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UH Hilo Interim Chancellor's Blog Posts

PHOTOS: Chancellor’s Holiday Celebration

Members of the UH Hilo ‘ohana took some time from the hustle and bustle of the season to enjoy some cookies and fun at Chancellor’s Holiday Celebration.

Chancellor Marcia Sakai hosted the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo holiday celebration on Friday. There was fun with dressing up in “ugly or festive” Christmas wear, a photo booth and cookie contest. A good time was had by all.

Photos by Bob Douglas, click to enlarge.

Marcia Sakai, Farrah-Marie Gomes,, Ken Hon, and Kalei Rapoza in Santa hats.
At holiday celebration (clockwide from bottom right) Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Farrah-Marie Gomes, Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ken Hon, and Interim Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs Kalei Rapoza.
Lydia Mukai with Marcia Sakai.
Winner of the cookie contest was Lydia Mukai (right), an office assistant in housing. At left is Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai.

 

 

About the photographer: Bob Douglas is a local artist, photographer, and sometimes part-time student who volunteers his photography skills to the Office of the Interim Chancellor and UH Hilo Stories.

Message from the Interim Chancellor to UH Hilo Community: Many wonderful accomplishments this semster

These are just a few of the exciting things all of you are doing to provide positive learning experiences and support to prepare students to thrive, compete, innovate and lead.

Aloha to the UH Hilo Community,

I know that there are concerns on our campus that we are working to address but as we complete the last week of fall classes and begin to prepare for the evaluation period of finals, I would like to make note of the many wonderful things that I am learning about our programs and accomplishments of our people.

We are well on our way to initiatives aligned with focus on programs that take advantage of the unique physical and social characteristics of the island, attracting and serving Hawai‘i students who seek opportunities for highly engaging and experiential learning.

New programs

Planning for future workforce needs, the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management launched a new Certificate in Unmanned Aircraft Systems, a first step in the university’s long planned aeronautical science program. The certificate program focuses on training in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Faculty are also working to adapt sensors with agricultural and natural resource applications for use with UAS.

Rose Hart holding UAV,.
Rose Hart. Click to enlarge.

Students are also adapting UAS within their studies and research projects. Rose Hart, a second-year graduate student in our Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) program received an Excellent Award for her poster presentation, “Using small unmanned aerial systems to map shoreline change at Hapuna State Beach Park” at the 2017 Forum Math-for-Industry conference at UH Mānoa. The award includes a fully paid two-week research trip to the Institute of Mathematics for Industry at Kyushu University, Japan.

Data science and data visualization emerged as we welcomed our second EPSCoR-funded data science faculty member (Travis Mandel). ‘Ike Wai grant funds are enabling UH Hilo to build capacity in a new data science program initiative through the hiring of a four-member cross-disciplinary team, including math, computer science, a life science, a social science. Data science presents an opportunity for our students to learn about studying and analyzing large sets of data from seemingly unrelated areas to solve complex problems.

A data visualization course offered by the computer science department will provide an interdisciplinary framework for students to learn cutting-edge data visualization techniques. Projects utilize data from the natural sciences to create interactive and immersive data visualization experiences to promote public awareness of environmental issues facing Hawaiian ecosystems. This capability is supported by CyberCANOE visual display technology, funded through the UH Mānoa Academy for Creative Media. UH Hilo technology sites are located in computer science (department), the library learning resource center, and ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i.

Student accomplishments

Leomanaolamaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld, Tynsl Kailimai, Ciarra-Lynn Parinas, and U‘ilani Dasalla with Colosseum in background.
(Left tp right) Leomanaolamaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld, Tynsl Kailimai, Ciarra-Lynn Parinas, and U‘ilani Dasalla at the Colosseum, Rome.

The College of Business and Economics has been part of a business plan competition to stimulate the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem on Hawai‘i Island, in partnership with Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority (NELHA) and the Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce. The Hawai‘i Island Business Plan competition provides $25,000 of seed money for individuals or groups to develop and refine their business plans. This year, senior business administration major Juvette Kahawai‘i submitted a plan to launch a family business that will provide tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll administration for small businesses and was awarded a one year UH Hilo tuition scholarship.

