College of Business and Economics News

Thropp scholarship assists as Covid hits

Saturday, August 1, 2020, 6:19pm by

Last year, the College of Business & Economics received a scholarship endowment from the estate of James P.D. Thropp, Jr.


CoBE agri-tourism expert Fa`anunu featured panelist in July 21 webinar

Monday, July 20, 2020, 10:54pm by

The Hawai‘i Island Farm Trails smartphone application and website, a venture co-founded by CoBE’s Dr. Angela Fa‘anunu, has won $5,000 in the MahiX Open Innovation ChallengeHawai‘i Farm Trails connects farmers to visitors by promoting farm tours, farmers markets, and agricultural events on Hawai‘i Island. (more…)

Certificates in Business, IT, and Finance sought as pandemic disrupts careers

Thursday, June 25, 2020, 7:25am by

Strada Education reports that over half of Americans are concerned about job security in the wake of the pandemic, and many of those believe a career change would require more education. Career-changers prefer certificates over 4-year degrees.

Potential career-switchers prefer non-degree programs

Source: Strada Education

The most popular fields to switch into are Business, Information Technology, and Finance.

18% want to switch to business; 14% to IT; and 9% to finance.

Source: Strada Education

The  University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo offers non-degree certificates in  AccountingBusiness AdministrationData Science,  Finance, and Health Care Administration.  Apply here to enroll in a non-degree certificate; no application fee is required.

The College of Business and Economics also offers executive education and proctoring of professional exams. Contact for more information.

CoBE summer class counsels local businesses on surviving COVID-19

Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 5:57am by

How can small businesses survive Covid? Thanks to Helen Tien’s Marketing 394 (Retail & Distribution Management) course, some local businesses are better prepared to survive the pandemic. Students enrolled in this summer’s marketing course on retail and distribution (MKT 394) at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo offered themselves as a resource to local small businesses dealing with problems caused by coronavirus restrictions. Small business owners were invited to submit information about their marketing issues and then schedule a one-hour video conference session with the 24 senior students and instructor of the class Helen Tien, who also serves as the College of Business and Economics‘s academic and career advisor.

“Projects with real clients or companies are the ones you remember as a graduate, so thank you to the companies who opened their doors to our class,” says Tien. “This goes beyond COVID-19, we want to strengthen the relationship between our students and the community.”

The consultation was free and businesses were selected on the basis of how relevant their problem was to the course. The class received requests for help from Cafe 100, RK Woods, Augustine Guitars, Aloha Pawz, and Conscious Communities. Advice was offered about moving businesses online, finding out more about customers, analyzing marketing effectiveness, providing customer service, website feedback, and more.

“It was really awesome to work with Cafe 100,” says a student in the class. “They were very open to us looking at their operations and listened to our creative ideas for utilizing existing retail space. I felt like we all saw first-hand just how difficult it was to run a successful retail location.”

Story by Susan Enright, a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.

CoBE coffee simulation featured in national teaching journal

Thursday, June 18, 2020, 6:05am by

From Farm to Cup: A Coffee Supply Chain Negotiation Role-Play

A study of Dr. Todd Inouye‘s coffee supply chain simulation is coming out in July in the teaching journal for DSI (Decision Sciences Institute), DSJIE (Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education). This article and class activity was presented at both the Academy of International Business Conference as a finalist for the CUIBE Award for Best Paper on International Business Education and again at the DSI annual conference as a finalist for the Instructional Innovation Award.

How it all started

Dr. James Kling, who specializes in supply chain management at Niagara University, approached Dr. Inouye one day with a problem. Current supply chain simulations were dated and boring, and failed to provide a high standard of experiential learning. Dr. Inouye and Dr. Kling developed this simulation from the ground up. It has been run in multiple MBA and undergraduate classes at Niagara University and in the fall 2019 and spring 2020 semesters at UH Hilo in CoBE’s required MGT 333 – International Management course. Students get to experience different parts of the coffee supply chain in a pricing negotiation which also folds in the ethical dilemmas businesses face as they push to lower costs.

The results

Dr. Inouye and Dr. Kling have found that students who complete the activity significantly improve their ethical awareness and scope of responsibility while feeling more confident in negotiating.
From Farm to Cup: A Coffee Supply Chain Negotiation Role-Play
Todd M. Inouye and James A. Kling. Forthcoming in Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, a publication of the Decision Sciences Institute. 

