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UH Hilo Chancellor's Blog Posts

Celebrating UH Hilo’s new brand

Aloha UH Hilo ‘Ohana,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the official launch of UH Hilo’s new brand statements, “Connecting Learning, Life and Aloha” (‘O ka‘imi na‘auao, ke ola a me ke aloha kā kākou e huliāmahi ai), and a student-oriented one, “Your Journey is Our Focus” (‘O kāu huakaʻi ko mākou kuleana), both of which speak to UH Hilo’s mission, values and strengths.

A press release was shared this morning. I also encourage all of you to visit our newly redesigned UH Hilo website, and to review the UH Hilo Brand Guide (scroll down to download guide), which includes usage guidelines as well as our new television spot (posted above).

You may also find particularly useful the digital brand toolkit, which encompasses email signatures, Zoom backgrounds, and PowerPoint slide templates infused with our new look and designs for you to use.

Mahalo to all of you for participating in the brand development process, and to UH Hilo’s Marketing and Social Media Advisory Group for leading the way.

I look forward to celebrating our new brand with you as we enter a new era of learning.

Me ke aloha pumehana,

Bonnie D. Irwin

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Message from the Chancellor: Annual Hawai‘i Island United Way Campaign is underway

Aloha UH Hilo ʻOhana,

Logo: United Way Hawaii IslandFor more than 50 years, Hawai‘i Island United Way, Inc. (HIUW) has been the cornerstone of our island’s health and human service community. Your annual monetary donation to HIUW helps those less fortunate or down on their luck in our community; nurtures individuals and families; identifies specific needs and fills them; and helps to build a safer and healthier community through agencies here on Hawai‘i Island. Additional information is available on their website.

If you are able to, please consider donating or pledging your support through payroll deductions. Send the completed form you received today via email directly to Lei Kapono, Office of the Chancellor, by Monday, November 15, 2021.

Pūpūkahi I Holumua – Unite to Move Forward.


Bonnie D. Irwin

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Message from the Chancellor: Dean Ma to retire February 2022

Aloha Kākou,

Carolyn Ma is pictured.
Carolyn Ma

Carolyn Ma, dean of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, will retire on February 1, 2022. Please join me in congratulating Dean Ma on her well-earned retirement and wishing her a joyful, fulfilling next chapter!

Dean Ma came to UH Hilo in 2007 as a founding faculty and clinical education coordinator for the College of Pharmacy in the interest of building the future of pharmacy in Hawai‘i, her home state. She became the chair for pharmacy practice in 2009, interim dean in 2015, and permanent dean in 2016.

Among her accomplishments in these years are the completion of the long-awaited permanent building, Hale Kiho‘iho‘i; the start of renovations for analytical and pharmaceutical science research labs; the establishment of philanthropic opportunities including the Legacy Path for alumni engagement; the Building a Future campaign for naming opportunities for Hale Kiho‘iho‘i; and student success and faculty development funds.

Dean Ma is the recipient of the Bowl of Hygeia, the lifetime pharmacy service award and in March 2021 was inducted as a Distinguished Fellow to the National Academy of Practice.

Her passion for legislative and health care advocacy, especially for inter-professional health care has resulted in the passing of legislative bills that include pharmacy intern law licenses, medication take back, pharmacist immunization, HPV vaccination, and the preceptor tax credit bill.

An announcement regarding interim leadership for the college will be forthcoming.

Bonnie D. Irwin

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Chancellor’s Monthly Column, Oct. 2021: Recognition of our strengths

Bonnie Irwin
Bonnie D. Irwin

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo has been recognized three times in the last few weeks by national publications.

College Raptor, a website filled with information for students deciding where to apply for college, named us a “Hidden Gem” in the Far West region. Of course, UH Hilo’s quality is not “hidden” from us, we all know what a special place it is. Individual attention, opportunities for hands-on, ‘āina- and community-based learning is our trademark, and more and more students are coming to realize how valuable those experiences are.

The town of Hilo itself was recognized as one of the 50 Best College Towns in America by msn, a Microsoft portal. They wrote, “this charming small town on the northeastern coast of the Big Island lets you get a feel for what living that dream feels like. Explore the local waterfalls and rainforests by day, take to the art-centric galleries and shops in Hilo’s hip downtown district by night.”

While all that is true, I like to think that what students really appreciate about Hilo is the sense of aloha that permeates our town and our island. Students are made to feel welcome in our community, and that makes those community-based learning experiences all the more special, as students get to know what makes Hilo special.

One of the things that is particularly valuable about Hilo town is its diversity, not only the diversity of things to do, but also the diversity of its people. UH Hilo, too, finds its strength and value in its diversity.

Reflecting that, we’ve been named for the third consecutive year as the most diverse national university by U.S. News & World Report. This year we have some company at the top, including Stanford University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, but I think that is actually a good thing, as more universities are realizing the value to all of their students of a diverse campus.

Our forthcoming strategic plan will help us move beyond diversity to tackle equity and inclusion, so that we can ensure that all our students can take advantage of the opportunities that UH Hilo has to offer.

Diversity, ‘āina- and community-based learning, and a sense of aloha are all things we highly value. We will build on these strengths with the goal of creating an even better experience for our students and creating a campus that is no longer a “hidden” gem! We will also continue to find ways to give back to the Hawai‘i Island community we call home.


Bonnie D. Irwin

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