PHOTOS: Leadership Recognition Awards

Logo with torches, orange on black ovalThe awards are presented to individual students and student organizations that have excelled and contributed to the UH Hilo campus and the Hawai‘i Island community.

The Campus Center Student Leadership Development Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo recently presented the 2016-2017 Ka Lama Ku Student Leadership Recognition Awards and Certificates of Leadership.

The Ka Lama Ku Umeke Awards and a Ka Lama Ku Koa Plaque Award also were presented.


Alaka‘i—Leadership Award

Rebekah Loving with her family
Rebekah Loving with her family. Courtesy photos from the UH Hilo Student Leadership Development Program.

Rebekah Loving (Mathematics) has provided role modeling and mentorship as a volunteer at Waiakea High School where she has inspired high school students in the area of mathematics. As a volunteer, she shares new opportunities students may have in this area with learning, achievement, and connectedness to Science, Technology, Environment and Mathematics.


‘Ike Pāpālua—To Have the Gift of Vision Award

Amy Gregg & Elise Inouye
Amy Gregg (left), an instructor in the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, with award recipient Elise Inouye.

Elise Inouye (Communications and Gender and Women Studies) has a deep commitment to education. During spring break she volunteered to speak to high school students on O‘ahu about gender-based inequalities, class stratification and economic disenfranchisement. She has a vision of seeing gender and women studies curriculum in high schools to connect people for positive change for our future.


Laulima Award—No Task is Too Big When Done by All Award

Justin Kwee and Jake Llaguno
Justin Araki-Kwee (left) with friend Jake Llaguno.

Justin Araki-Kwee (Computer Science & Japanese Studies) received this award for his ability to collaborate with others in the development of a smartphone-based game application named Nanja Ninja designed to assist deaf children in Japan and the USA. Araki-Kwee coordinated technical and programming advice between Hawai‘i and Japan to launch this research project currently taking place in Japan.


The Ka Lama Ku Koa Plaque Award

Alexandra Huizar & Megan Escalona standing in front of logo with torches
Alexandra Huizar (left) with Megan Escalona.

Alexandra Huizar (College of Business and Economics, specializing in Marketing) was awarded for her commitment and dedication in being a student leader at UH Hilo that excels in all of the five values of Ka Lama Ku. As an Alaka‘i, she is a role model in her UH Hilo activities and collaboration with other university programs as part of ‘Ike Pāpālua. Some of these are with the New Student Programs, the Vulcan Booster, Colleges Against Cancer and Relay for Life, UH Hilo Performing Arts and other student life activities. Huizar encourages other students to participate and become part of the UH Hilo ‘ohana by “Leading with Aloha.”


Ka Lama Ku Leadership Plaque Awards
Given to student organizations for contributions to UH Hilo and Hawai‘i Island communities.
Awardees exemplify the five values of Ka Lama Ku: Alaka‘i, ‘Ike Pāpālua, Kuleana, Laulima and Mālama.

Photo of group, each person holding up certificates they just received.
The student organization Colleges Against Cancer won the ‘Ike Pāpālua Award. (Front l-r) Misty Figuera, Brittney Luna, Alexandra Huizar, Kapali Bilyeu. (Back) Kimi Taguchi, Brooke Higa, Ashley Maldonado, Jualin Sable Guting. (Missing) Kash Laeda, Ali Nakata, Norie Anne Rosal Calit, Jade Wong, Ruby Ann Sales, Ellie-Jean Kalawe, James Drescher, Sheryl Cariaga, Jayahmie Drio, Shaylyn Fujii, Erin McClure and Stacy Mae Gelacio.

Colleges Against Cancer received the ‘Ike Pāpālua Plaque Award—To Have the Gift of Vision for overcoming obstacles and challenges in the continuance of the 11th Relay for Life at UH Hilo. The students were able to plan, build, problem solve and look beyond what was needed to motivate others in moving forward from beginning to completion with advocacy against cancer that has affected many UH Hilo students, families and communities. As a fundraiser with the American Cancer Society, this organization vowed to fight cancer with the vision that cancer will no longer be a public health problem in the future. Team members are Alexandra Huizar, Brittney Luna, Ashley Maldonado, Kapali Bilyeu, Kash Laeda, Ali Nakata, Brooke Higa, Kimi Taguchi, Norie Anne Rosal Calit, Jade Wong, Misty Figuera, Jualin Sable Guting, Ruby Ann Sales, Ellie-Jean Kalawe, James Drescher, Sheryl Cariaga, Jayahmie Drio, Shaylyn Fujii, Erin McClure and Stacy Mae Gelacio.

