College of Business and Economics News: University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo


Dear CoBE friends, I have accepted a position as dean of the College of Business and Public Management (CBPM) at the University of La Verne in Southern California, starting Monday, July 12. The CBPM enrolls around 2400 students at the bachelor’s through doctoral levels. I am excited about this new chapter, and grateful for the opportunities I have had to serve our students and community at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Events of the past year have made me realize that time with loved ones is finite, and timely travel is not always possible. In my new position I will be close to my parents and family. I have been blessed with many wonderful colleagues and friends.  I met my husband on this campus more than 20 years ago, and we now have two daughters who are students here. I have built my family and career here, and am grateful for my time at UH Hilo. Writing this blog and newsletter has been a pleasure and a privilege. I enjoyed celebrating the accomplishments our students, alumni, staff, faculty, and community. Thank you for supporting the College of Business and Economics. A hui hou, Emmeline… Continue Reading

Published July 12, 2021

Masks, Vaccines, Politics, and Death: CoBE Students Visualize Life During a Global Pandemic through Twitter Analytics

CoBE students Jaron Sugimoto, Clare Umayas, and Patricia Samantha were among students presenting their research at the Hawai‘i Data Science Institute Research Showcase held virtually on May 7. The students completed their project under the supervision of Dr. Sukhwa Hong, Assistant Professor of Data Science & Business Administration. The student researchers found that the topics included masks, vaccines, death, and politics, and that overall, people seemed hopeful for the vaccine. Covid-19: Visualizing Life During a Global Pandemic Through Visual Twitter Analytics Our project explored how text visualization can provide meaningful insights when looking at how Covid-19 has affected us in this past year. There were 2 phases in this project; the first phase included searching for viable datasets utilizing Kaggle and google dataset search. With our search completed, we found four datasets that we would utilize. The four datasets were focused on Covid tweets, Covid vaccine tweets, Covid articles, and Covid reddit comments. With these datasets, we entered the second phase which included utilizing Python to do topic modeling and sentiment analysis to extract meaningful topics from the data and see the intent behind the words. Within the topic modeling portion, we cleaned the data, ran… Continue Reading

Published June 9, 2021

CoBE Accounting Alum Takes Top Teaching Award

When she was studying accounting at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo College of Business and Economics, Siniva Pota didn’t initially intend to go into teaching. But at Hawai`i Community College’s year-end convocation ceremony, when the winners of the teaching awards were announced, Ms. Pota was there to accept award for Outstanding Lecturer. Ms. Pota, who holds a BBA in Accounting from the College of Business and Economics, teaches Introductory College Accounting and Individual Income Tax Prep. “I often share with my students early on each semester that I’m a proud product of UHH,” Ms. Pota says. At CoBE, she recalls being consistently challenged and pushed beyond her comfort zone to achieve more: More rigorous academic work, more extracurricular involvement in clubs and organizations. But along with the constant push to excel, Ms. Pota remembers support and encouragement. CoBE provided the foundation of a teaching career “I always received the support I needed from COBE faculty to keep moving forward,” she says. “One of my accounting professors, Dr. Roberta Barra, served as my mentor and always told me ‘you’d make a great professor!’ She would always comment on my ability to mentor and tutor fellow accounting and business… Continue Reading

Published June 2, 2021

Meet our CoBE Student-Athletes: Luca Checchia Adell

Since arriving in Hilo from his hometown of Valencia, Spain, Luca Checchia Adell has excelled in academics and athletics. In 2020 he was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District Team with a 4.0 GPA in his major of Business. Luca, how did you select UH Hilo? I chose to attend UH Hilo because the coach reached out to me when I was in Spain and said that she would be interested in me playing in the UH Hilo Men’s Tennis program. I talked with the coach and I felt like people in athletics would be nice. After that I did some research about Hawaii and I thought it could be a great opportunity for me to live in such a nice place. Why did you choose to study business? I have wanted to study business since I was 15, so I knew the best decision for me would be to enter CoBE. Was anything about UH Hilo different from what you expected?  What really surprised me about UH Hilo is how nice and understandable the professors are. The majority are always willing to help and… Continue Reading

Published May 19, 2021

Meet our CoBE Student-Athletes: Steven Hubbell

Steven Hubbell is a senior studying business management major and a second-generation Vulcan basketball player, with roots in Southern California and Hawaii. He came to UH Hilo from Glendale Community College. Steven, you had a lot of options when  you were choosing a four-year university. Why did you select UH Hilo? My mom is from Hilo and my Dad was also a Vulcan basketball player. I come to Hilo almost every summer to see family so I was already familiar with the Big Island. I went to watch Hilo play a couple times when they were in the mainland and the idea of playing in Hawaii but also being able to travel to California for games seemed perfect to me. Also my dad played for the Vulcans back in the day so the idea of getting to play where he did seemed like a great opportunity. I was recruited here, so once the coach said there was a spot on the team for me I accepted right away. Also the idea of living in Hawaii is something that people dream about. Why did you choose to study business? I chose to be a business… Continue Reading

