College of Business and Economics News

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

Congratulations to our Spring 2020 Graduates

Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 4:14am by

Commencement 2020: Congratulations to UH Hilo College of Business and Economics 2020 graduates

Alumni, please stay connected on LinkedIn.


    See commencement messages from your Chancellor, faculty, and graduates HERE

    Registration opens for Business and Economics summer courses

    Friday, April 10, 2020, 8:01pm by

    The College of Business and Economics is offering a wide variety of classes, from Business 100 to upper-division text analytics.

    Offered courses include:

    BUS 100 – Intro to Business: Survey course covering business functions, methods of business operation, types of business ownership, and the role of business organizations in contemporary society. Course provides an excellent overview of all the major areas of business.

    BUS 110 – Freshmen Business Experience: Introduction to basic business disciplines and terminology as well as strategies for creative and critical thinking, effective communication, teamwork, and leadership. Course helps to identify potential career fields in the realm of business administration, and address challenges that first semester university students typically encounter.

    MGT 394 – Special Topics in Management – Strategic Leadership: Covers the complex roles of a leader, major theories and models of leadership, and leader-follower relationships.

    MKT 394 – Special Topics in Mkt – Retail Marketing: Covers positioning, electronic commerce, inventory management, pricing, atmospherics, and customer satisfaction, automation, artificial intelligence, and the latest retail/distribution tools.

    QBA 394 – Special Topics in QBA – Social Media and Text Analysis: Addresses the challenges of processing and analyzing unstructured data such as social media posts and web pages. Students will familiarize themselves with state-of-the-art text analytics techniques for a deeper understanding of online users and their social networks. No programming experience required.

    Register for summer session HERE

    For more information, including registration information, email or call 932-7272.

    $30,000 in summer money for CAFNRM and COBE students

    Saturday, April 4, 2020, 11:44pm by

    In a time rife with anxiety and uncertainty, CAFNRM and CoBE are giving our students a little something to help them stay on track or get ahead this summer. Students in the College of Business and Economics and the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources Management can get some help with expenses while taking summer courses at UH Hilo.

    For CoBE Students

    The first 8 students to register and pay for each summer course in CoBE will each get $200 that can be used toward living expenses. CoBE will offer 8 awards each for:
    BUS 100 Intro to Business
    BUS 110 Freshman Business Experience
    ECON 130 Intro to Microeconomics
    ECON 131 Intro to Macroeconomics
    MGT 300 Management, Orgs, & Human Behavior
    MGT 394 Strategic Leadership
    MKT 310 Principles of Marketing
    MKT 394 Retail & Distribution
    QBA 394 Social Media & Text Analysis

    For CAFNRM Students

    The first 20 students to register and pay for AERS 101 Elementary Pilot Operations 1 or for AERS 102 Elementary Pilot Operations 2 will each get a $200 stipend.
    The first 40 students to register for ANSC 141 Introduction to Animal Science will each get a $200 stipend.

    About James P.D. Thropp, Jr.

    The late James P.D. Thropp, Jr., BBA ’87, established scholarship funds benefiting students at his alma mater, UH Hilo. Thropp’s sister, Nancy Skelsey, says that the classes he took while a business student at UH Hilo provided him knowledge which he applied to his hobby: the stock market. Skelsey describes her brother as a smart, thoughtful and caring man who worked in the sugar industry throughout Hawai‘i as a soil agronomist.

    “I know all the recipients will appreciate Jim’s scholarships and be inspired to study, work hard and hopefully all have good, full lives,” she said.


    • Awardees must be declared as pursuing a major, minor, or certificate in the college in which the course is offered, CAFNRM or CoBE respectively.
    • Awardees must have a minimum 2.0 college GPA. Students who do not have a college record must have a minimum 3.0 high school GPA.
    • Awardees may receive up to two $200 stipends per summer term. For example, if a student is among the first 8 to register and pay for MGT 300 and for QBA 394, that student will receive $400 for the first term of summer session.
    • CoBE  awardees will be selected by the CoBE Student and Alumni Relations Committee. CAFNRM awardees will be selected by the CAFNRM Financial Aid Committee. Committee decisions are final.
    • Awards will be distributed after the refund date.
    • We will do our best to offer the listed courses. However courses may be changed or cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control.

    March 2020 Newsletter

    Monday, March 16, 2020, 5:36am by

    As I write this, we are preparing to move instruction online. Faculty and staff will continue to work on campus and students who wish to remain in the dorms can do so. The atmosphere is hectic but hopeful, and we are all doing our best for our students in this challenging time.

