Meet our CoBE Student-Athletes: Steven Hubbell

Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 8:19pm by

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 major because it was something I was most interested in. I was first a marketing major but switched to Management when I came to Hilo. I really want to get into coaching after I leave Hilo so I thought learning about management in business would be similar to a coach and their team. If coaching somehow does not fall through then I feel confident that I will find something I like in the world of business.

What is your favorite thing about UH Hilo? 

My favorite thing about UH Hilo is the sense of community. When I first came to the UH I became comfortable because my professors were welcoming and my fellow students were friendly. I remember my first day this guy helped me find my class and insisted on taking me all the way there.

Anything about CoBE in particular?

The high quality of professors we have in CoBE. We have professors from all backgrounds and professions. I really enjoyed having professors like Todd Inouye, Ben Zenk, and Terrance Jalbert. You can tell they really love to teach and care about their students.

What advice would you give to someone who is balancing schoolwork with other obligations?

My advice would be that there is a lot of time in the day to do schoolwork, workout, rest, etc. I think my organization helped me timeblock all my obligations and I did not allow myself to be crammed with homework before deadlines. I think most students deal with procrastination and I fall for this as well, so a way to complete your tasks I would plan out your week on Monday/Sunday Night. If you stay on track with your schedule and tasks then there will be a lot of time to do other stuff.

Anything else people should know about your experience at UH Hilo?

Hilo became a second home and I will be forever grateful for the people that got me here and the people that made the experience great.
In his free time Steven Hubbell enjoys rooting for the LA Lakers, LA Dodgers, LA Rams and USC football, and watching The Office.
Photo credit: Samantha DeVivo.

CoBE advising model featured in national business education publication

Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 5:43am by

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.

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 professional advisors, the sophomore-year handoff is a smoother and more personalized process. In addition, because the ASC teaches required courses, the students are likely to know her already as an instructor when they come in for advising. The ASC provides academic and career advising to CoBE majors, minors, and certificate-seekers. She also pre-screens student requests for prerequisite overrides, helps students plan their course schedules, participates in campuswide outreach activities, performs unofficial graduation checks, and works with other offices to resolve students’ issues.

While the ASC is the central point of contact for business students, she frequently directs them to other people on campus with the right expertise. But she calls ahead to find the right office and individual to address each student’s issue.

Do professors still mentor students?

The ASC lifts the burden of technical advising from professors. Faculty no longer have to puzzle their way through gen-ed transfer questions, graduation checks, or other technical issues. Professors still can mentor students within their areas of expertise—and they now have more time to do so.

Advising undergraduate students is a big job, especially when up to half of incoming students are transferring from somewhere else. Students need guidance on major selection, course options, campus resources, graduation requirements, housing and financial aid possibilities, scholarship and exchange opportunities, and job prospects.


Read more about CoBE’s Kaʻipualei advising model at AACSB Insights. AACSB International is the premier accrediting agency for programs in business administration and accounting.

Register for CoBE summer courses today!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 5:12am by

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


Session 1 May 24 – June 18

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 Programs Option


Session 2 June 21 – July 30

BUS 100 11082 Intro To Business Zenk  Lower-Division CoBE Elective
BUS 494 11203 Business Ethics and Environmental Ethics Zenk Upper-Division CoBE Elective
MGT 490 11087 WI/Strategic Management Inouye Required CoBE Core Course
ECON 130 11202 Intro to Microeconomics Czarski Required CoBE Core Course

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

Thursday, March 25, 2021, 5:00am by

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 members of our society who are hurting,” he says, “and for the communication department for equipping me to communicate inter-culturally and effectively. My English professors will be proud to hear that I write  and personalized employment plans for families, in addition to completing tons of paperwork!”

For those still in school, Master advises focusing on the big picture, and looking outward and forward:

“Keep your heads up in the trying time of continued online class work. It won’t be like this forever. Find out what you can do to take steps towards a better tomorrow now and then take those steps! Be the leaders and the creative minds Hawaii deserves and let’s build up our local economy!”

