Weekly Newsletter for Faculty and Staff, Dec. 15, 2020

Featured in this week’s issue of Ha‘ilono o UH Hilo (News of UH Hilo): Lillian Lewis, Michael Bitter, Adam Pack, Amy Horst, Diane Barrett, 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. This is the final issue of 2020. The weekly newsletter resumes Tuesday, January 5, 2021. Happy Holidays!

What does #VulcanPride mean to you?


Diane Barrett
Diane Barrett
Screenshot of Amy Horst
Amy Horst

Music instructor Amy Horst encourages her isolated students with series of inspirational videos. Seeing that some of her students were struggling with isolation and worry, she began creating helpful and hopeful YouTube videos for them.

Teacher education professor Diane Barrett solves the problem of teaching hands-on math concepts in a virtual classroom.

Final exams continue, Tuesday-Friday, December 15-18.

Fall semester ends, Friday, December 18.

Final Grades due in MyUH, Noon, Monday, December 21.


Do you have a great story about The Importance of Communication in Love? Perhaps an epic fail, a glorious love story, a comedy of errors, an experience with prejudice rooted in societal beliefs, or a scientific observation? Tell the world on a new online project called Wailau! We’re seeking storytellers: faculty, staff, students, alums, and community members. Apply for the first Wailau storytelling event by January 15. For more information, contact Kathleen Baumgarden, strategic planning project manager, Office of the Chancellor.

Michael Bitter will continue to serve as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences through the Spring 2021 semester. Karen Kopera-Frye has declined the position to take care of family.

Covid Updates

Continue to stay informed through the UH Hilo COVID-19 webpage, the UH Hilo Quarantine FAQ webpage, and the Employee FAQ webpage for up-to-date information and advisories. Information can also be found on the UH System COVID-19 page.


The Virtual Fall 2020 Commencement, to be held Saturday, December 19, kicks-off with a live kihei tying event at 8:30 a.m. via Zoom, followed by a pre-recorded virtual ceremony at 9 a.m. on the UH Hilo commencement website, and closes with a drive-through for graduates only, from 10 – 11:30 a.m. Strict COVID guidelines will be followed. Faculty and staff can wave on graduates from their assigned locations as long as they are masked and physically distanced. Contact your Dean/Director for further information on locations. Banners can also be placed along the route.

Kalikimaka 2020: Celebrating the Holidays at Home—An evening of stories, songs, poems and reminiscences, Monday-Friday, December 21-25, streamed on YouTube. The link will be available on the UH Hilo PAC website. Presented by UH Hilo Performing Arts Department and Performing Arts Center.

Holiday: Christmas, Friday, December 25.

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


The sidewalk from the Athletics Parking Lot to the Athletics Administrative Building is partially closed until March 2021 for the installation of new underground utility lines. The ADA parking stalls remain open; however, the wheelchair ramps leading from the ADA parking stalls to the existing sidewalk is closed. Call Facilities Planning and Construction at 932-7942 with any questions


Adam Pack with snorkel and mask.
Adam Pack

Adam Pack, chair and professor of psychology, was invited to present the following webinars in November, presented on behalf of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary as part of its “Welcome the Whales Back” Series:


The Campus Center Dining Room is closed for the fall semester. The Deja Brew coffee kiosk, located on the Library Lanai, is open from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. through Thursday, December 17.

Kilohana: The Academic Success Center shares its tutoring schedule during final exams. Computer science, distance learning, and statistics tutors are not available during finals week.

Vulcan Athletics

Vulcans Get Feet Wet This Weekend at Mānoa

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