Pacific Business News selected Vice Chancellor Farrah-Marie Gomes as a 2021 honoree at the 4th annual Business of Pride Awards.
University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s vice chancellor for student affairs was recently recognized at a statewide award event for her leadership in LGBTQ+ inclusivity and equality on campus and throughout the UH System.
Pacific Business News (PBN) selected Farrah-Marie Gomes as a 2021 honoree at the 4th annual Business of Pride Awards. She is recognized for her efforts in providing a more inclusive workplace and for being a strong advocate for LGBTQ+ students at UH Hilo.
“In addition to policy work and administrative changes early on in her career at UH Hilo, Gomes has been creative in doubling the number of student employees working in the university’s LGBTQ+ Center,” states the PBN announcement of selectees.
“She preserved its physical office and secured funding to increase its operating budget and grow events. Most recently, Gomes helped add counseling services campus-wide through a free app.”
Gomes also secured philanthropic support to establish the first endowed scholarship for LGBTQ+ students across the UH System and secured funding to increase UH Hilo LGBTQ+ Center’s operating budget by $25,000 a year for the next four years. The $1 million gift will also provide $40,000 for LGBTQ+ student scholarships in fall 2022.
“Now more than ever, our students are met with many more obstacles along their academic journey and providing the holistic support they need can feel daunting,” says Gomes. “As an institution of higher education, we have an important role of staying focused on student learning, engagement and development as that is central to our purpose.”
“At the same time,” she adds, “we must also remember that two of the best ways to support the success of our students is for us to remain committed to sustaining an inclusive campus climate and to ensure equitable access and opportunity for all students.”
Alongside Gomes, PBN also honored LGBTQ+ leaders and advocates from the film industry, health care, real estate and county government.