Student honorees were recognized for making significant contributions to UH Hilo, Hawai‘i Island communities, and to extended ‘ohana in other parts of the world.
The Ka Lama Ku Student Leadership Development Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo held its annual Student Leadership Recognition Awards ceremonies on May 3, 2016. Outstanding students and student organizations were recognized for their contributions to the UH Hilo campus and the Hawai‘i Island community.
Alaka‘i – Leadership: Destiny Rodriguez (Gender and Women Studies) has provided commitment and leadership with the Chartered Student Organizations she has been involved with as a Business Manager, an Event Planner and the Chairperson for the 21st annual UH Hilo Ho‘olaule‘a. Additionally, Rodriguez continues to provide Safe Zone training with the UH Hilo’s Women Center to students and community members.
‘Ike Pāpālua – To Have the Gift of Vision: Mya Yee Nandar (Nursing) is an international student from Burma (Myanmar) who volunteers at the Hilo Hospital as much as she can to gain practical knowledge and skills she can use for the day she returns home to provide medical care. Nandar has educated many of us on the need of medical care in her home with a recent community presentation and articles written in the International Student Exchange newsletter. Nandar also has a vision that one day in the future she will be training others to follow in her footsteps in Burma.
Laulima Award – No Task is Too Big When Done by All: Rose Hart (Environmental Studies) for her ability to motivate and gain trust of others on student health and wellness activities related to depression, sexual violence, suicide prevention and other topics that are related to student wellness. Hart also coordinated the “It’s On Us” PSA video with students, faculty, staff and the Chancellor to help create a culture that the community will not accept gender based violence.
Mālama Award – Taking Care of Others and Community: Serena Massrey (Anthropology) received an overall Mālama Recognition Award for her service toward Hawai‘i’s natural resources, with local ‘ohana or families, and with her commitment toward the volunteerism she has done with activities such as the UH Hilo Food Drive. With the Break Thru Adventure program, Massrey networked and collaborated for community service outreach to take place on the island of Kaua‘i at several different sites.
Mālama ‘Ohana Award – Taking Care of Our Families: Lauryn Mow (Pharmacy) has organized community health fairs and health screenings, including the annual Daniel K Inouye College of Pharmacy Health Fair and the ALOHA (A Life of Healing and Awareness) Project that provides regular health screening for the East Hawai‘i Community. Due to dramatic use of teens using electronic smoking devices (ESD), Mow initiated and oversaw a new presentation for middle and high school students and their families. The new ESD presentation will be delivered to these schools in the 2016 fall semester.
The Ka Lama Ku Recognition Plaque: Matthew Groulx (Communications) for his commitment and dedication toward accountability and ethical values in Leading with Aloha. Groulx promoted the monthly FLOW events held at the Campus Center Plaza, created the annual UH Hilo Ho‘olaulea and Make A Difference Day fliers with promotion of these events. He encourages others to attend workshops and trainings for professional development with role modeling and to face challenges to become a change agent. Groulx is the third student to receive the Ka Lama Ku Recognition Plaque since 2009.
The Pacific Youth Empowerment Day (PYED) Leaders received the Alakai Award Plaque in Leadership for their role modeling and mentorship of underserved, migrant youth from the Pacific Island regions to UH Hilo with the Annual Pacific Youth Empowerment Day Conference. These student leaders worked in teams to provide workshops, forums, panel discussions, a resource fair and campus tours plus a social gathering for students, families and community partners. The PYED student leaders at UH Hilo help to inspire, motivate and inform Pacific Islander youth they can achieve their higher education goals and become successful members of the Hawai‘i Island Community. Members of PYED are Theresa Kimnoy Aten, Sinforsa Suzie Lippwe, Sione Lam Yuen Jr, Felicia Andrew, Axel Defngin, Bill Kennedy Yang, Lashay Masami, Jacob Kom, Elaine Chugen and Cheryll Ligohr.