    CoBE accounting graduates shine on the CPA exam

    Sitting for the CPA exam in Hawaii is a challenging process. In order to be eligible to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam in Hawaii, test-takers must clear a number of hurdles such as completing at least 18 semester hours of upper level accounting or auditing courses, completing 150 credits, and fulfilling minimum work requirements.

    2018 CPA Exam Results Hawaii

     Cand TotalSecs totalSecs FT TotalSecs RE TotalPass RateAverage Score
    UH-West Oahu2349292034.7%60.6
    UH Hilo51951447.4%73.3
    UH Manoa962339913440.8%68.7

    CoBE’s small, interactive classes are ideal for developing accounting skills. Our latest results (2018) on the CPA exam confirm this. UH Hilo graduates taking the CPA exam achieved the second-highest pass rate and the highest average score.

    Professional Events and workshops

    The Interview Challenge: Banking Industry Panel

    Over 60 CoBE students gathered in the Multipurpose Room for our Banking Interview Challenge with Bank of Hawaii, CU Hawaii, and First Hawaiian Bank. 3 students had the chance of interviewing live in front of a student audience with all 3 banks.
    Special thanks to Keene Fujinaka with Bank of Hawaii, Salome Douglas with CU Hawaii, and Lara Hughes with First Hawaiian Bank for being our interviewers. They brought extremely insightful and challenging questions for our interviewers. Great job to Kamuela Labasan, Allison Dupre, and Eric Tejada for being our brave interviewees.

    Some major tips gathered from students include:

    -Do your research. Look online to find past interview questions, company history, and company culture.
    -Listen/Think/Speak- A pause is crucial before your answer. It shows the interviewers that you’ve thought your answer through and gives the interviewee more time to prepare.
    -Remember that you’re also interviewing the company to see if you might be a good fit.
    -Show humility and gratitude-Something that all the employers present said our interviewees had a lot of!

    2020 Campus-Wide Career Fair

    50+ employers were present for the 2020 campus-wide career fair. Some notable CoBE employers include Suisan, Hilo Medical Center, Big Island Toyota, Hawaiian Airlines, Enterprise, Big Island Grown, HPM, and more! Students were able to walk around the Library Lanai and Campus Center Plaza to learn more about careers, internships, and summer programs! Students also had the opportunity to get free professional headshots from Raiatea Arcuri, CoBE student and amazing photographer.

    Employers and potential employees practiced “shakas-not handshakes” for the 2020 career fair!

    Linkedin or Left Out

    CoBE instructor and avid Linkedin user Helen Tien gave a workshop to students on how to enhance their profile, utilize the Linkedin network algorithm, and create content that will increase their profile value. Students then participated in an activity to build their connection and skill endorsements. Special thank you to Tia Kamalii for putting the workshop together for UH Hilo Student Association as the CoBE Senator.

    Are you connected to CoBE’s LinkedIn page?

    KTA’s Mountain Apple Brand: Workshop by Derek Kurisu

    CoBE students welcomed KTA executive and local legend Derek Kurisu for the latest session of the Entrepreneurship Workshop Series.  Derek shared his career path and what it means to him to be a corporate entrepreneur. He also brought many products from Mountain Apple Brand that he created throughout the years. Students were able to see how coming up with different products as a corporate entrepreneur help invigorate the KTA brand and grow the local economy.


    Students were also able to get an exclusive tour of KTA’s corporate offices and talk with executive leadership regarding the future of retail.

    The Entrepreneurship Workshop Series has previously featured Simply Sisters, Big Island Booch, Malika Dudley, Hawaii Island Humane Society, KUMUMEA, and more. If you are interested in collaborating with CoBE for an upcoming workshop, please email Helen Tien at

    The HiPlan Hackathon is still on!

    April 4-5th (Saturday/Sunday). The event is now ONLINE/REMOTE

    UH Hilo’s Center for Community Engagement and the College of Business and Economics are co-hosting a hackathon with HIplan & BizGenics Foundation. This will be both a learning experience for students about how apps can be designed to solve problems, and a competition for students with cash prizes.

    NO coding or business experience is needed for this experience. We are looking to create diverse teams of applicants to ensure that every team has contributions from a mix of Social Science, Hawaiian Studies, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Business, Health Sciences, and/or CAFNRM.

