Weekly Newsletter for Faculty and Staff, Dec. 8, 2020

Featured in this week’s issue of Ha‘ilono o UH Hilo (News of UH Hilo): Kiaria Zoi Nakamura, Angela Fa‘anunu, Monica Minnitt, Tim Grabowski, Yoshiko Okuyama, Jon Goebel, John Burns, and more!

In fall and spring, this newsletter is a weekly e-blast of news and information for faculty and staff, produced by University Relations, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.  

What does #VulcanPride mean to you?

(Note: Kiaria Zoi Nakamura is a student writer for UH Hilo Stories, Office of the Chancellor.)


Angela Faanunu
Angela Fa‘anunu

Tourism professor Angela Fa‘anunu sees the economic slowdown as a chance to develop agritourism. Assistant Prof. Fa‘anunu challenges her students to reimagine the conventional mass tourism industry in favor of alternative, more regenerative models centered around agritourism and indigenous tourism.

Monica Minnitt
Monica Minnitt

Language lecturer Monica Minnitt’s key to successful online teaching: Invest in people. Despite the unexpected move to online teaching, UH Hilo alumna and now Spanish language teacher Monica Minnitt is a driving force within the language department, continuing to meet the needs of her students to help them perform to expectations.

Timothy Grabowski holding a fish
Tim Grabowski

Marine biologist Tim Grabowski sees great value in students gaining skills in teleconferencing. Associate Professor Grabowski sees the inconveniences and discomforts of online learning as an opportunity for future conservation biologists to train for global teleconferencing and collaboration.

Yoshiko Okuyama in her office with a class up on the computer screen.Language Prof. Yoshiko Okuyama: “Try to look for the silver linings of this pandemic-driven remote education.” Prof. of Japanese Yoshiko Okuyama’s transition to online teaching included countless hours of elective training, researching, and learning, going above and beyond to enhance the experience of her students.


Nominations for the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are due by Friday, December 11, 5 p.m. All employees and students are eligible. Submit nominations to Jenna Waipa.

Fiscal year 2019-2020 will forever be remembered as the year the pandemic arrives. Read the UH Hilo 2019-2020 Annual Report featuring campus highlights.


Long Range Budget Planning Committee meeting notes are available: Log-in required.

Covid Updates

Continue to stay informed through the UH Hilo COVID-19 webpage  and UH Hilo Quarantine FAQ page for up-to-date information and advisories, which now includes the Student Fees Information for 2020 Fall Semester. Information can also be found on the UH System COVID-19 page.

Events and Important Dates

Last Day of Instruction, Thursday, December 10.

Last Day to Completely Withdraw from All Courses with a “W,” Thursday, December 10.

Marine Science Senior Internship and Senior Thesis students’ Capstone presentations, Friday, December 11, 8 – 11:15 a.m., via Zoom. Meeting ID: 965 5982 6694; Passcode: 447841.

University Forum on Budget, Friday, December 11, Noon – 1 p.m., via Zoom. Meeting ID: 995 8889 8340; Passcode: 366644.

Final Exams begin Monday, December 14.

For more news and events, see the UH Hilo Calendar of Events.


Jon Goebel holds print
Jon Goebel
John Burns shaka at sea
John Burns

An artist and a scientist work together to create a larger-than-life 3D sculpture of coral reef. Master printmaker Jon Goebel and marine scientist John Burns have teamed up to create an eye-catching, greatly enlarged (80,000 times larger than life), yet anatomically correct sculpture of a coral colony. The project is meant to spark a perceptual shift in the significance that corals play in the ocean’s ecosystem.

Supporting Student Success

Faculty are asked to encourage their students to watch the new weekly video series by StudentLingo, brought to UH Hilo by the Division of Student Affairs. This week’s topic is “Preparing for Final Exams.” To watch, register here for a free account.

Vulcan Athletics

Vulcans Tackle Mental Health.