Skip to content →

Month: March 2019

Professional development workshops in community engaged teaching, April 12

The workshops are made possible with support from the Chancellor’s Professional Development Fund.

Christine Cress
Christine Cress

The Center for Community Engagement at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo invites all faculty and staff to attend two professional development workshops in the theory and practice of community engaged teaching. Presenter Christine Cress, PhD, is professor of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Service-Learning at Portland State University.

The workshops are made possible with support from the Chancellor’s Professional Development Fund. No registration necessary.

Both workshops are to be held on Friday, April 12, 2019.

10:00-11:30 a.m., UCB 127
Overview of Community Engaged Teaching
Gain an understanding of what community engaged teaching is within a national and historical context. Build an understanding of the research and evidence-based outcomes of community-based learning as a sound pedagogical teaching and learning technique, with connections to student engagement and retention. Q&A included.

1:00-2:30 p.m., UCB 127
Embedding Community Engagement into Teaching and Scholarship
Begin the process of considering how community based projects could be embedded into current curriculum and scholarship. Gain an understanding of best practices within the contexts of inhibitors and facilitators of reciprocal campus-community collaborations, how to prepare students, and assessment options. Q&A included.


Christine Cress was a Fulbright Senior Scholar to Middle East Technical University in Turkey and has conducted trainings on intercultural and curricular integration of service-learning at colleges in North America, Europe, Japan, and India.

Prof. Cress is an accomplished scholar with over 200 presentations and 75+ publications including three books on intercultural, pedagogical, and assessment issues in community engagement. She is lead author of the internationally best-selling textbook, Learning through Serving: A Student Guidebook for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement across Academic Disciplines and Cultural Communities, that has been translated into Arabic, Japanese, and Spanish.

Prof. Cress previously served on the Executive Board of the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, and has a decade of prior experience in student affairs administration, including academic and career advising.

In 2017, Prof. Cress received the Campus Compact Oregon Faculty Engaged Scholar Award.

Contact re workshops

Julie Mowrer

Comments closed

Message from the Interim Chancellor on active shooter drill and moving forward

I ask that all members of our campus community take part in these emergency exercises and use these emergency exercises to prepare  ourselves in case a real-life emergency does occur.  

Aloha UH Hilo ‘Ohana:

UH Hilo seal, red lettering University of Hawaii and the state motto.I want to thank everyone for your understanding and patience with the cancellation of our active shooter drill that had been scheduled for February 22. Due to unexpected events taking place off campus, Hawai‘i Police Department officers were no longer available to assist us with our exercise and it was decided to postpone the drill.

At this time, a scaled down version of a drill is tentatively being scheduled for July. Since students and faculty will be away, the exercise will primarily involve staff members. A campus-wide drill will be conducted in the fall, and you will be informed when dates are confirmed.

I also want to convey that many shared their concerns about the active shooter drill, especially for our veterans on campus and those with PTSD. We are gathering these concerns and decisions will be made in conjunction with the Campus Crisis Management Team (CCMT). In particular, we will not engage in gunshot sounds without CCMT consultation. Please share any further concerns or questions with the CCMT, which is convened by Interim Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs Kalei Rapoza.

Emergency exercises help to prepare us for emergency incidents with which we may be confronted. As interim chancellor, I ask that all members of our campus community take part in these emergency exercises and use these emergency exercises to prepare  ourselves in case a real-life emergency does occur.

As the semester quickly winds down, I wish everyone a successful close to the spring semester and the academic year.

Marcia Sakai

Comments closed

Interim Chancellor’s Column in Hawaii Tribune-Herald Special Section, University Town 2019

Column by Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai
Hawaii Tribune-Herald Special Section: University Town 2019
March 24, 2019

UH Hilo: A comprehensive university serving the community

Marcia Sakai
Marcia Sakai

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo mission is to challenge students to reach their highest level of academic achievement by inspiring learning, discovery, and creativity inside and outside the classroom.

With core liberal arts values and an array of programs across a broad range of career pathways, our students complete an education that prepares them for continuous learning needed in the 21st century. By the time they graduate with advanced knowledge in their chosen major, our students have gained foundational skills in written communication, language, reasoning, and an appreciation for multiculturalism, humanities and the arts, and natural and social sciences.

Our students learn from many sources during their time with us, and I would like to focus this column on three foundational areas that prepare our students to achieve their goals and to be contributing members to the community.


With the deluge of information coming at us every day, good communication skills are crucial for professionals in the 21st century. This means mastery in delivering written and verbal information, and also in receiving information through active listening.

Throughout their years with us, students are required to explore and develop these skills through individual work and also through projects that require teamwork. For example, we have had students out in the community as interns listening to the needs of local businesses and organizations, helping to hone plans for better outcomes.

As we move into a data-filled future, communication also includes skills such as data visualization, a sophisticated form of scientific communication where large data sets are converted into simply designed presentations for other scientists or the general public. With new technology on campus, students are learning hands-on skills for creating effective data visualization products in a broad range of topical issues such as water conservation and natural disaster response.


Building strong communities is extremely important in our local culture, and UH Hilo takes pride in doing outreach that helps raise the quality of life for everyone. Every student at UH Hilo is offered opportunities to apply their classroom learning to the real world through internships, service learning, and community activities.

