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UH Hilo’s first doctor of pharmacy degrees to be conferred at spring commencement; entrepreneur Hank C.K. Wuh to keynote

Dr. Hank C.K. Wuh, a Honolulu entrepreneur and leader in Hawaiʻi’s biotechnology field, will deliver the keynote address.

Hank C.K. Wuh
Entrepreneur Hank C.K. Wuh, MD, will keynote UH Hilo's spring commencement.

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo College of Pharmacy will award its first doctor of pharmacy degrees at spring commencement on Saturday.

Dean John Pezzuto describes the class of 2011 as “dynamic and self-driven pioneers.” He said their graduation will clearly be marked as one of the most joyous days in the institution’s history.

“Every student pharmacist in our college is extraordinary, otherwise they would not be members of our program. And this first graduating class has set the bar amazingly high for future classes to match their scholarship, leadership and citizenship,” Pezzuto said. “They embraced their role as eldest among our student `ohana with zeal and passion. As their dean I am proud and humbled.”

The 84 pharmacy students are among 607 candidates for various degrees and/or certificates, which also include the colleges of Arts and Sciences (402), Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (27), Business and Economics (47), and Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language (23). Twenty-four others are candidates for various post-graduate honors.

Dr. Hank C.K. Wuh, a Honolulu entrepreneur and leader in Hawaiʻi’s biotechnology field, delivers the keynote address. An orthopedic surgeon and inventor, Wuh has led the development of over 20 biomedical and consumer healthcare products from concept to global commercialization.

Valerie Dionne, who receives bachelor of arts degrees in political science and administration of justice, serves as student speaker. A native of Arkansas, she has maintained a 3.91 GPA since leaving her job at the Hawaiʻi Government Employees Association to enroll at UH Hilo in 2008.

A member of the National Political Science Honor Society Pi Sigma Alpha, Dionne was named the UH Hilo Chapter’s Most Outstanding Student for the 2010-2011 school year. She has made the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s List each semester and is the recipient of numerous scholarships. She is active in campus and community activities and will attend the William S. Richardson School of Law at UH Mānoa in fall 2011.

Commencement, to be held this Saturday, May 14, at Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium, begins at 9:00 a.m.

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Design phase completed for new UH Hilo College of Pharmacy building

“When you consider the data from the economic impact study that shows the college brings in more than $50 million a year to the state, there’s no question that this is an investment that will more than pay for itself virtually in no time.” –State Representative Clift Tsuji

The design phase is completed for a new state-of-the-art building for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s College of Pharmacy.

“We cannot overstate the importance of this building to Hawaiʻi’s future as the hub of health care and discovery,” said John Pezzuto, dean of the college. “It will also allow us to give our students the best possible professional pharmacy education and move forward with accreditation.”

WCIT Architecture of Honolulu designed the building, which will cost an estimated $66 million. In 2010, WCIT won an architecture award for the design of UH Hilo’s Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikolani College of Hawaiian Language building.

WCIT President Rob Iopa said the design approach blends environment, place and architecture unique to the needs of the College of Pharmacy yet within the framework of other buildings on campus.

“WCIT Architecture has done a beautiful job designing the Hawaiian languages building, but I want to stress we are not just looking for window dressing,” said Debra Fitzsimons, vice chancellor for administrative affairs. “I’m confident their design of the College of Pharmacy will complement our existing structures on the UH Hilo campus while giving them the proper educational vessel they require.”

The design phase was funded in part by $5.5 million from the state in 2009. Funds are now being sought from the state and others for construction. During a recent site visit, a group from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the national accrediting agency responsible for pharmacy schools, said the lack of a permanent building for the college is a serious concern.

Pezzuto said the cost of construction is more than offset by the economic benefits the college brings to the state of Hawaiʻi. State Representative Clift Tsuji agrees.

“When you consider the data from the economic impact study that shows the college brings in more than $50 million a year to the state, there’s no question that this is an investment that will more than pay for itself virtually in no time,” said Tsuji (D-South Hilo, Panaewa, Puna, Keaau, Kurtistown).

The new pharmacy college facilities will be located on campus at the corner of Komohana and Nowelo streets.

UH Hilo’s College of Pharmacy is the only school of pharmacy in the Pacific region.

