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Tag: Workforce Development

UH Hilo in the news: NASA and Hawai‘i strike space exploration deal; lunar research park to be located at UH Hilo

Under the agreement, the state is proposing to explore the development of a prototype International Lunar Research Park at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. The partnership will contribute to the development of education programs and foster economic opportunities including new, high-tech jobs.

Video screen grab of Governor Abercrombie and guest at bill signing

HONOLULU — NASA and the State of Hawai‘i have agreed to collaborate on a wide range of activities to promote America’s human and robotic exploration of space. The partnership also will contribute to the development of education programs and foster economic opportunities including new, high-tech jobs.

Governor Neil Abercrombie and NASA Associate Deputy Administrator Rebecca Keiser signed a two-year agreement, formally called a non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement Annex, during a ceremony yesterday in the Governor’s Office. The ceremony was held on the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s historic announcement committing the country to land an American on the moon and return him safely before the end of the decade.

“Hawai‘i has been part of America’s space activities from the beginning of the space program when Apollo astronauts trained in the islands for their historic missions to the moon,” Governor Abercrombie said. “This partnership with NASA will broaden educational and employment opportunities for our local families and bring dollars into our economy.”

The agreement establishes a partnership between NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., and Hawai‘i to explore and test new technologies, capabilities and strategies supporting America’s space exploration and development goals.

Under the agreement, the state is proposing to explore the development of a prototype International Lunar Research Park at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. It would use the state’s unique terrain, which is similar to that of the moon and Mars, to enable development and testing of advanced automated and tele-robotic vehicles. Researchers would benefit from Hawai‘i’s natural geography, advanced communications, power generation and other technologies required for space exploration.

“This is the type of participatory exploration involving universities and small- to mid-sized high technology companies that is becoming an increasingly important component of the 21st century space program,” Keiser said. “Americans want to participate directly and personally in space activities. As we have seen from NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services project and the Centennial Challenges prize competitions, harvesting the country’s innovative talent is important to the success of our future endeavors in space. The space frontier is opening in novel and exciting ways.”

The state will provide the prototype test environment and infrastructure for the proposed analog test facilities. NASA will evaluate new concepts and models for conducting space exploration. The state will explore the potential to develop and mature innovative space-related technologies for educational, industry and government use.

“From NASA’s perspective, this partnership can inspire ideas and applications from analog test sites that can be generalized to space exploration and development of the moon and other planetary bodies,” said Ames Director Pete Worden.

The state’s Office of Aerospace Development will be the lead state agency for the project, enhancing dialogue and coordination among the state, private and academic partners to enable growth and diversification of the state’s aerospace economy.

“We support NASA’s goal to promote public-private partnerships and multinational alliances to help reduce the cost, enhance the feasibility and accelerate the implementation of future space missions – leading to settlements beyond low-Earth orbit,” said Jim Crisafulli, director of Hawai‘i’s Office of Aerospace Development. “Locally, this collaboration should catalyze Hawai‘i-based economic innovation and engage engineers, scientists, educators, and students, as well as commercial entrepreneurs, to increase the opportunities and benefits of space exploration.”

For more information about the International Lunar Research Park, visit: https://sites.google.com/site/internationallunarresearchpark

For more information about Ames, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/ames

For more information about Hawai‘i’s aerospace initiatives, visit: http://aerospacehawaii.info

Design phase completed for new UH Hilo College of Pharmacy building

“When you consider the data from the economic impact study that shows the college brings in more than $50 million a year to the state, there’s no question that this is an investment that will more than pay for itself virtually in no time.” –State Representative Clift Tsuji

The design phase is completed for a new state-of-the-art building for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s College of Pharmacy.

“We cannot overstate the importance of this building to Hawaiʻi’s future as the hub of health care and discovery,” said John Pezzuto, dean of the college. “It will also allow us to give our students the best possible professional pharmacy education and move forward with accreditation.”

WCIT Architecture of Honolulu designed the building, which will cost an estimated $66 million. In 2010, WCIT won an architecture award for the design of UH Hilo’s Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikolani College of Hawaiian Language building.

WCIT President Rob Iopa said the design approach blends environment, place and architecture unique to the needs of the College of Pharmacy yet within the framework of other buildings on campus.

“WCIT Architecture has done a beautiful job designing the Hawaiian languages building, but I want to stress we are not just looking for window dressing,” said Debra Fitzsimons, vice chancellor for administrative affairs. “I’m confident their design of the College of Pharmacy will complement our existing structures on the UH Hilo campus while giving them the proper educational vessel they require.”

