UH Hilo Strategic Planning

Meeting Notes - December 18

Importance of Place Committee Meeting: Tuesday, December 18 at 12:00 noon

Present: Bruce Torres Fischer, Heather Kaluna, Michele Ebersole, Kathleen Baumgardner

Meeting purpose: Continued focus on our upcoming projects set for Spring semester

Garden or On-campus Improvement Project/Event

The idea: There are multiple garden efforts across campus. Students participating in an on-campus improvement/garden project or event might learn about native plants, history, and the host culture, while getting their hands in the dirt and finding new ways to spend time in nature. These experiences will help students connect to our campus and the Hilo community in meaningful and authentic ways and provide healthy outlets to keep them grounded. Garden efforts could also work during this time when distancing is important as well as after this eases.

We reviewed the Garden StoryMap. It currently features seven garden efforts with at least one more to come - the student-led ag garden. We also need a bit more information on the Hale Kanilehua garden. We discussed whether we should include UH Hilo’s farm and it is unclear at this point if there is a fit.

There was a successful pilot work day on December 15 from 8-10am! There were seven students and the group was able to remain socially distant with reminders. The group seems right-sized for the space. Lito, Malu, Heather and Michele were there to participate and facilitate. William Walters brought supplies - shovels, rakes, gloves, etc. Lito gave an overview, discussing canoe plants and native plants. The group raked and weeded an area to beautify an area that would be very visible during UH Hilo’s drive-through commencement. At the end of the day the group planted a ʻōhiʻa tree. They used an ‘o’o, a traditional Hawaiian farming tool, learned about canoe plants and supplementing with a soil mixture when planting, and more.

Michele took photos that might be used in a collage for the StoryMap and will share. The students who participated would typically take several field trips during the year, but COVID has changed this. Two of the seven students specifically asked if they could do a work day like this again. We discussed the potential for powerful learning outcomes depending on the perspective of the student.

We also discussed a possible fruit stand. We need a sketch or plan and HCC might then build it with supplies we provide. This would be a nice project that fits with our campus focus on sustainability.

Action items for garden project:

  • Heather and Michele will seek out more information about the ag garden, the Kanilehua garden (including the location of the garden), and reach out to Bruce Matthews to determine if we should include the farm for the gardens StoryMap.
  • Kathleen will adjust the location of the pin on the map for the Library Lanai garden.
  • Michele will share photos of the pilot work session as well as participant comments.

Ka Leo o ka Uluau Podcast

The idea: Ka Leo o ka Uluau will be a 24-episode podcast, with installments released twice monthly starting in January 2021. The purpose of the Ka Leo o ka Uluau podcast is to hoʻokamaʻāina listeners to the island of Hawaiʻi, starting in Hilo and making our way clockwise around the island (Hilo, Puna, Kaʻū, Kona, Kohala, and Hāmākua). Storytellers from the Island who are associated with each place will visit to share moʻolelo. Episodes will acquaint the listener with key places, histories, people, traditions, and lessons from each place. There will also be a blog associated with the podcast that includes additional resources - images, video, maps, bios of each storyteller, and other supporting resources related to each place.

The first podcast episode is complete. The second episode is being edited. The third episode is scheduled for taping on January 11 and the guest will be Lokelani Brandt focusing on the Piʻopiʻo Wailoa area. We will publish to platforms like Apple Spotify, Pandora, iHeart, etc.

We walked through the Google Earth Story Map and a new map created in StoryMapJS. The Google Earth version was chosen as the preferred option of the two. It allows us to outline areas as opposed to dropping a pin and it has more of a feel of being there. The other version is more art based, but was not chosen.

We looked at the podcast blog. Currently there is a description / purpose statement along with our host bios. Then, we looked at possible promotion opportunities, from the article in Ka Nūpepa which is in place to social media, targeted communications, opportunities at HCC, etc. We have a Google doc to track efforts.

Earlier in the week, we got the hosting platform in place where the podcast sits through Kīpuka grant funding. We do still need cover artwork, but there is a peer mentor at Kīpuka who is working on designs. The art is critical - we hope to have it a few days before the new year in order to test the podcast upload. Also beautiful lei’s and books were made possible for our guests through Kīpuka with grant funding and their generous efforts.

Heather brough up the Manu Minute, a collaboration between HPR and Pat Hart’s Lab at UH Hilo. We are wondering if we might also partner with HPR to spread the podcast. Might ‘Imiloa and Vibrant Hawai‘i also be interested in sharing the podcast through their communications?

Is it possible to host a virtual event - a listening party for the podcast. We could stream through Facebook live and promote through UH Hilo social media. Developers could be at the virtual event to chat and answer questions.

The recording room is still an issue. The elevator noise in the library is a problem. Bruce has a lead on a small room in K Hall. The space needs to be carpeted and be accessible on weekends. Michele suggested conference rooms in UCB. Is there a space at ‘Imiloa?

Action items for Ka Leo o ka Uluau Podcast:

  • Bruce will check the audio where Leilani mentions platforms - we will not host on Soundcloud, but does she mention it? If so, it will need to be edited out.
  • Heather will touch base with Pat Hart about the Manu Minute. How did he initiate this partnership with HPR?
  • Kathleen will reach out to Ka’iu and Yu Yok to see if they might include the podcast in Kilolani. Also, to Janice at Vibrant Hawai‘i.
  • Kathleen will touch base with Nyssa about a virtual event - a listening party for the podcast.
  • Michele will touch base with Bryan Kim, Chair of Social Sciences Division regarding use of a conference room for recording.
  • All members should consider promotional opportunities and add them to the tracking document.

UNIV 101/102 Class

The idea: The UNIV 101/102 class could help ground students in a sense of place and introduce them to skills and resources needed to thrive at a UH Hilo. These introductory courses could use place-based, community-engaged learning.

The exploratory committee that includes Julie Mowrer (from the Relationships Committee), Kerri Inglis (developed Kuleana & Community course proposal), Hualani Loo and Michele Ebersole (both from the Importance of Place Committee) met on December 14. This group has consulted with the VCAA and decided to seek input from across campus to gauge support for the project, ask if others want to participate, and collect information about similar efforts on-campus and at other schools. A Google form will be developed and sent across campus in the first week or two of the spring semester.

In our last meeting, Hualani brought up a Title III grant, Manai-a-Maui: Transforming Institutions With An Indigenous Framework. Hawaiʻi CC (lead), UH Hilo and UH Maui College collaborate on a joint effort to transform the institutions by incorporating Native Hawaiian culture, values and traditions to impact student success. It was thought there may be a Spring 2021 pilot of an intro class through this grant, but the effort will not move forward in this form at this time. It will be more focused on activities outside a classroom. Committee members wondered if the garden project and garden sessions with Lito and Malu might be a fit.

Our 90-minutes came to an end with gratitude for the efforts of each member of the committee.