Skip to content →

Month: February 2012

Stephanie Nagata appointed director of Mauna Kea Management

Stephanie Nagata


I am pleased to announce that Stephanie Nagata will continue her leadership of the Office of Mauna Kea Management. Her appointment as director of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM) was signed by President Greenwood.

Stephanie began working for OMKM in 2001 as its associate director and has served as interim director since 2008. During this time, significant and critical progress has been made on a number of issues regarding the Mauna Kea Science Reserve, development of the Comprehensive Management Plan and its four subplans, and development of the Major Projects Review Process.

Ms. Nagata has the extensive administrative experience to meet the challenges ahead and I look forward to working with her.

Don Straney

Comments closed

Matthew Platz confirmed as UH Hilo Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Matthew Platz


I am pleased to announce that, after a national search process, Dr. Matthew Platz accepted my offer of the position as Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at UH Hilo. President Greenwood today confirmed his appointment.

Dr. Platz will be joining us as Vice Chancellor in January, 2013. In the meantime, he will be making several extended visits to the campus so that he can participate in planning and get to know the campus.

Dr. Platz is currently Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry at the Ohio State University and Director of the Division of Chemistry at the National Science Foundation.

We look forward to him joining our ‘ohana.

Don Straney


Matthew Platz

B.Sc 1973 Chemistry, Mathematics SUNY Albany
Ph.D 1977 Chemistry Yale University
Post Doctoral 1977 NSF-Fellowship University of Chicago

Positions Held
1978 – 1983 Assistant Professor Ohio State University
1983 – 1987 Associate Professor Ohio State University
1987 – Present Full Professor Ohio State University
1994 – 1999 Department Chair Ohio State University
2006 – 2010 Vice Provost Ohio State University
2010- Director of the Division of Chemistry, National Science Foundation

Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award of the American Chemical Society
Remsen Award of the Maryland Section of the American Chemical Society
Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar
Sloan Fellowship
OSU Distinguished Scholar Award
OSU Outstanding Teaching Award
OSU Distinguished University Professor

Comments closed

Nomination period now open for UH Hilo 2012 Faculty and Staff Awards


Nominations are now being accepted for the following UH Hilo faculty and staff awards:

Recognizes creativity in teaching, scholarship, and artistic production at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Any full-time UH Hilo faculty or staff member is eligible. Teams consisting of two or more faculty or staff may also be nominated. (Students may be part of teams led by faculty or staff).

Presented to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to student life beyond the boundaries of their official responsibilities.

Presented to a building or ground maintenance employee who has made significant contributions to the University of Hawai’i at Hilo.

Presented to a faculty or professional staff member who provides service related professional skills to the University of Hawai’i at Hilo and their community.

Presented to an individual who has made a significant contributions to developing and promoting the mission and spirit of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo.

Click here for nomination instructions and forms on our awards website. The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 23, 2012.

Office of the Chancellor

Comments closed

Hawai‘i Community College launches “Local First” menus

Announcement from UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney.


Hawai‘i Community College, in partnership with the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, aims to support the development of farms and the agricultural industry on Hawai‘i island by showcasing the high quality and variety of local produce and products available through the “Local First” program.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 15, is the inaugural day for Hawai‘i Community College on Manono Campus to serve “Local First.” Chefs Allan Okuda and Sandra Barr-Rivera are putting together an exciting menu for this special day. Local foods will be featured in the cafeteria and in the fine dining Bamboo Hale.

The West Hawai‘i Campus, under the direction of James Lightner and Chef Paul, started Local First Friday on Feb. 3. The next will be this Friday, Feb. 17.

Let’s support our local farmers and businesses and the Local First program at both Hawai‘i Community College and UH Hilo.

Don Straney

Comments closed

Column by the Chancellor in UH Hilo’s Newsletter: Ka Lono Hanakahi, February 2012

Message from University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney

Ka Lono Hanakahi, UH Hilo’s Faculty and Staff Newsletter 

February 2012

UH Hilo hosts Community Vision Summit

One of our greatest accomplishments in 2011 was the university ‘ohana and surrounding local community working together to develop UH Hilo’s new Strategic Plan. The long term plan gives us a pathway to the future and guides us as we start 2012, placing strong emphasis on our kuleana, our responsibility, to improving the quality of life for our island’s people and our local community as a whole. One of the ways to honor this commitment is to strengthen partnerships and collaborations, share our understanding, and work together with the community to discover innovative ways to educate our citizens and grow our economy.

In December, I invited 27 leaders from our community—representatives of education, health, technology, business, local government, and community non-profits—to convene for a Community Vision Summit. The discussions were lively and fruitful, focusing on the strategic directions of UH Hilo in the coming years. The group talked about their shared vision of our island’s future, and how to build two-way relationships to reach our common goals.

Working together, the participants provided helpful guidance about the university’s role in strengthening our community. The importance of UH Hilo’s role in the P-20 education system was emphasized. There was a great sense of people wanting to work together to provide education and life-long learning opportunities matched to workforce development needs. In addition, emphasis was placed on undertaking research and development relevant to the people, environment, and culture of our island and state.

The discussion identified three key areas where UH Hilo could have the biggest impact on improving the quality of life on our island:

1.  Be a Catalyst for Local Economic Development

A common concern was the Hawai‘i island economy and high unemployment. Participants observed that many local students must re-locate because Hawai‘i island does not have sufficient employment opportunities. Participants highlighted the role UH Hilo might play in building connections with local industries that could let students apply what they are learning to the workplace. Participants recommended this be achieved through educating and training local students to move into the island’s growing industries in health care, energy, agriculture and information technology. As these conversations expanded there emerged a larger recurring theme of UH Hilo as a “driver” for Hawai‘i island economic development, with UH Hilo not only taking the lead on the new job trends but also communicating this to the community. Participants felt this would produce a “fire in the belly” for motivation in education.

2.  Bridge Our Island’s Multiple Sectors

One focus of discussion was the role that UH Hilo can play as a champion for dialogue between multiple sectors. Participants recommended the university develop an economic engine model that is rooted in the culture, values, traditions and community of the island, one that connects the university, K–12 education, industry, community, and policy. Participants also recommended public-private partnerships that enhance applied learning with feeder programs, where opportunities can enhance student retention. It was suggested the university start small by using successful programs, i.e., linking UH Hilo’s nationally-recognized computer science program with projects based in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM fields) that include the Thirty Meter Telescope’s future development, Hawai‘i Community College’s technology education, local high schools’ career academies, and Hawaiian culture with ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center.

3.  Strengthen Community Relationships

While bridging across sectors was identified as important, equally so was the need to strengthen and maintain such relationships over time. Particularly noted was the need for the university to actively strengthen and maintain reciprocal relationships with local businesses, government, and non-profits to empower higher education and workforce development. For example, internships with small businesses to fuel student ambition and problem-solving capacity, build entrepreneurial skills, creativity, and critical thinking. It was also suggested that UH Hilo could help strengthen community relationships by empowering students to utilize local products in order to encourage local entrepreneurship and provide opportunities to create more jobs.

The Community Vision Summit was a great success and I appreciate the time and effort made by everyone. I was reminded that the greatest resource we have is the people of our island—when we put our minds to it, we can work together to create a bright future for our island and state.

This summit is the first of a series of meetings where I plan to hear from different parts of the community about ways UH Hilo can drive local economic development, bridge our island’s multiple sectors, and strengthen the university’s relationships with the community.

You can read a full summary report on the summit and other news from the Office of the Chancellor on my blog.

Don Straney

Comments closed