UH Mānoa Announces SAT, ACT Test-Optional Admission Policy for 2021-2022

Prospective first-year college students applying to the University of Hawaiʻi for the fall 2021 semester can now do so without submitting SAT or ACT scores. The exemption applies only to incoming 2021-2022 undergraduate applicants, who may still submit test scores as part of their admissions application, if they choose to. 

“These are unprecedented times and we at UH Mānoa want to do what we can to help,” stated Roxie Shabazz, UH Mānoa Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Director of Admissions. “We’ve all been impacted one way or another by COVID-19. By offering this option, we are confident that for fall 2021, we will still attract an applicant pool of students that will thrive academically at UH Mānoa.”

The College Board canceled the SAT exams scheduled in May and June, impacting many prospective UH Mānoa students scheduled to graduate from high school next year. 

“This spring season is critical for the high school junior, but unfortunately due to the COVID-19 challenges, a vast majority were unable to take their exam,” said Ryan Yamaguchi, UH Mānoa associate director of admissions. “We want to make sure these students are not unfairly impacted by this unprecedented crisis.”

More information can be found on the UH Mānoa Admissions website

There are no changes at UH Hilo and UH West Oʻahu where standardized tests are not used as a principal criteria in the application process. College admissions tests are not required for admission to the UH Community Colleges.  

UH, DOH Working on Plan to Test Out-of-State Students for COVID-19

The plan to test out-of-state University of Hawaiʻi students returning for the fall semester for COVID-19 will be developed by UH and the Hawaiʻi Department of Health (DOH).

“We look forward to working with the University of Hawaiʻi in developing a testing program that can ensure students returning here are free of COVID-19,” said DOH Director Bruce Anderson at a May 13 news conference with Gov. David Ige.

Protocols for testing, along contact tracing and quarantine as needed, are key components in UHʻs plans to resume in-person instruction at UHʻs 10 campuses in the fall semester, which the university announced on May 4.

UH President David Lassner confirmed that UH and DOH have already had initial conversations on testing and that the university is looking forward to more detailed discussions.

“There are a number of universities on the mainland that have worked through approaches, and we will be studying some of the best practices elsewhere,” said Lassner at the May 13 news conference. “We may not be first but we will certainly be one of the leaders in making it happen in partnership with the department of health.”

DOH and UH announced on May 13 that they are partnering to create a program to train personnel and community health workers to support DOH in conducting COVID-19 contact tracing.

More details on plans for the fall semester, including testing out-of-state students, are expected to be announced as plans are more fully developed.

Outstanding UH Hilo Pharmacy Preceptors & Faculty Honored

The end-of-year award ceremony for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy was held online recently to honor the Preceptors of the Year and teaching award winners.

The Preceptor of the Year award is given to a professional pharmacist who does an exceptional job of mentoring pharmacy students. This year’s recipient is Bonnie Bennett, Pharm.D., BCPS, CDE, at Tripler Army Medical Center on O`ahu, where she has been precepting DKICP students since 2017. She previously worked at Hilo Medical Center and Makalapa Navy Clinic before moving to Tripler in 2016.

“Along with 13 years of experience as a practicing pharmacist, Dr. Bennett is also a certified diabetes care and education specialist,” said Dean Carolyn Ma. “One of her passions is motivating patients to improve their health by learning self-care skills to effectively manage their chronic diseases.

“She is very good at what she does and very caring with her patients. She encourages students to think outside-the-box and to work hard to learn as much as possible during their rotation,” she added.

The 2020 Faculty Preceptor of the Year is Allen Shih, Pharm.D., BCPS and assistant specialist in the department of Pharmacy Practice at DKICP. After receiving his doctor of pharmacy from the University of Utah, Shih did his residency at Multicare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, WA. When he joined DKICP in 2014 he brought with him more than seven years of practice experience in emergency medicine and critical care.

“Dr. Shih is very patient and does an amazing job of guiding students through their thought processes,” Ma said. “He creates a great learning environment for students and keeps them engaged by using real-life applications and his humor. His rotations are among the students’ favorites.”

Each class also elects its favorite teachers of the year. This year’s Student Choice Awards for Teaching went to:

Class of 2023: Dr. Abhijit Date, Pharmacy Science, and Dr. Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit, Pharmacy Practice

Class of 2022: Dr. Dianqing Sun, Pharmacy Science, and Dr. Jarred Prudencio, Pharmacy Practice

Class of 2021: Dr. Daniela Guendisch, Pharmacy Science, and Dr. Chad Kawakami, Pharmacy Practice

UH has Beef with Wagyu Reproductive Rates

Wagyu, a Japanese breed of cattle, produces high-quality meat prized by chefs the world over. Unfortunately for steak lovers, Wagyu are also known for having poor reproductive rates. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Extension Agent Kyle Caires is on a mission to change that.

Wagyu beef

Caires, who works in the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences, recently took the next step in his long-term quest to improve the reproductive technologies of cattle with his paper, “The outcome and economic viability of production using IVF and SOV techniques in the Wagyu breed of cattle.”

Along with collaborators from Brazil and Washington State, Caires is combining econometrics (the application of statistical methods to economic data) with scientific outcomes. The goal is to implement the advanced reproductive technologies that are necessary for cattle producers to make rapid genetic improvements in a cost-effective manner. 

“For Maui ranchers raising Wagyu, our research team developed a framework to nearly double pregnancy rates, at nearly 70% less cost than typical genetic improvement strategies—a true game changer for high-quality beef in Hawaiʻi,” said Caires.

