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UH Hilo Chancellor's Blog Posts

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

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

Partnering with UH community colleges to strengthen Hawai‘i’s future

Last fall in this column I wrote about a report by Complete College America stating that by 2020, 68% of jobs in Hawai‘i will require a career certificate or college degree, but currently only 41% of adults have a college degree. The gap: 27%. For a strong economy, the report states, the skills gap must be closed. We simply will not have enough skilled workers to meet the needs of our economy unless many more college and university students graduate.

One way the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is addressing this challenge is by collaborating with the UH community colleges to facilitate seamless transfers into UH Hilo—for example, by giving students “road maps” to use when they begin their college education at Hawai‘i Community College (HawCC) so they will have a plan on how to transfer and achieve baccalaureate degrees at UH Hilo.

Two UH Hilo degrees offered in the HawCC-UH Hilo “pathways” program are Administration of Justice and Business Administration. Currently in discussion for the Pathway Program are HawCC’s Digital Media Arts degree, which would lead into UH Hilo’s BA in Art, and HawCC’s Tropical Forest Ecosystem and Agroforestry Management program leading into UH Hilo agricultural degrees.

HawCC’s Ola Hāloa Hawai‘i Life Styles Program is a part of a proposed initiative by all seven UH community colleges to establish an Associate of Arts in Hawaiian Studies (AAHS) on each campus. The program will provide a smooth transition for students who wish to study indigenous Hawaiian culture and language at the community colleges, earn an associate of arts degree, then transfer to one of UH’s four-year universities. Pending UH Board of Regents approval, the new AAHS program will start in the fall of this year. HawCC and UH Hilo’s Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language are already working together to support students taking classes on both campuses to earn their degrees.

HawCC is proposing an Associate of Science in Natural Science (ASNS) degree to address the needs of students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Students can use the ASNS degree in natural science to better prepare their science backgrounds or in preparation for transfer to a bachelor of science program at a four-year institution. The proposed degree will provide focused advising and appropriate course sequencing for successful transfer of our students. Collaboration with UH Hilo will be the main focus of this HawCC degree.

I’m also happy to report that UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM) is finalizing a state-wide articulation agreement with the UH community colleges that includes 30+ agriculture courses. Credit from Hawai‘i, Kauai, Leeward, and Windward community colleges and Maui College courses can be transferred or substituted in lieu of courses at UH Hilo. This is great news as interest in the community college agriculture programs has increased due to promotion of “local first” advocacy in the culinary programs. Those students will now be able to articulate to UH Hilo to earn degrees. I would like to acknowledge CAFNRM Acting Dean Bruce Mathews for his vision and leadership in this system-wide initiative.

The UH Hilo Marine Science program is working with Maui College so students can earn UH Hilo Marine Science degrees while mostly staying on Maui. They are taking some courses via Polycom delivery with an ability to interact both ways. For the signature experience of our Marine Science program, where students learn how to design and conduct scientific research in the ocean, Maui students join Hilo students so they can learn directly from the highly research-active faculty of UH Hilo. A framework is being built so that online delivery of marine science classes could be possible in the future to other parts of the island and state.

To address the future needs of our economy, UH Hilo views our partnerships and collaborations with UH community colleges as an important component in being able to successfully provide higher education to the people of the island and state.

For more news about UH Hilo, visit my blog.

Aloha,
Don Straney

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

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

April 2012

Partnering with UH community colleges to strengthen Hawai‘i’s future

Last fall in this column I wrote about a report by Complete College America stating that by 2020, 68% of jobs in Hawai‘i will require a career certificate or college degree, but currently only 41% of adults have a college degree. The gap: 27%. For a strong economy, the report states, the skills gap must be closed. We simply will not have enough skilled workers to meet the needs of our economy unless many more college and university students graduate.

One way the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is addressing this challenge is by collaborating with the UH community colleges to facilitate seamless transfers into UH Hilo—for example, by giving students “road maps” to use when they begin their college education at Hawai‘i Community College (HawCC) so they will have a plan on how to transfer and achieve baccalaureate degrees at UH Hilo.

Two UH Hilo degrees offered in the HawCC-UH Hilo “pathways” program are Administration of Justice and Business Administration. Currently in discussion for the Pathway Program are HawCC’s Digital Media Arts degree, which would lead into UH Hilo’s BA in Art, and HawCC’s Tropical Forest Ecosystem and Agroforestry Management program leading into UH Hilo agricultural degrees.

HawCC’s Ola Hāloa Hawai‘i Life Styles Program is a part of a proposed initiative by all seven UH community colleges to establish an Associate of Arts in Hawaiian Studies (AAHS) on each campus. The program will provide a smooth transition for students who wish to study indigenous Hawaiian culture and language at the community colleges, earn an associate of arts degree, then transfer to one of UH’s four-year universities. Pending UH Board of Regents approval, the new AAHS program will start in the fall of this year. HawCC and UH Hilo’s Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language are already working together to support students taking classes on both campuses to earn their degrees.

