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SPOTLIGHTS


2022

August

ID: sp08242201

Title: A Life Dedicated to Ending Hunger in America

Date: August 24, 2022

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Author: Gregory Fischbach

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HPU alumnus William Carnegie ‘86 first experienced the severity of the hunger crisis while walking through downtown Honolulu. He saw a young mother outside a McDonald’s restaurant on Fort Street Mall feeding her child from a garbage can.  


“It took me a few years after that to begin my career in hunger relief,” said Carnegie. “I’ve never forgotten that image.” 


Born and raised in southern Michigan, Carnegie attended Troy High School until his family relocated to Chicago. He graduated in 1969 from Zurich High School and a year later enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. 


“I was stationed in Honolulu and later discovered HPU,” said Carnegie. “HPU offered a flexible schedule that worked with my active duty responsibilities that included evening and accelerated classes. The urban campus was convenient, and the university not only provides a superior academic setting, but it also provides the opportunity to meet and interact with many people from different cultures and backgrounds.” 


Carnegie graduated magna cum laude from HPU in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. His resolve to help end hunger grew stronger year by year. So, in 1990, he accepted a position with Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank as their director of operations. Carnegie oversaw the operations of eight nonprofit food distribution centers that served 40 western Michigan counties.  


Carnegie moved to Indiana in 1995 where he worked for 16 years as president and CEO of the Food Bank of Northern Indiana. He graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 2001 with a Master of Science in nonprofit administration. 


“My degree at HPU opened that first door, which allowed me to advance my career beyond anything I ever thought possible,” said Carnegie. “My degree from HPU led to my acceptance to University of Notre Dame. HPU helped guide my work in both self-study and team projects.” 


In 2006, Carnegie moved to Arizona to work for the Community Food Bank as their president and CEO. He was recognized in 2012 as the Feeding America CEO of the Year. Moving from Arizona to California to Texas, and currently to Florida, Carnegie has worked tirelessly to address hunger issues and has started multiple hunger programs. 


Carnegie became COO of Feeding Northeast Florida in June of this year. He is responsible for operational excellence of a regional food bank serving eight northern Florida counties.  


“My focus at Feeding Northeast Florida is overall program excellence through improvement of efficiencies with a fair and equitable distribution of our services,” said Carnegie. “Today, pockets of poverty exist in every community, and it’s often a challenge to both identify and serve these areas.”  


Carnegie sits back and reflects on his lifelong goal to help end hunger, and just what is his vision of perfect happiness? How will he get there? 


“I’ve spent the last 30 years leading Feeding America Food Banks,” said Carnegie. “My idea of perfect happiness will be realized when all people have access to a nutritious food supply.” 



ID: sp08232202

Title: HPU Professor Presents at the Americas Conference on Information Systems

Date: August 23, 2022

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HPU Assistant Professor and Program Chair of Business Analytics and Information Security Ghazwan Hassna, Ph.D., travelled to Minneapolis this year to present at the annual Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS) held on August 10-14.


The AMCIS is one of the leading conferences for presenting the broadest variety of research done by and for IS/IT academicians. Each year at the conference, papers and panel presentations are selected from over 700 submissions through a peer review process; the AMCIS proceedings are in permanent collections of libraries throughout the world.


This year, the AMCIS acknowledged that developments in information processing and communication technologies have occasioned broad changes to organizations, as well as to research and the examination and studies of phenomena in organizations. These changes in the hardware, systems, and information processing have clearly occasioned complex transformations in how businesses operate and create value and require significant changes to the practice of academic research.


Hassna presented his latest research in-progress entitled, Big Data & Analytics in Higher Education: Value Focused Thinking Approach.


“During the last decade, Big Data & Analytics (BD&A) has demonstrated great potential in helping business organizations to improve their operations and customer experiences, deliver better products and services, and make breakthrough discoveries,” said Hassna.


Given its business transformative potential Hassna demonstrated how several universities across the world realized the need to integrate BD&A education into their curriculum and programs. He highlighted how universities in the U.S., for example, started offering courses and degrees with a focus on providing prospective students with the required skills for the new data-driven economy.


Hassna explained that while the adoption rate of BD&A education has increased significantly by universities worldwide (especially in business schools), it is not the case for the real adoption and utilization of BD&A to improve the core business functions and operating models of many higher education institutions. Hassna stated that many universities are now teaching their students how to utilize BD&A to transform business functions, but only very few are tapping into their potential to improve their own business and operating models. He stressed that universities should not only teach BD&A, but they should go beyond that into utilizing their potential to transform their own business functions and processes.