Caires added, “There is a plethora of reproductive management programs out there to choose from, and it can get complicated and costly for ranchers, even overwhelming at times. Our team conducts applied research to help take the guesswork out of the process for beef producers. This will lead to improvements in cattle fertility and lower costs for genetic improvement. I’m excited to help our Hawaiʻi ranchers remain competitive in a dynamic, ever-changing global beef industry.”

Caires’s paper was published May 1 in Veterinary Sciences.

Free UH Community College Classes for Hawaii’s Class of 2020

FREE University of Hawai‘i Community College classes. Yes, you read that right.

The COVID-19 pandemic did much more than curtail the academic year and graduation celebration for Hawai‘i’s high school seniors. Many graduates’ plans for college and work were disrupted as well.

The UH Community Colleges are offering free, online Next Step: Career Exploration classes to Hawaiʻi’s class of 2020 public high school graduates. It is on a first come, first serve basis, and students can develop their career plans in these summer classes and identify their next steps toward their career goals, whether to enroll in college, seek employment or both.  Students will begin to earn college credits and start working towards their next graduation, and earning a college degree. Those who sign up will learn how to navigate college, explore career options and discover the education and training available at UH to help them reach their career and life goals. It is part of the Next Steps to Your Future initiative, a partnership between the UH Community Colleges and Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education 

“The high school graduating class of 2020 persevered in the face of incredible adversity in their personal lives and education. We know many of their plans were disrupted, so the University of Hawaiʻi is offering free summer Career Exploration classes to help them develop new plans and take the next steps toward their goals,” said UH President David Lassner.” Hawaiʻi needs every one of our young people to be a part of planning for our shared future and how they will each contribute to taking care of their families, their communities and these islands that are our home.” 

All public high school graduates are encouraged to sign up via the Next Step: Career Exploration website, which includes a list of frequently asked questions. They can also email or text nextstep@hawaii.edu. The first class begins on May 26. Students will be assigned to classes based on when they sign up and the information they provide, such as career interests.

The UH Community Colleges and Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education are co-sponsors of the Next Steps to Your Future initiative. Hawai‘i P-20’s Summer Advising Initiative helps students to make informed critical decisions towards achieving their post-high plans. Advisors will guide students through their summer transition towards college or career, including nudging messages through a texting campaign, building on a Hawai‘i P-20 pilot project previously implemented in a few high schools this year. Students can sign up for the free summer advising program by texting “nextsteps” to (808) 460-8360 or signing up at www.p20hawaii.org/nextsteps.

Next Steps is generously funded by UH partners at the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, the Hawaii Resilience Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Strada Education Network and the Stupski Foundation.

VIDEO: UH Hilo Recognizes Campus Award Recipients

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo recently honored and recognized its 2020 recipients of various campus awards in a commemorative video.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, UH Hilo decided to postpone its annual End of the Year Awards and Recognition Celebration event to a later date.

This year’s recipients are:

• Mirei Sugita, Center for Global Education and Exchange, Student Employee of the Year Award
• Mackenzie Slayton, Associate Director of Campus Recreation, Distinguished Service Award for Improving Student Life
• Levi Mangiboyat, Janitor, Auxiliary Services, Excellence in Building and Grounds Maintenance Award 
• Dr. Norman Arancon, Professor of Horticulture and Chair of Performing Arts, Excellence in Service Award
• Dr. Francis Dumanig, Assistant Professor of English, Pulama `Ike Award
• Dr. Larry Kimura, Associate Professor of Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian Studies, Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi Award for Excellence and Innovation
• Patsy Iwasaki, Instructor of English, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
• Dr. John Burns, Assistant Professor of Marine Science, Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
• Dr. Kirsten Mollegaard, Professor and Chair of English, Board of Regents Excellence in Teaching Award 

Retired employees and faculty and staff recognized for various years of service as of December 31, 2019 are also included in the video. 

UH Hilo Celebrates its Spring 2020 Graduates with Virtual Commencement Video

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo congratulates and honors its Spring 2020 graduates with a special virtual Commencement video, which will be available for viewing at: https://hilo.hawaii.edu/commencement/spring2020/. UH Hilo decided to postpone its traditional in-person ceremony, originally scheduled for May 16, 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our students in particular have had to deal with so much this semester, and the Commencement Committee wanted to be sure our graduates were recognized, honored and celebrated for all of their accomplishments and hard work that got them to this day,” said Commencement Chair Lisa Spain. “Our virtual Commencement video is the result of many students, faculty and staff working hard to put this together to honor the Class of 2020.

“I wish the very best to all of our graduates, and thank everyone for such great teamwork,” she added.

Approximately 608 students petitioned for degrees and/or certificates from the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Natural and Health Sciences, Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, Business and Economics, Pharmacy, Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language, and for various post-graduate credentials.

The virtual Commencement video includes over 730 submissions from students, faculty, and staff, and congratulatory messages from Chancellor Bonnie D. Irwin and the deans of each college.

Plans for a traditional in-person Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 is underway and details will be shared at a later date.

UH System Announces Graduations

It is graduation time for more than 8,100 University of Hawaiʻi students as the spring 2020 semester comes to a close at UH’s 10 campuses. More than 8,600 undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and certificates will be awarded this spring, in a year that will be remembered for the COVID-19 pandemic. The health crisis led to the sudden shift to online courses impacting more than 46,000 UH students and the cancellations of spring commencement ceremonies at the 10 campuses.

“It cannot be overstated that, even in the midst of this present crisis, every student who graduates this semester should be very proud of everything that they have accomplished,” said UH President David Lassner. “Nothing should eclipse the feelings of well-earned pride for our graduates and everyone who has worked hard to help them achieve this important goal.”