Published May 12, 2021

CoBE advising model featured in national business education publication

In the May issue of AACSB Insights, the online publication of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Helen Tien and Emmeline de Pillis discuss CoBE’s new Kaʻipualei advising model. The model has received rave reviews from students and faculty. It has also cut drop-without-degree rates in half and stabilized CoBE enrollment. Helen Tien Emmeline de Pillis In this new model, one person is designated as the Academic Success Coach (ASC), an instructor whose primary service obligation is advising students. In this way, advising becomes a top priority for one faculty member, rather than a low priority for everyone. Students have a single main point of contact for their advising questions. Aren’t there already a lot of advising resources on campus? There are. And being confronted with a lot of options can be overwhelming. Having the Academic Success Coach as a primary point of contact reduces confusion and the sense of getting the runaround. Students are able to enjoy the benefits of the resources we have on campus. How does Kaʻipualei work within the university? At the university level, professional advisors are still the first stop for incoming students. Because the ASC has built productive relationships with the… Continue Reading

Published May 5, 2021

Dr. Angela Fa’anunu’s Farm Trails App goes live! Explore farms, ranches and farmer’s markets throughout Hawaii.

Information on Hawai‘i’s agritourism operations can now be accessed in the palm of your hand. Hawaii Farm Trails (HFT) launched a new smartphone app that provides statewide information on not only agritourism but local farmer’s markets and ways to give back to the community through ‘āina-based activities. “The Hawaii Farm Trails app release has been timed with Earth Day, April 22, to honor the environmental regenerative values of the social enterprise and to celebrate the start of a partnership with the Polynesian Voyaging Society on a statewide food tree planting project that will occur as Hokulea prepares for its upcoming Moananuiakea Voyage,” an HFT press release states. Additionally, through this new platform, HFT states farms and numerous agricultural businesses are able to deliver more purposeful and relevant Hawai‘i experiences to visitors. “The incorporation of agritourism provides a deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship between increasing local agriculture and creating a more sustainable economy for Hawai‘i,” the release states. HFT founders and farming sisters, Kālisi Mausio and Angela Fa’anunu, believe that “keeping farms in business is the key to improving our food security and is the basis for our resilience as an island community.”… Continue Reading

Published April 23, 2021

Register for CoBE summer courses today!

The UH Hilo Summer 2021 Business and Economics Program takes advantage of our experienced and qualified faculty. The high quality of our AACSB-accredited curriculum, coupled with our small class sizes and personal attention to students, makes the CoBE Summer Program at UH Hilo a great way to keep your knowledge and skills up to date. REGISTER for College Credit Summer Session REGISTER for EXECUTIVE PROGRAMS Session 1 May 24 – June 18 Tien Furumo Mohammadian Hong Fa`anunu MGT 300 11085 WI/Mgt, Orgs & Human Behavior Tien Required CoBE Core Course MKT 494 11090 Digital Transformation: Business Development and Marketing Tien Executive Programs Option QBA 260 11088 Business Statistics Furumo Required CoBE Core Course QBA 300 11089 Operations Management Furumo Required CoBE Core Course ECON 131 11084 Intro to Macroeconomics Mohammadian Required CoBE Core Course Bus 394 11190 Career Exploration in MGT Tien Executive Programs Option QBA 465 11204 Social Media Analytics for Business Hong Executive Programs Option TOUR 350 11217 Intro to Sustainable Tourism Fa`anunu Executive… Continue Reading

Published April 14, 2021

CoBE alum lands dream job using Econ, Communication, and English skills

Seth Master graduated in December with honors with degrees in Economics and Communication and a certificate in Creative Writing.  These qualifications opened many different career paths to him, but he had a very specific goal.  He wanted to stay on Hawaii Island and use his education to help uplift families and community. Master took a position as Employment Counselor for Goodwill Hawaii. Goodwill Hawaii is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charity that helps people with employment barriers to reach their full potential and become self-sufficient. “This position allows me to interact personally with clients and connect them to the help they need,” he says. This help can be skill-building, tuition assistance, job search support, help with acculturation, or other types of career-related assistance. “I get to use my experience from UH Hilo being the most culturally diverse university to my advantage as I interact with people from all over the world.” Master says all three areas of study have come into play in his new position. “I am thankful for my econ professors who helped me understand the flow and nature of money as I now counsel… Continue Reading

Published March 25, 2021

CoBE gets a kitten. Kitten gets a home.

The UH Hilo College of Business and Economics building has been quiet during the pandemic. Faculty are conducting research and teaching from their offices, and staff are keeping things running. But courses are all online this semester, and visitors are not allowed on campus. The only sounds are the crowing and clucking of our campus chickens, and the occasional roar of a lawnmower or leaf blower. But one day last month, when Sukhwa Hong, Professor of Data Science, was walking to his office, he found he had an unexpected companion. A tiny kitten with big  gray ears was following him. Dr. Hong immediately brought his new friend to the office of his colleague, Amir Mohammadian, Professor of Economics. Dr. Mohammadian, as luck would have it, happens to be married to a veterinarian, Dr. Mashid Ansari. Dr. Ansari took the kitten to her workplace, Aloha Vet, for a checkup. There they did an exam and some blood work. The kitten had a respiratory infection, some internal parasites, and fleas. Dr. Mohammadian and Dr. Ansari brought the kitten home, cleaned her up, and fostered her. As soon as the kitten… Continue Reading

Published March 12, 2021