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UH Hilo Interim Chancellor's Blog Posts

Bernard Osher Foundation awards UH Hilo $1M for reentry scholarships

The Osher Foundation has annually supported scholarships for reentry students at UH Hilo since 2007. 

Shirley Dellinger, UH Hilo graduate and a Osher Reentry Scholarship recipient.

MEDIA RELEASE

HILO – Returning adult students at University of Hawai‘i at Hilo now have a permanent source of scholarship support thanks to a $1 million award from The Bernard Osher Foundation. Beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year the Osher Reentry Scholarship Endowment will provide a minimum of 25 scholarships per year, to older students whose education has been interrupted for five or more years.

The Osher Foundation has annually supported scholarships for reentry students at UH Hilo since 2007. “The Osher Reentry Scholarship Program is one of the most important initiatives of the foundation,” noted Mary Bitterman, Osher Foundation president. “We are delighted to award an endowment grant to UH Hilo to assist nontraditional students in completing their degrees and realizing their dreams.”

To date The Bernard Osher Foundation has given $3,550,000 to support reentry students at UH Mānoa, UH Hilo and UH West O‘ahu.

“We are so very grateful to The Osher Foundation for its long and dedicated support of the University of Hawai‘i in its mission of providing a quality, affordable education to the broadest population possible,” said UH President M.R.C. Greenwood. “In this economy in particular, when non-traditional students are re-tooling themselves for a changed work environment, the Osher gift makes it possible for us to play an active role in restoring our economy to health by providing this educational resource to people of all ages and walks of life.”

Students resuming their academic careers after a long absence face a number of challenges that most traditional students do not, such as managing simultaneously the responsibilities of being a student, parent, spouse and employee.

“Access to higher education, outreach and support for non-traditional and underserved populations are part of UH Hilo’s mission,” commented UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney. “This major award from The Osher Foundation means we can better support older, returning students who might otherwise not be able to pursue a college degree.”

Having been out of school and in the workforce or at home raising children for many years, reentry students must reacquaint themselves with efficient and effective ways of learning and studying.

“It is absolutely critical that we find ways to remove the barriers to higher education many of our students face. The Osher Reentry Scholarships provide the means for aspiring students to access higher education and pursue careers that lead to an improved quality of life,” says UH Hilo Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Luoluo Hong.

These scholarships are already transforming lives — like that of Shirley Dellinger.

“After graduating from high school, I decided to seek employment. College was not an option at that time due to financial hardships,” said Dellinger. “It wasn’t until later, after marrying and having children that I was advised by a guidance counselor to enroll in college.” After attending Leeward Community College, Dellinger transferred to UH Hilo to pursue her dream of obtaining a BBA. She made good progress, but was forced to stop her studies when her marriage of 17 years ended in divorce.

In 2000 Dellinger joined Hospice of Hilo as its bookkeeper. The local nonprofit saw her potential and encouraged her to return to school. “With a strong faith in God, my new husband’s support, six children in tow, and rekindled determination, I returned to UH Hilo in 2007 on a part-time basis, later increasing my schedule to full-time, while also working 40 hours a week to support my family,” said Dellinger. “When I was notified that I had been awarded an Osher Reentry Scholarship, tears of joy filled my eyes. Knowing that there was someone who believed in me enough to support my education was a very humbling experience. I was determined to cross the finish line.”

In May 2011 Dellinger graduated with honors and a BBA, the first in her family to attain a college education. Since then, she has been promoted to controller and now manages the accounting and human resource departments at Hospice of Hilo.

“Education has opened doors for me and provided the skills and knowledge needed in today’s economy.” Dellinger’s journey is by no means over. “I plan to enroll in the HR master’s program at UH Mānoa through the Shidler College of Business neighbor island program in the fall of 2012.”

Quick facts about UH Hilo:

  • Half of the university’s 4,000 students come from the Big Island. Many are from rural communities in which exposure to and experience with higher education is limited. About 23 percent are Native Hawaiian.
  • UH Hilo has the highest percentage of students receiving financial aid of any of the ten campuses in the UH System. Sixty-five percent of UH Hilo students depend upon some form of financial aid to fund the cost of attending university.

