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Tag: Strategic Plan

Fee waivers for grant workshop

Requests for fee waivers are now being accepted for the February class on Advanced Grant Writing.

Hilo sealThe College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) has reserved complimentary seats exclusively for University of Hawai‘i at Hilo faculty and staff as part of the college’s Spring Professional Development workshops.

As part of the initiative to address the UH Hilo Strategic Plan Goals 2, 5, and 6, the college has been granted funds from the Chancellor’s Professional Development Fund to service the university and promote collaboration.

Requests for fee waivers are now being accepted for the February class on Advanced Grant Writing. The class is scheduled for Feb. 21st, Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., to be held at 81-964 Halekii Street, Kealakekua, HI 96750 Building 5, Classroom 5C.

In this course, experienced grant writer, Jeani Navarro, will show how to research and write winning proposals that get funded.

Participants will:

  • Gain a more in-depth understanding of the criteria funders use to determine whether a grant proposal is funded or rejected.
  • Discover a number of finishing touches to give project the edge over others.
  • Become proficient in the proposal format used by the vast majority of public foundations.
  • Discover the quickest and most efficient ways to gather the information needed to develop a proposal’s attachments, including information on the organization’s structure, administration, and finances.

All interested individuals will need to complete and submit the information below for review by Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. Responses should be emailed to program coordinator, Luisa Castro, at


  • Name
  • Unit or department
  • Brief paragraph stating how attending the workshop will benefit the grant writer and unit.

Notification of the committee’s decision will be sent to applicant by Friday, Feb. 13.

Contact info

For more information contact Luisa Castro at 808-974-7664.

Column by the Chancellor in Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce Newsletter: December 2013

Message from UH Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
Chamber Connection Newsletter
Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce

December 2013

With applied learning experiences, UH Hilo grads are competitive for employment

HICCSeveral recent reports indicate many college graduates nationwide, are having trouble finding their first jobs. The current job market is tough and employers are looking for people with experience. At the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, we are moving toward an applied learning experience for every student so they will graduate with an immediate advantage: they will have work experience through internships, collaborative research projects with professors, and/or community projects. Many of our students are already out working in the community, applying the learning they receive in the classroom, getting real-life experience before they enter the workforce with their degree. When they graduate, they have a degree AND a resume.

Let me share some examples.

Shadd Keahi Warfield is a high school teacher at Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo Hawaiian language immersion school in Keaukaha where he was raised. He received his bachelor of arts, master of arts in Hawaiian language and literature, and is currently a candidate for a doctor of philosophy in indigenous language revitalization, all from UH Hilo. As an undergraduate, Keahi was a coach and mentor for Keaukaha Canoe Club working primarily with youth. He has gone on to develop an innovative after school program called RISE (Revealing Individual Strengths for Excellence), a private program to, among other things, provide individual mentoring to disadvantaged youth to increase their knowledge of career and academic paths.

In the field of aquaculture, Sierra Tobiason graduated with a bachelor of science in agriculture, then stayed at UH Hilo for the tropical conservation biology master’s program, where she conducted collaborative research with an aquaculture company. She is now employed as the Sea Grant extension agent for South Kohala. Her experience with local fishers and aquaculture helped her secure the position as Sea Grant was looking for someone with diverse skills and the ability to work with the local community.

UH Hilo’s seniors in the nursing program have practicums at several community sites. All seniors have a capstone course of 90 clinical hours;  the students select their top three priorities of practice in an acute care setting and then faculty coordinate the experience with mentors. Students get to know the organization and have a chance to impress the employers. A recent graduate impressed Hospice of Hilo so much during her community health practicum, she was hired as soon as she graduated. Further, Hilo Medical Center has an internship program for graduates that many times leads to employment.

Many of our humanities graduates also make strong connections in the community during their undergraduate studies, leading to good jobs. For example, all students in our performing arts program are immersed in community outreach projects either through performing and/or teaching at UH Hilo or out in the local community. Nicole Cowan, with a degree in drama, is now a freelance actress on the Big Island and recently had a part in The Trial of Lili‘uokalani with the Hilo Community Players. Sara Hayashi, with a degree in dance, is an instructor at Island Dance Academy, and BriAnna Johnson, with a degree in drama, now works as a high school drama teacher.

Our kuleana, our responsibility, is to improve the quality of life of the people of Hawai‘i, the Pacific region and the world. The national trends on diminishing employment opportunities are disturbing, but we are working hard to give our students the skills and experience to counter those trends and create a productive future for themselves, our island and state.


Don Straney

Apply now for 2013-2014 Chancellor’s Diversity Committee funds

The following announcement is on behalf of the Chancellor’s Diversity Committee:

Logo for thumbAloha,

Applications for 2013-2014 Chancellor’s Diversity Committee funds are now being accepted. Guidelines and application instructions are available on the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Diversity Committee’s web page.

The purpose of the Diversity Committee Fund is to assist the UH Hilo campus “to cultivate, sustain and reflect a diverse, multicultural university that is rooted in the indigenous history of Hawaii” (UH Hilo Strategic Plan 2011-2015). It serves as a venue for facilitating campus-wide dialogue on diversity issues related to our living, learning and working environment.

The deadline for applications is 4:30 p.m., November 30, 2013.

Column by the Chancellor in Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce Newsletter: October 2013

Message from UH Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
Chamber Connection Newsletter
Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce

October 2013

 UH Hilo’s role in the Hawai‘i Graduation Initiative

HICCI’d like to focus this month’s column on University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s role in the UH System’s Hawai‘i Graduation Initiative. HGI is a systemwide initiative aiming to increase the number of educated citizens within the state. Specifically, it seeks to increase the number of UH graduates by 25 percent by the year 2015 (10,500 graduates in FY 2015).