The University of Hawaiʻi asks the community to remember to congratulate your college graduates and celebrate this milestone in their lives. UH graduates, their families and friends are encouraged to use #UHOhana when they post their graduate images and videos on social media.

The spring 2020 UH graduates are invited to participate in the next scheduled commencement ceremony for their respective campus in December or May 2021. Some campuses are tentatively planning to hold special commencement ceremonies in December for spring semester graduates, if conditions allow. The campuses and many individual units have come up with different ways to mark the milestone for their students this month.

The information provided below for each campus will be updated after the semester officially comes to an end on Friday, May 15. Please check back the week of May 18 for updated information.

UH Mānoa

Undergraduate students: 1,715
Graduate students: 783
Law school graduates: 93
Medical school graduates: 64
Total degrees: 2,826

UH Mānoa spring 2020 graduates are invited to participate in a future in-person commencement in December 2020. Mahalo video messages from students and video messages from Provost Michael Bruno and UH alumni will be posted on the UH Mānoa commencement site where there is also a list of the various celebrations planned by the colleges and schools.

UH Hilo

Undergraduate students:453
Graduate students: 82
Pharmacy student: 73
Total degrees: 852

UH Hilo will host a Virtual Commencement Ceremony on May 20, 2020 and students have been asked to post photos and videos.

UH West Oʻahu

Students graduating: 372

UH West Oʻahu has posted a video honoring graduates on its commencement website and also posted a TikTok Video made by faculty and staff to celebrate the graduates.

Leeward Community College

Student graduating: 1,326
Degrees and certificates: 1,848

Leeward CC is planning to hold a live ceremony in December. Celebration packets are being mailed to graduates, with a printed program, tassel and Class of 2020 stickers. More information can be found on the campus commencement website.

Honolulu Community College

Total degrees and certificates: 900

Honolulu CC will post a Celebration of Graduates 2020 video on Friday, May 15 on its commencement website. The website is also hosting a message board where students, family and friends can post congratulatory messages, videos and photos.

Kapiʻolani Community College

Students graduating: 716
Total degrees and certificates: 836

Kapiʻolani CC is planning to hold a ceremony in December. The campus is also providing a number of ways to celebrate its graduates on its commencement website including a virtual Graduate Celebration, a gathering place where graduates, instructors, classmates and ʻohana can leave messages and virtual lei and hugs.

UH Maui College

Students graduating: 608
Degrees and certificates: 903

UH Maui is holding a virtual ceremony on June 3 with a ʻukulele processional, graduate photos and an official conferring of degrees and speeches. The graduation will be streamed live and broadcast on the school’s cable channel. More information can be found on the UH Maui College commencement website.

Hawaiʻi Community College

Students graduating: 584
Total degrees and certificates: 770

Hawaiʻi CC is holding a virtual celebration featuring messages and photos that will be posted on the Hawaiʻi CC commencement website on Friday, May 15.

Kauaʻi Community College

Students graduating: 178

Kauaʻi CC is planning to hold a live ceremony in December and has a commencement website where a video message from Chancellor Joseph Daisy is posted.

Windward Community College

Students graduating: 166
Total degrees and certificates: 175

Windward CC is holding a commencement caravan on campus on Friday, May 22 and will also host a graduate message board on its commencement website.

UH Hilo Pharmacy Student Awards Presented in Online Ceremony

Faculty and staff of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy gathered virtually with students recently in an online version of its annual end-of-school-year awards ceremony. Along with presentations of many awards and scholarships, a slideshow recapping highlights of the many student activities that took place earlier in the year was shown.

“While this has been a challenging spring semester for students, making the transition to all online classes and dealing with the stresses brought on by the pandemic, they have continued to work hard and perform well,” noted Dean Carolyn Ma. “Their achievements in the face of adversity speak well for their potential accomplishments and contributions to the pharmacy profession.”

The following student awards were announced:

• Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment Highest Test Score: Qixin (Sandy) Li
• Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award: Josephine McDonald
• Mylan Pharmaceuticals Excellence in Pharmacy Award: Stacey Nguyen
• American Pharmacists Association Senior Recognition Certificate: Gregg Tam
• NCPA Outstanding Student Member of the Year: Brittany Luna
• Kahele Student Leader of the Year: Clifford Agcaoili
• UH Hilo DKICP Alumni Association Scholarship: Kalen Niimi
• Aloha Shoyu Pharmacy Scholarship: Katrina Jardine and Trisha Nobriga
• CVS Health Foundation Pharmacy School Scholarship: Nina Cardoza, Tran Dinh and Daijiro Oshitari
• Elwin & Valerie Goo Endowed Excellence Scholarship: Yun Soo Park
• Grace Mizuko Miyawaki Pharmacy Scholarship: Travis Hirayama
• Haga Family Endowed Scholarship: Tyler Branco-Hedke
• Hawaii Independent Pharmacies, Inc. Endowed Excellence Scholarship: Roanne Deabler and Cleighton Lagmay
• Edwin and Georgiana Kam Endowed Excellence Scholarship: Ashley Fukuchi
• Molokai Drugs, Inc. Scholarship: Kendrick Justin Dalmacio and Matthew Neumann
• Mr. Nagakatsu Kumao Otsuka and Dr. Raymond Masashi Otsuka Memorial Scholarship: John Jacob and Sasha Nealand
• Albertsons Safeway Pharmacy Scholarship: Alysha Cosier
• Walgreens Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship: Nadra Nour
• Walgreens Multilingual Scholarship: Danh Ronald Nguyen
• John M. and Mimi F. Pezzuto Excellence Scholarship: Qixin (Sandy) Li, Duy Nguyen and Henry Quach

