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Month: September 2012

UH Hilo announces Alumni and Friends Scholarships

Chancellor Don Straney stands with three of this year’s Alumni & Friends scholarship recipients. (l-r) Lissa Tsutsumi, Chancellor Straney, Jodie Schulten, Holo Ho‘opai, and Yu Yok Pearring, director of marketing and alumni. Missing is scholarship recipient Melissa Sullivan.

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Alumni and Friends Association recently announced this year’s recipients of its annual scholarships. Holo Ho‘opai, Jodie Schulten, Melissa Sullivan and Lissa Tsutsumi will each receive a $1,500 scholarship.

“Our scholarships are funded through the Distinguished Alumni and Service Awards Banquet, the Alumni Scholarship Golf Tournament, and generous donations from the community,” says Yu Yok Pearring, director of marketing and alumni. “The scholarship program helps undergraduate and graduate students with alumni roots to the university meet their goals, fulfill their dreams, and significantly add to the fabric of our community.”

Selections are based on academic merit and financial need. Applicants must also be or have an immediate family member who is a UH Hilo alumnus.

Holo Ho‘opai graduated from Hilo High School and is a former student of Ke Kula O Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u Hawaiian-language immersion school. He is seeking a degree in Hawaiian language and literature. After receiving his graduate degree, he intends to further advance in higher education by either seeking admission into a doctoral program or law school.

“I’m absolutely fortunate and thankful to have been chosen as a recipient for this year’s UH Hilo Alumni and Friends Scholarship,” says Ho‘opai. “College expenses are, without a doubt, one of the most determining factors in a student’s ability to graduate expeditiously. This scholarship will help absorb the cost of my final year in the Master’s of Hawaiian Language and Literature program, allowing me the concentration and focus I need to complete my thesis and eventually pursue other opportunities.”

Jodie Schulten is a graduate of Bear Creek High School in Colorado. She is seeking a Master of Science in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Sciences. Her passion to preserve the native species of Hawai‘i’s lowland wet forests will be the driving force for anything she does after graduation.

“I feel ultimately honored to receive the Alumni and Friends scholarship,” Schulten says. “The assistance of this scholarship will allow me to focus on my research and provide travel and conference opportunities for me.”

Melissa Sullivan is a graduate of Pahoa High School. In 2007, she received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and is in the first class of UH Hilo’s new Doctorate of Nursing Practice program, which launched this fall. She hopes to come back one day to return this great experience as a university educator.

“I am greatly appreciative to have received this scholarship,” says Sullivan. “Every dollar counts when it comes to paying tuition and graduate school expenses, so I truly say thank you for your assistance. This money will assist me in paying for my books and additional school expenses.”

Lissa Tsutsumi is a graduate of Hilo High School. She is currently a senior at UH Hilo. Her goal is to pursue a career of formulating the next generation of pharmaceuticals and cosmeceuticals.

“I am very honored to be a recipient of this award,” she says. “I studied very hard at UH Hilo to do well in my courses so that I could continue toward achieving my ultimate educational goal of obtaining a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences. This scholarship reinforces that my efforts were worthwhile.”

For information about supporting the association’s scholarship program, call the Alumni Office at (808) 974-7501 or visit  hilo.hawaii.edu/alumni/scholarship.php.

2012-2013 annual fundraising phonathon now underway

Announcement from Margaret Shiba, senior director of development:

Dear UH Hilo Faculty and Staff,

This is to announce the start of University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s 2012-2013 annual fundraising phonathon. Donations will be solicited from our database of UH Hilo alumni and friends, through calls made by students recruited, trained, and supervised by the UH Foundation. As always, donors will have an opportunity to direct their gifts to whichever unit of UH Hilo they wish to support or to the chancellor’s campus-wide enrichment fund.

While the calls all originate from the foundation’s calling center on O‘ahu (student callers are recruited from UH Manoa and Kapiolani CC), the phonathon scripts include up-to-date information on our campus and some of the highlights of the past year. Chancellor Don Straney personally met with the students callers in Honolulu last week, and he took time to answer their questions and to treat them to cookies from Big Island Candies!

This is the first of three phonathons for UH Hilo this year. In January we are planning a phonathon on behalf of Vulcan athletic programs, and in early early February, parents of UH Hilo students will be solicited.

In case any of your friends or contacts in the community mention receiving one of these calls, I want you to be aware of this important campaign. All funds raised will come back to Hilo, and every donor—whether paying by check or credit card–will receive prompt written confirmation from the UH Foundation indicating UH Hilo as the beneficiary. We look forward to great success with this campaign and more funds to meet campus needs.

Please wish us luck and do whatever you can to encourage generous donations to our good cause! Mahalo!

Margaret Shiba & Andrea Furuli
UH Hilo Office of Development/UH Foundation

P.S. Just so you are aware, anyone who prefers not to receive this sort of fundraising call is always able to request placement on a “Do Not Call” list, which the UH Foundation strictly observes.

Director of University Relations Gerald DeMello to retire Dec. 31

Gerald De Mello

Aloha,

It is with a great deal of mixed emotions that I am announcing that Gerald DeMello has decided to retire, effective December 31, 2012.

Gerald has served as director of University Relations since January 1991. For the past 21 years, he has been an indispensable advocate for the university and a major reason for the growth and development UH Hilo has enjoyed during that period. His outreach to Big Island legislators, federal and county officials, business, labor and community leaders has created a highly effective partnership with the university that has resulted in some of the most significant capital improvements in UH Hilo’s history.

