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Tag: Marcia Sakai

Interim Chancellor’s Monthly Column: UH Hilo, preparing people for careers that make a big impact

UH Hilo is dedicated to giving Hawai‘i high school, transfer, and non-traditional students the options they need to earn baccalaureate and advanced degrees here on Hawai‘i Island.

By Marcia Sakai

UH Hilo seal, red lettering University of Hawaii and the state motto.The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo has a long history of engaging with the local community—in fact, it is because of the extraordinary support of our local community that UH Hilo has grown into a responsive source of higher education, at-the-ready to adapt and expand to meet the needs of our island and state.

There is an interesting indicator that tells us where the people of our communities are placing importance when it comes to building our future—just take a look at our programs that are expanding: Teaching, Education, Nursing, Kinesiology and Exercise Science. Much needed and in-demand programs in planning are Data Science, Cybersecurity, and Aviation and Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

While we expand to meet the new needs of our future, we continue to educate more and more highly trained scientists who will help to preserve and protect our precious natural resources: environmental scientists, conservation biologists and ecologists, natural resource scientists, geologists, geographers, physicists, marine scientists.

And there are cohorts of graduating students who want to dedicate their lives to improving the health and wellbeing of people, families, and communities—the social and medical scientists: psychologists, biomedical professionals and researchers, medical anthropologists, pharmacists, health care providers.

In addition, several academic programs at UH Hilo are not offered anywhere else in the state, such as our doctoral and master programs in pharmacy and in Hawaiian language—students who graduate and become professionals in these fields have a great and positive impact on our local communities, and in the social and economic fabric of our island home.

Add to that, our business, management, and marketing programs that are teaching people how to build companies that not only raise the quality of life for their own families but also for their employees and patrons. I have seen in our College of Business and Economics—the college I helped found and where I taught for years—the entrepreneurial spirit grow in students who have then gone on to build the prosperous businesses of their dreams based on the education they received at UH Hilo.

And not surprisingly, a number of our students are looking to become professionals in the field of communication: writers, journalists, professionals in digital and mass media, public relations, ethnography—all trained to share information in the age of information—with a background in critical thinking skills taught as a foundational premise during their undergraduate studies.

In other words, UH Hilo is giving students—whether traditional student, transfer student, returning student, or someone wanting to change professions—the degree pathways that lead to professional careers that have great social and economic impact on our communities.

To support these future leaders while they are in school—to get them over the finish line—we are strengthening and expanding support services from recruitment to retention to graduation.

We are increasing enrollment of first-time students, especially on Hawai‘i Island, and increasing enrollment of transfer students, especially from UH community colleges.

We are refining our financial aid strategy, and have started a new micro-scholarship program where high school students, starting from their freshman year, can earn funds toward a scholarship redeemable only through enrolling at UH Hilo after graduation.

In new programs to assist with the retention of students in their first year at UH Hilo, transfer students are provided with access to better coordinated transfer services and first-year students are eligible to receive the support of a peer mentor.

Living Learning Communities continue to be a big success story at our residence halls where currently over 100 freshmen with a chosen a field of interest are enrolled in courses together and go off-campus together to experience cultural practices, community engagement, and service learning. These bonded groups of students are much more able to stick together as a cohort and reach graduation together as lifelong friends and peers.

UH Hilo is a university made possible by the dedication and support of the surrounding community. We are, in turn, dedicated to giving Hawai‘i high school, transfer, and non-traditional students the options they need to earn baccalaureate and advanced degrees here on Hawai‘i Island.

Aloha,

Marcia Sakai

Greg Chun to serve as as senior advisor to UH on Maunakea

Greg Chun will represent the university externally on all matters relating to Maunakea, including the many discussions of alternative models of management.

Greg Chun
Greg Chun

Greg Chun has been appointed as senior advisor to University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner and UH Hilo Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai in overseeing the fulfillment of the responsibilities of the entire UH System on Maunakea. Chun is a UH Mānoa faculty member whose work focuses on the intersection of land use, community engagement and culture. Chun also chairs the Maunakea Management Board.

“Greg is extraordinarily well qualified and prepared to help the entire university and state move forward,” says Lassner in making the appointment. “Greg’s new role will enable him to represent the university externally on all matters relating to Maunakea, including the many discussions of alternative models of management. At the same time, he will be able to assist the entire University of Hawaiʻi in continuing to advance what have become award-winning stewardship and management programs across all parts of the institution.”

Chun is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and has formal training as a clinical psychologist. Now residing on Hawaiʻi Island, Chun has served at the senior executive level with both Kamehameha Schools and the Parker Ranch. He has experience with restoration of historic Hawaiian sites in West Hawaiʻi and Molokai, in the development of educational and cultural programming as well as Hawaiian culture and values training, and providing leadership and organizational development.

 

UH System News.

Hawai‘i Sustainability in Higher Education Virtual Symposium, Feb. 8-9

University of Hawai‘i at Hilo faculty, staff and students can participate in two days of the Hawai‘i Sustainability in Higher Education Summit through a Virtual Symposium.

Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018
9:30-10:30 a.m.: Opening Plenary Session
10:30-11:30 a.m.: Panel on “Climate Change and Our Futures”
UH Hilo CyberCANOE, Mookini Library, LRC 350

Poster with information that can be found in the content of this post.
Click image for details on this symposium.

Friday, Feb. 9, 2018
8:00-11:00 a.m.: Panel on “Grand Challenges of Water”
11:00 am-1:00 p.m.: Panel on “Meeting of Wisdoms”
UH Hilo Campus Center, 301

Learn more about the summit.

6th Annual Hawai‘i Sustainability in Higher Education Summit, Hawai‘i Island, Feb 8-10

Delegations from all 10 UH campuses will gather to learn together.

Gold UH Seal

The Annual Hawai‘i Sustainability in Higher Education Summit serves as a cornerstone event to advance the University of Hawai‘i Executive Sustainability Policy EP 4.202 strategic sustainability initiatives from year to year. Delegations from all 10 UH campuses gather to learn together from local practitioners, national subject matter experts, and each other, and to set the action agenda for implementation of strategic initiatives each year.

The theme of this year’s summit is, “Exploring the meeting of wisdoms between indigenous ancestral knowledge systems and western empirical sciences.”

The summit will be held at three locations on Hawai‘i Island:

Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018
Hawai‘i Community College Palamanui-Kona

Friday, Feb. 9, 2018
UH Hilo

Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018
Student Sustainability Summit
Kilauea Military Camp, Volcano

Planned events on the UH Hilo campus, Feb. 9:

Virtual Symposium
Time: 8:00-11:00 a.m.
Location: Campus Center 301
A virtual symposium featuring interactive online presentations exploring lessons learned while teaching to the Grand Challenges of Water.

Panel: “Meeting of Wisdoms” with Pualani Kanakaʻole Kanahele, Christian Giardina, Luka (Kanakaole) Mossman, Kealakaʻi Kanakaole, Ulumauahi Kealiʻikanakaʻoleohaililani. Moderated by John DeFries.
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Campus Center 301
Panel will explore the meeting of wisdoms between indigenous ancestral knowledge systems and western empirical sciences.

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