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“My new study aims to deploy the value focused thinking (VFT) approach to enhance our understanding of the strategic and organizational objectives for adopting and utilizing BD&A by higher education institutions,” said Hassna. He demonstrated that the results of this study can be very important not only for the academic audience, but also for higher education leaders, administrators, and senior managers who are involved in setting the strategic direction of their academic institutions. The results can also provide a framework for them to understand their fundamental values and plan the relevant BD&A initiatives that support their goals and objectives.


Hassna joined the faculty of HPU in 2017 and has recently won the University’s 2021 Golden Apple Award for Innovative Graduate Programs and Curriculum Design. This is his third Golden Apple Award at HPU.



ID: sp08232201

Title: The Busy Summer of an HPU Business Law Professor

Date: August 23, 2022

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Author: Gregory Fischbach

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HPU Professor Michelle Alarcon, J.D., MBA, has had a busy summer of activities that include reviewing textbook materials for McGraw-Hill, being a court appointed arbitrator, and submitting several papers for publication in academic journals. Alarcon has been an HPU faculty member for over 20 years and teaches various subjects in the HPU College of Business, including employment labor law, and business law and ethics.  


In May and June, Alarcon reviewed three textbook materials  for McGraw-Hill that include: Connect Master Business Law, Application-Based Activities, and Principles of Management Concept Review.  


Alarcon also was assigned to preside as a court appointed arbitrator  for a civil case in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit. The case decision concluded in June 2022.


“Arbitration involves submission of a dispute to a neutral arbitrator who renders a decision after hearing arguments and reviewing evidence,” said Alarcon. “It is usually less rigidly structured and can be concluded more quickly than formal court proceedings.”  


In July 2022, Alarcon submitted academic papers for conference and publication approvals. A full draft is submitted for publication entitled HRM Ethics and Law: Manipulation of HRM Policies to Deceptively Support Employment Laws was submitted. The paper discusses two cases that reveal some disturbing manipulation of HRM policies implemented within a structure of legally sound and ethically grounded procedures, but cleverly conducted in ways to circumvent certain employment laws (e.g., ADA, EEO laws).  


A second full draft paper is entitled The Law and Oppressive Child Labor. The paper examines the major causes of oppressive labor; the relevant laws of the United States and the United Nations; the loopholes in these laws; how these loopholes enable the proliferation of the problem; and proposed legal revisions that uphold all forms of oppressive child labor laws as crimes.  


The third draft is an abstract entitled Tenets of Justice: First Do No Harm. This was submitted for acceptance in a Las Vegas conference proceeding in October. 



ID: sp08182201

Title: Building Molecules and Careers at HPU

Date: August 18, 2022

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Author: Gregory Fischbach

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HPU Associate Professor of Chemistry Gideon Berger, Ph.D., sits at a table on the grounds of Hawaii Loa Campus with recent B.S. in Biology graduate Maxallen Baldovi Ponce, Jr., with a story to share about chemistry. Berger has a knack for breaking down the complexity of chemistry in a way that makes learning fun and engaging. Always with a smile and the smooth ease of explaining the process of building molecules, Berger demonstrates a love and talent for teaching.  


“What we do in our lab is organic synthesis. We make molecules,” said Berger. “In a prior life, I was a carpenter. I like building things. At HPU, we learn what Mother Nature wants a chemical to do and we use that to literally build it up. Synthetically.” 


A classic example is paclitaxel.  


“In the 60s and 70s, researchers were looking for cancer medicines and they found the Pacific yew tree,” said Berger. “It was completely accidental! The bark from the tree was ground and the molecules were extracted. Scientists isolated paclitaxel and applied it to cancer cells to see if the cells would die.  


“In 1993, paclitaxel ended up being a groundbreaking cancer medication called Taxol, but the problem was there are not enough Pacific yew trees to support the demand. Synthetic chemists set out to build that molecule. Everything is chemicals, and we are in the business of trying to understand and create molecules. We pick a natural product and go after it.” 


Ponce has been conducting research and building molecules in Berger’s chemistry lab for two years. The difference between the nimble HPU and many other universities is that undergraduate students are almost exclusively the researchers doing the work in the lab.  