HawCC is proposing an Associate of Science in Natural Science (ASNS) degree to address the needs of students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Students can use the ASNS degree in natural science to better prepare their science backgrounds or in preparation for transfer to a bachelor of science program at a four-year institution. The proposed degree will provide focused advising and appropriate course sequencing for successful transfer of our students. Collaboration with UH Hilo will be the main focus of this HawCC degree.

I’m also happy to report that UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management is finalizing a state-wide articulation agreement with the UH community colleges that includes 30+ agriculture courses. Credit from Hawai‘i, Kauai, Leeward, and Windward community colleges and Maui College courses can be transferred or substituted in lieu of courses at UH Hilo. This is great news as interest in the community college agriculture programs has increased due to promotion of “local first” advocacy in the culinary programs. Those students will now be able to articulate to UH Hilo to earn degrees.

The UH Hilo Marine Science program is working with Maui College so students can earn UH Hilo Marine Science degrees while mostly staying on Maui. They are taking some courses via Polycom delivery with an ability to interact both ways. For the signature experience of our Marine Science program, where students learn how to design and conduct scientific research in the ocean, Maui students join Hilo students so they can learn directly from the highly research-active faculty of UH Hilo. A framework is being built so that online delivery of marine science classes could be possible in the future to other parts of the island and state.

To address the future needs of our economy, UH Hilo views our partnerships and collaborations with UH community colleges as an important component in being able to successfully provide higher education to the people of the island and state.

For more news about UH Hilo, visit my blog.

Aloha,
Don Straney

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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.

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

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Letter: Mahalo to UH Hilo and other partners of Journey through the Universe 2012

Doug Arion, designer of the GalileoScope (red shirt) looks on as students observe through a telescope as part of his classroom presentation for Journey Through the Universe.

Thank you letter from Janice Harvey, Gemini Observatory

Aloha to all of our Journey partners!

As Journey through the Universe 2012 came to a close, we all realized the impact that this science education outreach program has had on our community. This year our 72 astronomers/astronomy educators engaged over 8,000 students in 380+ classrooms at 20 schools in the Hilo/Laupahoehoe/Waiakea District. For the past eight years our astronomers were able to express their passion and excitement for science, engineering, and education and share this enthusiasm with their students.

The Journey through the Universe program not only nurtures our students’ innate curiosity, but also provides workshops for our teachers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and an opportunity for our community members to visit the classrooms alongside our astronomers. Family Science Events, held at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center as well as the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo are attended and enjoyed by thousands.

Our community partners, the Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry have hosted a celebratory event at the Yacht Club for the past several years. The chambers’ thank you celebration provides a unique opportunity for astronomers, educators, and the business community to discuss and share what is our common goal – to enrich science education in our schools and inspire our children to aim high.

District Superintendent Valerie Takata elaborates, “Our Hilo /Laupahoehoe/Waiakea complex area schools’ stellar partnership with the business organizations and community is Journey to the Universe: STEM initiative. As a part of the educational system our complex area is overwhelmed with appreciation for the enthusiasm and energy this initiative has generated for our schools[…], students, teachers and administrators and families. This concerted effort has made this grassroots program a sustaining reality[…] for the past eight years. As we work toward our vision for students to be career and college ready when they graduate, this reality becomes more powerful and impactful when support and involvement is in sync. We thank our community partners for caring so deeply for our students.”

In addition to the numerous distinguished guests and lecturers at Journey 2012, Jeff Goldstein, Journeys’ visionary who started the national program over a decade ago participated in the activities by lecturing, leading a conference for local teachers in STEM education and providing inspiration for moving the program in new directions in coming years.

Everyone involved in the Journey through the Universe program would sincerely like to thank each and every one of you. An education program of this magnitude could not happen without our community support.

You are all – truly – our shining stars!

We humbly thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Janice Harvey
Journey Team Leader
Gemini Observatory

Photo courtesy of Gemini

More info about event 

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Five honored at UH Hilo 2012 Distinguished Alumni and Service Awards Banquet

Five honorees were celebrated at the UH Hilo 12th Annual Distinguished Alumni and Service Awards Banquet. From left to right, Mark Nakashima, State Representative; Don Straney, UH Hilo Chancellor; honorees Jimmy Yagi, basketball coach; Gary Hara, Brigadier General, Hawaiʻi National Guard; Miyoko Sugano, Professor Emeritus; Ross Wilson, Principal, Current Events; Gladys Sonomura, community volunteer; and Gil Kahele, State Senator.
Chancellor Straney speaks at the celebration.

The accomplishments and contributions of five honorees were celebrated at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo 12th Annual Distinguished Alumni and Service Awards Banquet held Feb. 24. The event was sponsored by UH Hilo Alumni and Friends Association.

The 2012 Distinguished Alumni recipients are Gary Hara, Brigadier General, Hawaiʻi National Guard; Dennis O’Brien, Principal, E.B. de Silva Elementary School; Gladys Sonomura, community volunteer; and Ross Wilson, Principal, Current Events. Distinguished Service honorees are Miyoko Sugano, UH Hilo Professor Emeritus, and Jimmy Yagi, basketball coach.

The event also featured a silent auction to raise scholarship funds.

The 12th Annual Distinguished Alumni Banquet was held on campus in the Campus Center Dining Room.

Photos courtesy of UH Hilo University Relations.  

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