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Month: May 2012

UH Hilo announces 2012 Chancellor Scholarship recipients

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo announced today that 19 students from public, private, and charter schools in Hawai‘i will receive a 2012 Chancellor Scholarship valued at $23,520 and covering four years of tuition.

The 2012 recipients are a diverse groups of students comprised of 10 women and 9 men from the islands of Hawai‘i (9), O‘ahu (6) and Maui (4) who were selected from more than 90 applicants.

The 2012 Chancellor Scholarship recipients and their respective high schools are as follows:

  • Jenna Burns, Hawai‘i Academy of Arts and Sciences, Hawai‘i
  • Kobie Clarke, Hilo High School, Hawai‘i
  • Theodore DeRego, Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i
  • Ashley Fukuchi, Moanalua High School, O‘ahu
  • Alexander Guerrero, Kamehameha Schools Maui, Maui
  • Richard Hernandez, Damien Memorial High School, O‘ahu
  • Tyler Hirokawa, Hilo High School, Hawai‘i
  • Casey Jones, Kapolei High School, O‘ahu
  • Johann Kuipers, Hilo High School, Hawai‘i
  • Kate Malasig, W.R. Farrington High School, O‘ahu
  • Jamie Ouye, Hilo High School, Hawai‘i
  • Kara Paulachak, Waiakea High School, Hawai‘i
  • Koa Rodrigues, Kamehameha Schools Maui, Maui
  • Dillon Tacdol, Kamehameha Schools Maui, Maui
  • Michelle Uchida, Sacred Hearts Academy High School, O‘ahu
  • Jasmine Venegas, Waiakea High School, Hawai‘i
  • Donald Waner, Lanakila Baptist High School, O‘ahu
  • Bailey Wooldridge, Hawai‘i Academy of Arts and Sciences, Hawai‘i
  • Jenna Yanos, Maui High School, Maui

“This is an impressive class of students whose academic achievements, dedication and leadership qualities are outstanding,” said UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney. “We believe their decision to attend UH Hilo will benefit the entire university as well as their own personal and professional development.”

UH Hilo Chancellor Scholarship recipients have graduated from a Hawai‘i high school with either a grade point average of at least 3.5, a combined 1800 SAT (reading, writing, math) or a composite score of 27 on the ACT, while demonstrating leadership and/or community service.  The 2012 cohort has an average high school GPA of 3.83, with four students scoring 4.0 or better. The average SAT scores for reading, math and writing were 622, 607 and 560 respectively.

Chancellor Scholarship recipients are required to enroll as full-time students at UH Hilo, stay enrolled continuously, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25, and participate in leadership activities and/or community service.

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Marcia Sakai named vice chancellor for administrative affairs

Marcia Sakai

Chancellor Straney officially announced yesterday that the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo will have a permanent vice chancellor for administrative affairs starting June 1. Marcia Sakai, former dean of UH Hilo’s College of Business and Economics, who has been serving as interim vice chancellor for the past year, has been named to the position.

MEDIA RELEASE–University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney announced that Marcia Sakai has been named vice chancellor for administrative affairs. Sakai will assume her permanent duties on June 1, 2012.

Since June 2011, Sakai has served as interim vice chancellor for administrative affairs.

“Dr. Sakai has demonstrated the outstanding leadership qualities that this position demands and has made progress toward improving campus-wide efficiency in several areas under the administrative affairs unit,” Straney said.

Sakai has been a UH Hilo faculty in business administration and economics since 1991 and holds the rank of professor in tourism and economics. She served as interim dean of UH Hilo’s College of Business and Economics when the college was established in 2004 and was appointed dean in 2005. She led the college through its initial accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-International.

Since her arrival at administrative affairs, technology improvements and upgrades through the Office of Technology and Distance Learning (now called the Office of Campus Technology) have resulted in 85% of wireless coverage across the campus. Several classrooms on campus were upgraded to multimedia smart classrooms and upgrades and installation of additional wireless access points.