“We excel at working with undergraduate students,” said Berger. “Typically, an HPU student will have the opportunity to work with a professor during their last two years of undergraduate work. Students can have this experience early on in their educational careers and are ahead of the game when they go on to graduate school, or health-related professional programs like medical school.” 


Ponce was born and raised in Ewa Beach on Oahu and enrolled at HPU with the intention of going to nursing school. Two weeks before he started, a lightbulb clicked, and he decided to change his major to biology with a human health science concentration and enter the field of medicine.  


“I started my freshman year at HPU and really got into sciences,” said Ponce. “I knew I wanted to pursue a career in health sciences, but I needed the experience of working in a lab, conducting research, so I can get into medical school and become a doctor. Professor Berger gave me the opportunity to work in a lab, building and analyzing chemicals.”  


Ponce graduated from HPU in spring 2022. He walked across the stage at Aloha Tower Marketplace and celebrated his achievement with friends and family. Berger and Ponce will carry on with their research through spring 2023 and when there is an overlap of new students in the lab Ponce will help train those students. He plans to take the MCAT in September. 


“I’m so delighted that Max will be taking a gap year because so many students believe they can’t waste time,” said Berger. “Students need months to study for the MCAT exam. It’s not something to rush into! Taking the time needed to get a good score is essential and Max is going to do very well.” 


Ponce is currently volunteering at a homeless shelter, and he has worked to shadow a physician in a clinic in Waipahu. In high school, he volunteered at Queen’s Medical Center West twice a week. The experience of volunteering and working with people in the community is exactly what medical schools want to see on applications. 


“I want to be either an internist, cardiologist, or pediatrician,” said Ponce.  


Berger lit up with excitement at the intention for Ponce to become a pediatrician. “This guy is a perfect pediatrician. He’s always smiling! He’s a natural.” 


Ponce’s girlfriend graduated with a degree in nursing and accepted a position in San Diego. His sister, Emily Ponce ‘21, graduated from HPU with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and is currently working in Washington as a nurse.  


“My family is very interested in the healthcare field,” said Ponce. “They are extremely supportive and have helped me every step of the way to one day become a doctor.” 



July

ID: sp07212201

Title: HPU’s Center of Excellence Draws Attention at EDULearn Conference in Spain

Date: July 21, 2022

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HPU Assistant Professor of Information Systems Bernhard Bengler, D.B.A. travelled to Spain to attend the 2022 EDULearn conference held in July at the convention center of Palma de Mallorca.


Bengler moderated the entire university-industry collaboration session at the conference. His presentation on HPU’s approach to project-based-learning and its Center of Excellence with Telanto drew great attention, not only during Bengler’s session but throughout the entire conference. People from around the world showed interest in HPU’s approach on how to introduce projects in classes on a large scale and in a repeatable fashion.


“It clearly showed that the innovative approach to widely use project-based-learning through third party platforms (e.g., Telanto) moves HPU to the forefront of innovative teaching that prepares students for their future professional careers in an ideal manner,” said Bengler. 


HPU Associate Professor Lawrence Rowland, Ed.D., and Bengler of HPU’s College of Business are researching the benefits of project-based-learning for the stakeholders involved (e.g., higher-education institutions; instructors, students and industry partners; project partners), and are conducting a longitudinal study on HPU’s introduction of project-based learning.


The first survey conducted in summer 2022 showed that over 84% of all students who participated in projects so far think that the project experience contributed to the class learning outcome, and close to 70% of all students would prefer a class with real life projects if the same class was also offered without projects.


The research also provides great insights where the approach leaves room for improvement, especially with regards to the comparison of graduate and undergraduate courses.


 



ID: sp07192201

Title: Q&A with Entrepreneur and Legal Tech Visionary HPU Alum Kiwi Camara '01

Date: July 19, 2022

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Author: Gregory Fischbach

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Kiwi Camara ‘01 is an attorney, co-founder and CEO of DISCO, a cloud-native, artificial intelligence-powered solution that simplifies e-discovery, legal document review, legal hold and case management for enterprises, law firms, legal services providers, and governments. He is one of the youngest graduates to ever graduate from HPU, enrolling at the age of 14 and graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in computer science and mathematics at 16. 


Camara enrolled at Harvard University in 2001 at the age of 17, receiving the John M. Olin Fellowship Program in Law and Economics. He accepted a position as a law clerk for Judge Harris Hart of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Camara graduated from Harvard University with his J.D. at 19, the youngest graduate ever from Harvard Law School. 


