UH Hilo welcomes new faculty to university ‘ohana

With the 2014 cohort, UH Hilo is expanding its expertise in priority disciplines such as mapping and geographic information systems, biomass to energy, island cultures, tropical alpine biology, cell mechanics, public health, oceanography and more.

Group photo: L-R, front row: Elizabeth Ackerman, Pharmacy Practice; Allyson Gilles, Psychology; Su-Mi Lee, Political Science; Misty Pacheco, Kinesiology & Exercise Science; and Randy Hirokawa, Dean. Back row: Francois Ascani, Marine Science; Marina Karides, Sociology; Kathy Cooksey, Astronomy; and Shihwu Sung, Agricultural Engineering.
A group of UH Hilo’s new faculty stand for a photo with the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the 2014 Fall Welcome event held in August. L-R, front row: Elizabeth Ackerman, Pharmacy Practice; Allyson Gilles, Psychology; Su-Mi Lee, Political Science; Misty Pacheco, Kinesiology & Exercise Science; and Randy Hirokawa, Dean. Back row: Francois Ascani, Marine Science; Marina Karides, Sociology; Kathy Cooksey, Astronomy; and Shihwu Sung, Agricultural Engineering.

New faculty were welcomed to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo at the Chancellor’s 2014 Fall Welcome event held last month. With this cohort, UH Hilo is expanding its expertise in priority disciplines such as mapping and geographic information systems, biomass to energy, island cultures, tropical alpine biology, cell mechanics, public health, oceanography and more.

Matt Platz, vice chancellor for academic affairs, described the new faculty as “an extremely talented group of individuals.”

Some of the group have been serving in temporary positions and are now permanent faculty, and two are visiting professors.

Platz said through the hard work of the search committees, the university was able to achieve 100 percent success in all of its searches. He’s now hoping the new faculty will become long-term members of the UH Hilo ‘ohana.

“UH Hilo is the kind of place where we hope all new faculty will be successful and enjoy a productive and satisfying 30-year career,” Platz said. “We want to do everything we can to ensure they feel welcome and to ensure their long-term success.”

Faculty are listed below with links to their bios.

  • Elizabeth Ackerman, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice
  • Francois Ascani, Assistant Professor of Marine Science
  • Kathy Cooksey, Assistant Professor of Astronomy
  • Jesse Eiben, Assistant Professor of Applied Entomology
  • Jiren Feng, Assistant Professor of Languages
  • Allyson Gilles, Instructor, Psychology
  • Brooke Hansen, Visiting Associate Professor of Anthropology
  • Amy Horst, Instructor, Performing Arts
  • Chad Johnson, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Marina Karides, Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • Su-Mi Lee, Assistant Professor of Political Science
  • Christina Mnatzaganian, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice
  • Misty Pacheco, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Exercise Science
  • Jack Rossen, Visiting Professor of Anthropology
  • Sarah Smith, Assistant Professor of Nursing
  • Shihwu Sung, Professor of Agricultural Engineering
  • Li Tao, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Helen Wong Smith, Information Resource Coordinator, Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Michelle Zacchetti, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice

Ken Hupp contributed to this story.