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Tag: UH Hilo Community

Kīpaepae kā‘iewe ceremony held

Members of the UH Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College communities gather for a kīpaepae kā‘iewe ceremony to reaffirm the well being of the campus after the unexpected loss of several faculty members.
Chancellor Straney speaks at the kīpaepae kā‘iewe ceremony.

kīpaepae kā‘iewe ceremony was held last week to reaffirm the well being of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo campus after the unexpected loss of five members of the university ‘ohana over the summer. UH Hilo mourns the loss of Richard Crowe , professor of astronomy (d. May 27); David Miller, professor of English (d. June 27); Don Aanavi, retired art professor and campus minister (d. July 22) ; Sabry Shehata, professor of agricultural economics (d. July 21); and Jay Slivkoff, observatory technician in the astronomy and physics department (d. Aug 5).

Those gathered at the kīpaepae on Aug. 14—about 50 faculty, staff, and students from UH Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College—were moved by the simple yet profound message of the ceremony, described by UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney as “a moment to slow down the clock to honor life and living.”

Taupōuri Tangarō (left), who officiated over the kīpaepae, scatters water during the ceremony. The presentation of water symbolizes the cyclic nature of all life.

Gail Makuakāne-Lundin, executive assistant to the chancellor, explains the translation of kīpaepae kā‘iewe.

A kīpaepae is a traditional threshold stone to transitions one from the outer world of knowing into the inner world of remembering, used here to denote ceremony,” she says. “Kāʻiewe means to make familial connections.”

The ceremony, held outside Chancellor Straney’s office, was officiated by Taupōuri Tangarō, Hawai‘i CC assistant professor and department chair of the Hawai‘i Lifestyles program. The garden area fronting the administration building was dedicated as the malae, or ceremonial grounds, where ti leaf stalks were planted in memory of the lost colleagues.

Following Native Hawaiian protocol, each of the elements used in the kīpaepae kā‘iewe ceremony held significant symbolism about loss and reaffirmation of life. Many of those who gathered participated in drumming and the blowing of conch shells.

“The pahu (drum) is sounded to remind us that we all originate from within the womb, close to the heartbeat of our mothers,” says Tangarō. “The (shell trumpet) is trumpeted to remind us that the ocean does not disconnect, but connects us all.”

Drumming at the ceremony reminds all who hear that life originates from within the womb, close to the heartbeat of the mother.

Ceremonial salt and water were scattered by Tangarō. The solemn group was enveloped in his ‘oli (chant).

“The paakai (salt) is presented to encourage the preservation of humanity; the presentation of water is to remind us of the cyclic nature of all life,” he says. “And finally, the chant, a very ancient one from the volcanic myth traditions of Hawai‘i island, will reverberate the timeless and universal message to live well, to live full, and most of all, to create a legacy of having lived in the center of your potential.”

During the ceremony, ti leaf stalks were planted in memory of the departed colleagues.

The gathering was a collaborative event facilitated by Hawai‘i Community College and UH Hilo.

Organizers included Hawai‘i CC’s Kīpaepae Hawaiian Protocols Committee, an official college committee under the aegis of Hawai‘i CC’s Chancellor Noreen Yamane and chaired by Tangarō.

The gathering also was facilitated by UH Hilo’s Uluākea ‘ohana. Supported by the Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center, Uluākea is a cohort of UH Hilo administrators, faculty, staff, and learners active in the amplification of Hawai‘i Life Ways within their respective areas.

Former Chancellor Ed Kormondy visits UH Hilo

Former University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Chancellor Ed Kormondy was honored at two gatherings in July. There was a reception for community leaders who served on Chancellor Kormondy’s Cornerstone Committee, followed by a reunion of former faculty and staff.

Edward J. Kormondy served as chancellor at UH Hilo from 1986 to 1993. He is currently serving at Tusculum College, Tennessee, as temporary acting president.

Attending a reception honoring former Chancellor Ed Kormondy are (l-r), front row: Rick West, Marlene Hapai, Ed Kormondy, Judith Kirkendall, Jim Wilson. Back row: Linus Chao, Don Straney, Gerald DeMello, Bobby Fujimoto, Lois Toyama, Pieper Toyama, Jane Chao, Barry Taniguchi, Dan Brown, Linda West, Audrey Wilson, Leslie Lewis. Photo courtesy of UH Hilo Office of Development.
Former and current UH Hilo faculty and staff gather to honor former Chancellor Ed Kormondy. Front row (l-r): Edgar Torigoe, Ruth Robison, Leslie Lewis, Ed Kormondy, Irene Matsuura, Gail Makuakāne-Lundin, and Rick Castberg. Back row (l-r): Lois Toyama, Connie Maples, Pieper Toyama, Ray Okabayashi, Bob Okuda, Linda Damas, Keith Miser, Ann Miser, Dianne Higgins, Barbara Heintz, Sonia Juvik, Ginger Hamilton, Mitzi Hennessey, Henrilene Pickens, Lynn Namihira, Jerry Johnson, Cecilia Mukai, Dan Brown, and Margaret Shiba. Photo courtesy of UH Hilo Office of Development.