College of Business and Economics Announces 2020 Beta Gamma Sigma Inductees

Wednesday, June 3, 2020, 3:44am by


Beta Gamma Sigma, the premier business honor society, has inducted six  students from the College of Business and Economics. Membership in BGS is among the highest honors a student in a school of business can achieve.

CoBE faculty have a tradition of individually sponsoring students and covering students’ one-time membership and initiation costs.

Our 2020 Beta Gamma Sigma inductees are


Founded in 1913, Beta Gamma Sigma honors top performing students from business schools accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). BGS is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS).

CoBE Students awarded Certified Management Accountant scholarships

Monday, June 1, 2020, 5:36am by

Congratulations to CoBE accounting students Karen Basham, Jillian De Coite, Noel Jacob, Hana Jung-Okuda, Michelle Morris, Amber Nagata, and Aron Risley.

These students are recipients of CMA (Certified Management Accountant) scholarships from the Institute of Management Accountants. The CMA is one of the most respected accounting certifications in the profession.

Our students will have up to three years to complete all parts of the CMA exam for free. They will also have 2 -year free access to the online test bank materials to study for the exam.

UH Hilo CoBE data science students use machine learning to predict college completion

Friday, May 29, 2020, 5:17am by

On May 8, Hawai‘i Data Science Institute (HIDSI) of University of Hawai‘i, in collaboration with the Hawai‘i EPSCoR Ike Wai Project, hosted a virtual poster session showcasing student research. Students published a variety of studies spanning areas such as artificial intelligence, deep learning, and data visualization.

UH Hilo College of Business and Economics students Patricia Samantha Orozco and Noelani Gonzalez-Villanueva (College of Business and Economics) presented their work “Predicting Success in College: A Network-Based Machine Learning Approach.” The project, done under the guidance of Dr. Sukhwa Hong of the College of Business and Economics, aimed to develop a data-driven machine learning algorithm to predict students’ graduation.

The team found that factors such as high school GPA, SAT scores, writing intensive courses taken, and grades received, display a structure that is similar to that of a sentence structure. With this structure the team was able to predict the probability of a student’s projected graduation using similarities with past student data. In runs on test data, the model was able to predict the actual student outcome in around 95% of cases.  With more data about courses taken, predictions could be made even more accurate.

Data science can be a powerful and effective tool to solve problems in the fields such as management, marketing, finance, accounting, and tourism. During the presentation, participants discussed the ethical implications of letting students know their predicted probability of success.

“My biggest takeaway from this experience is the fact that I was able to learn more in-depth about data analysis and the achievements one can do with it,” said Noelani Gonzalez-Villanueva, one of the four ‘Ike Wai scholars who presented at the session.

HIDSI is a UH systemwide effort to support data science education, collaborative research and partnerships with the industry. The nearly 80 participants included educational institutions such as Honolulu Community College, UH Maui College, Chaminade University, University of California Irvine, and Stanford University; local organizations such as Conservation International Hawaiʻi and First Hawaiian Bank; and government agencies including the U.S. Department of Defense and the State of Hawaiʻi.

Free consulting session to small businesses affected by COVID-19

Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 5:54am by

This summer’s Marketing 394 (Retail and Distribution) course will offer a resource to our local small business dealing with the marketing headaches caused by Covid-19. Small businesses can submit a Google form with more information about their marketing issues and have the opportunity to either schedule a 1-hour Zoom session with the professor and the class. There is no charge to the business. The businesses will be selected on the basis of how relevant their problem is to the course.

Interested? Fill out the request form

Congratulations to our Spring 2020 Delta Sigma Pi Graduates

Thursday, May 21, 2020, 6:15am by

Delta Sigma Pi is a professional fraternity organized to foster the study of business in universities; to encourage scholarship, social activity and the association of students for their mutual advancement by research and practice; to promote closer affiliation between the commercial world and students of commerce, and to further a higher standard of commercial ethics and culture and the civic and commercial welfare of the community.

The Lambda Psi chapter was established on April 22, 1989 at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo and celebrated its 30th anniversary last year. The chapter has 23 collegiate and 377 alumni members who graduated with degrees in Business Administration, Marketing, Economics, Finance, Accounting, and Management.

Our Spring 2020 Graduates