At UH Hilo, we are working on a number of fronts to increase our graduation rates. Efforts are being led collaboratively by Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, notably in the areas of new residence halls that promote a sense of community and support, proactive advising that reaches out to students who might not otherwise seek advising, pre-built course schedules, and expanded tutoring. Let me share some details about these projects and activities.

In August, we celebrated the opening of Hale ʻAlahonua, the new student housing complex. The $32.5 million three-story structure houses approximately 300 students, increasing on-campus housing by more than 30 percent to about 900 students. The three residential wings are connected by a 9,500 square-foot Student Life Common Area, which houses two kitchens, laundry facilities, study and conference rooms, and a lounge. This new housing complex provides a supportive environment for our students to learn about each other and about themselves and to live a balanced life while they learn. It gives our students a sense of community, a solid support system among peers to help them through the challenges of their academic careers.

Advising is another area of focus. This semester, the Advising Center will be connecting with all first-time freshmen students at key times in the semester with proactive outreach to see how students are doing and set up formal meetings with advisors. Student Affairs and Academic Affairs are developing a comprehensive early-warning and early-intervention system to catch students who may be falling behind. For example, peer leaders or faculty advisors will reach out to students who have missed more than two classes in a row.

Dovetailing with advising is the work of Academic Affairs in building major program Four-Year Sample Plans and Program Check Sheets known as “Academic Maps.” The Four-Year Sample Plans are designed to help students plan a course of study to complete their degree program in four years. The plans are not required course of study, but give examples of how students may plan their own course of study by taking 15 credits per semester. Students can use the Program Check Sheets to double check that they are meeting all the major degree requirements and the General Education Check Sheets to double check they are meeting all GE requirements. This aligns nicely with the UH System’s “15 to Finish” campaign, which encourages students to take 15 credits per semester to graduate on time.

Academic Affairs is also expanding tutoring in a wider range of courses. Tutoring at the Math Center has been increased in both staffing and hours; students receive help for courses in math, but also for the math needed in accounting, marine science, biology, geology, horticulture, and physics.  Additionally, our Library is now open on Saturdays and the Kilohana Academic Success Center will be providing Saturday tutoring in Chemistry, Math and Writing.

These are some of the ways UH Hilo is actively involved in the UH System’s Hawai‘i Graduation Initiative so that as a collaborative System, we reach HGI’s completion goals.


Don Straney

Column by the Chancellor in Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce Newsletter: September 2013

Message from UH Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
Chamber Connection Newsletter
Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce

September 2013

Strengthening local food production through islandwide collaboration

HICCEarly in August, I had the pleasure of hosting an Agricultural Summit at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. The summit, the first in a series of strategic discussions, evolved out of some initial discussions between myself, the dean of UH Hilo’s College of Agriculture, the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research and Development, and the deputy director of the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture. The four of us discussed ways to focus the collective efforts of publicly-funded educational institutions and agricultural support services to enhance food self-reliance on the island of Hawai‘i.

Our goal for the first summit meeting was to start a larger discussion by bringing together a cross section of stakeholders, including local farmers, ranchers, and food distributors, and representatives from several key county, state and federal agencies charged with providing programs in support of local food production.

From the county, we invited R&D and workforce development. From the state university system, we invited faculty, deans and directors from Hawai‘i Community College, UH Hilo College of Agriculture, and UH Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, along with researchers, the director of CTAHR’s agribusiness incubator, and several extension agents. U.S. agencies represented included the Department of Agriculture, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Farm Service Agency, Rural Development, and the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center.

Ag Summit
Agricultural Summit with stakeholders that included local farmers, ranchers, and food distributors, and representatives from several key county, state and federal agencies charged with providing programs in support of local food production.

Also invited was the director of the Small Business Development Center of Hawai‘i and the executive director of the Hawai‘i Island Economic Development Board. Several Hawai‘i island lawmakers attended.

Representatives from private agencies with local farm interests also joined us, including a co-op specialist and farm manager from the non-profit Kohala Center, and farming/food production experts from the Ulupono Initiative, Kamehameha Schools Land Assets Division, the Hamakua Agricultural Group, the Ku I Mana New Farmer Program, and KTA Superstores.

First, we heard from each of the groups and agencies, who shared information about their services along with the challenges and trends that lie ahead for their programs. This helped lay a foundation for understanding the terrain of programs, issues, and opportunities.

Then, in an energetic discussion session, we heard directly from a large cross section of local farmers—Hawai‘i island food producers—who shared their thoughts on services they believe are most useful to their businesses or that they think could do the most to advance new food farming systems on our island. I, along with everyone in the room, gained much insight from the questions, answers, and ideas shared between local cattle ranchers, fruit and vegetable growers, distributors, flower producers, mac nut growers, and county, state and federal representatives. A “suggestion box” format garnished even more information about what farmers and ranchers need.

This exchange of program descriptions and farmer mana‘o provides very useful food for thought. Some topics discussed were the need for collaboration, partnerships, cooperatives, food hubs, collective purchasing, crop aggregation, farmer training programs, a vision for the future of agriculture on our island, and strategic planning. The topics of fertilizer and feed were brought up often, along with energy issues and the high cost of doing agriculture on Hawai‘i island.

These topics and others discussed at this summit will be the starting point for further discussions about how the UH System and other agencies can renew our focus on strengthening local food production on the island of Hawai‘i.

“It will take a major commitment at all levels and by all players—from lawmakers to consumers—to make this work,” one participant said. Another noted, “There are a thousand reasons why no can; we need to find the one reason why can.”

Stay tuned for future reports on the progress of this initiative. If you’d like to see photos, read the notes from this series of meetings, or view some of the presentations, visit my blog at


Don Straney