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Tag: UH Hilo Community

UH Hilo celebrates Filipino American Heritage Month

(l-r) Chancellor Don Straney, Iris Viacrusis, and Vice Chancellor Kenny Simmons at the kick off celebration of Filipino American Heritage Month. Viacrusis designed the shirts worn by the chancellor and vice chancellor.
(l-r front row) Chancellor Straney; Randy Hirokawa, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; and Bruce Mathews, dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management.

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo kicked off Filipino American Heritage Month with a celebration Oct. 4 at the Campus Center Plaza. The theme for this year is “FIESTA: Celebrating Filipino Culture and Heritage.”

The celebration began with a Barrio Fiesta parade. UH Hilo administrators, students, student organizations, and members of the Filipino community were dressed in traditional and modern Filipino clothing.

UH Hilo Chancellor Straney wore a barong, an embroidered formal shirt of the Philippines that was designed and loaned to him by Iris Viacrusis, who also designed the shirt worn by Kenith Simmons, vice chancellor for academic affairs.

UH Hilo administrators gather for a photo. (l-r) Randy Hirokawa, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Chancellor Don Straney; Kevin Hopkins, director of the Pacific Aquaculture & Coastal Resources Center; Marcia Sakai, vice chancellor for administrative affairs; Luoluo Hong, vice chancellor for student affairs; and Gail Makuakāne-Lundin, executive assistant to the chancellor.

See the schedule below for information about events to be held throughout the month of October. For more information contact Gail Makuakāne-Lundin.

Schedule of events for Filipino American Heritage Month

Photos provided by Millie Asuncion, a community member of the UH Hilo Filipino Advisory Committee.

UH Hilo’s Professional Development Committee holds kickoff event

Keynote speaker Taupouri Tangarō addresses the audience at the recent kickoff event held by UH Hilo’s Professional Development Committee.

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Professional Development Committee held a successful kickoff event Sept. 19 on campus at Ho‘oulu Terrace. There were over a hundred faculty, staff and students in attendance.

“The Professional Development Committee was especially pleased by the turnout of staff and the positive verbal comments after the session,” says committee chair Jube Kuewa, acting director of the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action.

Taupouri Tangarō, PhD, assistant professor and chair of the Hawai‘i lifestyles department at Hawai‘i Community College, was the keynote speaker. Tangarō’s presentation was titled, “How Individual Professional Development Shapes Organizational Excellence.” He emphasized the importance of employees’ self actualization and organizational identity.

The event included a discussion on the application process for funding for professional development. The application deadline is October 5, 2012. Find more details on the Professional Development website.

Kuewa says many staffers expressed being pleased at having an opportunity for training. Of note, one staffer said “she must thank the chancellor (for this opportunity).”

“The Professional Development Committee is prepared to do the hard work that’s coming up,” says Kuewa, noting that reviewing and deciding on applications, and planning two more training event presentations are current priorities.

Kuewa says he will be included in any university-level discussions regarding professional development.

“The PDC is now UH Hilo’s public entity on professional development,” says Kuewa. “PDC involvement will be useful in considering workforce concerns and in disseminating information to our faculty and staff on these matters.”

Director of University Relations Gerald DeMello to retire Dec. 31

Gerald De Mello


It is with a great deal of mixed emotions that I am announcing that Gerald DeMello has decided to retire, effective December 31, 2012.

Gerald has served as director of University Relations since January 1991. For the past 21 years, he has been an indispensable advocate for the university and a major reason for the growth and development UH Hilo has enjoyed during that period. His outreach to Big Island legislators, federal and county officials, business, labor and community leaders has created a highly effective partnership with the university that has resulted in some of the most significant capital improvements in UH Hilo’s history.

There is no question that Gerald’s big-picture vision for “the university that can be,” and his genuine enthusiasm for UH Hilo, are strong selling points. His personality and professionalism have also played a big role in opening doors and creating opportunities for the university that may not have been possible without him. His capacity for getting a meeting at just the right time with key decision makers has often been the key to UH Hilo’s success, and with Gerald on the team, UH Hilo has had many successes.

Although we will miss Gerald, he has worked tirelessly throughout his career and deserves the opportunity to spend more time with his family. I know all of you join me in wishing nothing but the very best for Gerald as he embarks on new adventures.

A search for Gerald’s successor will be underway shortly.

Don Straney

UH Hilo 2012 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 2012 Fall Welcome event on August 21.

Faculty who recently received tenure and/or promotion were recognized at UH Hilo’s 2012 Fall Welcome event. Those attending the event were (front row, l-r) Todd Shumway, Jonathan Price, Efren Ruiz, Jing Yin, Seri Luangphinith, (back row, l-r) Kathleen Commendador, Eileen Lovell, Steven Lundblad, Brian Wissman, Karen Pellegrin, and Brian Bays.
Chancellor Straney, at podium, welcomes everyone to UH Hilo’s 2012 Fall Welcome event.

Faculty recently awarded tenure and promotion were recognized at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s 2012 Fall Welcome event on August 21.

