UH Hilo faculty and staff starting permanent positions are recognized at annual spring event

Some recognized have just arrived on campus and others are long-time employees who have moved into permanent positions.

12 profile photos of newcomers.

Twelve faculty and staff were recognized Feb. 9 at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s annual Spring Welcome event. Some recognized have just arrived on campus and others are long-time employees who have moved into permanent positions. Several are UH Hilo alumni. The event was hosted on campus by Chancellor Bonnie Irwin.

Office of the Chancellor

 Carla Ho‘ā pictured
Carla Ho‘ā

Carla Ho‘ā is the new permanent vice chancellor for administrative affairs. She joins UH Hilo from the University of Colorado Boulder, where she served in various positions since 2013, most recently as vice chancellor and chief financial officer. She also served at UC Boulder as associate vice chancellor and deputy chief financial officer, assistant vice chancellor for budget and fiscal planning, assistant vice chancellor for administration auxiliaries, and director of administrative projects.

Justin Yeh pictured
Justin Yeh

Justin Yeh is a resource manager at the Center for Maunakea Stewardship (under the Office of the Chancellor). He previously worked at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at UH Mānoa under its two-lined spittlebug project and stocking density trials. Before that he was a pesticide use inspector for the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, and also a conservation specialist with the Hawai‘i Association of Conservation Districts. He received his master of science in natural resources and environmental management and a bachelor of science in ecological environmental conservation based biology from UH Mānoa.

Academic Affairs

Michael Bitter pictured
Michael Bitter

Michael Bitter is the permanent dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He previously served as interim dean of the college from 2017-2022. He was also assistant, associate, and full professor of history at UH Hilo, spanning from 1999-2017. He received his doctor of philosophy in history from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Faith Inman pictured
Faith Inman

Faith Inman is an instructor of biology. She joins us from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management at UH Mānoa where she was an assistant researcher. Her areas of expertise include forest ecology, biodiversity, ecology and evolution, and conservation biology. She received her bachelor of science in ecology and bachelor of arts in French at The Evergreen State College, master of science in tropical forest ecology and restoration at North Carolina State University, and doctor of philosophy in ecology and evolutionary biology at University of California, Los Angeles.

Student Affairs

Marienelle Cabay pictured
Marienelle Cabay

Marienelle Cabay is a financial aid counselor at the Financial Aid Office. She started in the Financial Aid Office as a student worker, and after graduating with a bachelor of arts in natural science, moved to a casual hire position in Financial Aid, where she is now a permanent employee.

Cristina Gervais pictured
Cristina Gervais

Cristina Gervais is the assistant director of aquatics and safety at Campus Recreation. Previously, she served as a lifeguard, swim instructor, head lifeguard, and Red Cross instructor at Campus Recreation. Prior to that, she was a pre-K college tutor with the Waiākea Kumon Center, a coach with the Hilo Aquatic Club and Pantheon School of Gymnastics, and activities coordinator with Hilo Hongwanji. She is a UH Hilo alumna with a bachelor of arts in linguistics, a bachelor of arts in Japanese studies, a minor in English and a minor in Hawaiian studies, and a certificates in educational studies and a certificate in Chinese studies.

Huihui Kanahele-Mossman pictured
Huihui Kanahele-Mossman

Huihui Kanahele-Mossman is the curriculum developer for the Kuleana and Community program at Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center. She recently moved from a casual hire to a permanent position at the center. She is a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner also knowledgeable in Western science and educational issues whose cultural concepts and ideologies come from the practice of hula. She received degrees in physics and science education from the University of Hawai‘i.

Kip Nagata pictured
Kip Nagata

Kip Nagata is an admissions counselor in the Office of Admissions. He is a familiar face on campus having previously served in casual hire and temporary positions with Upward Bound as a math and science program coordinator as well as interim academic advisor. He also was a mental health counselor with Hale Kipa on O‘ahu. He is a UH Hilo alumnus with a bachelor of arts in psychology He received his master of arts in counseling psychology from Chaminade University.

Administrative Affairs

Apollo Harris pictured
Apollo Harris

Apollo Harris as the technical director at the Performing Arts Center. He is a UH Hilo alumnus with a bachelor of arts in English.

David Joseph pictured
David Joseph

David Joseph is a building and grounds custodian with Auxiliary Services. Before joining UH Hilo, he was a custodian at Waiākea High School for three years. He is a graduate of Ka‘u High School and Pahala Elementary School.

Charlie Snader is the director of Information Technology Services, formally known as the Computing Center. He comes to UH Hilo from Minnesota where he was the regional head of IT for the First and Third Judicial Districts at the Minnesota Judicial Branch. He received a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Seattle University.

Kelli Tomota pictured
Kelli Tomota
Charles Snader pictured
Charles Snader

Kelli Tomota is the administrative officer and shared services manager at Auxiliary Services. Previously, she was the public health administrative officer for the Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Division of Child and Adolescent Mental Health. She received a bachelor of science in human resources management from Western Governors University.