    The Hackathon will feature remote workshops and mentoring sessions. Students will learn how apps can be used to solve problems. They will be guided through the business planning, how to pitch ideas, and more.

    The priority signup has passed, but students can still register here to be placed onto a waiting list:

    CoBE Summer Program 2020

    Registration for our summer and fall classes opens April 6. We don’t know right now whether summer classes will be face-to-face as originally planned, or online, but we will continue to monitor the situation and keep everyone updated. Please see UH Hilo’s summer schedule.

    ICABE International business and blockchain conference hosted at CoBE attracts online and in-person participation.

    The College of Business and Economics hosted the Second International Conference on Blockchain Technology (ICBCT 2020) and the Second International Conference on Applied Business and Economics (ICABE 2020) on March 12-14.

    The combined conference brought together researchers and practitioners working in a wide variety of disciplines, organized around common interests in blockchain technology and applied business and economics. The conferences received submissions from more than ten different countries and regions. Around 55% of submitted papers were selected for presentation and publication.

    As the conference day approached and travel restrictions increased, many attendees switched to online participation or canceled their registration. The in-person attendees were fewer than originally planned, which allowed for them to sit a safe distance apart in ʻImiloa’s Moanahoku Hall. Chancellor Irwin came in person to welcome the participants, after which the conference proceeded with a combination of in-person and online sessions. Breaks and meals were held in the Sky Garden restaurant, and many of attendees took the opportunity to explore the ʻImiloa’s exhibits, gift shop, and planetarium.

    The organizers and attendees concluded that despite the smaller-than-expected in-person showing, the conference was a success. The ʻImiloa staff were responsive and flexible, and helped to create an enjoyable experience for all the participants. We are already discussing holding the Third International Conference on Blockchain Technology (ICBCT 2021) / International Conference on Applied Business and Economics (ICABE 2021) conference in Hilo next year.

    Mac nuts, orchids, and poha berry ice cream: An appetite for sustainability

    In February, Dr. Angela Faʻanunu’s TOUR 350 Intro to Sustainable Tourism class enjoyed a day-long field trip to some of East Hawaii’s foremost sustainable tourism sites.

    First on the itinerary was Akatsuka Orchid Garden. Students got a comprehensive 1.5-hour tour of the business. The tour finished with poha-berry ice cream samples, and some students bought orchids to take home.

    The class also went to the Honomu Goat Dairy. Students got to pet goats and sample goat cheese, goat’s milk fudge and goat’s milk caramels.

    On the way back, the class stopped by the Mauna Loa Mac Nut Factory had a chance to roam around, check out the operation, and sample Mauna Loa’s world-famous mac nuts.

    To transport the students, Dr. Faʻanunu reserved one of UH Hilo’s brand-new vans from the motor pool—it had only had 18 miles on it when she checked it out. The class enjoyed taking a field trip in style and luxury.

    In addition to having a great experience, the students learned about the different ways successful entrepreneurs are creating desirable, high-end products from local sources.

    Dr. Jalbert’s first scholarship is redeemed

    Anyone who has taken one of Dr. Terry Jalbert’s finance classes knows that he runs a parent-friendly classroom. Not only does he provide crayons and paper for any kids to entertain themselves, he helps them to plan for their future. In Dr. Jalbert’s words,

    “When parents bring their small kids to my class I give the child a certificate for a $50 scholarship to attend UH Hilo. I have been doing this for about 20 years. I have given it to probably 80 children over the years. Students wishing to collect the scholarship must bring the certificate along with proof of registration at UH Hilo to me.”

    Dr. Jalbert always hoped one of these kids would come back to claim their scholarship. And then one day, the first one did:

    On Tuesday February 25, at 10:00 AM, at Dr. Jalbert’s office in CoBE room 111, Dr. Jalbert presented $50 to Scott Igawa, the first student to collect the scholarship.

    We in CoBE are proud of our colleague Dr. Terry Jalbert for using his personal resources to encourage our keiki to pursue their education at UH Hilo. And we are proud of Scott Igawa, the first student to claim the Jalbert Scholarship!

    Postponed, stay tuned

    On-campus CoBE executive education programs and open house events have been postponed. We can arrange conferences and coaching over Zoom, Google Meet, or other teleconferencing app. For the safety of our community, we are not enabling or encouraging crowded events at this time. Contact the interim dean at with any questions or inquiries. Check the UH page for COVID-19 updates.

    Archived news

    Friday, July 2, 1920, 9:25pm by

    See older newsletters here