ precious natural resources.

Visit the EPSCoR website to learn more about the data science program and the ‘Ike Wai project.

See also: UH Hilo developing new data science program (UH Hilo Stories, Oct. 31, 2017).

Aloha,

Marcia Sakai

UH Foundation annual calling campaign underway

You may be receiving a call from our UH Foundation students asking for your support of our campus initiatives.

Marcia Sakai and three students stand under tree.
Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai visits with students at the UH Foundation call center on O‘ahu.

Aloha,

The UH Foundation annual fall calling campaign began this month. I personally visited with the student fundraisers, at the Call Center in Honolulu, to share information about our various programs and activities here at our campus.

You may be receiving a call from our UHF students who will begin the call by confirming or asking to update your contact information and then transition to a fundraising appeal to support our campus initiatives.

We are a smaller university than we were last year but our campus needs are still large. We have been working hard to provide our students with the courses and programs they need for a well-rounded education.

Please donate to support our campus. Should you have any questions, please call Dale Hagadone at the foundation ph. 808-956-7357.

Mahalo for your support,

Marcia Sakai
Interim Chancellor

Anthropologist and alumna Charlene Mersai returns to UH Hilo to give talk on her homeland of Palau

Charlene Mersai will give talk on “Adaptation to Change: Cultural, Environmental, and Societal Change in Palau.”

Charlene Mersai
Charlene Mersai

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.

Sponsors

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.

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