Joshua Tarbox

Joshua Tarbox, Communication Alumnus

Alumnus Joshua Tarbox was attracted to the beauty of Hawai‘i Island and its slower-paced lifestyle that allowed him to focus and thrive. A graduate in Communication and a former Global Vulcan, he describes how being immersed in UH Hilo’s diversity and spirit of aloha, set a foundation for learning unlike any other place in the world. #VulcanVIBE

Mikolaj Walczuk

Mikolaj Walczuk, Japanese Linguistics Alumnus

What is your name, title and relationship to UH Hilo?

My name is Mikolaj Walczuk, but everyone calls me Miko. I’m a Sr. Creative Producer at Tesla. And I went to UH Hilo and participated in study abroad programs.

Where are you originally from (your hometown)?

We moved from all over the place so we didn’t really have a place to call a hometown. We moved from Pukalani, Maui before coming to the Big Island.

What attracted you to UH Hilo?

The ability to study abroad and all the diversity at campus.

What’s your favorite memory or story that you’ve experienced here at UH Hilo?

On my second day of school I picked a random table at the cafeteria to sit at. It turned out it was full of Japanese students. After talking with them, I signed up for Japanese class, studied abroad in Japan, and got a degree in Japanese linguistics. When a butterfly flaps its wings…

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life or at UH Hilo?

Life isn’t necessarily about happiness. Life is about vitality. Because if you are healthy and energetic you can tackle any ups and downs that life throws at you.

What are you passionate about?

Art and design. You don’t need language to communicate all the time.

For future UH Hilo students, is there any wisdom you would like to pass on? What would you want them to know?

Study abroad if you are able. Don’t worry about missing a semester or two, life isn’t going anywhere. This time will transform everything you know about yourself and is the ultimate time to do it.

What are your dreams and what does your future hold?

My dream is to help the community. I hope to create a makerspace or studio to give accessible design and art to all.

How would you describe your personal journey in life?

It is a mix of exploration and de-programming.

What is your personal motto?

Trust that the dots will connect.

How did UH Hilo impact your life?

Lifelong friends, and a career doing what I love.

What do you feel is UH Hilo’s niche – what makes us special?

So much diversity, really like a melting pot. And the diversity is full of Aloha.

Did UH Hilo prepare you for the workplace and your current career?


What does “journey” mean to you?

Throughout the ups and downs, you still put one foot in front of the other.

If you could say one thing to a prospective student who is undecided about coming to UH Hilo, what would you say?

If you want to be surrounded by diversity, aloha and an amazing culture look nowhere else.