Recipients of the DKICP Merit Awards were chosen based on academic achievement and leadership success. This year’s winners include:

Class of 2021
Sean Domingo, Qixin (Sandy) Li, Brittany Luna, Jaymee-Rae Pang, Johnson Siu, Donald Waddell

Class of 2022
Alysha Cosier, Tran Dinh, Ashley Fukuchi, Leia Hasegawa, Brian Petrone, Donald Sachs, Melanie Sacro

Class of 2023
Selin Cross, Jasmine Curiel, Emily Tu Le, Kalen Niimi, Sung Mi Yoon

Student Organization of the Year was presented to Hawaiʻi Student Society of Health Systems Pharmacy and Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.

UH Hilo Students, Faculty Publish Work on Coral Health & Disease

Students and faculty in the `Ike Wai Research Experience in Data Science Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo had their work on coral health and disease published in the May 6 edition of Frontiers Marine Science. The publication is the result of research done in Summer 2019.

Students survey coral health and collect imagery for 3D reconstruction on coral reefs.

“A Comparison of the Diagnostic Accuracy of in-situ and Digital Image-Based Assessments of Coral Health and Disease” addresses a pressing issue in the field of marine science, which is the capability of digital images to be used for detecting disease in marine environments. The students conducted underwater conventional coral health surveys and subsequently collected imagery for high-resolution 3D models of the same study plots. This unique approach allowed them to compare coral health assessments from visual surveys (human eyes on the reef) and digital analysis (computer-based).

The findings showed that the human visual assessment is more sensitive for detecting disease than the digital approach. The digital approach was comparable, however, and thus can be a useful tool when human divers cannot safely access reef habitats for visual surveys. As agencies around the globe are adopting digital imaging methods for monitoring reefs, this paper provides useful clarity of the pros and cons of using new technologies versus conventional techniques.

The students involved in the publication include Sofia Ferreira (Marine Science), Drew Gotshalk (Computer Science), Chad Kinoshita (Computer Science), Micah Marshall (Mathematics), Nicholas Del Moral (Computer Science), Shane Murphy (Marine Science), Kailey Pascoe (Tropical Conversation Biology and Environmental Science), Alexandra Runyan (Marine Science), Alexander Spengler (Marine Science), Brittany Wells (Marine Science), and Danielle Wilde (Marine Science). Faculty members are Drs. John Burns (Marine Science), Grady Weyenberg (Mathematics), and Travis Mandel (Computer Science).

“This project was a close collaboration between students and faculty in Marine Science, Computer Science, and Mathematics,” said Dr. Grady Weyenberg, assistant professor of mathematics and co-author of the publication. “Everybody got to learn a bit about how marine scientists conduct coral surveys, the CS problems involved in building 3D models from photographs, and the math modeling and computation that goes into more advanced Bayesian statistical models.

“The research is quite novel for Marine Science as there have been very few studies comparing the accuracy of the two methods of diagnosing coral reef health. From a statistical point of view, the problem is interesting because when the two methods disagree, we have no ‘gold-standard’ available to tell us which method is correct and which is wrong, so we must build that uncertainty into our models when comparing the methods,” he explained.

“This was a really great example of advancing science in an interdisciplinary manner,” added Dr. John Burns, assistant professor of marine science and co-author of the publication. “The students did an amazing job on all aspects of the project. They all brought varying levels of expertise that enabled us to quickly collect a large dataset from Hawaiian reefs and analyze it using various technological tools.

“By the end of six weeks they had completed all analyses and prepared the first draft of the manuscript as well as put together some exceptional presentations. To me, this project and resulting paper really capture one of the main goals of the UH Hilo Data Science program, which is bringing together students from multiple disciplines to conduct exciting applied research,” he noted.

The UH Hilo `Ike Wai Research Experience in Data Science Program is funded through UH Hilo’s participation in the $20 million `Ike Wai project awarded to the state in 2016 by the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

The full paper is available at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00304/full.

UH Hilo Pharmacy Student Wins National Competition

A third-year student pharmacist at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy recently won the national American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Patient Counseling competition. 

Henry Quach, who competed against students from pharmacy schools across the country, will receive a plaque and $1,000 prize.

The national counseling competition is designed to encourage student pharmacists to develop their skills as healthcare providers and educators. The contest mimics a patient picking up medication for the first time and requires pharmacy students to counsel the patient on safe and effective drug use. This year’s final round of competition involved the scenario of a mother picking up medication for her young son.

“She showed some signs of concern and anxiousness but was very responsive to learning about the medication,” Quach said.

Quach added that Dr. Jarred Prudencio, DKICP assistant professor of pharmacy practice, played a big role in helping him prepare for the contest. 

“I don’t think I could have done it without all of his help and encouragement,” he said.

Quach achieved some of his counseling skills working with the Pacific Island Mobile Screening Clinic, an organization manned by DKICP students to conduct health screenings and educate local residents about issues relating to chronic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. This past year, Quach served as lead on-site chair for the group.

As this year’s national winner, Quach will return to help judge next year’s APhA competition.

Colleges in Hawaii Receiving Over $22 Million to Help Cover Cost of Distance Learning, Fund Financial Aid for Students

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that Hawai‘i will receive $22,379,622 in new federal funding to help 12 colleges, universities, and community colleges transition to distance learning and provide emergency grants to students.