The design phase was funded in part by $5.5 million from the state in 2009. Funds are now being sought from the state and others for construction. During a recent site visit, a group from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the national accrediting agency responsible for pharmacy schools, said the lack of a permanent building for the college is a serious concern.

Pezzuto said the cost of construction is more than offset by the economic benefits the college brings to the state of Hawaiʻi. State Representative Clift Tsuji agrees.

“When you consider the data from the economic impact study that shows the college brings in more than $50 million a year to the state, there’s no question that this is an investment that will more than pay for itself virtually in no time,” said Tsuji (D-South Hilo, Panaewa, Puna, Keaau, Kurtistown).

The new pharmacy college facilities will be located on campus at the corner of Komohana and Nowelo streets.

UH Hilo’s College of Pharmacy is the only school of pharmacy in the Pacific region.

Legislative Testimony by the Chancellor on HCR 197/HR 170 supporting workforce pipeline program of Thirty Meter Telescope

Testimony Presented Before the
House Committee on Higher Education
March 24, 2011 at 2:00pm
by
Donald O. Straney
Chancellor, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo

HCR 197/HR 170 – SUPPORTING THE WORKFORCE PIPELINE PROGRAM OF THE THIRTY METER TELESCOPE PROJECT.

Chair Nishimoto, Vice Chair Nakashima and Members of the Committee:

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College are major developers of the trained workforce needed in Hawai‘i County. We place a priority on meeting workforce needs of our community and state. We welcome, therefore, efforts such as those described in this resolution, to stimulate and sustain a broad range of activities to prepare our citizens for rewarding careers in the County.

We are pleased to support the resolution and thank you for the opportunity to testify.

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Column by the Chancellor in Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce Newsletter: March 2011

Message from UH Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
Chamber Connection Newsletter
Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce
March 2011

Growing our campus strengthens our island’s economy

Logo with the words Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce Since 1898The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is more than an institution of higher education, it has a major impact on the island’s economy. A recent estimate is that UH Hilo contributes about $240 million to the economic activity of the state. Here at home, the university employs 610 people and stimulates an additional 3,900 jobs in our local communities. UH Hilo’s University Park of Science and Technology has $900 million in investments and creates 400 jobs.

In these challenging economic times, an effective way to address both job growth and higher education needs is through capital improvement projects on our campus, and we have some exciting projects in the works.

Our new Science and Technology Building is nearing completion. The physics, astronomy, and chemistry departments will move into the $28 million structure that will feature new classrooms, laboratories, and research space. The top-notch facilities and technology will provide UH Hilo students and faculty with state-of-the-art laboratory and research facilities rivaling any in the country, bringing our university’s science disciplines into the 21st century and enabling our graduates to be highly competitive at the graduate school level and in the work force.

We broke ground on our new Student Services Building in January. The three-story structure will house programs to support student success: admissions, registration, financial aid, advising, career development, disability services, counseling, women’s center, and health promotion. Capital improvements like this bring UH Hilo in line with national trends in student services and allow staff to meet the needs of our diverse student population from initial admission to graduation and beyond.

In February, we celebrated the groundbreaking of our award-winning College of Hawaiian Language building. Our island is the best place in the world to study indigenous language and culture revitalization, and we are committed to strengthening and growing the college. The beautiful building already is earning accolades: the Honolulu chapter of the American Institute of Architects gave WCIT Architects the design award for this building in the “Commissioned Work to be Built” category. Both the building and landscape will reflect the Hawaiian culture and our island’s natural resources.

Plans are underway for a permanent building for our College of Pharmacy to be located at the entrance to the University Park of Science and Technology. Now awaiting legislative approval for construction, the facility will give UH Hilo pharmacy students access to state-of-the-art technology in the classroom, affording them an exceptional educational experience that will prepare them well for the job market. With this building, the College of Pharmacy will meet its full potential to educate the health care work force of tomorrow, serve the health care needs of our citizens, and stimulate the economy through grants and research.

Construction is scheduled to begin this summer on a new UH Hilo College Campus Store, which will be an addition to the Campus Center building. We’re excited about this new store because, not only will it be a place for students to buy books, but it will also be a welcoming place to shop, eat, hang out and just enjoy. Serving both UH Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College, the store’s ultra-modern design will contribute greatly to a lively and inviting sense of community for our students.

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