The students of Nā Haumāna Huaka‘i i Kaho‘olawe, some holding certificates they just received.
The students of Nā Haumāna Huaka‘i i Kaho‘olawe. (Front l-r) Sarah Kapalihiwa Bilyeu and Joshua No‘eau Kalima. (Back) Kumu Maikalani Bacling and Ka‘ikena Scanlan with Isaac Ku‘uiponohea Pang, Sophie Kaleimomi Dolera, Sheena Kau‘i Lopes. (Missing) Alana Kanahele, Aaron Kahea Morton, Ulupuamahinamaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld and Kiliona Young.

The students of Nā Haumāna Huaka‘i i Kaho‘olawe traveled to the island of Kaho‘olawe during spring break by preparing themselves with networking and having multiple orientations with the Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana where they learned proper protocol for their journey. The students committed themselves mentally, physically and spiritually through protocol, daily usage of Hawaiian language, and to nurture the environment and elements as Alaka‘i. Part of their Kuleana was clearing invasive grass areas and debris on the shore, restoring pathways from erosion and researching wahi pani (sacred sites). The group developed a presentation at the ‘Aha Haumana Native Hawaiian Student Leadership Conference and inspired other students to become leaders in their communities and across the ocean. Members are Sarah Kapalihiwa Bilyeu, Sophie Kaleimomi Dolera, Joshua No‘eau Kalima, Alana Kanahele, Sheena Kau‘i Lopes, Aaron Kahea Morton, Isaac Ku‘uiponohea Pang, Ulupuamahinamaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld and Kiliona Young.


The Ka Lama Ku Certificate of Leadership Awards

The Alaka‘i Certificate—Leadership was awarded to Kalaiakea Blakemore (Art) for taking a lead role with the Student Art Association and the art of printmaking as a jury member with several art exhibitions.

The Kuleana Certificate—We are Accountable and Responsible was awarded to Bennjamin Siemers (Kinesiology Education) with dedication and accountability in Therapeutic Sciences and community outreach with his internship at the North Hawai‘i Community Hospital.

The 2016-2017 Psychology and Kinesiology and Exercise Sciences (PSY-KES) Peer Advising Team received this award for having the ability to recognize the roles they have with peer academic advising toward student success and being active with campus outreach. Members are Alia Alvarez, Cheyrub Cabarloc, Zach Gorski, Keian Shon, Julie Tom, Leahi Akao, Chelsea Mitsuda, Froile Queja, Kaylee Rapoza, Bennjamin Siemers, Roget Chan, Jamie Ouye and Gabriella Sanchez.

Claire Akau & Lara Hughes
Nominator Claire Akau (left) with award recipient Lara Hughes.

The ‘Ike Pāpālua Certificate—To Have the Gift of Vision was awarded to Lara Hughes (College of Business and Economics with a focus on Business Administration) for her volunteerism as a writer and with the Big Island Press Club’s vision to advance student efforts with their goals for the future.

Students from the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Sciences graduate program Erin Busch, Kailey Pascoe, Keolohilani Lopes, Jessica Kirkpatrick, and Rose Hart won the the Mālama ‘Āina Award. Also pictured is alumnus Nathan Stevenson who was involved in planning this year’s TCBES Symposium. Courtesy photo from TCBES program.

The Mālama ‘Āina Certificate—Taking Care of the Land and Environment was awarded to a group of students from the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Sciences graduate program for their environmental outreach and research in many areas that impact island and global communities and their teamwork at the TCBES Symposium. The students are Erin Busch, Keolohilani Lopes Jr, Kailey Pascoe, Rose Hart and Jessica Kirkpatrick.

The Mālama ‘Ohana—Taking Care of our Families was awarded to Kanani Daley (Art) for embracing her world of art through a native viewpoint and inspiring other artists to share their work in the East Hawai‘i Cultural Center.



The recognition ceremony was sponsored by the UH Hilo Campus Center Fee Board, the Ka Lama Ku Student Leadership Program and Student Advisory Council, the Student Activities Council, University Radio Hilo and Vulcan Video Productions, Ke Kalahea and the Division of Student Affairs.