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Statement by the Chancellor on search for UH Hilo Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Aloha,

I am pleased to announce that the search for a permanent University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs is moving forward. I am committed to an extensive national search to identify candidates with the experience, vision and energy to develop and advance strategic academic priorities at UH Hilo.

We now have a well-rounded and representative search committee, recruited in consultation with the UH Hilo Faculty Congress, Hanakahi Council, and UH Hilo Student Association, to advise me on the selection:

  • Norman Arancon, Assistant Professor, Horticulture
  • Lari-Anne Au, Librarian
  • Daniel Brown (committee chair), Interim Vice Chancellor for Research
  • Jason Cabral, Assistant Professor, Hawaiian Language and Literature
  • Linda Connelly, Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Emmeline de Pillis, Professor, Management
  • Devaki Drozario, UHHSA Representative
  • Gabriele Matull-Worst, Associate Registrar
  • John Pezzuto, Dean, College of Pharmacy
  • Cheryl Ramos, Associate Professor, Psychology
  • Nicole Ryan, Academic Support Specialist, North Hawaii Education and Research Center
  • David Sing, Director, Na Pua No‘eau Center for Gifted and Talented Native Hawaiian Children

Many thanks to Dan Brown for agreeing to chair the committee. A national search firm will help identify a diverse pool of qualified candidates and will generally support the search process.

I would also like to express my thanks to Kenith Simmons for serving as interim VCAA during the search process.

Donald Straney
Chancellor

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UH Hilo Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology receives national accreditation

HILO — The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Master of Arts Program in Counseling Psychology has received a full 10-year accreditation from the Masters in Psychology Accreditation Council (MPAC), extending to March 1, 2021. MPAC accredits academic programs in psychology, which promote training in the scientific practice of professional psychology at the master’s level. Accredited programs must demonstrate a commitment to science-based training in all aspects of psychology and to enhancing services to the consumer and the public-at-large.

“This is a proud moment for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo,” said Chancellor Donald Straney. “MPAC accreditation represents an important validation of the quality of education our students receive as they prepare to join the ranks of professional counselors.”

The Master of Arts Program in Counseling Psychology is administered by the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences. The program was established in 2005 with the full approval and support of the University of Hawaiʻi System and the Hawaiʻi State Legislature. The 60 semester-hour program is based on a scientist-practitioner model, with an emphasis on empirical research and evidence-based practices. The program is designed to provide multicultural, student-centered training in counseling psychology and meets the curricular requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor in the state of Hawaiʻi.

“My colleagues and I are very pleased to have attained national accreditation for our counseling psychology program,” said Dr. Bryan Kim, director of the counseling psychology masters program. “We all know that national accreditation represents external recognition of a program’s high-level quality and sustainability. My colleagues and I have worked hard at building our program and we are grateful to have this recognition from the Masters in Psychology Accreditation Council.”

“I personally want to thank my faculty colleagues, administrators, students, graduates, community supervisors, and everyone else who have supported our program since its formation in 2005 and have helped to make this accreditation possible,” he added.

For more information about the program, contact Kim at bryankim@hawaii.edu or (808) 974-7439.

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Legislative Testimony by the Chancellor on HCR 279/HR 246 to study feasibility of incorporating Native Hawaiian plant species in CIP

Testimony Presented Before the
House Committee on Higher Education
March 24, 2011 at 2:00pm
by
Donald O. Straney
Chancellor, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo

HCR 279/HR 246 – REQUESTING THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII AT HILO TO SEEK GRANT MONEYS AND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR STUDYING THE FEASIBILITY OF INCORPORATING NATIVE HAWAIIAN PLANT SPECIES IN CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS.

Chair Nishimoto, Vice Chair Nakashima and Members of the Committee:

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is fortunate to have a campus whose landscaping has been planned and well-tended. With a degree program in Agriculture, we maintain a broad range of plantings on campus to support student learning in this field. Likewise, our programs in Hawaiian Culture have established plantings representing the plants brought to the islands and used by the original Hawaiian settlers. ‘Imiloa, our learning center, is dedicated to exploring the interface between science and culture, also has an extensive garden of labeled plants used traditionally in Hawaiian culture.

We are, therefore pleased to see a resolution that would have us increase the native natural plants on our campus. This is consistent with our current campus initiatives. It will enhance the utility of our campus to students and community alike, while also maintaining the beauty of the campus setting.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify.

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