“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 on campus at Ho‘oulu Terrace. “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:

  • Kathleen Commendador, to associate professor, nursing
  • Thomas Dewitt, to associate professor, marketing
  • Gene Johnson, to associate professor, accounting
  • Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa, to associate professor, Hawaiian and Hawaiian studies
  • Eileen Lovell, to associate professor, nursing
  • Steven Lundblad, to associate professor, geology
  • Fiona Mccormack, to associate assistant professor, anthropology
  • Jonathan Price, to associate professor, geography
  • Efren Ruiz, to associate professor, mathematics
  • Brian Wissman, to associate professor, mathematics
  • Jing Yin, to associate professor, communication
  • Karen Pellegrin, to specialist, pharmacy practice
  • Brian Bays, librarian III, head of collection development, library

The following faculty members have been awarded tenure:

  • Yoshiko Fukushima, associate professor, Japanese studies, Asian theatre and performance studies
  • Todd Shumway, junior specialist, Center for Global Education and Exchange

The following faculty members have been promoted:

  • Shuguang Li, to professor, mathematics
  • Seri Luangphinith, to professor, English
  • Rebecca Ostertag, to professor, biology
  • Maria Haws, to associate professor, aquaculture

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.

Seri Luangphinith (at right), humanities division chair, introduced new faculty members Rodney Jubilado (at left), assistant professor of languages (Filipino), and Celia Bardwell-Jones, assistant professor of philosophy.
Leon Hallacher (at right), natural sciences division chair, introduced Rene Pierre Martin (at left), assistant professor of astronomy and director of the Hoku Kea Observatory, and Diana Webb, math instructor.
Susan Brown (fourth from right), interim associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, introduced (l-r) Cassidy Sterling, instructor of psychology; Alexander Nagurney, instructor of psychology; Alexandra Springer, interim assistant professor of sociology; Noah Viernes, instructor of political science; and Joseph Genz, assistant professor of anthropology.
Karen Pellegrin (at right), director of Continuing and Distance Education & Strategic Planning at the College of Pharmacy, introduced (l-r) Darlene Lehua Miller, institutional support fiscal specialist; Katherine Anderson, assistant professor of pharmacy practice; and Rachel Loo, STEP project specialist.
Marcia Sakai (at right), vice chancellor for administrative affairs, introduced (l-r) Alison Akamine, human resources specialist; Kelice Ann Valbuena, administrative & fiscal support specialist in the graphics department; and Lisa Cooper, administrative officer in the business office.
Dan Brown (at right), interim vice chancellor for research, introduced Holo Ho‘opai, project coordinator for the Islands of Opportunity Alliance project.
Helen Rogers (at right), acting university librarian, introduced Glenn Fernandez, information technology specialist.
Luoluo Hong (at far right), vice chancellor for student affairs, introduced (l-r) Kensei Gibbs, certified athletic trainer; Nadia Kholomeydik, mental health counselor, counseling services; Elenita Hopkins, interim budget manager & fiscal planner; Lyssa Sakamoto, student success advisor; Kamuela Miller, educational technology support specialist; (back row, l-r) Unity Beddingfield, head women’s soccor coach; Scott Hansen, head men’s and women’s tennis coach; Jeffery “Ziggy” Korytoski, head men’s soccer coach; Vidalino Raatior, director of AANAPISI Program & Pacific Islander Student Center; Sulma Gandhi, director of student health and wellness programs; Lucas Moe, interim coordinator, orientation & transition programs; and Desha Staley-Raatior, educational specialist, AANAPISI program & Pacific Islander Student Center. Missing: Lyssa Warren, interim campus & community services coordinator/CSO advisor.

Photos by John Oshima

UH Hilo celebrates first cohort in Doctor of Nursing Practice program

UH Hilo’s inaugural Doctor of Nursing Practice cohort (l-r) Christi Barretto-Candaroma, Patricia Hensley, Jordan Avenue, Armando Sarmiento, Poki’i Balaz, Noemi Arzaga, Hui Chen, Amy Hanapi, Tracy Thornett and Mellissa Sullivan.

Chancellor Donald Straney spoke at a banquet last week to celebrate the start of University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program. UH Hilo’s School of Nursing proudly presented the first cohort of students who will complete a three-year program in medical courses across the human lifespan. Upon graduation, these advanced practice nurses will become healthcare practitioners serving local and other communities.

“One reason I believe the education this cohort will receive here is so good is that UH Hilo’s School of Nursing is committed to preparing students to take what they learn here and use it to make communities better,” says Chancellor Straney.

Also speaking at the event were Randy Hirokawa, dean of UH Hilo College of Arts and Sciences, and Kay Daub, professor and director of the School of Nursing.

Community health care leaders, distinguished guests, faculty, staff, and special friends were in attendance to support this major milestone in healthcare for the island. The DNP program will increase the number of healthcare providers on the island of Hawai‘i, allowing greater access to care for people of all ages.

“The DNP at UH Hilo will help address the primary care provider shortage in Hawai‘i,” says Chancellor Straney.