To learn more about how you can support the students and programs at UH Hilo, please contact Margaret Shiba at (808) 933-0829 or email Margaret.Shiba at uhfoundation dot org

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The Bernard Osher Foundation, headquartered in San Francisco, was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a respected businessman and community leader. The Foundation seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts. The Foundation provides post-secondary scholarship funding to colleges and universities across the nation, with special attention to reentry students. It also benefits programs in integrative medicine in the United States and Sweden, including centers at the University of California, San Francisco; Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston; and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. In addition, the Foundation supports a national lifelong learning network for seasoned adults. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, operating on the campuses of 117 institutions of higher education from Maine to Hawai‘i, have a National Resource Center at the University of Southern Maine. Finally, an array of performing arts organizations, museums, and selected educational programs in Northern California and in Mr. Osher’s native state of Maine receive Foundation grants. www.osherfoundation.org

The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. Our mission is to unite our donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations to benefit the people of Hawai‘i and beyond. We do this by raising private philanthropic support, managing private investments and nurturing donor and alumni relationships. www.uhfoundation.org

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is a comprehensive university with five degree-granting colleges, six master’s programs and four doctoral programs. UH Hilo strives to integrate culture and science, offer hands-on learning opportunities to its students and use the Island of Hawai‘i as a natural learning laboratory. Enrollment has doubled since 1980 to over 4,000 students coming from all 50 states and more than 40 countries. www.uhh.hawaii.edu.

UH Hilo College of Pharmacy graduates find jobs quickly, prove value in competitive market

According to a survey conducted by the college’s Department of Student Services, more than a third of the graduates who found work so far accepted jobs that allow them to stay in Hawaiʻi.

State Rep. Jerry Chang (center) with faculty and students of the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy.
John Pezzuto, dean of the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Pharmacy announced this week that recent graduates of the program have been hired for jobs that require a PharmD degree in 16 states as well as Guam and Washington D.C. at various retail chains, community pharmacies and hospitals. According to a survey conducted by the college’s Department of Student Services, more than a third of the graduates who found work so far accepted jobs that allow them to stay in Hawaiʻi.

Upon their graduation in May 2011, 66 percent of the recent graduates reported that they have obtained a job or were working in a paid residency. The average salary for graduates working full-time but not in a residency program is $117,000.

“These numbers show the breadth of impact our inaugural graduates are already making since graduating just three months ago,” Dean John Pezzuto said. “Their remarkable success at securing jobs before taking the exam for licensure confirms that theses new pharmacists have hit the ground running and will continue to make us proud.”

With a 95 percent response rate, 80 out of 84 graduating PharmDs responded to the Graduating Student Surveys. They answered questions about what they will be doing after graduation and were asked how they thought CoP did in preparing them for a career in pharmacy.

Preliminary results from the surveys also found:

  • 24 percent of the class applied for the residency match program
  • 95 percent of those who applied received at least one interview
  • 53 percent of those who applied received a residency job offer
  • 59 percent of the respondents to the survey were Hawaiʻi residents for tuition purposes during the spring 2011 semester
  • 60 percent of these Hawaiʻi resident respondents stated they had either secured employment in a job that required a PharmD or were working in a paid residency

Inaugural CoP alumni will be working in: Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Guam, Hawaiʻi, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington DC, and Wisconsin. They accepted jobs at the Children’s National Medical Center, CVS, Fred Myer, GE Nuclear, Guam Memorial Hospital, Heartland Regional Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, K-VAT Food City, Menehune Pharmacy, Marsh, Mina Pharmacy, Palos Community Hospital, Roe RX, Safeway, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Target, UH Hilo College of Pharmacy, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.

The graduates also are working in several highly competitive pharmacy residency positions throughout the nation in order to gain intensive training in health care settings. Residencies are often a requirement for employment in hospital pharmacy practice or as a faculty member at a pharmacy school. Locations include the Phoenix Indian Medical Center and the Banner Baywood Medical Center and Heart Hospital in Arizona, UH Hilo College of Pharmacy, Intermountain Healthcare in Utah, and Palos Community Hospital and Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Illinois.

UH Hilo unveils new Sciences and Technology Building

“The Sciences and Technology Building will attract scholarly teachers and researchers, which will encourage public and private agencies to partner with us to develop joint research and educational initiatives.” -Chancellor Donald Straney

Celebrating today are (L-R) Luoluo Hong, vice chancellor for student affairs; Gerald DeMello, director of university relations; Marcia Sakai, vice chancellor for administrative affairs; Kenny Simmons, vice chancellor for academic affairs; Donald Straney, chancellor; and Gail Makuakane-Lundin, executive assistant to the chancellor. Photo by Robbyn Peck

A blessing and dedication was held today for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo new Sciences and Technology Building.