He attended Stanford University as a Ph.D. student in economics, taught corporate law at Northwestern, and was a founding partner of Camara & Sibley LLP in Houston. In 2013, Camara co-founded DISCO with the vision to use technology to automate the legal functions that don’t require human legal judgment, to enable lawyers to focus on the actual practice of law. Camara led DISCO to become one of the only publicly traded legal technology companies when DISCO filed its IPO in July 2021 (NYSE: LAW). Under Camara’s leadership, DISCO has been recognized as one of the 2019 and 2020 Deloitte Technology “Fast 500” and the 2020 and 2021 “Forbes Cloud 100.”  


Camara was named a 2022 finalist for the “EY Entrepreneur of the Year Central South Award,” and in 2021, he was recognized by the Austin Business Journal as “Best CEO, Public Company,” and as a “Top CEO” by the Austin Chamber of Commerce’s Greater Austin Business Awards. He was also one of the “Top 50 SaaS CEOs” of 2020 by the Software Report. 


Camara was awarded the Jose Rizal Certificate of Achievement, and in 2005, he was recognized with a Presidential Commendation in the Philippines.  


He spoke with The ‘Ohana in June 2022. 


 


The ‘Ohana: It’s a great pleasure to meet you. To begin, could you tell us about your early background and where you grew up? 


 


Kiwi Camara: Sure. I was born in Manila in the Philippines, and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and Honolulu, Hawai‘i. I went to Punahou School in Hawai‘i, but actually skipped high school and started at HPU right after eighth grade.  


 


Could you tell us about your family? 


 


I was an only child. My parents were both doctors and both are from the Philippines. My mother was an only child like me, but my father came from a big family with 12 siblings. I have too many cousins to keep track! 


 



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Why did you choose HPU, and how did you decide on a major? 


 


HPU was close to home, which was important to my family since I was just 14 when I enrolled. And I loved the downtown campus, which was in and around Fort Street Mall at the time.  


I grew up in the 80s and 90s just as personal computers and the internet were taking off. I was interested in programming from an early age. Like many programmers then, I got my start with games and moved on to network programming. Majoring in computer science was an obvious decision for me. I was really interested in artificial intelligence at the time, when it was out of favor, before the current boom. 


 


Were you in any clubs at HPU? 


 


Yes! I served on the student government (ASHPU) and was active in Students in Free Enterprise, the Poetry Club, the Computer Science Club, and President’s Hosts.  


 


How did HPU and the extracurricular experiences that you shared at the university help in your extraordinary career path? 


 


I owe my unique career path, combining computer science and law, to HPU.  


I needed a political science credit to graduate and there was a course on constitutional law that fit my schedule. It was taught by Professor Sandy Muir, who was visiting from Berkeley’s law school. I didn’t know anything about the law before taking that class; becoming a lawyer wasn’t on my mind at all. But I fell in love with it. I wound up going to law school and then later starting a legal technology company, which combined my original interest in computer science with my later interest in the law. And I think my college experience in Students in Free Enterprise with Professor Ken Schoolland also played a role in my later becoming an entrepreneur. This is a testament to trying lots of different things in college. You never know what will stick and what will be important later.  


 



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HPU offers a great number of opportunities for students to engage in while studying at the university. After graduating from HPU, you were the youngest student to ever graduate from Harvard Law School. What was the experience like being the youngest person at Harvard?  


 


Well, I’m pretty sure I was the youngest person at HPU too, so that experience wasn’t new to me! 


 


That's true.


 


I learned not to tell anyone how old I was until after they had gotten to know me. If you see a young-looking classmate, you assume they’re young-looking, not that they’re four years younger than you!  


In an odd coincidence, my best friend from law school, Joe Sibley, was the oldest person in our class, while I was the youngest. Joe had served in the Army as a ranger before college. By chance, we were the first people that each other met on campus at orientation.  


 


How did HPU prepare you for law school at Harvard? 


 


I would never have discovered my interests in law or economics without the classes I took at HPU. I really appreciated the opportunity that HPU gave me to explore so many different fields while I was there, from creative writing to physics to math to political science to economics to of course my major in computer science.  


And at the same time, it was a very tight knit community when I was there, where your life wasn’t just academics. Multiple faculty members served as mentors for me, folks like Dan Gefroh, Carl Farrell, Soussan Djamasbi, Catherine Sustana, Ken Schoolland, Jeanne Rellahan, and many others. 


