“The Dorrance Scholarship has become a model for providing educational opportunities to first-generation college students,” says Don Straney, UH Hilo chancellor. “(The Dorrances’) gift helps us to address that need, which is a core part of UH Hilo’s mission.”
The 2017 Dorrance Scholarship recipients and their high schools are:
Jeffrey Cushing, Kealakehe High School.
Stephanie Lewis, Kohala High School.
Jaylyn Mahoe-Subica, Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School.
The Dorrance Scholarship was established by Bennett and Jacquie Dorrance at the Arizona Community Foundation in June 1999. The innovative, four-year, need-based award provides local students who are the first in their family to attend college, up to $10,000 a year in direct financial assistance. Recipients will also participate in a custom-designed summer bridge program, international travel, conservation experience, an entrepreneurship program and employment preparation, bringing the total estimated value of each award to more than $90,000.
The Dorrance Foundation began offering up to 10 scholarships a year to Hawaiʻi Island high school graduates attending UH Hilo in 2012. The latest awards bring the total number of recipients to 59.
Mathew Estrada, program coordinator, Dorrance Scholarship Programs, at mestrada[at]azfoundation.org or (808) 339-4500.
Last month, the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo hosted a Baseball Cultural Tour with players from Chuo University, Tokyo. Chuo is one of the highest ranked academic schools in Japan—located in Tokyo, it has nearly 25,000 students on four campuses.
Chuo University Baseball Team
The Chuo delegation of 35 players, four coaches and administration officials arrived in Hilo on Feb. 19 for a one week cultural tour on Hawai‘i Island and O‘ahu.
The Chuo delegation lodged in UH Hilo on-campus housing for the duration of their visit on Hawai‘i Island, and during their stay, there were two exhibition games, Chuo vs Hilo, on Feb. 21 and 22. As is fitting for a cultural exchange tour, the two-game series split with Chuo winning the opening game by a score of 7-3 and Hilo winning the second game 2-1. I should note that Chuo won the Japan equivalent of the College Baseball World Series in 2016.
The games were a highlight of the tour, part of a larger context of connecting and sharing aloha. This type of cultural exchange strengthens a natural partnership, building on a longstanding relationship between Hawai‘i and Japan. UH Hilo is also currently working collaboratively on common, modern challenges with several universities in Japan in a wide range of fields: business, pharmacy, traditional medicine, disaster resilience, technology, and sustainability.
So it’s only natural to extend that connection through athletics, and baseball in particular. Chuo University is inspirational in its athletic achievements, producing many champions and Olympians, and it was an honor to have them visit and play here.
UH Hilo Baseball Team
On Feb. 20, the Vulcan Baseball team, in partnership with the Japanese Community Association of Hawai‘i and the Hawai‘i Japanese Center, hosted the Chuo baseball team and their delegation at a welcome reception that included dinner.
I enjoyed giving welcome remarks at the dinner along with Baseball Coach Kallen Miyatake; Director of Athletics Patrick Guillen; Dennis Kauka representing Mayor Harry Kim; Ryan Chong from County Parks and Recreation; Art Taniguchi, Honorary Consul General of Japan; Ivan Nakano, President, Japanese Community Association of Hawai‘i; Russell Arikawa, President, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawai‘i; Reverend Naohiro Hotta of Hilo Daijingu Church; and Koji Ikeda, Head Baseball Coach at Chuo University.
I’d also like to give a shout out to Hawai‘i State Representative Mark Hashem (Kāhala, Hawai‘i Kai), who was instrumental in the initial discussions three years ago to make this trip a reality, along with Terry Yagihara and Nathan Yoshioka from Honolulu who helped bridge the ties to Chuo University and UH Hilo.
This was truly a community event. On behalf of UH Hilo, I would like to extend mahalo to the Chuo University baseball team for coming to Hilo, the Hilo business community and Booster Supporters of the Vulcan baseball team, Arnold and Eloise Hiura (Hawai‘i Japanese Center), Gladys Sonomura and the volunteers at the Hawai‘i Japanese Center, Barry Taniguchi of KTA Superstores for his longtime support of UH Hilo, Derek Kurisu, George Yoshida, George and Shirley Ito for video, John Oshima for photography, and Reiko Hamano for interpretative services.
