(from left to right: Kurt de la Cruz, Jodilyn Kunimoto, and Kainoa Ariola)
In addition to the professional staff, the Advising Center also has 2 peer advisor on staff, Sherise & Kaylie.
Jodilyn Kunimoto, academic advisor
Aloha! What I like most about my job is working and learning from students. Each student brings a diverse set of experiences, values, and issues that need to be resolved, and we’re in a place to help them get on their way. I have discovered that working with students is my work, and with that I give my heart and care to students and my work in the Center.
I have 10+ years of Advising and Counseling experience with both traditional age and non-traditional age students throughout the University of Hawaii System, specifically at Kapi`olani Community College on Oahu, Hawai`i Community College less than a mile from UH-Hilo, and now here at UH-Hilo. I am also alumni of the UH–Manoa, and hold a Bachelor of Arts, in Psychology and a Masters of Education, in Counseling and Guidance.
My passion is assisting students to "find THEIR way". Your unique and individual way and place at the University and eventually in your career and life. That can be a struggle, but students’ eventually figure it out, sometimes with a little bit of help. The cool thing, is I get paid to do it…so please, “e komo mai”…welcome, and sit, stay…and find your way…
Favorite Ice Shave/Shave Ice Combo: strawberry or orange dream flavor, azuki beans and ice cream inside, condensed cream drizzle on top. If available, steamed manapua and pork has on the side.
Kurt de la Cruz, academic advisor
Kurt de la Cruz is from the great district of Ka’u. He comes with over 18 years of providing services to students. A graduate of the UHH Upward Bound program, Kurt went on to complete degrees in Journalism/Public Relations (BA) at the University of Northern Colorado and a masters (MS) in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University. He, his partner Maire, and their daughter Maika’i live on a farm outside of Hilo where they live on Solar power and grow their own vegetables. Kurt is also a traveled musician who has shared the stage with performers such as Ozomatli, Lucky Dube, and Jack Johnson, amongst others. Most of all, Kurt has great passion in the role of higher education and what it means for Hawaii’s young folks. Throughout his UHH career, he has worked as a Resident Manager for Hale Ikena, the Assistant Director of Upward Bound, and now as an academic adviser in the Advising center.
Favorite Ice Shave/Shave Ice Combo: Red... also known as Strawbarrrrry. With vanilla ice cream. Nuff.
Kainoa Ariola, director/academic advisor
Aloha mai kākou! I’m originally from Kōloa, Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi and was the first in my family to go to college. I graduated from UH Hilo with a BA in Hawaiian Studies and an MA in Administration, Curriculum, and Instruction from Gonzaga University. Believe me when I say, I know what you’re going through! College can be exciting/scary/stressful all at the same time. Rest assured, although your success at UH Hilo is within your control, you’re not alone! Get to know your professors. Maintain a support network of friends and family. Go to class. Study. Seek out help when you need it. Have fun. Don’t give up. I issue you a challenge, exploratory student... Take advantage of the resources available to you and visit with us in the Advising Center or email at least once each semester while you’re an exploratory student. Have questions, concerns, great news, bad news, challenges? We’re here to support you on your new adventure at UH Hilo so we’ll be seeing you soon!
Favorite Ice Shave/Shave Ice Combo: it’s gotta be extra fine ice, blue vanilla flavor, and a hearty drizzle of condensed cream on top.