 


Did you have a favorite professor at HPU?  


 


I had many great professors, some of them mentioned. I still fondly remember Carl Farrell’s computer science classes. He would start each one with a rebus puzzle on the board to get the class thinking.  


I still remember THINK and a drawing of a box side-by-side for, “think outside the box.” And I remember and often apply his admonition that when you have a hard problem you should spend far more time thinking about the problem than actually building the solution.  


Carl would insist that we do our computer science assignments without a computer, which forces you to deeply understand what a program or system is doing, not solve problems by experimenting randomly until something works. That’s a lesson that has continued to serve me well. 


 


How do you compare HPU to Harvard and Stanford? The experience of attending three universities at a young age. 


 


People don’t take themselves so seriously at HPU. I think too many students at Harvard and Stanford, especially the undergraduates, get on life and career treadmills too early. Even many of the student organizations are super competitive.  


College should be a time to explore, without the pressure that will come later in life. HPU gives you that freedom. It’s an amazing education at an entrepreneurial university, and you get to spend four years in Hawai‘i! What more do you need?  


 



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Do you have any memorable stories to share from your time at Harvard or Stanford? 


 


What stands out is the amazing people who were either there permanently or visiting.  


At Harvard, our commencement speaker in 2004 was Kofi Annan, then Secretary General of the United Nations. The final round of the moot court competition at the law school in 2002 was judged by Justice Stephen Breyer from the Supreme Court of the United States. I remember one of our property classes was guest taught by Richard Posner, who was a legend in law and economics and a sitting federal appellate judge at the time.  


At Stanford, I was in an economics seminar where someone was presenting a paper and I realized the person sitting next to me was Ken Arrow, an economics Nobel winner who created Arrow’s impossibility theorem.   


 


What is a typical day as CEO of DISCO? 


 


There is no typical day. I spend time working on whatever part of the business has the most room for improvement; on whatever is broken, or on whatever presents a unique opportunity for growth. That can mean I’m spending my time working on an acquisition or financing, or on a new product or feature, or launching a new geography, or scaling out part of our go-to-market team.  


The variety keeps things interesting. More than any other executive, I also get to spend my time on initiatives that will bear fruit in three or five years, instead of solving today’s problems.  


One of the hardest parts of the job is focusing on both short-term results and medium- or long-term investments at the same time. I call this skill having bifocals.  


 



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You received the Jose Rizal Certificate of Achievement and the Presidential Commendation in the Philippines. What was the experience of receiving the Certificate and Commendation? 


 


It was a great honor to receive this recognition from the Philippines. I am a proud Filipino, and now a Filipino–American. 


 


Do you miss anything about Hawai‘i and how often to you come back to visit? 


 


I come back every other year or so these days. I would like to come back more often! I miss the natural beauty; the Aloha Spirit; the amazing food, especially Asian food; Dave’s green tea ice cream; the sense of relaxation you get just listening to the ocean at night. There is something special about the islands that I’ve never found anywhere else. 


  


What is your idea of perfect happiness? 


 


Being on a team that is winning at a mission that matters. 


 


 


Photos courtesy Kiwi Camara and HPU. 



ID: sp07152201

Title: HPU Professor’s Acclaimed Economics Book Available in 57 Languages

Date: July 15, 2022

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Author: Gregory Fischbach

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HPU Associate Professor of Economics Ken Schoolland first wrote The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible as part of a radio commentary series in the 1980s, and later through Small Business Hawaii, the popular series was published as a book in 1989. Since then, The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible has been an enduring success. The book has been published in 57 languages, in 85 editions, and now, a new edition is set to be released this summer in the Ukraine.


“I wrote The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible as an economics book designed to make economics fun and interesting,” said Schoolland. “There’s no reason why economics should be miserable. I’ll make it fun!” 


The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible is one of the first market economics books to be published in Farsi in Iran. The book has been produced as a play in Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya, and it was produced as a musical in Kazakhstan. 


“In six years, I’ve done 90 presentations in 20 countries,” said Schoolland. “This summer I’ll be in Uganda, Tanzania, Nepal, India, and the Republic of Georgia. These are presentations about economics that I have done around the world.” 


