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UH Hilo honors distinguished alumni

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Date: Thursday, March 7, 2002
Contact: Yu Yok Pearring, (808) 974-7501

For Immediate Release

A banking executive and two educators are this year's recipients of the University of Hawai`i at Hilo Distinguished Alumni Award. Wayne Miyao, senior vice president for corporate marketing at City Bank, Dr. Maile Andrade, assistant professor of art at UH Manoa, and Dr. Martin Dickman, professor of biology at the University of Nebraska, were honored during special ceremonies on Saturday, March 2, 2002 at the UH Hilo Campus Center Dining Room.

Miyao has always admired great athletic achievement, and has been a long-time supporter of UH Hilo Athletics. He has raised nearly $30,000 to endow an athletic scholarship fund established in honor of his parents, Masaya and Miyoko Miyao.

Miyao is active in the Honolulu community, where he has served with the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce, the Japanese Culture Center of Hawai`i, Pro Bowl Host Committee, the Kuakini Foundation, and a host of other organizations. He has also hosted several fundraising dinners to honor various community public servants, including U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye and Dr. Ruth Ono.

Miyao has earned 23 awards for his community service and marketing efforts since 1981. Those honors include the prestigious Pele Award for Television, which he won three times from 1996 to 2000, and the "Nikkeijin" Award, presented by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1995. Miyao attended the UH Hilo campus from 1966 to 1968, then went on to earn a BBA from UH Manoa in 1969.

Andrade has been a lecturer and consultant for a variety of community and cultural associations, including the 1999 World Indigenous People's Conference in Hilo, where she conducted workshops. Andrade received her BA in art and Hawaiian studies from UH Hilo in 1989. She later entered graduate studies at UH Manoa, completing her MFA in art and an MA in Hawaiian studies in 1993. At UH Hilo, Andrade worked with the Hawaiian Immersion Program, served as president of the Student Art Association and received the Chancellor's Purchase Award for her work in ceramics. Her sculpture and installations feature visual imagery from her Hawaiian ancestry. Her work has also been exhibited in national and international exhibitions and is included in major international collections. Since 1995, she has curated exhibitions of contemporary Hawaiian art in national exhibitions.

Dickman has distinguished himself, both nationally and internationally, for his work in the area of plant-fungal interaction. He is frequently sought after as a speaker at scientific conferences and as a consultant to corporations developing molecular techniques to combat plant pathogens.

Dickman received the Junior Faculty Recognition for Excellence in Research Award in 1991 from the University of Nebraska where he has been a professor of plant pathology since 1997. He was chair and founder of the Genetic Basis for Pathogenicity in the Genus Colletotrichum Regional Research Group from 1990-2001. Dickman has also served on the US-AID International Development Grant Program Grant Review Committee, as well as associate and senior editor for several academic journals.

Dickman received his BS in horticulture from UH Hilo in 1979. He pursued post-graduate studies at UH Manoa, where he earned a MS and Ph.D. in plant pathology in 1982 and 1986, respectively. This year's event also included the presentation of a Distinguished Service Award to a Hilo couple, who have contributed greatly to promote and live up to the true spirit of aloha. Toshimasa "Thomas" and Harumi "Doris" Takahashi have opened their hearts and home to UH Hilo's international students for over 10 years, by providing them with home cooked meals, a place to sleep, and help with fixing broken vehicles.

No one knows for sure how many students the Takahashi's have helped over the years. The number is thought to total hundreds, perhaps more. But the couple admits they've never counted. Their hospitality, generosity, and acts of kindness are well known on campus, with many students visiting the Takahashi residence for a vacation following graduation. They also receive cards, in addition to invitations to weddings, showers, and parties, and meet the parents of the students they've helped.

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