For example, the Pacific Internship Program for Exploring Science (PIPES) immerses students in internships each summer to help solve problems affecting our communities, such as climate change and invasive species. Our pharmacy college sponsors events that showcase research on prevalent health issues. Student-athletes go into local classrooms to inspire elementary students to read. Our students give back by paying forward.

Further, the North Hawai‘i Education and Research Center in Honoka‘a, while honoring the history and traditional culture, helps local high school students prepare for college, provides adults with lifelong learning activities, and gives the town a meeting place to gather and create new memories.
And our Center for Community Engagement offers non-credit courses open to everyone interested in lifelong learning. The center also supports faculty in community-engaged teaching, a perfect example of UH Hilo’s adage, “One learns from many sources.”


Our eyes are on the future, and it is clear that our island, region, and the world in general need knowledgeable, dedicated leaders to help communities meet unprecedented challenges. This is why a major goal of UH Hilo is to provide support to students to thrive, compete, and innovate to become leaders in their professional and personal lives.

One program to support this goal is the Student Leadership Development Program that instills cultural awareness, experiential learning, and wellness activities. The Ka Lama Ku Student Leadership Development Program is based on Native Hawaiian cultural values. And our UH Hilo Student Association is led by students honing their skills in politics, community organizing, and developing policy that will help solve the problems of tomorrow.

Moving into the future

Armed with an education founded in the liberal arts, the guidance of expert mentors, and a deep desire to make new discoveries that positively impact their communities, our students are learning from many sources and are already contributing to their selected fields, their communities, and the world.

Marcia Sakai

Comments closed

Interim Chancellor’s Monthly Column, March 2019: UH Hilo moving into the future

At UH Hilo we embrace our kuleana to help provide the workforce for new growth sectors in our economy. Our eyes are on the future.

By Marcia Sakai.

Marcia Sakai
Marcia Sakai

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo mission is to challenge students to reach their highest level of academic achievement by inspiring learning, discovery, and creativity inside and outside the classroom. This prepares them for the workforce needs of our island, state, and the global community. In this column, I’d like to share with you a few of our new programs that directly answer these needs.

Our new bachelor of science in aeronautical sciences program, approved earlier this year by the UH Board of Regents, has two tracks: one in commercial professional pilot training and the other in commercial aerial information technology (drones). Both are projected growth areas for the state. The pilot training track is cost effective compared to mainland programs and would support the state’s tourism-related transportation services sector. The drone track trains students for growing career opportunities in agriculture, natural disaster response, natural resource management, search and rescue, security services, and expected air transport services.

UH Hilo drone team took a lead role in collecting data during the recent lava flow in Puna. Read story about new aeronautical sciences degree program. Photo via UH System News.

In the fast-growing field of data science, UH Hilo launched its long-planned data science program this past fall. Technology is enabling the production of data at an ever increasing rate, but there are not a lot of people trained to analyze that data, develop information, and make conclusions. Here on our island, for example, there is great need for data analytics in conservation efforts, water resource management, and climate change research.

At UH Hilo’s Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center located at Hilo Bay, hundreds of students have gained valuable hands-on experience at the nine-acre center, developing aquaponics and raising ornamental and food fish, shellfish, and algae throughout the year. Interns, volunteers, and research students have learned everything about aquaculture production from the hatchery where juvenile fish and juvenile oysters are raised to actual farming of the organisms.

UH Hilo has the only four-year aquaculture program in the state, and the center has the only facility dedicated to aquaculture and coastal management education, research, and outreach to the community and industry. In addition to training the workforce and researchers of tomorrow, our center is helping to develop sustainable seafood production, moving the state closer to self-reliance in food while also promoting ocean conservation.

We are working with Hawai‘i Community College to develop articulated 2+2 transfer pathways to UH Hilo baccalaureate opportunities and targeting completion of   pathways in administration of justice and psychology by the end of this academic year.  We will extend these and look at other pathways across all the UH community colleges, in order to develop a robust transfer population. Looking ahead, we are investigating collaborative work to develop a pathway into the natural sciences and STEM teacher education programs, two fields for which there is already an important workforce need.

To meet future needs for highly educated professionals in health care, we are looking toward preparing students to pursue doctoral studies. The Students of Hawaiʻi Advanced Research Program (SHARP) is a relatively new program, largely supporting under-represented students, particularly Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, who would like to do research in preparation for doctoral studies. The students are mentored by expert faculty researchers to develop interest and competence in biomedical and behavioral sciences research. The program is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) and is administered through the UH Hilo Department of Anthropology.

Group viewing poster presentation.
SHARP student Jasmine Hiking (center facing right) with a group viewing the poster presentation on her research. Read story about SHARP symposium.

At UH Hilo we embrace our kuleana to help provide the workforce for new growth sectors in our economy. Our eyes are on the future. We strive to anticipate the needs of our island, state, and global community and to help prepare the professionals needed to navigate the challenges to come. Our students will not only have the chance to compete successfully in the future for well-paying jobs, but will also help raise the quality of life for their families, communities, state, and region for years to come.


Marcia Sakai

Comments closed