Mikami named Employee of the Quarter

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Date: Thursday, April 29, 2004
Contact: Kerwin Iwamoto, (808) 974-7449

For Immediate Release

Mikami named Employee of the Quarter

Kirk Mikami, a cashier with the University of Hawai`i at Hilo Business Office, has been selected as the first Administrative Affairs Employee of the Quarter. The award was established to recognize employees who demonstrate outstanding service and best represent both Administrative Affairs and UH Hilo.

"We have no greater resource than our employees," said Dr. Bill Chen, interim vice chancellor for administrative affairs and creator of the program. "From servicing students to campus maintenance they perform the daily tasks that keep the university running and play a major role in shaping people's impressions of UH Hilo by providing a direct link to the community."

Fulltime Administrative Affairs employees are eligible for the award which includes $100 in cash and a reserved parking stall for the calendar quarter. Employees are nominated by the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs and/or the department directors. Nominating criteria includes sustained superior performance on the job, and excellence in service to the university community and general public. All nominations and discussions are kept confidential.

Mikami began as a Student Assistant in January 1996, performing a wide variety of duties ranging from answering the phone, making copies, filing and mailing financial reports and handling travel requests. In his present capacity, Mikami is responsible for servicing students, community, faculty and staff at the office's cashier window. Over the years he has displayed a deep sense of compassion and understanding of the student's needs. Mikami admits his own experience helped shape the way he approaches his job.

"As an alumni, I enjoyed my time at UH Hilo and was fortunate that I could return and give back to future generations the "aloha spirit," that I received as a student, " Mikami said.

Mikami was described by his nominator as someone who will go out of his way to assist students to ensure their experience at UH Hilo is a positive one. That often involves listening to their questions and concerns, then making the necessary telephone inquiries before directing them to the appropriate office.

"There are many incidents where a student is frustrated from being bounced around from office to office. By the time they reach the Business Office window they are angry for not receiving answers," Mikami's nominator wrote.

"Kirk will take the time to listen to their concerns and lend a sympathetic ear. Sometimes, this is enough to calm the student down so that by the time they walk away they are in better spirits and have a better outlook on our campus. As a result, students and parents will ask for him by name."

Mikami says he believes in working hard and doing his job to the best of his ability. Although he appreciates the praise and recognition, he is quick to credit his co-workers.

"I am one person who makes up a larger team at UH Hilo," Mikami said. "But it's the collective effort of each and every individual that makes UH Hilo the outstanding institution that it is."

For more information about the Administrative Affairs "Employee of the
Quarter" award, contact your department director or the office of Human Resources at (808) 974-7449.

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