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Archive for October, 2009

Governor releases $5.5 million to plan permanent home for College of Pharmacy

October 30, 2009

Governor Linda Lingle has released $5.5 million for planning and design of a permanent building for the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo College of Pharmacy. The state legislature approved the funding earlier this year.

“The College of Pharmacy is a shining beacon in the educational system of Hawai‘i and the Pacific and I’m proud to be one of its supporters,” said Governor Lingle, who, on Oct. 23 proclaimed October American Pharmacists Month. “The presence of this school means that we can keep students from having to leave our state to get a degree in a field that will improve overall health care and the local economy.”

The college has admitted students for the last three academic years, sharing classrooms and laboratories with other departments at UH Hilo. Teaching, research, study, administrative and faculty office spaces are distributed across seven different sites on the UH Hilo campus and the Hilo community.

“A permanent home is absolutely crucial in order for the College of Pharmacy to achieve full accreditation as well as to provide an environment that is conducive to quality educational and research opportunities,” said Chancellor Rose Tseng. “We are grateful to the legislature and to the Governor for recognizing the dire need for pharmacists who will provide an even greater service as our population ages and we experience health care reform.”

A temporary modular compound of three buildings with one lecture auditorium, laboratories and offices has allowed the college to have a presence on the UH Hilo campus this semester. An investment by the Joseph M. Long Foundation will allow the construction of a $1 million addition.

“The modular compound will be put to good use in supporting UH Hilo activities long after the college moves into a permanent building, and we continue to be appreciative of the generosity from our colleagues on campus,” said Dean John M. Pezzuto. “Over the past three years, we have grown from zero to a faculty and staff of more than 40, and a student body of about 260. A dedicated College of Pharmacy facility is not a flight of fancy but a necessary component in our quest to become a top-rated pharmacy school while we improve health and health care in Hawai‘i and throughout the Pacific. I’d like to join the chancellor in thanking the governor and the legislature for recognizing the urgency of this plan.”

UH Hilo began the first phase of construction for the health sciences complex in October 2008 with $5 million in funding from the State of Hawai‘i. The finished permanent health complex is estimated to cost between $25-50 million.

College of Pharmacy celebrates new buildings

October 20, 2009

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo College of Pharmacy marked a milestone Saturday, Oct. 17 with a Blessing Ceremony in honor of three modular buildings that represent Phase I of the College’s temporary home. The compound, which was complete in August, is now being used by UH Hilo students and faculty, and includes offices, an auditorium, laboratories and research facilities.

“The facilities are really a significant first step toward answering the state’s need for more professionals that are committed to professional health care,” said Gerald De Mello, director of university relations. “The Pharmacy program gives a national distinction in many ways to the island and for our community, and adds a vitality to our University and our town. It will take us to our long-sought goal of redefining the basis of economics in Hilo to depend on a knowledge institution that helps move the town, the island and the state forward.”

Chancellor Rose Tseng spoke to the more than 65 people who attended, and recognized several dignitaries in attendance who have helped the College of Pharmacy, including Rep. Jerry Chang; Pat Deleon, chief of staff to Senator Daniel Inouye; Hilo attorney Roy Nakamoto; retired pharmacist Ron Okamura, member of the Dean’s Advisory Council; Representative Clift Tsuji; Allan Onishi, president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawai‘i; Phoebe Lambeth, Rotary Club of South Hilo; and UH Regent Harvey Tajiri.

“Without the state legislature, we would never have gotten this far,” Tseng said. “With Dean John Pezzuto’s guidance, the college has already attracted top-notch faculty who really are modern-day pioneers working to make this a health care Mecca of the Pacific. But it takes a community to make this happen.”

Pezzuto expressed gratitude to the community, as well as to John Dill, the construction company that built the modular compound and provided the tent for the affair.

“These buildings actually got us on the map – the campus map,” Pezzuto said. “We are extremely grateful to the state legislature for giving us hope and the strength to carry ahead to reach our vision to become a top-rated College of Pharmacy.”

Danny Akaka Jr., son of U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, conducted the traditional blessing.

“Use this time to move with the flow and to enjoy what nature gives us,” Akaka said. “It’s a symbol that we’re not alone. We’re surrounded by the beauty of this place and the ancestors who were here before us.”

Chancellor’s Message in Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce Newsletter

October 1, 2009

ChamberLOGOChancellor’s Message
Chamber Connection

October 2009

New Athletic Director Dexter Irvin joins UH Hilo

I’m pleased to tell you that Dexter Irvin is the new Director of Athletics at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. He arrived in August and officially started the job Sept. 1. As UH Hilo athletic director, he oversees our 13 NCAA Division II athletic programs.

Dexter brings a wealth of experience with him. He spent the past decade as Director of Athletics of fellow Pacific West Conference member Dixie State College in St. George, Utah. During his tenure, he increased fundraising and contributions to over $500,000 per year, and guided the program from junior college status to the NCAA Division II level.

irvinDexter’s experience also includes coaching women’s basketball at Dixie State College (2001-05), Western New Mexico University (1988-93), Clarendon College (1985-88) and Utah Valley Community College (1978-79). He also was athletic director for the Utah County Boys Club (1980) and Kirtland Central High School in New Mexico (1995-99).

Dexter says his move to Hilo is very significant in his life and the lives of his family. He says coming to UH Hilo is one of the smartest, best moves he’s made in his career, and that he feels like the Indiana Jones of athletics in a great adventure!

We were delighted to see Dexter arrive and jump in early to get a good head start on his new duties as director. I admire his enthusiasm and passion for his new position, and I know he will bring stability to our Department of Athletics.

Dexter’s commitment to excellence in academics and athletics, his ability to connect with people and his sound fiscal sense make him a perfect fit for UH Hilo. His student-athletes at Dixie State earned the Pacific West Conference Community Engagement Award this year, a reflection of Dexter’s own community engagement. We expect he will feel right at home with the island and community’s spirit of aloha.

So please help us welcome Dexter to UH Hilo. He is exactly what we need in Vulcan Athletics, what we need for UH Hilo, and what we need for the Big Island. I’m thrilled Dexter has agreed to join the UH Hilo ‘ohana as our AD!

I’d like to thank the community and the Chamber for your involvement in the search process. Special thanks to Chamber President Mary Begier, who was on the search committee. When we all work together, great things happen!

Rose Tseng