“Hawai‘i colleges and universities are refunding millions for housing, struggling to pay for salaries, and are incurring new expenses in the transition to digital classrooms,” said Senator Schatz. “The federal funding will not only help to cover these costs, it will also provide immediate assistance to students so that they can continue their education during this uncertain time.”

These new federal funds can be used for emergency financial aid grants to students to help ease expenses caused by campus disruptions from the coronavirus. The funds can also be used by institutions to help cover the costs of transitioning to distance learning, new technology, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll, among other things.

The higher education institutions receiving funding are:

  • Chaminade University is receiving $1,325,494
  • Hawai‘i Community College is receiving $1,017,091
  • Honolulu Community College is receiving $940,828
  • Kapiolani Community College is receiving $1,700,406
  • Kauai Community College is receiving $472,520
  • Leeward Community College is receiving $1,775,419
  • Pacific Rim Christian University is receiving $143,443
  • University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is receiving $2,691,269
  • University of Hawai‘i at Manoa is receiving $9,566,751
  • University of Hawai‘i Maui College is receiving $1,041,403
  • University of Hawai‘i-West Oahu is receiving $1,238,245
  • Windward Community College is receiving $466,753

The funding is made available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and will be allocated to colleges and universities that serve Native Hawaiian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander students.

More information on federal support for higher education in Hawai‘i can be found on Senator Schatz’s online resource guide: schatz.senate.gov/coronavirus/education/higher-ed.

Major Housing Project on Mānoa Campus Selects Greystar

The University of Hawaiʻi has entered into a pre-closing agreement and pre-construction right of entry with Greystar Real Estate Partners for its first major public-private partnership (P3) that will provide on-campus housing for UH Mānoa graduate students and faculty members. 

Rendering of exterior ground

The estimated $110 million building project will provide 388 affordable rental housing units along with a child-care facility and ground floor retail space. It will be located on the former NOAA site (approximately 2.2 acres) on Dole Street next to Burns Hall, across the street from Frear Hall. The pre-closing agreement was approved by the Board of Regents in March.

“We are constantly working to find pioneering opportunities to enhance the experience for our students, faculty and staff on campus,” said Kalbert Young, UH vice president for budget and finance and chief financial officer. “The new housing project helps meet the demand for modern, on-campus housing at a reasonable cost.”

The university is actively pursuing P3s as a way to monetize UH-owned lands to generate another revenue stream beyond tuition and state funding such as real property development, renewable energy development and facilities maintenance.

Rendering of exterior ground

“P3s are nationally recognized as a great way for government entities to enhance financing options, shift operating costs, leverage assets and capitalize on private-sector expertise,” said Young. “The Office of Strategic Development and Partnership that was established in June 2019 will lead the coordination of real property administration for the 10 UH campuses, and P3s are a significant part of our strategy moving forward.”

Greystar will design-build, finance, operate and maintain the family-oriented mixed-use rental housing project. The company is considered a global leader in the investment, development and management of high-quality rental housing properties and collegiate facilities.

“We are thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to partner with a company of Greystar’s caliber,” said UH Vice President for Administration Jan Gouveia. “They are national leaders in the university housing industry and we look forward to bringing their expertise to our campus.”

In addition to providing affordable, on-campus housing, the project is expected to generate residual free-cash flow to UH in the form of ground lease rent.

About Greystar

Greystar is a leading, fully integrated real estate company offering expertise in investment management, development, and management of rental housing properties globally. Headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, Greystar manages and operates over an estimated $165 billion of real estate in nearly 200 markets globally including offices throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region. Greystar is the largest operator of apartments in the United States, managing more than 536,000 units/beds, and has a robust institutional investment management platform with approximately $36.7 billion of assets under management, including nearly $14.6 billion of assets under development. Greystar was founded by Bob Faith in 1993 with the intent to become a provider of world-class service in the rental residential real estate business. To learn more, visit www.greystar.com.

UH Students Return to Campus in Fall

The University of Hawaiʻi plans to resume in-person instruction for the fall 2020 semester on all 10 campuses. UH will deploy a COVID-19-aware approach to providing a safe, high-quality education for new and returning students, faculty and support staff as the semester begins as scheduled on Monday, August 24.

“We all realize that the fall will absolutely not be a return to business as usual,” said UH President David Lassner in a message to the 10 campuses. “There is still great uncertainty, but plans for the State are now taking shape and we have ourselves learned much over the last two months. Now, more than ever, the people of Hawaiʻi need the opportunity to affordably engage in higher education to advance their careers and their lives.”

Planning has begun, and will continue through the summer, to implement appropriate social distancing and hygienic practices based on the guidance available. The current plans include:

  • Preparing for greater use of online resources and some classes shifting to hybrid modes with a mix of on-campus and online instruction
  • Review and physical reconfiguration, where necessary, of classrooms, labs, study areas and workspaces to support distances of at least 6 feet between people
  • Provisions and instructions to enable regular hand cleansing and hygiene
  • Protocols for testing, contact tracing and quarantine as needed in collaboration with public health officials

Student residence hall capacity will be available at UH Mānoa and UH Hilo for those students who choose to live on-campus. Isolation and social distancing protocols will be put in place based on the guidance available.

Email: UH Preparing for Safe Return to Campuses in Fall


I cannot thank all of you enough for your commitment, collaboration and strength through these difficult times. No one is personally untouched by this crisis, yet you persevere with compassion. Our UH ʻohana has risen to the challenge as our faculty continue to teach, our students continue to learn and our support staff continue to serve both and care for our campuses.