The Pacific Students Media Team (PSM) received the ‘Ike Pāpālua Award Plaque – To Have the Gift of Vision with their student-run digital storytelling project of the Pacific Islander Student Center aimed at combating misinformation and stereotypes about Pacific Islanders in Hawai‘i by telling real stories through videos, print, and their website. The members are responsible for producing digital stories from their respective island nations and reaching out to other fellow students, community members in Hawai‘i and their island nations, and the world. The Pacific Students Media Team members are Calvin Myazoe ( Marshallese), Erbiland Mandira (Marshallese), Kathleen Gikbay (Yapese), Axel Defngin (Yapese), Bill Kennedy Yang (Kosraen/Pohnpeian), Vester Robester (Yapese/Pohnpeian) and Peter Ramofolo (Solomon Islander).
The PSY & KES Peer Advising Team (Psychology, Kinesiology & Exercise Science) received the Kuleana Award Plaque – Accountable and Responsible with their dedication to positively bridge the gap between students and department/college advisors that began in spring 2016. They have demonstrated great integrity and spirit in carrying out their peer advising responsibilities five-days-a-week with services to fellow students, doing outreach activities, and promoting the program to UH Hilo as a whole. The team members are Alia Alvarez, Salamasina Aumua, Henry Blake, Bree Kalima, Keirsa Pakani-Tsukiyama, Nicole Rascon, Bailey Rodriguez, Keian Shon, Bennjamin Siemers and Ashley Winslow.
The Kanilehua Living Learning Community Peer Mentors/Tutors (LLC) received the Mālama Award Plaque – Taking Care of Others and Community for supervising the Wailau Technology Laboratory as they assist students with personal self development in academics and provide a safe place for learning. The mentors also provide weekly mālama kaiāulu (community service) events at UH Hilo and in the Keaukaha community and plan a Huakai in a moku or district of Hawai‘i Island. Mentors research the stories and environment, and provide activities to engage students in a positive experience. The LLC Peer Mentors/Tutors are Bronson Palupe, Austin Awana, Abcde Zoller and Ashlen Kinilau.
Certificates of Leadership
Alaka‘i Certificate – Leadership: Kailey Lapenia for her leadership role as the Sponsorship Committee Chairperson with the Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Leadership Conference and for embracing a lead tutoring role with students. Terri Pinyerd led the English Club at UH Hilo’s Relay for Life and organized a campus-wide book drive. Pinyerd is also a role model to other students in the English Club and at Kilohana Academic Success Center where she is a tutor.
Kuleana Certificate – We are Accountable and Responsible: Student Coordinator, Bree Kalima, of the PSY & KES Peer Advising Team has taken initiative with the development of the Peer Advising project. Kalima made it her responsibility in providing materials such as the creation of the “Meet Our Peer Advisors” biographical sheets and establishing the Peer Advising Office in University Classroom Building, room 226.
Laulima Certificate – No Task is Too Big When Done by All: The UH Hilo Graduate Student Council for their networking skills, work ethic and team approach to planning and having a successful 1st Annual Graduate School Symposium. The four students of the UH Hilo Graduate Student Council are Heather Kimball, Deborah Michiko Fried, Samuel Kamu Plunkett and Summer Danner.
Mālama ‘Āina Certificate – Taking Care of the Land and Environment: Kiana Soloria for her volunteerism in Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Leadership Center’s community service projects, doing reforestation work at the Hakalau Forest Reserve, helping with the restoration of traditional Hawaiian wa‘a (canoe), and working in the taro fields of Waipio Valley.
Mālama ‘Ohana Certificate – Taking Care of our Families: Koa Rodrigues continues to embrace and invest in the students he comes into contact with as a Hawaiian language and math tutor. Rodrigues is compassionate with those he interacts with and pays attention to details when tutoring students for their academic success.
Congratulations to these students who have made significant contributions to UH Hilo, Hawai‘i Island communities, and to extended ‘ohana in other parts of the world!
Mahalo to the Campus Center Fee Board, the Ka Lama Ku Student Leadership Program, the Student Advisory Council, and the Student Activities Council for their support of the Recognition Ceremony.
-Media release from the UH Hilo Student Leadership Development Program