UH Hilo’s new Sciences and Technology Building. Photo by Robbyn Peck

“This facility will complement the Big Island’s living, learning laboratory by significantly enhancing student learning, teaching and research,” said Chancellor Donald Straney. “It will also attract scholarly teachers and researchers, which will encourage public and private agencies to partner with us to develop joint research and educational initiatives.”

The $25 million building, spans more than 42,000 square feet and fulfills the need for additional classrooms, office space and new state-of-the-art laboratories for UH Hilo’s expanding physics, astronomy and chemistry programs. Key features include an auditorium that seats in excess of 140, along with smaller rooms of 60 and 24 seats.

In addition to the tenant programs, the building’s facilities will accommodate classes in biology, math, geography, history and communication. Based on projections, the building will serve more than 1,700 students in various classroom venues daily.

UH President MRC Greewood (r) attended the event.

“This is a game changer for the programs that will take up residence in the new building,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Randy Hirokawa. “Their growth helped fuel our enrollment gains dating back to the late 1990s. Now they will have the state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories they need to not only maintain their level of excellence, but step up to the next level.”

The event was attended by a host of elected state, county and university officials, including Governor Neil Abercrombie and UH President M.R.C. Greenwood. Abercrombie’s appearance marked his first official visit to UH Hilo since being elected governor last year and underscored his support for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and professional workforce development in Hawaiʻi.

Governor Neil Abercrombie and Senator Malama Solomon untie the maile at the doors of the new Sciences and Technology Building during today’s blessing ceremonies. (L-R) UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney, UH President MRC Greenwood, Gov. Abercrombie, Sen. Solomon, Rep. Jerry Chang, and Sen. Gil Kahele. Photo by Robbyn Peck.

“Governor Abercrombie has made it clear in public statements that he sees the Big Island as one of the state’s key economic engines for the next decade, with UH Hilo playing a leading role,” said University Relations Director Gerald De Mello. “STEM education will be critical to the success of that effort and this building provides us with the cutting edge tools to deliver the quality of learning necessary to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

Invitation to UH Hilo Alumni: Talk Story with Chancellor

Chancellor Donald Straney
and the
University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Alumni & Friends Association
cordially invite you to a

Talk Story with Chancellor

Friday, August 26, 2011 • 5:30 p.m.
Keauhou Beach Resort, Ballroom 1
78-6740 Ali‘i Drive, Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i

To reserve your FREE ticket(s)*, please
RSVP by August 8, 2011.

Ever wonder what happened to your classmates from UH Hilo?
Wondering what’s new with your alma mater?

Join us for a talk story session with our new UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney.
Reconnect with fellow alumni and hear an update on the latest at UH Hilo.
Enjoy an evening of heavy pūpū and no-host cocktails.

To RSVP or for more information, call the
UH Hilo Marketing & Alumni Office at 808.974.7501/7643
www.hilo.hawaii.edu/alumni

* Limit one adult guest due to limited capacity.

Video: UH Hilo Adopt-a-Beehive program supports research and healthy apiary practices in Hawai‘i

“This is a great example of how the smallest things in an ecosystem really matter. Participation in the beehive program is a down payment on food security.” -Chancellor Straney

Dignitaries gathered at the UH Hilo Farm Laboratory on June 25 for the groundbreaking of the bee garden: (l-r) Dean William Steiner (UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management); Kekoa Yasuda (student beekeeper); Chancellor Don Straney; Dr. Lorna Tsutsumi (CAFNRM); State Rep. Clift Tsuji; Chef Alan Wong; and State Senator Gil Kahele.

Chef Alan Wong has teamed up with University of Hawai‘i at Hilo to build awareness of the critical plight of honey bees and to promote local solutions to sustaining the honey bee industry. You can help by adopting a beehive at UH Hilo and supporting the research and development of healthy beehive practices in Hawaii!

For more info on how you can help out, visit:
http://www.alanwongs.com

Related post: Adopt-A-Beehive program to support research and development of healthy apiary practices in Hawai‘i

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