There is no question that Gerald’s big-picture vision for “the university that can be,” and his genuine enthusiasm for UH Hilo, are strong selling points. His personality and professionalism have also played a big role in opening doors and creating opportunities for the university that may not have been possible without him. His capacity for getting a meeting at just the right time with key decision makers has often been the key to UH Hilo’s success, and with Gerald on the team, UH Hilo has had many successes.

Although we will miss Gerald, he has worked tirelessly throughout his career and deserves the opportunity to spend more time with his family. I know all of you join me in wishing nothing but the very best for Gerald as he embarks on new adventures.

A search for Gerald’s successor will be underway shortly.

Mahalo,
Don Straney

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

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

College of Business and Economics earns high marks in national assessment

Welcome to our new academic year at UH Hilo. The beginning of the school year offers an exciting beginning for all of us.

I am delighted to share with you some great news from UH Hilo’s College of Business and Economics. CoBE and the students in the college recently received high scores from the nationwide Collegiate Learning Assessment. The CLA is a national instrument that evaluates students’ written responses to assess critical thinking, reasoning, problem solving skills, and their ability to communicate clearly and cogently.

Our student achievements were significantly above the national mean. Thirty-three graduating seniors enrolled in the capstone strategic planning course attained an average overall CLA score of 1,189, which puts our seniors in the 57thpercentile of graduating seniors nationwide. Better still, the CoBE’s Value-Added Score among the hundreds of institutions that administer the CLA is at the 93rd percentile nationwide!

Faculty at the college attribute this positive outcome to several factors: high quality faculty with terminal degrees who teach and are also active researchers devoted to student learning; small class sizes that allow personal attention and high levels of interaction; a strong culture of professionalism at the college; and applied learning activities such as internships, consulting for local businesses, and case and business plan competitions.

Our graduates who participated in the CLA are pleased, but not surprised, by the results. Winona Chen (2012) remarks that our “professors have passion for what they teach, they are invested in our success as students and professionals, and they invite us to reach our full potential.” Chen is currently interning in an Executive Team Leader position teaching fitness classes and running triathlons.

Shaun McKim (2012), a double major in economics and political science, currently enrolled in Clark University’s MBA program on a merit scholarship and says the “rigorous curriculum” and the opportunity to collaborate with professors and present papers at international conferences prepared him for the challenges of graduate school.

Emily Anderson (2012), an accounting graduate, says the courses are designed to emulate what students will encounter in the real work force. “I will be the first to attest to how much employers notice those things,” she says. “I am so lucky to have the fortunate problem this summer of having to turn down job offers because I was receiving too many.”

We are proud of our students and their performance on the CLA. This is confirmation of their critical thinking, analytical, and communication abilities. These results confirm that we offer a high-quality education and are preparing our graduates well for employment and advanced studies.

Aloha,
Don Straney

Column by the Chancellor in Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce Newsletter: Sept. 2012

Message from UH Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
Chamber Connection Newsletter
Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce

September 2012

UH Hilo’s College of Business and Economics earns high marks in national assessment

We start the new school year with great news from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s College of Business and Economics. CoBE and the students in the college recently received scores from the nationwide Collegiate Learning Assessment. The CLA is a national instrument that evaluates students’ written responses to assess critical thinking, reasoning, problem solving skills, and the ability to communicate clearly and cogently.

Our student achievements were significantly above the average mean. Thirty-three graduating seniors enrolled in the capstone strategic planning course attained an average overall CLA score of 1,189, which puts our seniors in the 57th percentile of graduating seniors nationwide. Better still, the college’s Value-Added Score among the hundreds of institutions that administer the CLA is at the 93rd percentile nationwide!

Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa’s book, Academically Adrift, examined college students’ growth in critical thinking skills as measured by the CLA. They find that “at least 45 percent of students in our [national] sample did not demonstrate any statistically significant improvement in Collegiate Learning Assessment performance during the first two years of college.”

Business is one of the lowest performing majors on the CLA, while students majoring in natural sciences earn the top scores. In a New York Times editorial, Arum writes, “students concentrating in business related coursework were the least likely to report spending time studying and preparing for class. Given such modest investments in academic activities, it is not surprising that business students show the lowest gains on measures of critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication.”

Faculty at UH Hilo’s business college attribute our students positive outcome to several factors: high quality faculty with terminal degrees who teach and are also active researchers devoted to student learning; small class sizes that allow personal attention and high levels of interaction; a strong culture of professionalism at the college; and applied learning activities such as internships.

Our graduates who participated in the CLA are pleased, but not surprised, by the results. Winona Chen (2012) remarks that our “professors have passion for what they teach, they are invested in our success as students and professionals, and they invite us to reach our full potential.” Chen is currently interning in an Executive Team Leader position teaching fitness classes and running triathlons.

Shaun McKim (2012), a double major in economics and political science currently enrolled in Clark University’s MBA program on a merit scholarship, says the “rigorous curriculum” and the opportunity to collaborate with professors and present papers at international conferences prepared him for the challenges of graduate school.

Emily Anderson (2012), an accounting graduate, says the courses are designed to emulate what students will encounter in the real work force. “I will be the first to attest to how much employers notice those things,” she says. “I am so lucky to have the fortunate problem this summer of having to turn down job offers because I was receiving too many.”

We are proud of our students and their performance on the CLA. This is confirmation of their critical thinking, analytical, and communication abilities. These results confirm that we offer a high-quality education and are preparing our graduates well for employment and advanced studies.

For more news from the Office of the Chancellor, visit my blog.

Aloha,
Don Straney