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

Victor Reed

Victor graduated with his B.A. in Political Science in the Spring of 2011. As a student employee, Victor worked as a Student Assistant with the Upward Bound program as well as a Student Assistant Manager with the Hawaiʻi Innovation Center at Hilo (HICH). Following his graduation from UH Hilo, Victor shares that he lived in China for three years crediting Professor Enbao Wang for exposing him to the culture and political views through the sharing of his own life-experiences. Victor shares that he would not have experienced that opportunity had it not been for UH Hilo’s sense of community and small class sizes providing him the chance to build relationships with his professors as an individual instead of being “one of many” which is often the case at larger universities. Today, Victor lives in Washington, D.C. and is a Senior Partner Development Executive at SkyKick, Inc.- a cloud automation and cloud management technology firm.

Responding to the statement that students are sometimes overly focused on sticking to career fields that align with their major.

You know what I think, Kawika, when it comes to that piece, that’s what graduate school and business school and law school are for. That’s a firm commitment at that point, right? That that’s the profession that you’re going to enter, but undergraduate education is all about, in my humble opinion, again, the foundational building blocks of what you will take and bring into the marketplace, and that's not necessarily going to be a one-to-one relationship with what you’re actually studying, right?

Robin Lockwood

Robin graduated with her B.S in Marine Science and a S.C. in Educational Studies in the Spring of 2016. As a student employee she worked as a Divemaster for the Outdoor Edventure Program as well as a Campus Tour Guide with the New Student Programs. After graduating from UH Hilo, Robin spent time teaching science in Beijing, China before pursuing both an M.S and teaching certificate. Today, Robin teaches Science, Math and Digital Media at a high school in Wasilla, Alaska. In this short clip, Robin shares that even after she graduated from UH Hilo she continues to keep in touch with her professors who continue to share opportunities with her. Robin also shares that she often recommends UH Hilo to her high school students who are trying to decide which college to attend, stating that she appreciated the small town feel, the partnerships the departments developed within the community, and, even, the resources available at the library.

I would never have gotten this position as a digital media teacher, but when I was at UH Hilo, I worked for the Outdoor Edventure Program as a Divemaster and would take videos and photos of all our students and just kind of played around with Adobe Premiere and all of these different software programs and so when they were looking for someone who’s phasing out and they're looking to someone to phase in, it was a natural transition as it was just, like, small pastime of mine in college to do this. - Robin Lockwood

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 Hawaiʻi 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 Hawaiʻi 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 Hawaiʻi 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 aspiration 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 its 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 Hawaiʻi 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 Laʻakea 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 alumnus 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 , Internship and Experiential Learning Coordinator!

Other Resources

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