Spring Welcome: UH Hilo welcomes new admin, faculty, and staff

Spring Welcome: University of Hawai’i at Hilo welcomed seven new members to the university’s admin, faculty, and staff at an in-person event today.

Group profiles of Newcomers.


Chancellor Bonnie Irwin hosted the 2022 Spring Welcome event today for seven new members of the university’s administration, faculty, and staff. The event was held on campus at the Performing Arts Center this morning. This was the first biannual welcome event held in-person in two years due to covid restrictions. The campus is hosting more and more in-person events and hybrid classes this semester as covid restrictions are slowly being lifted.

Aloha and welcome to the following!

Tiffani Amana pictured
Tiffani Amana

Tiffani Amana is the new student services specialist in the Division of Student Affairs. She will be in charge of the returning and transfer concierge at Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center. Amana is also a lecturer in speech at Hawai‘i Community College, a position she has held since 2015. Prior to that she was a post-high school counselor with Kamehameha Schools. She received her bachelor of arts in communication from San Diego State University, her master of arts in strategic communication from National University in San Diego, CA, and is a doctoral candidate in higher education leadership for changing populations at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore, MD. She says she loves to spend time with family and hanging out at home.

J. Nahua Guilloz pictured
J. Nahua Guilloz

J. Nahua Guilloz is the director of stewardship programs at the UH Hilo Center for Maunakea Stewardship. Guilloz joins UH Hilo after serving as vice president of livestock and administration at Parker Ranch in Waimea, Hawai‘i Island, a position she held for 14 years. She received her bachelor of arts in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from UH Hilo, which makes her a proud alumna. She also has an master of business administration in accounting from Hawai‘i Pacific University. She was born and raised in Kona, and enjoys horseback riding, going to the beach, paddle boarding, and hanging out with family. Her husband is a retired Marine and her daughter attends Grand Canyon University in Arizona.

Lewis Jacques pictured
Lewis Jacques

Lewis Jacques joins University Housing and Residential Life as the resident hall manager for Hale ‘Ikena. Jacques previously served as hall director at University of Nevada, Reno, conference director at Texas A&M, and hall director at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He received his bachelor of science in communication from Eastern Michigan University, and master of arts in higher education administration and educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno. In his spare time, he enjoys community service, hiking, scuba diving, and being a handyman. His goals for the next two years include starting a small business, developing his knowledge on financial investments, and learning more about the world of aviation.

Ekaterina Kapoustina pictured
Ekaterina Kapoustina

Ekaterina Kapoustina is welcomed back to UH Hilo as a mental health counselor in Counseling Services. Kapoustina previously held the same position as a casual hire last year. Prior to that, she was a paraprofessional at Hawai‘i Behavioral Health and an outreach coordinator with Counseling Services at UH Hilo as a student worker. She received a bachelor of science in psychology from the University of Toronto, and an master in counseling psychology from UH Hilo, making her a proud alumna. She says she loves traveling and photography (landscape and wildlife) and can easily take 500+ pictures per day while on vacation.

Miriam Mobley Smith pictured
Miriam Mobley Smith

Miriam Mobley Smith joins UH Hilo as interim dean of the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy. Mobley Smith previously held the positions of interim dean and visiting professor at Northeastern University School of Pharmacy in Boston, MA, dean and professor at Chicago State University College of Pharmacy, and evaluation consultant for the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. She received her bachelor of science in pharmacy from the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy, her doctor of pharmacy (with high honors) from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Pharmacy, and did her post-doctoral fellowship with the United States Department of Health and Human Services as a primary health care policy fellow. She is currently chair of the board of directors for the largest federally qualified health care center network in the State of Illinois and has served on committees for the Institute of Medicine within that scope of work. She says her passion is helping to ensure high-quality health care access for underserved communities with an emphasis on older adult populations. She has been a singer since she was five years old and sang at the UIC Commencement Ceremonies for seven years. Mobley Smith says she is very pleased to be here and is thankful for the opportunity to serve.

Randall Senock pictured
Randall Senock

Randall Senock rejoins UH Hilo as a visiting professor of wildlife management in the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM). Senock first arrived in Hilo in 1994 to work on a Hāmākua Coast forestry project at UH Mānoa, then coordinated the tropical forestry certificate program at CAFNRM as an assistant professor of tropical forestry. He then went on to teach at Chico State in California. He has 30 years of career-oriented experience in remote field based ecological studies and scientific investigations in a broad range of ecosystems, including West African Sahel, North America Great Plains and Chihuahuan Desert, Hawaiian native and introduced forests, Papua New Guinea tropical rain forest and oil palm plantations. He received his bachelor of science in wildlife and forestry management from West Virginia State University, his master of science in range science with a minor in animal science from New Mexico State University, and his doctor of philosophy in agronomy from Kansas State University. He enjoys exploring the volcanoes of the Bismarck Archipelago in Papua New Guinea and shares that his new granddaughter keeps him grounded in the importance of ‘ohana.

Raquel Zane pictured
Raquel Zane

Raquel Zane is administrative and fiscal support specialist in the Division of Social Sciences at the College of Arts and Sciences. Zane also works at Ke Kula o Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u (Hawaiian immersion school) as a college success coordinator helping with administrative tasks to get their high school students registered for courses at UH Hilo. She joined UH Hilo in 2014 as a student assistant in the Office of the Registrar. After graduating in 2018, she became an office assistant in the Division of Social Sciences. She then returned to the Office of the Registrar to serve as the student support specialist for continued registration and graduation. She graduated from UH Hilo with a bachelor of arts in Hawaiian studies, a bachelor of arts in communication, a bachelor of arts in marine science, a subject certificate in educational studies, and a minor in history, making her a very, very proud alumna. When she isn’t working or at hula, she likes to spend time at her family’s ranch catching up on the ranch to-do list, which includes anything from fixing fences to managing herds and maintaining pastures.