Schoolland has been a professor at HPU for 43 years. He first started with Hawaii Loa College (merged with Hawaii Pacific) and has since taught economics at the university and helped run the Free Enterprise Club, the Reason Club, and the Hawaii Pacific Entrepreneur Club.  


Schoolland was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. Before joining the faculty of HPU in 1979, he worked at a small college in Alaska for five years called Sheldon Jackson College. He graduated from Georgetown University and was a Sam Walton Fellow for ENACTUS. Schoolland also wrote Shogun’s Ghost: The Dark Side of Japanese Education, translated in two languages.   



ID: sp07012201

Title: The Pursuit of an Education Abroad

Date: July 01, 2022

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Author: Gregory Fischbach

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The Danish countryside begins at sunrise with rolling hills and windmills and farms as far as the eye can see. Farmhouses built along rivers and streams and winding roads meander beside trees and lawns that lead to town or to the sea. It is a place that warms in summer and cools in winter. All seasons are keenly felt with each passing day. HPU alumna Katrine Rasmussen was born and raised here, in a small Danish town where she cared for her horses and rode through the countryside. She knew early in life that she wanted to travel and study abroad, experiencing other cultures and traditions. She just did not know how far that dream would take her.


“I remember in high school, I applied for a school program that would take me abroad, but it didn’t work out,” said Rasmussen. “So, I took two gap years and I worked in Turkey as a tour guide, and then I lived in Atlanta, Georgia as an au pair. Spending all that time abroad made me realize that I wanted to continue and attend college abroad.”


Rasmussen researched HPU and soon she was on her way to applying as an international business student. The global setting of HPU was very appealing to Rasmussen. The ability to meet people from all over the world was a definitive factor in her decision to move to Hawai‘i and study for her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA). 


“Attending HPU expanded my horizons almost immediately,” said Rasmussen. “The university helped me become the world citizen that I am today.”



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Rasmussen graduated from HPU with her BSBA in 2006 and later returned to the university to earn her MBA in 2010. The business classes were small and intimate, and she had many opportunities to interact with classmates and professors. The global college experience at HPU helped Rasmussen prepare for her future work in an international environment.


While studying for her MBA, Rasmussen went to Waikiki one night to have dinner with friends. She noticed a young man in the restaurant and soon they began to talk. He was from Sweden and was on a study abroad program at HPU. “I met my future husband that night,” said Rasmussen. “We hung out in the same social circles, but I had never met him until that night in Waikiki.” 


“If you want to surround yourself with people from different cultures and backgrounds, HPU is the place to be. It’s a relatively small, close-knit school and it never felt overwhelming. The diverse clubs and organizations made it easy to make friends outside the classroom. Also, you will never regret spending time in Hawai‘i. Culturally and naturally, it’s a beautiful place to be.”


After earning her MBA from HPU in 2010, Rasmussen worked abroad in Sweden and China for a combined four years, then returned to Denmark in 2014, working as a senior digital media strategist with DigitasLBi and Head of Marketing for Billy Regnskabsprogram.  



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Rasmussen is currently the chief marketing officer (CMO) at Pixelz, a Danish software company that empowers ecommerce photo studio professionals with reliable AI image retouching at scale. Founded in 2011, Pixelz was known as “remove the background,” a premise for e-commerce companies to create stunning product images. Today, Pixelz is an industry powerhouse, working with companies like Lowe’s, Asics, Fossil Group, True Religion, and Hershel. Rasmussen has been CMO at Pixelz since 2020.   


“We have offices in Asia, Europe, and the United States,” said Rasmussen. “I enjoy managing a distributed team across time zones and cultures. And when possible, I enjoy traveling around the world to attend events, or spending time with colleagues in our offices. I’m lucky that we have offices in cities like San Diego, Mallorca, Berlin, Copenhagen, Danang, and Hanoi.


“The experience of being a student at HPU expanded my horizons. Every day, I work with people from different countries and cultures, and I manage a team of eight from various nationalities. I am sure that the inspiration and love for diversity and culture came from my time at HPU.”


When Rasmussen is not in the office, she enjoys spending time outside in nature. She thinks back on her time as a student in Hawai‘i often, waking up in a beach house on the North Shore, going for a long run on the beach, watching turtles at Pupukea, snorkeling at Shark’s Cove, eating dinner at Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck in Laie.  


“To me, that is perfect happiness. To watch the sunset after a day spent in nature, just relaxing and having the time of your life.”