As challenging as it is right now, we must also plan for the future. There is still great uncertainty, but plans for the State are now taking shape and we have ourselves learned much over the last two months.

So I am happy to announce today that the University of Hawaiʻi plans to resume in-person classes on all 10 campuses beginning August 24, 2020, as scheduled.

We all realize that the fall will absolutely not be a return to business as usual. Rather, UH will deploy a COVID19-aware safe approach to providing high-quality education throughout the state for new and returning students at this very time when they and our State need higher education more than ever.

Planning is now beginning for the necessary changes across our UH campuses to support appropriate social distancing and hygienic practices based on the guidance available. While the fall semester is being planned to ensure safe instruction on campus, we are also preparing for greater use of online resources and some classes shifting to hybrid modes with a mix of on-campus and online instruction.

Plans for safe in-person instruction will include review of and any necessary physical reconfiguration of classrooms, labs, common areas and workspaces to support safe distances between people. Provisions and instructions will be provided to enable regular hand cleansing and hygiene. And UH will support protocols for testing, contact tracing and quarantine as needed, in collaboration with public health officials.

Student residence hall capacity will be available at UH Mānoa and UH Hilo for those students who need a place to live. Isolation and social distancing measures will be prepared consistent with applicable public health guidance.

UH also recognizes the uncertainty around local and global conditions in the fall. While planning for modified on-campus education, we will also thoroughly prepare for the possibility of a significant COVID-19 outbreak that may require one or more of our campuses to return to fully online instruction. These plans for high-quality online instruction will be informed by the experience and lessons learned from the abrupt transition to online instruction in spring 2020 experienced at UH and throughout the country.

The State of Hawaiʻi cannot thrive without its great public higher education system serving students and communities across our islands. Now, more than ever, the people of Hawaiʻi need the opportunity to affordably engage in higher education to advance their careers and their lives.

Thank you once again for your hard work, your patience, your resilience and your compassion for one another.

E mālama pono,
David Lassner
UH President

‘Golden’ International Ranking for UH Mānoa

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is in the top 1% of worldwide universities and colleges, according to the Round University Ranking (RUR) world university rankings released on April 29.

UH Mānoa is No. 200 in the world and No. 65 in the U.S., placing UH’s flagship campus in the “Golden League” tier out of an estimated 26,000 universities in the world. UH Mānoa’s ranking is higher than the University of New Mexico (237 worldwide), Arizona State University (274 worldwide) and Oregon State University (309 worldwide).

RUR also rated UH Mānoa in the “Golden League” tier in the areas of teaching (156 worldwide, 59 U.S.) and international diversity (178 worldwide, 30 U.S.).

“These rankings reflect the excellence of our students, faculty and staff as potential applicants make important decisions on which institutions to attend in the fall,” UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno said. “Hawaiʻi can take pride knowing that one of the top universities in the world is located right here in our state.”

RUR is produced using data provided by Clarivate Analytics. The RUR world university rankings aim to guide potential students and their parents to choose the higher institution that suits their needs, assist professors with finding collaborators from other universities and serve as an assessment tool for managers of universities. About 1,100 of the world’s leading universities from 82 countries are considered for the rankings. 

Other rankings

UH Mānoa also received the following prominent rankings:

For more information, see the Mānoa Institutional Research Office website.

HawCC Recruiting Instructors, Leveraging Local Talent

EDvance, formerly the Office of Continuing Education and Training at Hawaiʻi Community College, is diversifying and updating its course offerings in response to the impact of COVID-19. EDvance provides lifelong learning opportunities to all ages by offering courses and programs that include non-credit courses, workshops and customized training for businesses and industries, workforce training and other activities to enhance local economic development efforts.

The Hawaiʻi CC EDvance team

“Society has suddenly become more accepting of not only online learning, but the delivery of prepared meals, contactless retail, remote meetings, flexible schedules, home-life balance and mental health, data-driven health prevention, remote workforce collaboration and digital currency,” Jim Fong, director of research and strategy at the University Professional and Continuing Education Association, wrote recently.

EDvance is preparing for wide-ranging change with educational programming that is immediately applicable and locally relevant. The Hawaiʻi CC office aims to leverage existing talent and expertise in the community, making it accessible to everyone. With the right people teaching the right courses in the right format, EDvance can safely and effectively address the issues facing our community:

  • Parents need educational activities for keiki.
  • Kupuna need vital connections to the community.
  • Unemployed workers need training and development.
  • Businesses need assistance to adapt and adjust.
  • Non-profits and government need to be informed and responsive.

EDvance has bold goals to meet the community’s needs, but requires passionate people to be successful. No previous teaching experience is required.

“We want to invest in you, from on-going coaching and training to networking and relationship-building,” said Jessica Yamamoto, EDvance director.

Join the EDvance instructor pool and share your skills or expertise with the community in a new or existing course. EDvance’s instructor pay starts at more than $30 an hour. To find out more or to begin the recruitment process, go to the EDvance website, call (808) 934-2700 or email edvance@hawaii.edu.

In Era of COVID-19, Financial Support for Future Journalists

Donors committed to supporting the importance of journalism in democracy and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa journalism program presented $21,000 in scholarships and awards to 15 UH Mānoa students.

“We are so proud of these students and so thankful for our donors and their commitment to an independent media,” said Colin Moore, chair of the School of Communications in the College of Social Sciences. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, journalists are once again demonstrating the vital role they play in our society. We must support our future journalists and communicators.”

