Student Employment

Nā Mamo A Hanakahi Alumni Project

You can reach us by phone at 808-932-7355, via email at, or by visiting the Student Employment Office in-person, during our normal office hours Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm HST.

Na Mamo A Hanakahi Alumni Project The Student Employment Office is working on a project to highlight the career journeys of UH Hilo student employee graduates!

On this page:

Alumni Profiles

Anna Liu

Anna graduated with her B.B.A in Business Administration in the Spring 2017 semester. As a student employee she worked as a Marketing Student Intern at the ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai’i for two years. Today, Anna is a First Hawaiian Bank Branch Manager for their Kamuela location. In this short clip, Anna encourages students to participate in internships to see if the careers they envisioned for themselves are what they really want to pursue. She also shared that she joined the Hawai’i Island Chamber of Commerce which helped her make connections with the business community while she was still a student in college.

The internship really allowed me to get a real look into what it was like in a particular profession. So, for example, I mentioned marketing previously I took an internship at the ʻImiloa Astronomy Center for two and a half years, and then I took an appraisal internship with the county office for eight months, as well as an internship with a private firm just to see both sides of the coin. After that, I ended up going into a totally different profession but what it did is it allowed me to really learn and see what it's like to see if this is something that I want to pursue or not. -Anna Liu

Axel Defngin

Prior to graduating with his B.A. in Liberal Studies in the Fall of 2017, Axel worked as a UH student employee in various positions including as an Athletic Event Staff for the Student Life Center and as a Student Staff for the EEO/ Title IX office. Today, Axel works as a Graduate Assistant at the Center for Pacific Island Studies (CPIS) while working towards his M.A. degree in Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. In this short clip, Axel shares with us his deep appreciation for UH Hilo's Pacific Islander Student Center (PISC) which provided him opportunities that inspired both his current academic path and his asipration to help and support other pacific islander students.

I ended up not really being passionate about academia itself but more about education in general especially helping Pacific Islander students in higher education to be successful, especially for us Micronesians. I think coming here, whether it’s Micronesians born and raised here, or Micronesians coming out of Micronesia, it’s always been difficult; it’s always been hard. And I think we need more support and more people we can look up to. I think that’s something I’ve always wanted to do to help, is help students; be that support for them. -Axel Defngin

Rebecca Ziegler

Rebecca currently lives in Kissimmee, Florida and works as a Water Sciences Dive Master, Commercial Diver & Team Trainer for Walt Disney World. In the Spring 2015 semester, Rebecca graduated with two bachelor degrees- Marine Science and Communications. As a UH Hilo student, she worked as a student employee with the Student Life Center as an Outdoor Edventure Staff member where she took students on activities around Hawaii island. In this position, Rebecca also served as a Dive Master for UH Hilo Scuba classes.

My personal favorite was when the professors love to use kapakahi in his lecture constantly and whenever any time anything goes crazy, I say it! -Rebecca Ziegler

Michael-Edward "Laʻakea" Stone

Laʻakea currently works as a Legislative Correspondent in Senator Mazie Hirono's office in Washington D.C. As a student La'akea studied Linguistics and graduated with a bachelor of art's degree in the Spring of 2018. He also worked as a student employee first as a Halaulani Peer Mentor with the Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center; as a Linguistics Teaching Assistant with the Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language; and as a Resident Assistant and, later, an Office Assistance with University Housing.

My whole life I thought, ʻOh, Im gonna go to school and I know what I want to do' and then I got there and I was like, 'This is not what I want to do' so I was like, "Woah, I have to rethink my entire whatevers that I wanted to do and now figure out something else' so I switched majors.. -La'akea Stone

Interested in Participating?

Are you an alumni of UH Hilo?
Did you work as a UH Hilo student employee?
Do you have a story to tell?

Yes, Yes, & YES? Then we want to hear from you!

We would like to hear about how your academic background and experience as a UH Hilo student employee contributed to your career journey and current occupation. We want to know where in the world your career has taken you and how you are serving your communities. If you are interested in participating, please complete the Google Form.

Nā Mamo A Hanakahi Alumni
Project Google Form

For more information please contact Raynell Espaniola , Student Employment Specialist!

Other Resources

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The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. Title IX Coordinator: Jennifer Stotter/Jenna Waipa,, (808) 932-7642.