“Dr. Sakai is a leader in the campus’s effort to encourage energy conservation and expenditure savings by reducing energy use through the establishment of an energy management plan,” Straney said.

For the winter break period of December 17, 2011 through January 2, 2012, the reduced use of energy resulted in an estimated savings of $68,493. The management plan includes installing and monitoring sub-meters for all buildings and partnering with Hawaiʻi Community College and community entities to pursue energy-savings initiatives.

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UH Hilo 2012 Awards and Recognition Celebration

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo 2012 Awards and Recognition Celebration was held on May 8 at the Campus Center Plaza. The following were recognized. 

UH Hilo Awards

The 2012 Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi Award for Excellence in Innovation was awarded to Lorna Tsutsumi (center), professor of entomology, for her work on food sustainability, bees and beehives. Toby Taniguchi (left) helped present the award along with Chancellor Don Straney (right).
Ho‘oleina Ioane

Student Employee of the Year: Ho‘oleina Ioane*.

Gordon Mitchell

Award for Excellence in Building and Grounds Maintenance: Gordon Mitchell*. This award is presented to a building or ground maintenance employee who has made significant contributions UH Hilo.

Award for Excellence in Service: Seri Luangphinith. This award is presented to a UH Hilo tenure-track or full-time BOR-classified professional staff member who provides service related professional skills to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and the community.

Seri Luangphinith

Pūlama ‘Ike Award: Tim Moore*. This awards is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to developing and promoting the mission and spirit of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

Tim Moore

Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi Award for Excellence in Innovation: Lorna Tsutsumi*. This award recognizes the creative use of technology in teaching, scholarship, research and artistic production by fulltime faculty or staff at UH Hilo.

Read more about the recipients.

Retirement Recognition

This list covers the period from May 2011 through April 2012. Anyone retiring after April 30 will be recognized at next year’s event.

  • Dwayne K. Branco and Paul Texiera, who both worked in Auxiliary Services. Dwayne and Paul transferred to UH Hilo in 2009 when the state closed down a branch of the Forestry Agriculture program, where they both cut and maintained walking trails in the state parks on island. Dwayne retires with a total of 30 years of service, and Paul with 37.
  • Luke Bailey was an instructor of English and served at UH Hilo for a total of 13 years. His area of emphasis was in teaching composition. He was director of ESL Program and coordinator for TESOL Certification Program. He is currently in Sweden.
  • Barry Curtis was a professor of philosophy at UH Hilo for 36 years. He won the 1980 UH Board of Regents Medal for Excellence in Teaching.

    Barbara Heintz
  • Barbara Heintz* was a counselor for 34 years and also served as interim director of Counseling Services. She mentored many student affairs professionals through the promotion and tenure process, and chaired the DSA Professional Development Committee for many years, ensuring that new and rising professionals had the skills and abilities to assume leadership roles in student affairs. She mentored many students, many who have gone on to become teachers, counselors, and social workers within our community
  • John Ige worked his way up at UH Hilo over the course of 15 years. He started as an emergency hire working as a janitor, and then became a permanent employee. In 2007, he transferred to a groundskeeper, and in 2008 became our painter, until his retirement April 2011. John is enjoying his retirement and now has more time for golf and house projects.

    Sonia Juvik
  • Sonia Juvik* was a professor of geography for 31 years. Her research interests are in land use, planning, and resource use in the regions of the Hawai‘i, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. She founded UH Hilo’s Keaholoa STEM program, now used as a model STEM program throughout the country. The Atlas of Hawai’i, for which she was co-editor with her husband Jim Juvik, is the foremost atlas of our state. In 2011, she received the UH Hilo Chancellor’s Certificate of Recognition for her contributions in preparing student scholars to thrive, compete, innovate and lead in their professional and personal lives.
  • Charles Langlas was an associate professor at Ka Haka Ula ‘O Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian language. He specializes in Hawaiian culture and history, nineteenth century texts, and oral history. His ethnographic work with Native Hawaiian elders and other Native Hawaiians from Puna resulted in several publications and a DVD about traditional fishing. He now lives on O‘ahu.

