UH Hilo Strategic Planning

Meeting Notes - May 24, 2021

Importance of Place Committee Meeting: Monday, May 24 at 3:30pm

Present: Bruce Torres Fischer, Hualani Loo, Michele Ebersole, Heather Kaluna, Kathleen Baumgardner and Kerri Inglis

Meeting purpose: Project updates and plans for the future

An Update on A Course Connecting Students with Place (UNIV101 / Kuleana & Community)

Kerri Inglis and Michele Ebersole updated the committee on progress, reporting that the threads are coming together. There is momentum and they expressed gratitude for the work and support of many across campus. The idea for the course goes back a few years and was inspired by interdisciplinary courses at another institution where the same topic was explored through the lens of multiple disciplines and a common experience was created for new students. The course will build connections to place for students and faculty.

The details to date: The 3-credit course, Kuleana & Community, will be interdisciplinary, offered primarily to freshmen, will incorporate the fundamentals while including ʻāina-based service learning and use the Kaʻao framework. It will better prepare students to engage with the community and be beneficial for faculty as well. Huaka‘i to wahi pana will be important so that students can learn while building a sense of belonging and connection through service.The goal is that the course pilot will launch in spring 2022 with an estimated six sections, starting with the living learning communities. The course would not be required across the university but an individual program could require the course. The Title III grant will also help cover the costs associated with six peer mentors or Kaʻao Navigators who will help both students and faculty. Hanakahi Council has approved funds for a coordinator position for curriculum development using the Kaʻao framework. The request then moves to the administration for final approval.

Next steps: Curriculum development is underway, with Michele and Kerri leading the effort. A 3-day training workshop is being developed for early August. This workshop will include an introduction to the Ka‘ao framework, a huaka‘i, time for reflection, and an opportunity to share a master syllabus. A number of faculty have expressed interest in participating in this training. There may also be several sessions in the fall semester to continue the discussion and there are many resources available (like Ka Leo o ka Uluau podcast) that may be put to use. In order to extend support to faculty who ultimately teach the course in the pilot semester, there will be opportunities for reflection at the beginning, middle, and end of the semester.

Kerri and Michele have been meeting once every two weeks figuring out details along the way. Conversations are being set up with Deans and others across campus.

With the funding in the first year, buyout may be possible and faculty may be able to take the course on as an overload. We hope it will become a welcome part of the load for faculty. It is a goal that new faculty and staff might also take the course in their first semester on campus. And, perhaps the 3-day workshop could be an annual event that would serve as professional development and be valued as service for promotion and tenure, and offered to a wider audience than faculty considering teaching the class.

Gardens Project

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.

The Gardens StoryMap has been featured on the UH Hilo app. And ‘Imiloa held a garden student event. We discussed coordination for the gardens project as it continues to be developed. We are looking at the possibility of partnering with the Sustainability Committee in order to continue moving efforts forward on volunteerism and with Campus Center on special gardens projects like a farmers market.

Action items for Gardens:

  • Heather will reach out to Norman, chair of the Sustainability Committee.
  • Michele will follow up with Lai Sha at Campus Center.

Ka Leo o ka Uluau

The idea: Ka Leo o ka Uluau is a 24-episode podcast, with installments released twice monthly in 2021. The purpose of the Ka Leo o ka Uluau podcast is to hoʻokamaʻāina listeners to the island of Hawaiʻi, starting in Hilo and moving clockwise around the island (Puna, Kaʻū, Kona, Kohala, and Hāmākua). Storytellers who are associated with each place share moʻolelo with podcast hosts Drew Kapp and Leilani DeMello. Episodes acquaint listeners with key places, histories, people, traditions, and lessons from each place. The blog associated with the podcast includes StoryMaps, images, etc.

Podcast interviews for Ka Leo o ka Uluau should be wrapped up by the end of July. The production team has been recording at Pālamanui campus, making it an easier trip for podcast guests,

The last couple episodes for the moku of Kaʻū will mark the podcast’s halfway point and the huaka‘i will then move to Kona. Ka Leo o ka Uluau has had 4,657 downloads, with an additional ~400 listens a week due to Inoa Matters. The on-air team has developed a draft plan for season 2, building on knowledge and connections from Season 1. Hanakahi Council has approved resources for season 2 and the recommendation has been sent to the UH Hilo administration for approval.

We want to continue exploring options for teacher guides at the high school level and above in order to ensure more usage in classrooms on and off campus. A meeting of Drew, Lei, Bruce, and Michele to discuss curriculum development is in the works. Other potential partners include ‘Imiloa Education Manager Anya Tagawa, Margary Martin (teaches 400-evel place-based social emotional learning course which is set up like an internship) and other faculty members in education.

Our contacts at UH Hilo’s Radio Station have shifted after commencement. There may be an option to tape future episodes in the radio station studio as COVID restrictions are lifted.

We continue to learn of people using the podcast in their classes, like Steve Colbert in Marine Science. There was a suggestion that First Year Experience (FYE) might be a fit for sharing the podcast with incoming students.

Action items for Ka Leo o ka Uluau:

  • Kathleen will reach out to HCC to suggest a story with a Pālamanui focus.
  • Michele will reach out to Margary Martin and others in education and touch base with Bruce.
  • Michele will reach out to Steve Colbert to ask about how he is using the podcast.
  • Kathleen will reach out to Shara Mahoe to ask if the podcast might be shared through FYE.

The Bigger Picture

Katheen reminded the group that the strategic plan is available for comment. The action plan is in development. In the coming weeks, a more solid list of strategies to support UH Hilo’s goals and vision will be available. There will be tactics to support the strategies and actions will be needed to advance the tactics. The doing committees may become the lead on several tactics.

We discussed reviewing the strategies so we might discuss the tactics that would best fit the committee’s interests and skill sets.

Because we are seeing overlap in ideas and projects, the next meeting will be a combined meeting of both doing committees to discuss tactics that are a fit and support the University’s strategies moving forward. There was a suggestion that we encourage the alternate members to participate.

At this point in the discussion, the 90-minute meeting time expired. The meeting was adjourned.