Four English majors presented their research paper at the International Journal of Arts and Sciences conference in Rome, Italy. U‘ilani Dasalla, Tynsl Kailimai, Ciarra-Lynn Parinas, and Leomanaolamaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld attended the conference, which featured over 100 international scholars. The students expanded on their research from their English course, Graphic Novels and Comics, to collaborate on a literary analysis that will be submitted for publication. The students’ travel and conference attendance were made possible by the Howard and Yoneko Droste Endowment of the UH Hilo Department of English. The Drostes served as UH Hilo faculty in art and English.

Connections

Faculty discussions to promote transfers to UH Hilo from UH community colleges are bearing fruit with the award of performance based funding from the UH system. The award will support a system-wide convening of faculty members in Administration of Justice programs, linking UH community colleges on all islands with UH Hilo.

Culture

The International Astronomical Union announced that the first interstellar object seen passing through our solar system, observed first by the Pan-STARRS1 telescope on Maui was named ‘Oumuamua. The name which means “a messenger from afar arriving first /”a messenger that reaches out from the distant past” was chosen in consultation with Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikolani College of Hawaiian Language Associate Professor Larry Kimura and his niece Ka‘iu Kimura, executive director of ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i. ‘Oumuamua reflects the way this object is like a scout or messenger sent from the distant past to reach out to the solar system.

Hilo is now home to the third mural of a statewide campaign to install ten Living Legacy Murals inspired by the mo‘olelo (story) of Kalapana. The project’s goal is to use art as a medium to invigorate Native Hawaiian identity and perpetuate Hawaiian values, language and culture, while celebrating the 30th anniversary of Ka Papahana Kaiapuni, Hawaiian immersion schools in Hawai‘i. The Hilo mural is sponsored by Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikolani College of Hawaiian Language, Kamehameha Schools, and the state Department of Education Office of Hawaiian Education.

Infrastructure

Mural with figures.
The Hilo mural depicts Kalapana and his skills. Courtesy photo, click to enlarge

The $31.3 million Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy building is rising up from its building site on Nowelo Street. When it is completed in July 2018, the facility will finally provide a home for the college’s faculty and staff currently located at several sites in Hilo. Dean Carolyn Ma is actively working across the state to develop private major gift support for the college’s programs and maintenance, refurbishment and equipment of the space.

These are just a few of the exciting things all of you are doing to provide positive learning experiences and support to prepare students to thrive, compete, innovate and lead. I look forward to sharing more exciting news in the coming year. Wishing you all a safe and wonderful holiday season.

Marcia Sakai
Interim Chancellor

Interim Chancellor’s Monthly Column: International students and exchange important for Hawai‘i

Having international students, exchange programs, and conferences as part of our university community enriches all Hawai‘i communities and contributes to the local culture and economy, which in turn raises the quality of life for everyone.

By Marcia Sakai.

Members of the press from the Study Hawai‘i Press Tour stand with UH Hilo staff and state officials on United Nations Day. (Left to right, front row) Eri Hall, Hawai‘i Community College; Christine Quintana, Hawai‘i CC; Huiyuan Wang, Studying Abroad Online; Claudia Civinini, EL Gazette; Yukari Kato, Ryugaku Journal; Patrick Atack, PIE News; and Amanda Sadamoto, UH Hilo student. (Back row): Jiaqi Wu, UH Hilo student; Igor Skibickij, Student Marketing; Jim Mellon, UH Hilo (Executive Director, Global and Intercultural Education Programs and Director, International Student Services and Intercultural Education); Aaron Baldwin, Mainichi News; Allan Mitelmao, E! Magazine; Todd Shumway, UH Hilo (Director, Global Exchange); Timothy Tiu, State of Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Click photo to enlarge.

We welcomed a group of special visitors to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo last month. Seven international education journalists from key press outlets in Asia, Latin America, and Europe were in the state visiting campuses on O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island as part of a Study Hawai‘i Press Tour aimed to help counter the downward trend in international students studying in Hawai‘i.

This trend is of concern because of the important contributions international students make to the state in cross cultural understanding, global cooperation and economic growth. The tour was hosted by the Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) and the Study Hawai‘i Educational Consortium, an organization of 28 public and private schools, colleges and universities dedicated to increasing the enrollment of international students in Hawai‘i.

Their concern in the decline is warranted.

