Three UH Hilo professionals chosen for the 2018-2019 UH President’s Emerging Leaders Program

Registrar Chelsea Kay-Wong, Associate Professor of Psychology Sunyoung Kim, and Director of Campus Recreation Tim Moore will be working with 24 other cohort members to tackle challenges facing the UH System.

By Susan Enright.

Chelsea Kay-Wong
Chelsea Kay-Wong, UH Hilo registrar, is among three professionals from UH Hilo to be chosen for the 2018-2019 UH President’s Emerging Leaders Program. Photo credit UH Hilo Alumni.

UH System seal in gold: UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII UA MAU KE EA O KA AINA I KA PONO. At center: MALAMALAMA with graphic of a book and flame.Three members of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo community have been chosen to join the 2018–2019 cohort of the UH President’s Emerging Leaders Program (PELP). This year’s cohort includes 27 university employees with representation from each of UH’s ten campuses and the system. The members are tasked with tackling the challenges facing UH and higher education.

UH Hilo’s three cohort members are Registrar Chelsea Kay-Wong, Associate Professor of Psychology Sunyoung Kim, and Director of Campus Recreation Tim Moore.

The PELP program provides a professional development opportunity for highly motivated faculty and staff to develop leadership skills and make a difference at UH. Participants will benefit from the opportunity to access career and leadership interests, and examine strategic goals and challenges facing the public higher education system.

Chelsea Kay-Wong

Registrar Kay-Wong has served as registrar since 2014. She was an Upward Bound intern turned student assistant in the Office of the Registrar, then office manager, assistant registrar, and then interim registrar.

“I have been able to view the institution in many lights and would like to continue my contribution to the university for years to come,” she says. “In the coming years, I see myself continuing in the position of registrar, I expect to have served on many committees and provided and received input about how our institution can continue to make improvements in areas both within and outside of our campus and university system.”

Kay-Wong also plans to pursue additional higher educational credentials and anticipates forward movement within the university.

 Sunyoung Kim

Sunyoung Kim
Sunyoung Kim

Associate Professor Kim joined the UH Hilo psychology department in 2010. Previously, she was a social science research associate at Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, where she directed several treatment outcome studies on anxiety disorders funded by National Institute of Mental Health and Veterans Affairs. She received her master of arts in women’s studies from Ewha Womans University in Korea and her doctor of philosophy in clinical psychology from Boston University.

Kim says as a member of the President’s Emerging Leaders Program cohort, she would like to gain knowledge and perspectives on the UH System with focus on applied learning experiences in leadership in academia.

“I want to see actual changes in myself and UH system in the end,” she says. “I’d like to learn from other members and contribute from my international and multicultural background.”

Tim Moore

Tim Moore
Tim Moore

Director Moore has been with the Campus Recreation Department at UH Hilo for 10 years, during which time he also did interim service as athletic director and dean of students.  The progression of his career has given him firsthand experience in every unit in the field of sports and recreation. With knowledge of facility design, construction, renovation and management, he’s well versed in accounting, budget management, and the use of financial software.

As a member of the president’s leadership cohort, he says he is looking forward to further developing his leadership knowledge while expanding his skills to be more effective and supportive to those he leads.

“I also look forward to working with university administration, getting insight on key issues facing the UH System, and working with my fellow PELP cohort to develop solutions to these issues,” Moore says.

President’s Emerging Leaders Program

Content areas covered by the President’s Emerging Leaders Program include strategic considerations in statewide goals across all aspects of the UH mission; higher education trends in a highly dynamic local, national and global context; and a focus on the distinctiveness of Hawaiʻi’s unique public higher education system.

Program participants also engage in team projects that are mentored by senior executives and are directly focused on the challenges and opportunities facing UH and Hawaiʻi.

The program was launched in 2007 under former UH President David McClain and continued through 2010. It was restarted in 2014 by President David Lassner after he became president.

“We are proud to select this year’s cohort and look forward to continuing to invest in our own faculty and staff,” says Lassner. “Previous PELP participants have already made a difference throughout the university, and we expect to see many great accomplishments from the people chosen this year as some of them advance into leadership positions throughout the UH System.”


Story by Susan Enright is a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.