    Keith Miser
  • Keith Miser* served for seven years as UH Hilo vice chancellor for student affairs and three years in international programs. He leaves a legacy of countless students and administrators who have benefitted from his encouragement, support, and endless energy. He represents what is best in education: the desire to give others the opportunity to benefit from new opportunities.
  • Henrilene Pickens was an office assistant at Student Services. She served at UH Hilo for 22 years. Henri embraced all new students to UH Hilo by welcoming them to her home for holiday gatherings and developed excellent rapport and relationships with many of their families.
  • Jean Shimose served at UH Hilo in diverse capacities over the course of 27 years including at Nā Pua Noʻeau Gifted and Talent Native Hawaiian Program when it first began on our campus over 20 years ago; Auxiliary Services; the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management; and the dean’s office at the College of Arts and Sciences. She is an extremely talented lei maker, flower arranger and decorator and did the decoration at UH Hilo’s graduations, holiday celebration and other events for many years.
  • Becky Thurston was an instructor of psychology. She served at UH Hilo for 15 years. She was an undergraduate at UH Hilo over 25 years ago and then returned as a lecturer and instructor. She received the UH Hilo Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1999. She was devoted to teaching, but she was also a devoted athlete, including surfing, golfing, swimming, and paddling.

*Attended event.

Years of Service Recognitions

Years of Service: 10

  • Andrea Adrian
  • Seri Luangphinith
  • Rebecca Ostertag
  • Heidi Veilleux
  • Deborah Beirne
  • Joy Aito
  • Philippe Binder
  • Kathleen Hughes
  • Michelle Araki
  • John Oshima
  • Norman Stahl
  • Laisha Bugado
  • Kristi Kaniho
  • Daryl Masanda
  • Stephanie Nagata
  • Anson Ohara
  • Cathy Travis
  • Joanne Hulama
  • Christopher Lu
  • Nicol Botelho
  • Susan Yamada

Years of Service: 20

  • Makalapua Alencastre
  • Kyle Fujiyoshi
  • Norine Hisashima
  • Kelly Leong
  • Dawn Pamarang
  • Yolanda Andres
  • Kay Kobata
  • James Mellon
  • Marsha Oshiro
  • Deneen Louie

Years of Service: 30

  • Cecilia Mukai
  • Glenn Silva
  • Lisa Takahashi
  • Eric Im
  • Alan Sugiura
  • Sabry Shehata
  • Joseph Bernabe

Years of Service: 40

  • Larry Kimura

Years of Service: 50

  • Iva Black Goldman
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Lt. governor to keynote commencement; student speaker is honor student heading to law school

Brian Schatz

There will be 727 candidates for degrees and certificates at University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s spring commencement to be held May 12. Hawaiʻi Lt. Governor Brian Schatz will deliver the keynote address, and Anthony Holzman-Escareno, an English major with a minor in philosophy, will be student speaker.

As lieutenant governor, Schatz played a leading role in preparing for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit held in Honolulu last year. He also launched the Hawai’i Fair Share Initiative, which seeks more private and public investment in Hawai’i. He is currently tasked by Governor Neil Abercrombie with helping lead the state’s clean energy efforts and Asia-Pacific relations.

Anthony Holzman-Escareno

Holzman-Escareno has maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.95 and earned a number of academic honors. He is on the dean’s list for the College of Arts and Sciences, is a recipient of a Howard and Yoneko Droste Award to recognize outstanding student writing, and is published in the academic journal Hohonu. He is editor-in-chief and sports editor for the student newspaper Ke Kalahea.

Holzman-Escaren arrived at UH Hilo through an unconventional process.  He entered college with no high school diploma or GED. He passed the compass test to gain admission to Hawaiʻi Community College, and later transferred to UH Hilo. He’s now waiting word on his applications to several law schools.

