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Message from the Chancellor: Annual Hawai‘i Island United Way Campaign is underway

Aloha UH Hilo ʻOhana,

Logo: United Way Hawaii IslandFor more than 50 years, Hawai‘i Island United Way, Inc. (HIUW) has been the cornerstone of our island’s health and human service community. Your annual monetary donation to HIUW helps those less fortunate or down on their luck in our community; nurtures individuals and families; identifies specific needs and fills them; and helps to build a safer and healthier community through agencies here on Hawai‘i Island. Additional information is available on their website.

If you are able to, please consider donating or pledging your support through payroll deductions. Send the completed form you received today via email directly to Lei Kapono, Office of the Chancellor, by Monday, November 15, 2021.

Pūpūkahi I Holumua – Unite to Move Forward.


Bonnie D. Irwin

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Message from the Chancellor: Dean Ma to retire February 2022

Aloha Kākou,

Carolyn Ma is pictured.
Carolyn Ma

Carolyn Ma, dean of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, will retire on February 1, 2022. Please join me in congratulating Dean Ma on her well-earned retirement and wishing her a joyful, fulfilling next chapter!

Dean Ma came to UH Hilo in 2007 as a founding faculty and clinical education coordinator for the College of Pharmacy in the interest of building the future of pharmacy in Hawai‘i, her home state. She became the chair for pharmacy practice in 2009, interim dean in 2015, and permanent dean in 2016.

Among her accomplishments in these years are the completion of the long-awaited permanent building, Hale Kiho‘iho‘i; the start of renovations for analytical and pharmaceutical science research labs; the establishment of philanthropic opportunities including the Legacy Path for alumni engagement; the Building a Future campaign for naming opportunities for Hale Kiho‘iho‘i; and student success and faculty development funds.

Dean Ma is the recipient of the Bowl of Hygeia, the lifetime pharmacy service award and in March 2021 was inducted as a Distinguished Fellow to the National Academy of Practice.

Her passion for legislative and health care advocacy, especially for inter-professional health care has resulted in the passing of legislative bills that include pharmacy intern law licenses, medication take back, pharmacist immunization, HPV vaccination, and the preceptor tax credit bill.

An announcement regarding interim leadership for the college will be forthcoming.

Bonnie D. Irwin

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Chancellor’s Monthly Column, Oct. 2021: Recognition of our strengths

Bonnie Irwin
Bonnie D. Irwin

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo has been recognized three times in the last few weeks by national publications.

College Raptor, a website filled with information for students deciding where to apply for college, named us a “Hidden Gem” in the Far West region. Of course, UH Hilo’s quality is not “hidden” from us, we all know what a special place it is. Individual attention, opportunities for hands-on, ‘āina- and community-based learning is our trademark, and more and more students are coming to realize how valuable those experiences are.

The town of Hilo itself was recognized as one of the 50 Best College Towns in America by msn, a Microsoft portal. They wrote, “this charming small town on the northeastern coast of the Big Island lets you get a feel for what living that dream feels like. Explore the local waterfalls and rainforests by day, take to the art-centric galleries and shops in Hilo’s hip downtown district by night.”

While all that is true, I like to think that what students really appreciate about Hilo is the sense of aloha that permeates our town and our island. Students are made to feel welcome in our community, and that makes those community-based learning experiences all the more special, as students get to know what makes Hilo special.

One of the things that is particularly valuable about Hilo town is its diversity, not only the diversity of things to do, but also the diversity of its people. UH Hilo, too, finds its strength and value in its diversity.

Reflecting that, we’ve been named for the third consecutive year as the most diverse national university by U.S. News & World Report. This year we have some company at the top, including Stanford University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, but I think that is actually a good thing, as more universities are realizing the value to all of their students of a diverse campus.

Our forthcoming strategic plan will help us move beyond diversity to tackle equity and inclusion, so that we can ensure that all our students can take advantage of the opportunities that UH Hilo has to offer.

Diversity, ‘āina- and community-based learning, and a sense of aloha are all things we highly value. We will build on these strengths with the goal of creating an even better experience for our students and creating a campus that is no longer a “hidden” gem! We will also continue to find ways to give back to the Hawai‘i Island community we call home.


Bonnie D. Irwin

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WATCH: 2021 Fall Welcome

At the virtual event hosted by Chancellor Irwin, new faculty and staff were introduced along with recognition of faculty who have received tenure and promotion over the last year.

Chancellor Bonnie D. Irwin hosted the 2021 Fall Welcome at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo on Sept. 8. New staff were introduced at the virtual event along with recognition of faculty who have received tenure and promotion over the last year. Chancellor Irwin also shared a few thoughts about the coming semester.


    • Jeraldine “Jeri” Ilar, Transfer Credit Specialist, Office of the Registrar
    • Catherine “Loke” Evans-Bautista, Program Coordinator, Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center
    • Kip Nagata, Math and Science Program Coordinator, Upward Bound
    • Rebecca “Becca” Gillison, Associate Director of Residence Life, Housing


    • Margary Martin, Associate Professor, Education

Tenure and Promotion

    • Ozan Atalag, Associate Professor, Kinesiology and Exercise Science
    • Patricia Hensley, Associate Professor, Nursing
    • Matthew Knope, Associate Professor, Biology
    • Camlym Masuda, Associate Specialist, Pharmacy Practice
    • Jarred Prudencio, Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice


    • Julie Adrian, Professor, Pharmacy Practice
    • Shugeng Cao, Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
    • Leng Chee Chang, Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
    • Todd Inouye, Associate Professor, Management
    • Christopher Lauer, Professor, Philosophy
    • Yiqing Li, Professor, Tropical Forest Ecology & Management
    • Justina Mattos, Associate Professor, Performing Arts
    • Alexander Nagurney, Associate Professor, Psychology
    • Keisuke Nakao, Professor, Economics
    • Yucheng Qin, Professor, History

Chancellor’s Remarks (truncated, see video above for full remarks)

  • COVID Updates
    • Vaccines and testing
    • Daily LumiSightUH check in
    • Continue to practice distancing and sanitizing
    • Limit group activities
    • Still no fans at athletic events
    • Faculty decide as to what classes are hybrid and when the f2f portions of those classes will be held
    • Most importantly, responsible individual behavior on and off campus
  • Enrollment (pre-census)
    • Total enrollment up 2.7% from last year
    • Dramatic increase over last year in transfer students: 21.8%
    • Freshman, continuing, and grad down slightly, but overall, enrollment is holding.
    • Asian/Pacific Islander Enrollment 57.9%
    • Hawaiian Enrollment 33%
    • Resident Enrollment 69.8%
  • Budget
    • Still working toward addressing a $5.7m reduction in general funds
    • We can get by this year without dipping into reserves by
      • Limiting hiring to strategic & operational priorities
      • Continuing to restrict travel and large purchases
      • Use of federal relief funds
      • Special fund revenues expected to increase due to increased activity on campus
  • Strategic Plan: 3 Goals
    1. Strengthen Commitment to Haumāna: Equity and Student Success
    2. Strengthen Commitment to ʻĀina- and Community-based Education
    3. Strengthen Commitment to Kākou, Our Campus ʻOhana
  • Strategic Plan: Strategies and Actions based on:
    • It is a high-priority effort that will significantly advance achievement of the university’s strategic goals.
    • It is feasible to initiate or accomplish within one or two academic years.
    • It positively impacts student success.
  • WSCUC Accreditation
    • WASC Senior College and University Commission) site visit postponed until April
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