Governor Emergency Education Relief Fund

Creating Ripples of Impact

The CCE was honored to be one of 31 recipients across the State to be awarded funding from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund. The intention of the grant was to fund innovative ways to impact education, potentially far into the future.

The Center for Community Engagement implemented two programs that focused on shifting higher education from transactional to relational. These programs sought to

  1. meet the needs of the rapidly changing world,
  2. meet the needs of our diverse student population, and
  3. create opportunities for participants to enact positive change which impacts social and emotional wellbeing.

For students, the CCE founded a Bonner program, a national student leadership development program grounded in community engagement. This program is based on equity (students are paid for their time), inclusivity (community and peer knowledge is valued), and trust (students work with community partners over four years to build reciprocal relationships).

Bonner Leader Program

Forming our First Cohort of Bonner Leaders

We joined the national Bonner network by forming UH Hilo’s first cohort of Bonner Leaders! The Bonner Program is a four-year cohort-based program that fosters leadership development and self-reflection in the classroom and through service with various community partners.

Engaging in Our First Community Project

In honor of Arbor Day UH Hilo Bonner Leaders assisted the East Hawai‘i Outdoor Circle with a giveaway in which over 500 fruit/food trees were distributed to members of the East Hawaii Community in an effort to see an increase in both food sources and trees planted around Hawaiʻi Island.

Learning How Plastic Impacts Our Island

The Bonners learned about the extensive impact of plastics on our environment by working with Volcano Precious Plastic, an organization using post-consumer plastic and Hawai‘i concrete to create artisan hand-poured products.

Understanding Place

The Bonners joined land use expert Kamuela Plunkett on a hike to Honokaope Bay, a lesser known public beach access area surrounded by resort development. Kamuela shared his mana‘o in a place-based excursion centered around land use and oceanfront access issues, giving the Bonners a deeper understanding of place.

Creating Ripples of Positive Change

The Bonners spent three days in beautiful Hakalau planting 300 trees and learning about climate change, the impact it is having on our local bird species and breaking the barriers of what they believed they could do!

Digging More Deeply into Homelessness

The Bonner student leaders co-created a project with Hope Services to provide support in the ways that would be most helpful for them. The students collaboratively planned and prepared a meal that could be made within budget and delivered effectively to our community.

Focusing on Our Strengths

Our Bonners were guided through a Clifton Strengths Assessment by guest speaker, Robert Landau. Landau met with each student to conduct individual assessments and then taught the entire group how to utilize each person's strengths as they moved forward as a team.

Celebration of Learning

To celebrate our first year of Bonner, we invited campus and community partners to a Celebration of Learning where each Bonner Leader was able to share an aspect of the program that had a special impact on them. The celebration was a great way to end the year and connect students, partners, and UH Hilo staff and faculty.

Welcoming our Bonner Coordinator & AmeriCorps VISTA!

We are thrilled to welcome to our team Maria Vicente as our new Bonner program coordinator, and Brandon Molina, as our AmeriCorps VISTA focused on capacity building. We are so grateful to have you join us!

Attending the National Summer Leadership Institute

The UH Hilo Bonner Leaders traveled across the country to attend a 4-day Bonner Summer Leadership Institute at The College of New Jersey. The conference was their first opportunity to connect with the broader Bonner network and learn more about bridging campus and community through Bonner Service

Welcoming our 2nd cohort of Bonner Changemakers

Our Bonner Leaders welcomed a new cohort to the program with a 2-day Bonner Orientation. These amazing 12 Bonner Changemakers will work together to shape the program for future students.

Faculty and Staff Professional Development

For faculty and staff, the CCE offered workshops in Inclusive Excellence, Mentorship, and Community-engaged Teaching, to build understanding of these relational aspects of education. In addition, they participated in Communities of Practice, so that the learning extended to support implementation.

Community Engaged Teaching & Learning

We were joined by Dr. Emily Janke from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro to explore how faculty relationships with their community partners and their students has changed during the pandemic and how these can be re-energized to move forward into the future.

Inclusive Excellence

Faculty & staff at UH Hilo spent 3 days learning and digging deeply into how we can ensure that every student, staff and faculty member knows that the experiences, knowledge and identities they bring to our campus are valued and essential to each of us being a learner.

Mentorship for Communities of Inclusion

We held two workshops focused on expanding and building mentorship networks for pre-tenured and mid-career faculty. Our facilitators were Naomi Levy, PhD, an Associate Professor of Political Science at Santa Clara University and Anthony Ocampo, PhD, Assistant professor of Sociology at Cal Poly Pomona.