Goodwill Hawaii’s employment services are available free of charge to eligible families.

CoBE gets a kitten. Kitten gets a home.

Friday, March 12, 2021, 5:09am by

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 was recovered, she found a permanent home. One of Dr. Ansari’s colleagues at Aloha Vet adopted her and named her Roux (pronounced “Roo.”) Roux is healthy and thriving in her new home!


People, Prosperity, or Environment? Location predicts business students’ attitudes toward U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

Monday, March 1, 2021, 1:47am by

Sustainable Development Goals and Management Education

In September 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with an agenda calling for a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. Recognizing how important sustainability was to business education, the U.N. created the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative in order to “realize the Sustainable Development Goals through responsible management education.”

What do business and management students think?


CoBE student interns at high-profile business-news startup Morning Brew

Thursday, February 25, 2021, 12:01am by

Amidst the dire stories of media’s decline, business news startup Morning Brew is a rare success story.  Its daily newsletter, serving bite-sized business news, has a growing subscriber base and is making a profit.

CoBE student Mika Odaira started as a Morning Brew subscriber.  From reading the newsletter, she learned a lot about business news that she didn’t catch on TV or online. She was so impressed with the publication that she decided to apply for an internship. And she got it!


Ms. Odaira quickly found that in this fast-paced startup environment it was up to her to produce results, with very little hand-holding.

“At first I was a bit put off by this and I thought the experience wouldn’t amount to much,” she says. “But I realized that this is probably what work will be like once I graduate. No one will hold my hand and point me to the next step. It’s up to me to take initiative and market myself well.”

In CoBE we encourage and support internships for students who want them. They’re a great way to gain experience and forge a pathway to a job after graduation.  And not all internships are the same.

“Internships can come in all types from instruction-heavy ones to more open ended ones like this,” Ms. Odaira says. “My advice for my peers is to be ready for many types of work environments. For those like myself who are more introverted and find it hard to take initiative, try to keep in mind that as uncomfortable as some of these experiences may be, the personal growth we gain through this is key to success.”

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CoBE Econ Professor Keisuke Nakao Honored for Research on Two-Front War

Monday, February 15, 2021, 2:28am by

Dr. Keisuke Nakao, Associate Professor of Economics, was selected to receive the 4th Walter Isard Annual Award for the year 2020’s best article in Peace Economics Peace Science and Public Policy (PEPS). PEPS is a scholarly journal whose aim is promoting and disseminating the study of peace economics. Walter Isard, after whom the award is named, was the journal’s founder. The journal’s editor-in-chief and associate editors voted unanimously to award best paper status to Dr. Nakao’s  “Rationalist Explanations for Two-Front War,” describing it as “brilliant theoretical work.”

Advancing our understanding of conflict among three or more states

While theorists in International Relations have developed a number of models of war fought between two states, they have devoted much less efforts to modeling war among three or more states presumably because of difficulties with modeling multilateral interactions. By focusing on a particular form of war—two-front war—where a state at the center is fought by two enemies at opposing peripheries, the article addresses why war can break out in one front and then spread to the other. Because a war in one front can affect the war outcome in the other through the shift of military balance, a peripheral state may preventively join the war ongoing in the other front to leverage its power (e.g., Napoleonic Wars), or the central state may preemptively initiate war in one front to establish its preponderance in the other (e.g., World War I). These findings echo the concern that a multi-polar system may not be so stable as the bipolar system that existing models of war commonly presume.

Economics is about more than just supply and demand curves

Dr. Nakao’s research illustrates the expansive reach of the economics field. Economics principles can be applied to business, government, education, international aid, and personal finance, among other things.

Economics, at its very heart, is the study of people. It seeks to explain what drives human behaviour, decisions and reactions when faced with difficulties or successes. ~ Dr. Yu-Hsiang Lei, London School of Economics

The College of Business and Economics offers a BBA with a concentration in Applied Economics, a minor in Economics, and  Economics courses a la carte. In the fall of 2021, in addition to introductory and intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics, we will offer ECON 430 Quantitative Forecasting, and ECON 482 Natural Resource Environmental Economics.