UH Hilo’s first Zero Waste Event is a huge success

Kristine Kubat (left) and Jordan from Recycle Hawai‘i stand proudly outside UH Hilo’s Campus Center Plaza with the resource recovery of breakfast waste from the first day of Orientation Week.

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is conducting a Zero Waste Event on campus this week during Orientation. Cam Muir, biology professor and chair of UH Hilo’s Energy Savings and Sustainability Committee, announced Monday that the waste reclamation results on the first day of the event were 55 gallons of compostable materials, eight gallons of recyclables, and one-half pint of trash.

“The success of the event so far is the result of the work of the organizers as well as all the Orientation Week leaders and especially the patience, understanding, and enthusiasm of the freshman class and their parents,” says Muir. “Numerous students and their parents thanked us for the effort and virtually everyone got into the learning aspects, with some passing the learning forward to their new friends.”

The event is organized by Kristine Kubat of Recycle Hawai‘i, Lucas Moe of UH Hilo’s orientation office, and Muir of UH Hilo’s Office of Sustainability.

Muir says “zero waste” is meant to be a goal where all the waste generated at UH Hilo can be diverted to either compost or recycling. He says attaining this goal depends not only on the effort it takes to sort waste “at the bin,” but also begs effort at the “point of purchase.”

“I don’t think the important thing is actually attaining zero percent trash,” he says. “I believe the point is to reduce the non-divertible trash to as close to zero as possible while recovering as much useable resource from our trash as possible.”

Much can be accomplished with minimal effort. As this week’s Zero Waste Event shows, 96 percent of all waste has been diverted away from the landfill. Muir says this is important because as an institution, UH Hilo generates a tremendous amount of waste that is sent to Hilo’s landfill.

“If we can divert a large amount of that waste we can not only ameliorate the negative effects that UH Hilo is having on our local environment but also save thousands on our trash hauling,” he says.

Muir notes that an important part of the zero waste effort is recognizing that much of the trash generated at the university is actually usable resources. Instead of packaging the waste, almost all of it can be turned into soil and other recycled materials, thus reducing the need to cut down more trees for paper, mine more aluminum for cans, or import soil from the continent, he says.

“Of course, as a university, we also have the obligation to educate our students about behaviors that will be more sustainable for our society,” Muir says. “Seeing the response this week from our new students and their parents, the teacher in me has been singing!”

Muir hopes this will be the first of many such initiatives and that as a campus community, UH Hilo will be inspired by the tremendous success of the new freshmen in this first Zero Waste Event.

“My goal is to follow up this event with a proliferation of such events,” he says. “I also hope to expand the effort to a Zero Waste Week, a Zero Waste Semester, and ultimately a Zero Waste Campus. I believe we can do this and I believe that we are educationally, financially, and ethically obliged to try.”

UH Hilo Graphics Team receives APEX awards

Chancellor Don Straney (at left) with the UH Hilo Graphics Team (l-r) Susan Yugawa, Tanya Ibarra, and Darin Igawa.


Please join me in congratulating Susan Yugawa and her Graphics Team for receiving two awards from the APEX Awards for Publication Excellence. The APEX Awards for Publication Excellence is an annual competition for publishers, editors, writers and designers who create print, Web, electronic and social media.

UH Hilo’s two awards were for the “Seeking edVenturers” campaign and the UH Hilo Viewbook.

The edVentures campaign included the Viewbook as well as five additional publications which embodied the look, message and overall feel of the campaign. These included three additional brochures, the Catalog cover and the acceptance packet.

The UH Hilo Viewbook is a 20-page publication created by Susan to be the signature piece of the “Seeking edVenturers” recruitment campaign. Susan created this piece from scratch, a new look and image that incorporates many aspects of the strategic plan into a visually stimulating publication.

All of the Admissions recruitment material had to be re-created and launched in 2011, which required a significant amount of time, energy and dedication to overhauling and redesigning all of UH Hilo’s recruitment material. This accomplishment is particularly noteworthy since it recognizes the work of our in-house Graphics Department by experts in the fields of marketing and communication.

The UH Hilo graphics department, led by Susan, includes Darin Igawa, Tanya Ibarra, Kelcie Valbuena and Erynn Tanimoto.

Congratulations to all of them!

Donald Straney

Groundbreaking held for UH Hilo student housing complex

University and elected officials break ground on UH Hilo’s University Village.

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo held groundbreaking ceremonies today for the first phase of a new student housing complex. The University Village will be located on 33 acres fronting the university’s main entrance on Kawili Street and will feature approximately 300 student housing units in apartments and suite-style residence halls.

“This project will ensure our continued growth and development,” says Chancellor Don Straney. “We deeply appreciate the efforts of our Hawaiʻi Island legislators along with the support of Governor Neil Abercrombie that made this initiative possible.”

Phase I of the University Village will be housed in a 105,500 square-foot complex occupying approximately five acres. The building will feature a trio of three-story residential wings comprised of two-bedroom units housing 302 students and a one-story common area that interlocks with two exterior courtyards. Other amenities will include a new parking lot and bike storage for residents.

The project is expected to be completed in 2013.

UH Hilo media release