New Student Programs

New Student Programs (NSP) is committed to supporting all of the newest members of our university ‘ohana (family). Our mission is to build a foundation for student’s full academic and social integration into the campus through the development of long lasting connections to other students, faculty, staff and student support resources; to build a supportive learning environment that promotes academic success; and to create a commitment to and understanding of what it means to be a proud member of our UH Hilo ‘ohana.

Creating Connections

Creating ConnectionsCreating Connections is important for our new student to feel connected. We want to connect students to each other, building long lasting friendships and support networks. We want to connect students to faculty to help them see that professors are people too and thereby making it easier to stop by during office hours or engage more fully in their classes. We want to connect students to all of the many campus resources and staff that run them so that when they’re struggling with something, they are aware of what resources are available to them on campus and who the people are that are available to help and support them.

Promoting Academic Success

student at microscopeBy promoting academic success we support the main reason that our students are here at UH Hilo. We help them earn higher grades and have the confidence in their own skills to be a successful student. Activities and initiatives that promote strong academics, a connection to their major, developing critical thinking skills, and continued learning both inside and outside the classroom are an integral component of a successful Vulcan graduate.

Developing 'Ohana

UH Hilo AthleticsDeveloping a sense of ‘ohana amongst our newest students, is also a focus area for us. That feeling of pride when you think about how awesome it is to be a Vulcan, that warm fuzzy feeling you have when you feel like this is your home, your community, your family. That means creating traditions that’ll last for years to come, supporting Vulcan Athletics and other great Vulcan activities, and helping people fill their closet with nothing but red, black, and white clothes.

NSP Staff

The Staff of the New Student Programs office consists of an Associate Director, 3 Student Coordinators, and a crew of amazing Orientation Leaders.

Associate Director

The role of the Associate Director is to coordinate and direct campus initiatives involving new students. Additionally, the AD is responsible for the supervision of the Student Coordinators, and overall management of the Orientation Leaders. He coordinates the Fall and Spring Orientation Program ensuring that new students to the university are transitioned, welcomed, and oriented to what is needed to be a successful UH Hilo graduate. In addition, the Associate Director assists the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs in the coordination of University 101, a for-credit academic course designed to provide first-time freshmen with the kinds of knowledge, attitudes and skills associated with college success. The Associate Director is Jake Picus.

Student Coordinators

There are three Student Coordinators who's job it is to coordinate the logistics of Orientation. The Student Coordinators also assist the Associate Director with training and management of the Orientation Leaders. Additionally, they each chair one of the three NSP Teams (Creating Connections, Academic Success, or Developing 'Ohana), planning events and developing initiatives associated with their area of focus. The three Coordinators this year are Krista Aoki, Remi Nakaza, and CJ Kow.

Orientation Leaders

OL Group picThe Orientation Leader position is a year-long leadership opportunity. During Orientation, these students not only help to manage the operational aspects of the events, but also engage and support our newest students, parents, and families throughout the week. They act as a resource, answering questions, providing directions, getting to know our newest students, and providing a sense of welcoming to our campus 'ohana. Additionally, Orientation Leaders reach out to new students over the summer before they arrive welcoming them, answering questions about UH Hilo, and getting them excited about their new experience. Finally, each of the Orientation Leaders are active members of one of the three NSP committees (Creating Connections, Promoting Academic Success, and Building ‘Ohana). Through these committees they will plan events and initiatives that will have a significant impact on our newest UH Hilo students.

Meet the staff

Major Events


The biggest and most important event that New Student Programs coordinates is Orientation. Orientation is a week of events, activities, workshops, and ceremonies all designed by the University community to engage, welcome, transition, and orient the newest members of our campus 'ohana.


Convocation is the kick off to Orientation, and serves as the official celebration ceremony to start our newest students on their academic journey. Convocation is the other bookend to Commencement. While commencement celebrates the culmination of all the hard work our students have done to earn their degree, convocation celebrates the beginning of that journey and officially welcomes them to our campus.

Contact Us

Campus Address: Campus Center, room 313A

Phone Number: (808) 932-7384

Email Address: