The Ka Lama Ku awards recognize students who have shown extraordinary leadership skills on the UH Hilo campus and acknowledge those who show strong evidence of future leadership potential.
By Lauren Okinaka.
Five students at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo have received awards in recognition of their outstanding leadership skills. The Ka Lama Ku Student Leadership Development Program hosted its annual Student Leadership Recognition Awards ceremony on April 16, 2021, via Zoom. The award recipients were announced at the program’s annual conference.
Based on native Hawaiian cultural values of Ka Lama Ku and “Leading with Aloha,” the Ka Lama Ku program recognizes the contributions students have made in their leadership roles on campus and acknowledges those who show strong evidence of future leadership potential. Each year, a committee of UH Hilo students reviews the nominations and selects the awardees.
The following students were recognized at this year’s virtual ceremonies.
The Alaka‘i Award, recognizing leaders who inspire, excite, and provide commitment toward shared goals: Alina Ramos, a resident assistant for the Natural Science Living-Learning Community in University Housing. She also is on the Relay for Life event leadership team. She was nominated by Landon Ballesteros, University Housing resident manager. Ramos was nominated for her ability to organize, lead, and keep the residence life student staff on-track. She took on mentorship roles and went above and beyond in her positions to ensure that returning students felt comfortable and connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Ike Pāpālua Award, recognizing leaders who have the gift of vision: Michael Taylor is the University Radio Hilo (URH) general manager. He is majoring in political science with minors in Japanese studies, computer science, and history. Taylor was nominated by Jake Galves, the Board of Media Broadcasting program advisor. He was nominated and selected for his ability to see the potential and future of URH. Under Taylorʻs leadership, URH has almost doubled in staff, having the largest list of DJs in recent history. He dedicated his time to building strong foundations for the organization. Taylor’s work includes branding, recurring programming, making URH available as a live broadcast online, and as an FM broadcast in Hilo. His vision and leadership has led to the continued success of the radio station.
The Kuleana Award, recognizing leaders who instill and motivate others toward solutions, have respect, ho‘ihi, toward others and are effective communicators: Allison Dupre is the program coordinator for the UH Hilo Womenʻs Center and a UH Hilo student representative for the UH System Commission for the Status of Women. She is majoring in business administration with a focus on healthcare management. Dupre was nominated by Chris Holland, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Dupre was nominated and selected for her commitment to student-centered programming and services, with a focus on equity for marginalized communities. She created and advocated for institutionalized systems that will improve student life at UH Hilo, including securing funds and resources for reproductive health, menstruation equity, and spaces for LGBTQA+ students.
The Laulima Award, recognizing leaders who know the importance of teamwork, networking, and collaboration: Lindsey Rohlf is a senior resident assistant in University Housing and is majoring in marine science. She was nominated by Kaleb Matthews, University Housing resident manager. Rohlf was nominated and selected for her ability to foster and maintain community in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. She adapted and worked with her team to help residents who were being displaced and moved due to COVID-19 restrictions. Rohlf empowered other staff, developed community building opportunities, and brought her residence hall together.
The Mālama Award, recognizing leaders who take care of others and community: Bruce Torres Fischer is a member of the Importance of Place Strategic Doing Committee and is a podcast producer for the Ka Leo o ka Uluau podcast. He is working toward a masterʻs degree in Hawaiian language. He was nominated by Kathleen Baumgardner, the university’s strategic planning project manager and Leilani DeMello, the director of operations at Ku-A-Kanaka and co-host of the Ka Leo o ka Uluau podcast. Torres Fischer was nominated and selected for his superior work with the strategic plan committee and his proposal and planning for the Ka Leo o ka Uluau podcast. His podcast brings people from across campus together, demonstrating his exceptional care for Hawai‘i Island and the collective experiences of the UH Hilo community.
Congratulations to the awardees for recognition of significant contributions to UH Hilo and the community!
Organizers send mahalo to the Campus Center Fee Board and all of the Faculty, Staff, and Students at UH Hilo that took the time to recognize the student leaders this year.
Story by Lauren Okinaka, who is earning a bachelor of arts in communication with a minor in English at UH Hilo.