According to DBEDT’s 2017 Hawai‘i International Education Survey (via the Office of the Governor) Hawai‘i hosted 10,800 students from 27 institutions during the 2016-17 academic year, down from 12,200 students from 31 institutions during the 2015-16 academic year.

The total direct economic financial impact of international students for the state was an estimated $225.3 million in 2016-17, down from $302 million in 2015-16. This amount includes tuition and fees plus living expenses. In addition to the direct impact, other economic benefits of international students in Hawai‘i for the 2016-17 period included:

  • $484 million added to the state’s total economic output, including direct, indirect, and induced effects.
  • $32 million in state taxes generated from the total economic output.
  • $192 million in household earnings attributed to foreign students.
  • 5,093 jobs supported by foreign students’ spending.
  • $24,139 overall average annual per student spending.

At UH Hilo, we’re not seeing a drop in international enrollment this semester compared to last year with 258 international students this fall (7.3 percent of total student population) up from last fall’s 245 (6.7 percent of total). But in the previous four years from 2012 to 2015, the counts were higher at 263, 276, 274, and 264 respectively.

International education is an important part of the mission of UH Hilo. We pride ourselves on our inclusive community of diverse people and we encourage dialogue where differences in ideas, viewpoints and traditions are valued—this promotes multicultural fluency and prepares our students well for the global society. Along with the initiatives underway at UH Hilo to boost recruitment and retention of state residents, it’s important that we also work on attracting students and scholars to our campus for study and exchange.

International Education Week

The journalists’ tour of Hawai‘i schools on O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island was timed to coincide with International Education Week (Nov. 13-18), when the UH System joined universities across the country and the world to celebrate international education. Events at UH campuses throughout the state celebrated the contributions of international education and international students with food from countries around the world, dance and music performances, films, lectures and more.

At UH Hilo, the activities during International Education Week included our annual Parade of Nations, where groups of our international students walk from the Campus Center to the Library Lanai wearing traditional dress and displaying the flags of their homelands—it’s a fun and colorful event. On the Library Lanai, students from different parts of the world shared displays and information about their countries.

Parade of Nations, Nov. 17, 2017, UH Hilo campus. More photos.

It was wonderful to share this celebration with the visiting press and I know they came away with an understanding about how beautifully our international students thrive here.

Our celebration of diversity on campus isn’t limited to one week a year. In October, we held the annual Barrio Fiesta where UH Hilo and the local community celebrated the richness of Filipino heritage, culture and scholarship.

Female dancer with elaborate headdress and traditional clothing.
Barrio Fiesta, Oct. 27, UH Hilo campus. More photos.

As part of Filipino American Heritage Month, this year’s fiesta also served as the opening ceremonies of the first International Conference on Multidisciplinary Filipino Studies—the campus welcomed researchers from around the world to share and exchange ideas, research, and interest of Filipinos and the Philippines.

Having international students, exchange programs, and conferences as part of our university community enriches all Hawai‘i communities and contributes to the local culture and economy, which in turn raises the quality of life for everyone.

Aloha,

Marcia Sakai

UH Hilo faculty and staff invited to attend upcoming webinar on assessing academic advising programs

The webinar is sponsored by the Office of the Interim Chancellor and UH Hilo Professional Development Committee.

UH Hilo seal, red lettering University of Hawaii and the state motto.A webinar is scheduled to provide valuable insights into how the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo can better assess and enhance academic advising programs and initiatives to meet retention goals and the overall enrollment management plan.

Assessing the Effectiveness of Your Academic Advising Programs  

DATE: Thursday, November 30, 2017.
TIME: 10:00 a.m.
PLACE: Student Services Center, room W-201, UH Hilo campus.

Objectives

  • Understand the differences between assessment and evaluation.
  • Review the relationship between institutional mission and student
    learning outcomes.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of assessment tools, techniques, and
    strategies and the purposes which they serve.
  • Learn how to interpret assessment data and communicate findings to
    various constituents on campus.
  • Focus on using assessment results to implement enhancements to the
    advising program.
  • Recognize that assessment is an ongoing process.

Sponsors

The webinar is sponsored by the Office of the Interim Chancellor and UH Hilo Professional Development Committee.

Contact

Gail Makuakāne-Lundin.

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