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Tag: UH Hilo Community

Four honored for outstanding contributions to UH Hilo

Rebecca Ostertag, Kolby Santiago, Kirk Mikami and Keiki Kawai‘ae‘a will be recognized for their achievements along with other UH award recipients at the annual Convocation ceremony to be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, September 27, 2011, on the UH Mānoa campus.

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo honored four faculty and staff members for their dedication and extraordinary contributions to the university. Chancellor Donald Straney presented the Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities to Rebecca Ostertag, Professional Staff Award to Kolby Santiago, Outstanding University Support Employee Award to Kirk Mikami and the Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi Award for Excellence in Innovation to Keiki Kawai‘ae‘a.

Rebecca Ostertag

Ostertag is an associate professor of biology and the recipient of the Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities. She is a highly productive research scientist with a prolific and consistent publication record. Ostertag emphasizes the “art” of doing science in her teaching, including how to read the primary literature, develop independent research hypotheses, collect and analyze data, and present the findings. She shares her love for science through her mentoring and continuously receives high teaching evaluations for her hands-on approach and encouraging style.

Kolby Santiago

Santiago is a financial aid counselor in the student affairs office and the recipient of the Professional Staff Award. She counsels and provides information and support for students and parents on financial aid. While the number of applications has increased dramatically since she started 10 years ago, she has never complained about having double the workload. Santiago is dedicated to her job and works hard to help students receive much needed financial assistance. A true team player, Santiago really cares about the students and is well-respected by all those who work with her.

Kirk Mikami

Mikami is an accounting clerk in the business office and the recipient of the Outstanding University Support Employee Award. He has contributed to countless improvements to the existing processes and procedures and is always looking to make operations more efficient. Mikami always exemplifies excellent customer service to everyone he works with. Whenever a problem arises, he takes the initiative to take ownership of it and follows through to its resolution. His attitude is that everyone pulling together can make UH Hilo a better place to work and a better place for students to get a true education.

Keiki Kawai‘ae‘a

Kawai‘ae‘a is an assistant professor at the Ka Haka ‘Ula o Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language and the recipient of the Koichi and Taniyo Award for Excellence and Innovation. Kawai‘ae‘a has been instrumental in the development of the Nā Honua Mauli Ola Hawaiian cultural pathways and the Moenahā culture-based curriculum design and instructional method that impact native learners in culturally healthy and responsive ways. She is a true role model and continuously demonstrates unwavering determination to fulfill goals of excellent teaching while reviving the Hawaiian language.

Ostertag, Santiago, Mikami and Kawai‘ae‘a will be recognized for their achievements along with other UH award recipients at the annual Convocation ceremony to be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, September 27, 2011, on the UH Mānoa campus. The ceremony is open to the public at no charge, and no reservations are needed. For more information on the awards ceremony, visit

The UH Hilo community honored the four in May at the 2011 UH Hilo Awards and Recognition Celebration.

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2011 New Student Convocation

The 2011 New Student Convocation was held on Tuesday at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo Performing Arts Center.

Chancellor Straney addresses new students at the 2011 New Student Convocation.
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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

* Limit one adult guest due to limited capacity.

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Announcing the reorganization of UH Hilo international programs


Todd Shumway
Todd Shumway

I’m pleased to announce that the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is in the process of reorganizing its various international programs and services under the umbrella of the Division of Student Affairs.

Carolina Lam
Carolina Lam

International Student Services and Intercultural Education currently resides in the Division of Student Affairs and includes National Student Exchange; it will shortly be joined by Global Exchange Programs, directed by Todd Shumway, and Global Education Programs, directed by Carolina Lam.

Jim Mellon
Jim Mellon

Together, these three functional areas will support and advise our international students as well as UH Hilo students who are involved in exchange programs. The team will also develop and implement initiatives that promote intercultural fluency and the globalization of our campus.

Zach Street
Zach Street

Starting July 1, Jim Mellon will be the contact person for issues related to international students. Carolina Lam remains the contact person for UH Hilo students wishing to study abroad, Todd Shumway for global exchange programs, and Zach Street for national student exchange programs.

Until the new Student Services Building is completed, all offices will remain in their current locations.

As a result of the reorganization, existing faculty and staff will be better able to share expertise, coordinate services, and achieve efficiencies in time and resources as they support the success of international students and prepare our students for study abroad.

Donald Straney

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Keith Miser retiring


Keith Miser
Keith Miser

Dr. Keith Miser will be retiring from his position as Special Assistant to the Chancellor for International Programs as of June 30.

For the last three years, Keith has led the Center for Global Education and Exchange into new areas and increased the awareness on campus of the many benefits of international study.

After serving for seven years as the UH Hilo Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and three years in international programs, Keith leaves behind a legacy of countless students and administrators who have benefited from his encouragement, support, and endless energy. He represents what is best in education — the desire to give others the opportunity to benefit from new opportunities.

Although Keith hails from Indiana, his selflessness and kindness are a true reflection of the aloha spirit. He will be greatly missed although never forgotten at UH Hilo.

Donald Straney

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