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Category: Announcements

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.

UH President Greenwood to visit UH Hilo

MRC Greenwood


Please join us for a meeting of University of Hawai‘i at Hilo faculty, staff, and students with:

UH President MRC Greenwood
Campus Center 301
Friday, May 4, 2012
10:00 to 11: 15 am

President Greenwood will be providing an update on various UH initiatives and there will be a question-and-answer period.

I hope to see you there!

Don Straney

Annual UH food drive under way


The annual University of Hawai‘i systemwide food drive is officially under way and runs through April 27, 2012.

The Campus & Community Service (CCS) Program is currently collecting food and monetary donations from UH Hilo students, staff and faculty on behalf of the Big Island’s East Hawai‘i Food Basket. The Food Basket collects and distributes nutritious, high quality food to low income households,  the working poor, the disabled, the ill, senior citizens, children’s programs and other charitable organizations.

Collection containers can be found at various departments throughout campus with the final pick up scheduled for April 27. Should a department fill up its container prior to the collection date, please contact CCS at (808) 974-7381 or e-mail talaite[at]hawaii[dot]edu to arrange an early pick up.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this worthy cause to assist the needy in our Big Island communities.

Don Straney

Senator Gilbert Kahele recognizes UH Hilo “Adopt-a-Beehive with Alan Wong” program

UH Hilo Professor Lorna Tsutsumi, Chancellor Don Straney, and Chef Alan Wong (l-r at center holding plaques) were each presented a Certificate of Recognition by Senator Gilbert Kahele at the statehouse on Friday. The three were honored for their leadership in the “Adopt-a-Beehive with Alan Wong” program at UH Hilo. Photo courtesy of Alan Wongs Restaurants.
(l-r) State Senator Gilbert Kahele, UH Hilo Professor of Entomology Lorna Tsutsumi, UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney, Chef Alan Wong and Senator Clarence Nishihara. Photo courtesy of Sen. Kahele’s Office.

MEDIA RELEASE—Senator Gilbert Kahele honored key individuals involved in the Adopt-a-Beehive with Alan Wong program at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo with a Certificate of Recognition Friday. Those individuals are renowned Chef Alan Wong, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney and UH Hilo Professor of Entomology Lorna Tsutsumi.

Last year, Chef Alan Wong teamed up with UH Hilo to create the “Adopt-a-Beehive with Alan Wong” program in order to bring awareness of the honey bees’ critical decline in population. Now offered for a second year, the successful innovative program supports the education of student beekeepers, promotes research and development of healthy beehive practices in Hawai‘i, and educates the public about the vital role that honey bees play in sustaining agriculture.

“I was very impressed with this innovative idea that partners Chef Alan Wong and UH Hilo in educating their students and the community on the vital role that honey bees play in sustaining agriculture in Hawai‘i,” said Senator Kahele, who represents District 2, encompassing Ka‘u, Puna, Hilo.

Senator Kahele, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, co-adopted a beehive with Senator Clarence Nishihara, chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

There are 25 bee hives at the UH Hilo apiary located on the 110 acre Pana‘ewa farm that are used for the hands-on beekeeping laboratories. The hives are assigned to students who learn manipulation skills and then send public “adopters” monthly updates on the status of their hives.

According to the University of Hawai‘i, honey bees across Hawai‘i have helped sustain agriculture for over 150 years. But bee colonies began collapsing in 2007 due to the invasion of the varroa mite.

UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney has been a strong supporter of the program since its inception. He believes UH Hilo has the potential to become a global model in promoting research and educating the public about the vital role honey bees play in sustaining agriculture.

UH Hilo Professor of Entomology Lorna Tsutsumi has taught students the importance of sustainability for more than 25 years. She has said honey bees are responsible for the pollination of many important agricultural crops and their health and well-being is especially important as we strive to lessen our dependency on food imports.

The Senate Committees on Agriculture and Education passed House Bill 2100, relating to bees this past Monday, March 19. The bill would appropriate funds to UH for statewide bee hive research. The bill is now with the Senate Committee on Ways and Means for consideration.


Big Island Video News on statehouse ceremony and Adopt-a-Beehive program:

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