The Carol Burnett Award for Responsible Journalism was established in 1981 by the actress and comedienne to honor outstanding students who have demonstrated a strong sense of journalistic responsibility and integrity. These two honorees displayed strong ethical journalism practices:

Cassie Ordonio (L) and Geneva Diaz (R)
  • Graduating senior Geneva Diaz is news editor at Ka Leo O Hawaiʻi, a communications intern at AARP and will be interning at Hawaii Business Magazine as a Hawaiʻi Chapter-Society of Professional Journalists intern this summer. She has demonstrated her openness to different viewpoints in many stories, including her article about the challenges facing Hawaiʻi Island farmers over the misleading branding of Kona coffee and in her story that exposed mold problems in a Mōʻiliʻili apartment complex.
  • Senior Cassie Ordonio was Ka Leo managing editor and has been an intern this spring at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, where she will continue this summer as a Hawaiʻi Chapter-SPJ intern. She has dealt with ethical issues as a Micronesian journalist covering bias against Micronesians in the workforce as well as a story about kānaka maoli views of the Thirty Meter Telescope.

Previous winners of the Carol Burnett awards met with Burnett backstage after one of her recent shows in Hawaiʻi.

The following are UH Foundation scholarships that provide financial support for students who meet the criteria and GPA requirements.

The Ed Sheehan Scholarship Fund in Journalism is for journalism majors with a 3.0 GPA or higher and is given in honor of the late radio host, author and columnist.

  • Nathan Bek
  • Georgia King-Johnson
  • Katie Lane
  • Charissa Porter
  • Elizabeth Ufi

The James H. Couey, Jr. Memorial Scholarship is for journalism majors with a 3.0 GPA or higher and is given in honor of the late publisher of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

  • Sophia Compton

The Louise Hess Miller Journalism Awards Fund is a scholarship that supports journalism majors and graduate students of academic merit who have financial need.

  • Rhea Saura
  • Lori Gregg-Hammer

The Pierre Bowman Memorial Scholarship for journalism majors with at least a 2.0 GPA is given in honor of the late Honolulu Star-Bulletin entertainment editor, who had a passion for culture and the arts.

  • Alyssa Rodello
  • Anika Wheeler

Fund administered by Social Science Research Institute in the College of Social Sciences:

The F.R. Moulton Scholarship is an aid fund for journalism majors in honor of F.R. Moulton, a scientist who was also a pioneer in educational broadcasting in the 1930s. The student must be a journalism major with a 3.0 GPA or higher and have financial need.

  • Ronnie Allen Campman
  • Christian Navarro
  • Charissa Porter
  • Samantha Sexton

UH Cancer Center, Hawaii Cancer Consortium Join National COVID-19 Study

The University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center and its clinical partners in the Hawai‘i Cancer Consortium have joined a national study, The COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium, to better understand the impact of the coronavirus on cancer patients. Led by Vanderbilt University, the study will collect information about cancer patients who contract COVID-19, and are receiving treatment at The Queen’s Medical Center, Hawai‘i Pacific Health Hospitals, Hawaii Cancer Care and Hawaii Oncology Inc.

Click to access the survey

“It’s critically important that we participate in a study like this so that we have information about how our population of cancer patients respond to the COVID-19 virus.  Our participation will ensure that the findings will have direct relevance for the people of Hawai‘i,” said Jared Acoba, UH Cancer Center assistant professor and oncologist at Hawaii Oncology Inc., who will serve as the local principal investigator for the study.

“One of the key activities of the UH Cancer Center is to make available and to coordinate national cancer clinical research activities for all of our partners in our clinical trials network. We’re very pleased to be able to bring this study forward and appreciate the strong support for activating this study from hospital and physician leadership,” said Kate Bryant-Greenwood, manager of the UH Cancer Center’s Clinical Trials office.

The Hawaii Cancer Consortium includes the UH Cancer Center, John A. Burns School of Medicine, The Queen’s Health System, Hawai‘i Pacific Health, Kuakini Medical Center and Hawaii Medical Service Association. These entities, along with many oncology focused private practices including Hawaii Cancer Care, Hawaii Oncology Inc, The Cancer Center of Hawaii, Island Urology Oahu, Family Health Plan in Guam, and Tripler Army Medical Center, comprise the UH Cancer Center led cancer clinical trials network. 

“Bringing the best care to cancer patients is our mission, and here in Hawai‘i we are fortunate to have all of these different entities working together to achieve this goal,” said Randall Holcombe, director of the UH Cancer Center.

The Vanderbilt University study on COVID-19 and cancer is now active.  More information can be obtained by calling the Clinical Trials Office at UH Cancer Center at 808-586-2979.

UH Faculty Members Issue Recommendations on Containing COVID-19

The state of Hawaiʻi should accelerate its public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a group of University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa faculty. They have issued a 16-page report Crush the Curve: Urgent Steps Hawai‘i Can Take to Contain the Covid-19 Pandemic that includes the following recommendations:

  • Increase patient and surveillance testing with a focus on patients with milder symptoms, at-risk populations (nursing home residents, prisoners, etc.) and essential workers.
  • Expand the number of employees assigned to contact tracing that could include activating National Guard units and initiating scores of emergency hires.
  • Significantly increase the use of vacant hotel capacity to isolate every individual who tests positive and to provide housing for front-line responders and especially vulnerable persons for the duration of the crisis.

“The intention of this report is not to criticize the state’s efforts in responding to this crisis as Hawai‘i has truly come together to get through this first wave of the epidemic,” said UH Mānoa Professor Robert Perkinson, a specialist in criminal justice and one of the report’s authors. “What we wanted to do was highlight areas we see could improve the response moving forward. Unless we add capacity to trace every infection and isolate everyone who tests positive, we are still in grave danger. This is an illness that has punished caution and delay all over the world.”