The future intent is to return the series trip to Tokyo to play Chuo University in 2018, then either host Chuo again in 2019 or another Japanese team in future years.
The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is one of the most diverse campuses in the United States, and helping students and faculty learn from our diverse cultures and perspectives is a high priority.
At UH Hilo, we have long been cultivating a diverse, multicultural university that is rooted in the indigenous history of Hawai‘i. More broadly, a key mission (Hawai‘i Papa O Ke Ao) shared by the 10 campuses of the UH System is to embrace our responsibilities to the Native Hawaiian people and to Hawai‘i’s indigenous language and culture.
One way we are doing this is through developing indigenous education. UH Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College have collaborated on many programs over the past few years to advance and strengthen indigenous education of benefit to all faculty, staff and students.
What is indigenous education?
Many of our students are Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander—in some disciplines up to 30 percent—and not only are these students required to learn the content we are teaching, but also how to internalize information presented to them from a worldview distinct from their own.
If faculty, advisors, and administrators can learn to appreciate this and even re-orient or start to alter curricula and teaching methods to conform to our students’ learning styles, then we are on our way to becoming a model indigenous higher education institution and far more effective at imparting knowledge to those students.
Further, indigenous education is of benefit to all our students—those who identify as Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and also those who are not indigenous but have understandings of Native Hawaiian and indigenous culture just by growing up and/or living here as young adults. All non-native students and faculty benefit from indigenous education by learning through a new context and deepening their understanding.
Let me share a couple of programs we’re doing to develop modes of indigenous curricula and instruction at UH Hilo—these programs are primarily for faculty and staff and are supported by the Office of the Chancellor.
In addition, both UH Hilo Student Affairs staff at their annual retreat last June and the UH President’s Emerging Leaders Program (PELP) cohort last month participated in this type of special workshop.
Staff from the UH Hilo Hale Kuamoʻo Hawaiian Language Center of the College of Hawaiian Language held an introductory-level Hawaiian language workshop for the PELP cohort. Participants practiced dialogue and communication in Hawaiian and shared ideas about supporting and sustaining ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi and Hawaiian culture at UH.
Also this semester, UH Hilo is holding a series of workshops for faculty in support of indigenous curricula and instruction. The workshops are being sponsored by a Chancellor’s Professional Development grant and will include faculty from both UH Hilo and Hawai‘i CC.
Topics will include creating course content and applied learning opportunities that are relevant to Native Hawaiian and Oceania students. Pacific island and indigenous culture experts are traveling here to share their knowledge and experience. There also will be local experts from the learning community Hoʻoulumau at Hawaiʻi CC. Students will also participate and share.
When learning in an environment shaped by indigenous curricula, students understand and appreciate that the classroom is being oriented to their social worlds and find the materials informative and practical. It makes the completion of a degree worthwhile and relevant to creating livelihoods on the island.
The real benefit of studying at a diverse campus such as ours is learning how people with different perspectives, contexts and cultures understand issues and challenges. We’ll continue to build a learning community that can exchange information and gain further training on how to best serve and educate our diverse and multicultural student body.
As we look to our work in 2017, a high priority at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is to improve significantly the recruiting, retention and graduation of our students. I’d like to share with you two programs showing great progress on recruiting and the success of our students: the Running Start and Early College programs.
Both programs are partnerships between UH and the State Department of Education. UH also has an Early College partnership with Kamehameha Schools.
The Running Start program has been around for years. It allows local high school students to take a college course at one of the 10 UH System campuses across the state. In this way, high school students are attending classes with college and university students and getting acclimated to college life and demands. Students receive dual credit, high school and college credit, for successful completion of the course.
Prior to spring 2015, UH Hilo had a small number of students in Running Start. It was after we started offering Early College classes a couple of years ago that we began to see a significant increase in enrollment.
In the Early College program, university courses are taught by a university professor on the student’s high school campus. Upon successful completion of the course, the student receives both high school and college credit.
The purpose is to have more high school students graduate with college credits so they are better prepared for their future degree and career.
This type of program works. I started college with credit for two high school courses. They were both required so I started by taking more advanced courses, and that let me to finish my undergraduate degree early.
