Weekly Newsletter for Faculty and Staff, March 8, 2022

Featured in this week’s issue of Ha‘ilono o UH Hilo (News of UH Hilo): Don Hemmes, Miriam Mobley Smith, Vanessa Zepeda, Sandra Dafincescu, Sofia Ferreira, Hyung Won Jeon, Mio Kamioka, Chloe Molou, Setsuko Ned, Minneh Oyas, Frank Kuo, David Kaneshiro, and Kamalei Purdy.

A group of people stand for photo, slide show of plants in the background.
Professor Emeritus of Biology Don Hemmes (top row, third from left) gave a special presentation about UH Hilo’s Botanical Gardens, which he founded many years ago, on Feb. 24. The presentation was followed by an excursion to the Botanical Gardens on Feb. 26. (Courtesy photo)


Nominations are being accepted for the UH System 2022 Willard Wilson Distinguished Service Award and the Award for Excellence in Building and Grounds Maintenance. The deadline to submit nominations is Monday, March 14, 4:30 p.m. Contact Courtney Domingo at cmnd@hawaii.edu for more information.

UH Hilo’s new interim dean of pharmacy college sets priorities. Miriam Mobley Smith is here to help the college transition between deans and envision the future.


UH Hilo alumna Vanessa Zepeda, working on her PhD in Australia, inspires high school students to study STEM. Her story is featured on the cover of the current issue of Careers with STEM.

Community Outreach

The K. L. Chock Trust supports ‘Imiloa gardens, now named Koon Leong and Bertha Luke Chock Garden.

Covid Updates

Beginning this week, U.S. households are eligible to order an additional two sets of four free at-home tests. You may order at covidtests.gov.

COVID-19 Booster and Testing On-Campus Clinic

      • The COVID-19 booster is available for employees and all students this Friday, March 11, noon to 4:00 p.m, University Classroom Building, room 127, on a first-come, first-served basis. Email uhhcovid@hawaii.edu with your request. Be sure to bring your valid state identification, medical insurance card, and vaccination card to verify previous doses. This clinic is also for student testing so please plan accordingly.

External Testing Option for Employees and Students

Continue to stay informed through the UH Hilo COVID-19 webpage and the UH System COVID-19 webpage for information and advisories, including the updated interim UH COVID-19 GuidelinesUH COVID-19 Dashboards, and updated interim UH Hilo COVID-19 Guidelines.


“Women Rising: Experiences of UH Hilo International Women,” Thursday, March 10, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., via Zoom. Passcode: 855732. Presented as part of the International Speaker Series sponsored by UH Hilo International Student Services and the United Nations Association-USA-Hawai‘i Island Chapter. Students on panel:

      • Sandra Dafincescu: Romania, Business Administration, Senior
      • Sofia Ferreira: Paraguay, Marine Science, Senior
      • Hyung Won Jeon: South Korea, Computer Science, Senior Exchange Student
      • Mio Kamioka: Papua New Guinea/Japan, Graduate Student
      • Chloe Molou: Vanuatu, Marine Science, Junior
      • Setsuko Ned: Marshall Islands, Political Science, Senior
      • Minneh Oyas: Kenya, PharmD graduate 2021

Second Hawai‘i International Conference on English Language, Friday and Saturday, March 11 and 12, University Classroom Building.

For more info on events, see UH Hilo Calendar of Events.


UH Hilo art professor Michael Marshall’s polyptych on climate change is now on exhibit. The 12-panel piece, on exhibit at Fishcake gallery on O‘ahu, is eclectically influenced by the art of Claude Monet, the lyrics of Marvin Gaye, and the existential threat of climate change.

Human Resources

Employees currently have two options with regard to teleworking:

More information is available on the Office of Human Resources website. Questions may be sent to COVID19@hawaii.edu.

Spring Break

Spring Recess, Monday, March 14 through Friday, March 18.


Frank Kuo, Director of Counseling Services, will present “Serving College Student Populations of their Unique Needs as they Return to Campus Post-Pandemic” at the Depression on College Campuses Conference poster session, University of Michigan, March 9-10 virtually.

PACWest names David Kaneshiro Coach of the Year.

Word of the Week

Above, join Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language student Kamalei Purdy for a lesson on the Hawaiian word of the week. “Kino‘ole” is the road in Hilo below Kapi‘olani. Hua Maka is a weekly video series produced by the college and edited by the UH Hilo Office of University Relations.

In fall and spring semesters, 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.