The report was authored by an interdisciplinary team of faculty members coordinated by the UH Mānoa Public Policy Center. It is based on consultations with experts in multiple fields, including epidemiology, virology, economics and disaster response. The report analyzes Hawai‘i’s actions in four key areas of emergency response to emerging infectious disease: social distancing, diagnostic testing, contact tracing and isolation and quarantine. State and municipal authorities have made progress in each area but the researchers are urging more action.

“We have a real opportunity to defeat COVID-19 in Hawai‘i,” adds UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine Professor Seiji Yamada, one of the report’s co-authors. “Only if we deploy the full arsenal of public health tools, not just social distancing but widespread testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine.”

Colin Moore, director of UH’s Public Policy Center, notes that the report synthesizes the recommendations of experts across the university and is in sync with recommendations of public health experts worldwide. “These steps will be difficult and costly to implement,” he said, “but if we are to safely restart the economy, they are absolutely necessary.”

Managing COVID-19 until a large portion of the world’s population is vaccinated will require a substantial buildout of the state’s public health capacity. The researchers conclude that investment and appropriate action now will save lives and better position Hawai‘i for recovery.

Students Participate in Virtual HIplan Hackathon

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has long been recognized for the diversity of its student body, and on the weekend of April 4-5, UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College students really learned how important that diversity is in approaching solutions to local problems.

In planning for over a year, UH Hilo and HawCC collaborated with HIplan Executive Director Jason Ueki and the BizGenics Foundation to offer a HIplan Hackathon for students. The goals were to develop students’ understanding of how to conceptualize and design a business concept for an app-based solution to a real community issue, which centered on the recovery efforts around the 2018 lava flow.

Roughly 50 students from both campuses had initially registered for the face-to-face event, which had to be completely restructured as a virtual event due to COVID-19. Since many students had returned home or experienced a shift in priorities, 15 students participated in the online event, spanning the globe from Hawaiʻi Island to Spain. Luca Checchia Adell, a sophomore at UH Hilo studying Business, participated from his hometown of Valencia, Spain, which meant that he stayed up all night to collaborate with his teammates. 

The event lasted two days, bringing students together from different campuses, majors, and backgrounds to share their global perspectives and approaches to problem-solving. Collaborating in teams of three or four students, the students were provided with training in business models and the BizzyB.com collaborative learning platform, and heard a presentation from Helen Tien, instructor at UH Hilo’s College of Business and Economics, on the challenges the community still faces from the 2018 lava flow. 

The students worked with mentors who shared their extensive knowledge in business and technology to develop the teams’ concepts, business plans and pitches. The teams then pitched their concept and answered questions from a panel of judges. 

UH Hilo participant Ryen Helzer, a senior studying Geography & Environmental Science, said, “The HIplan Hackathon allowed me to practice creative problem-solving and presenting skills that apply to real-world careers. The opportunity to quickly meet and work with a diverse group of individuals to create solutions is a positive experience for future endeavors.” 

For some, the online format might have been helpful. 

Makamae Kamaka-Mauhili, a UH Hilo freshman studying Business and Women’s Studies, reflected, “I am someone who tends to stay in the background, but with my team, I was able to emerge from my shell and share what I thought comfortably. Since it was virtual, in my opinion it was easier for us to work together. 

“The overall hackathon experience really broadened my scope of learning alongside applying knowledge and skill sets to produce a positive outcome,” she added.

Kamaka-Mauhili and teammates Brian McMichael (HawCC, IT), Karly Requelman (Sophomore, HawCC, Culinary Arts) and Zoe Whitney (Senior, UH Hilo, Environmental Science and TESOL) took First Place and were awarded $2,500 for designing an app that connects community members with skills and materials to rebuild homes that were lost as a result of the lava flow. Second Place and $1,500 went to Kevianna Adams (Junior, UH Hilo, Chemistry & Psychology), Santos Gutierez (Sophomore, HawCC, Information Technology), Ryen Helzer (Senior, UH Hilo, Geography & Environmental Sciences) and Catherine Kane-Paulo (Junior, UH Hilo, Business Administration) for their app named Coconut Grove. Third Place and $1,000 went to Luca Checchia Adell (Sophomore, UH Hilo, Business Administration), Casey Chow (Freshman, HawCC, ITS), Kevin Oh (Freshman, HawCC, Information Technology), and Jena Shidaki (Sophomore, UH Hilo, Communication) for their Disaster Defense app. Fourth Place and $300 went to the team of Alan Cincunegui Corres (Sophomore, UH Hilo, Finance), Kapaia`alaopuna Earle (Junior, UH Hilo, Communication & Hawaiian Studies), and Garnett Stone Jr. (Junior, UH Hilo, Business Administration) for their app called Second Wave.

Judges included Melanie Wilson, Dean of Liberal Arts & Public Services at HawCC, tech entrepreneur Steve Sakoman of Steve Sakoman Inc., and Chris Rehkamp, former program manager at the Digital Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. Mentors included Director of Accelerator Operations at Elemental Excelerator Sherrie Totoki in San Francisco, Americas Advisory Learning Leader Louise Lorton of Ernst & Young in North Carolina, and Phillipe Rosse from RFP Match in North Carolina. Facilitators included local entrepreneur Mike Nakamura, former tech executive Wayne Morris, and retired tech professional Walter McCoy.

Event sponsors were Kamehameha Schools, Ulupono Initiative, County of Hawaiʻi, UH Hilo and HawCC.