About Dr. Nakao

Dr. Keisuke Nakao is Associate Professor of Economics in the College of Business and Economics. He received his Ph.D. in Economics with an emphasis on Game Theory and Political Economy from Boston University. His research interests center on Positive Theory of International Politics. Dr. Nakao has published in such outlets as Journal of Peace Research; Journal of Theoretical Politics; Economics & Politics; B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy; Defence & Peace Economics; Peace Economics, Peace Science, & Public Policy; Review of Law & Economics; Economics Bulletin; Economics of Peace & Security Journal; and Asian Journal of Law & Economics. He is currently working on game-theoretic analyses of armed conflict.

Free UH Hilo online application workshop February 3 – $50 fee waived for Hawaiʻi residents

Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 5:45am by

To reach out to resident students during the pandemic, UH Hilo will host a virtual application workshop. This event is for all Hawaiʻi residents interested in applying for admission to UH Hilo for the Fall 2021 semester. The $50 application fee will be waived for applications submitted during the virtual workshop. This event is for undergraduate programs only.  This site has more info on graduate programs.

Date: Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Time1:30 pm – 4:30 pm


The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo enrolls around 3,000 students and is the only four-year campus on the Big Island. It is a Minority Serving Institution, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the most ethnically diverse campus among national universities.

UH Hilo’s College of Business and Economics offers one of only two AACSB-accredited business administration degree programs in the State of Hawaiʻi. The high quality of the program that this accreditation ensures, coupled with our small class sizes and personal attention to students, makes the B.B.A. program at UH Hilo a great choice for quality business education. We offer a BBA in Accounting, and a BBA in General Business with concentrations in Applied Economics, Finance, Health Care Management, Management, Marketing, Professional Studies, and starting in fall 2021, Agri-Business.

CoBE professor’s in-class coffee exercise sparks ethics discussion

Monday, January 11, 2021, 5:29am by

Dr. Todd Inouye’s in-class exercise From Farm to Cup: A Coffee Supply Chain Negotiation has already earned international recognition as an exemplary teaching innovation. Now it has caught the attention of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE),  a professional business society with over 7,500 members worldwide.  In the latest issue of ethikos, the society’s official publication, Dr. Inouye is interviewed by Adam Turteltaub, CHC, CCEP, Chief Engagement & Strategy Officer, SCCE & HCCA (Health Care Compliance Association).

The original article, published in the Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education by Dr. Inouye and his colleague Dr. James Kling, describes a role play using the global coffee supply chain. In this exercise, business undergraduates practice negotiations, improve their understanding of supply chain management, and consider the ethical implications of certain business transactions.

In the ethikos interview, Dr. Inouye elaborates on the concept of bounded ethicality, and how managers are limited in what they can consider and assume  when doing business. Often managers do not realize that they can indirectly contribute to unethical practices in making day-to-day decisions. Managers need to understand that they are responsible for much more than simply growing revenues or cutting costs. They are required to have a good understanding of how their own decisions will impact other members of their supply chains.

Asked how this topic connects to his research interests, Dr. Inouye responded,

Business ethics as a discipline is always applicable across every circumstance and yet it remains one of the least understood concepts for professionals and students alike. There are no clear ethical boundaries to follow as these are typically determined by one’s personal experience, education, the views of their peers along with the views of their society. What may be clearly unethical for one, may be ethical and even expected for another. As a strategic management professor, it is my responsibility to help students to understand how ethics are intertwined in all business decision making and that their “ethical switch” should always be turned on. As graduates of the University of Hilo, they are expected to be good community stewards wherever they do business and having the necessary ethical awareness is always expected.

In order to be successful over the long term, business leaders need to think about the ethical implications of their decisions, not only for themselves and their colleagues, but also for the rest of the supply chain as well as the community stakeholders they serve.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “It takes many good deeds to build a reputation, and only one bad one to ruin it.”