I recommend high school students consider taking early college courses not just to get a head start, but to understand they are ready for college-level work and that UH may be the next step for their education.
In 2015, twelve high schools statewide were selected to participate in the Early College DOE program so as to increase the number of high school students earning six or more college credits before they graduate from high school. Four public high schools on Hawai‘i Island are participating. Kamehameha Schools also entered into a partnership with UH Hilo.
Some of the introductory classes provided by UH Hilo in the last two years are in astronomy, psychology, and sociology at Kohala High. Anthropology, art, communication, English, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and math are offered at the Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i campus.
Hawai‘i Community College also has partnerships with high schools on the island and UH Hilo is working closely with them to bring the Early College program to the whole island.
Kohala High School is working with Hawai‘i CC and UH Hilo. Hilo High School, Kealakehe High and Waiakea High are working with Hawai‘i CC.
Collaboration for success
As we gear up for the next legislative session, it’s important to note that the DOE and the Governor have a goal of making funds available to the DOE to provide students statewide with the opportunity to complete six college credits prior to their high school graduation. This will ensure we have close working relationships with the high schools while the students take one college class per semester in their senior year or one college class per year in each of their junior and senior years.
All regular admissions criteria to UH still apply, so incoming students participating in Running Start and Early College still need to meet minimum grade point average requirements for acceptance into a UH school. But the programs greatly help with exactly that preparation and transition into college life, giving students a jump start and making it easier for them to acclimate to college life and be successful right through to graduation.
Seated with Carolyn Ma, dean of UH Hilo College of Pharmacy, in front of group from the Yokohama University of Pharmacy. Location: Totsuka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Courtesy photo, click to enlarge.
The Tsuzuki Education Group includes more than 20 private universities and colleges, as well as high school and middle schools, in multiple locations across Japan.
The agreement is a continuation of a 35-year relationship between Hawaiʻi and Fukuoka, established by former Governor George Ariyoshi, whose father came from Fukuoka Prefecture.
The agreement under Gov. Ariyoshi was Hawaiʻi’s first sister-state international relationship, and it was a perfect choice given that we are island communities with deep familial, cultural and economic connections between us.
Fukuoka City is now designated as an Innovation Hub for Japan, which parallels nicely to the Hawai‘i Innovation Initiative where UH is working with the private sector and government to build an innovation, research, education and training enterprise in Hawai‘i.
It’s within this context that the new agreement with the Tsuzuki Education Group is a natural partnership, building on the longstanding relationship between Fukuoka and Hawai‘i to work collaboratively on common, modern challenges in a wide range of fields: business, pharmacy, traditional medicine, disaster resilience, technology, and sustainability.
This new system-to-system partnership builds on already existing agreements between UH Hilo and Tsuzuki including exchange programs with the Yokohama University of Pharmacy and Japan University of Economics.
UH Hilo’s Conference Center is already arranging study trips for Japanese students. Representatives from Yokohama University of Pharmacy came to visit us here and we put together a series of short visits for students—Japan students can see how we do things and vice versa for our students. We hope now to expand these types of exchange opportunities for students both ways.
The trip to Japan
The following video highlighting the research and academic strengths of the UH System was presented at the celebration of Tsuzuki Educational Group’s 60th anniversary during our trip. This is the English version:
During our trip, Carolyn Ma and I visited the different campuses and pharmacy facilities to look at ways we could establish and expand research exchanges and collaborations.
The pharmacy schools in Japan are researching traditional medicines, which dovetails nicely with the research being done on natural products at our pharmacy college.
Three campuses in Japan are working on business and economic issues—faculty there are very interested in the impact of Japanese tourism and are doing innovative work on economic development. Our new dean of the College of Business and Economics, Drew Martin, will be traveling to Japan to discuss different opportunities to collaborate on programs of benefit to both Japan and Hawai‘i.
Another area of shared interest is with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for data collection—we can share strategies for approaching challenges such as natural disaster response, collecting geographic data, and mapping areas such as agricultural lands and conservation areas.
I’m excited about the education and research opportunities this partnership will bring as we work together through collaborations with faculty and students to create a better future of mutual benefit for both the people of Japan and Hawai‘i.