“I dropped out of high school in the ninth grade, was locked up in juvenile detention for robbery at the age of 17 and was a product of homelessness and the streets for four-and-a-half years,” he says. “Yet here I am graduating from UH Hilo with honors on the way to attending law school in the fall.”

He describes UH Hilo as a place where dreams can be conceived and realized. He says the caps and gowns his fellow graduates will don are a testament to their determination and will to succeed.

Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 12, at 9:00 a.m. at Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium.


May 12, 2012: Story in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald on Anthony Holzman-Escareno.

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

Message from University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
Ka Lono Hanakahi, UH Hilo’s Faculty and Staff Newsletter
May 2012

Fostering educational opportunities for a robust rural health care system

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s mission is to challenge students to reach their highest level of academic achievement by inspiring learning, discovery and creativity inside and outside the classroom. Our kuleana, or responsibility, is to improve the quality of life of the people of Hawai‘i, the Pacific region, and the world.

One of the most urgent needs of our local community is in the area of rural health care. To answer this crisis—which includes a dire shortage of health care professionals—UH Hilo is developing and sponsoring myriad educational, support, and outreach programs.

For example, four of the most recently approved degrees at UH Hilo are in health care, including a doctor of nursing practice program. The DNP has been approved by the UH Board of Regents and by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The program will begin August 2012 for post-baccalaureate students and will be open to post-master students in August 2013.

To support UH Hilo undergraduate students interested in receiving a doctor of pharmacy from the university’s College of Pharmacy, there is a mentoring program for up to five students per year. The Steps Towards Excellence in Pharmacy program, or STEP, is an intensive, three-year scholarly preparatory program to address underserved students’ educational, social and economic needs. Mentoring is in the form of advising and learning specialists, as well as support from faculty members in the pre-pharmacy program.

The STEP program is modeled after the successful Imi Ho‘ola Program at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at UH Mānoa. Priority is given to applicants with strong ties to the state of Hawai‘i and US-affiliated Pacific islands, and students who successfully complete the STEP program are ensured a seat in the College of Pharmacy. This type of bridge program creates a pathway for local students to reach their academic goals so they can receive an advanced degree and then dedicate their professional lives to helping their communities. This is a program that has the potential to change the lives of many families in Hawai‘i.

This month, the UH Hilo School of Nursing will sponsor the “Pūlama I Ke Ola Healthcare Conference” for professionals, which also includes a youth program to inspire high school students to pursue a career in health care. Speakers and discussions will focus on current research and clinical practices integrating holistic health concepts to improve health care on our island. Special attention will be placed on health care issues impacting the health of people living in multi-cultural milieu in Hawai‘i and throughout the world. The program will provide updates on current issues and trends affecting health care, and those attending the youth program will have the opportunity to interact with health care clinicians on an informal basis that engenders a meaningful learning experience.

UH Hilo seeks to reflect Hawai‘i, its people, history, cultures, and natural environment, and to embody the concept of a “Hawaiian university.” As a member of the UH System, we embrace our responsibility to serve the indigenous people of Hawai‘i and to kāko‘o or support Hawai‘i’s indigenous language and culture. This responsibility also extends to our efforts in strengthening our rural health care and health care system.

For example, in July, Nā Pua No‘eau, a statewide organization based at UH Hilo aimed at raising the educational achievements of Native Hawaiian children throughout the state, will be hosting the “Learning Opportunities in Medicine Institute,” a two-week residential program held on the UH Hilo campus. Hawaiian students in grades 7-12 from around the state will engage in hands-on field experiences, cultural activities, and personal development designed to show how they can make a difference in their community’s health care system. A Native Hawaiian component will be integrated in all the classes to provide students with Hawaiian role models, culture, values, history, protocol, and language. Speakers will include experts in the fields of medicine and health care from UH Hilo’s College of Pharmacy and Department of Nursing, the John A. Burns School of Medicine Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence, and the Health Careers Opportunity Program.

These are just a few examples of the way UH Hilo is fostering educational opportunities for a robust rural health care system and revitalized local economy.

For more updates about UH Hilo, visit my blog.

Don Straney

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