English at the University of Hawaii at Hilo

English Department Student Voices

Student Voices is a collection of quotes by students who are active in the English program, articulating their experiences, thoughts, and passion for their academic journey at UH Hilo.

“I enjoy the analysis of literature and understanding history through poetry and prose. It is all interconnected. I also enjoy the small class sizes. It gives me the opportunity to connect with my teachers and peers.”
—Hillary Ake, English Major, Women’s Studies Certificate


“I am so happy that I transferred out here; I have learned so much from my professors, all of whom have a real passion for what they teach: English. The small class sizes help a lot, as it makes me feel more comfortable speaking aloud. I‘ve really gotten to know lots of other students and professors too. We also have such a diverse range of material available for us; the usual staples of British and American literature are, or course, present, but so is the literature from almost every corner of the world. It is wonderful! I have been able to experience so many opportunities for growth offered through the medium of writing, researching, and reading. I am very thankful for all of the English Department.”
—Tara Vandiver, English Major, History Minor, TESOL Certificate

“The teachers [here] are very smart. It helps to know that the people teaching you actually know what they’re talking about. The closeness of the students within the major also has a family feel to it.”
—Koa Anduha, English Major


“I loved writing ever since I was really young. When I came to UH Hilo, there was a professor who enhanced my love for writing through her care-free attitude...I kept changing my major from Psychology to English during my Sophomore year. I am good at writing and love it, but I wanted to be a counselor. After meeting with my advisor, I found out I could pursue a minor in English, and wouldn’t have to stay in school any longer. Plus, it would actually help me graduate.”
—Cassandrali Dela Cruz, Psychology Major, English Minor

“I enjoy both [reading and writing]. Not sure why, I guess I’m just one of those people. It gives me a thrill to create thoughts and ideas in my mind and to implement them on to paper for others to enjoy.”
—Ryan Higgins, English Major


“I love to read because it allows me to escape the reality around me, and enjoy a whole different world.”
—Hanalei Conda, English Major, TEP Certificate

“A professor once said, ‘Always remember that the first people they got rid of during the Holocaust were leaders and writers.’ She asked us then to consider why writers were the first to go, and it’s simple. It’s because of the power they evoked in their people with the written word. Since then, English was more than just about reading and writing for me. It’s about the power of the word, and what it can really do to enliven ideas and mobilize thoughts.”
—Rosanna Badua, English Major, Linguistics Minor


“I chose to be an English major because I felt this was my best opportunity to help revive education in Hawaiʻi.”
—Nainoa Kane, English Major, TEP Certificate

The English Department wishes to thank the following students for undertaking this 2009 revision of the webpage: Tara Vandiver, Kymberli McKay, Katherine Pope, Jackie Barr, Hillary Ake, Nainoa Kane, Kekoa Adunha, Jerry Lomongo, Hanalei Conda, Lindsay Brown, and Rosanna Badua.