To learn more about the College of Business and HPU and the undergraduate and graduate programs available at the university click here


 


All photos courtesy Katrine Rasmussen.



June

ID: sp06092201

Title: HPU and Telanto: A Running Head Start

Date: June 09, 2022

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HPU’s partnership with Spain-based Telanto is off to a running start in 2022. A total of 16 project-based learning experiences in four classes brought together undergraduate and graduate students to work with companies in Europe on real-world challenges. Students in spring 2022 worked in teams for several months to deliver versatile presentations to executives in Europe. The outcomes were exemplary.


“HPU students beat the results from universities in Germany, Finland, and other countries in the E.U.,” said Associate Professor of Information Systems Bernhard Bengler, D.B.A. “We have received internship opportunities from Telanto business partners throughout Europe, all based on the results of HPU students’ projects this past semester.” 


HPU and Telanto began its partnership in 2021, providing students with experiential learning opportunities and connecting industry with academia. Telanto is a digital platform that connects HPU with industry partners to work on real-world projects online. HPU faculty from all colleges can access projects around the world and incorporate those projects into their coursework.


In Bernhard’s information security foundation course (IS 6341) this spring, he saw two industry partners from Spain and Germany work with four groups of HPU students. Feedback from the businesses were extremely positive, with one executive stating, “We are overwhelmingly impressed by how the HPU students engaged with the technical aspects of the project.” Another executive stated that “HPU students dug deep and brought up a list of very fruitful improvement recommendations. The students went above and beyond our expectations.”


Bernhard’s disruptive information security course (IS 6997) saw a total of three teams collaborate with a bank in Germany. Students were tasked to work on the applications of artificial intelligence from within and outside the finance industry as well as securing artifacts of artificial intelligence against manipulation. 


“The results from this project-based challenge were impressive,” said Bengler. “Not only was the business extremely impressed by our students, but they referenced our students’ top-notch results. The bank was able to gain a new understanding from our students’ work.”


Companies that are among Telanto’s partners are tech startups, SMEs, and Fortune 500 leaders like Bayer, Allianz, Intel, De’Longhi, and Software One.


Telanto was founded in Barcelona in 2015 and through its university-industry-collaboration platform it is partnered with 1,000 universities in 51 countries. HPU is the only partner institution in Hawai‘i.



ID: sp06082201

Title: HPU Alumnus Wins Video Award from Ministry of Heritage and Tourism of Oman

Date: June 08, 2022

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HPU alumnus Ahmed Al-Lawati (B.S. Marine Biology ‘18) recently won second prize in the video competition entitled “Oman with Your Eyes,” held by the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism of Oman. Al-Lawati’s award-winning video was entered in the marine tourism section of the competition. The ministry announced the winners in May 2022. To view the video click here.  


“The video project was filmed during my own time while I was travelling along the coast of Oman,” said Al-Lawati. “The video starts with snapshots of the mountain ranges in the south of Oman, as well as a scene of some of its wadis. A wadi is very similar to a valley. When it rains the wadi becomes lush-green. Ecologically speaking, wadis are especially important habitats for many animals, thus I made sure to include them in the video to showcase their importance and beauty.”  


The video highlights the stunning marine life of Oman, starting with hermit crabs and sea turtles (at different life stages). Al Lawati spent about a week photographing the turtles on Masirah Island and was fortunate to record footage of loggerhead turtle hatchlings just after sunrise.  



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“The loggerhead turtle is critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and Oman has one of the world most important nesting beaches in the world for these turtles,” said Al-Lawati. 


Other notable marine life included in the video are whale sharks and coral reef. Al-Lawati recorded the superb shots of whale sharks around the Daymaniyat Islands Nature Reserve in Oman, which boosts significant marine life diversity, and is also a hotspot for birds to nest.  


“The purpose of my video was to showcase the beauty of Oman to the world,” says Al-Lawati, “to show the variety of marine life in Oman, and to deliver a message to encourage people to appreciate marine life, explore it, and most importantly, protect and conserve it for future generations.” 



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Al-Lawati was born and raised in the historical city of Muscat. He is currently a marine environmental consultant at Five Oceans Environmental Services in Oman.  


 


All photographs courtesy of Ahmed Al-Lawati. 



April

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Title: HPU Alumna Headed to Law School at 19

Date: May 25, 2022

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HPU alumna Mariah Morgado ‘22 began her educational journey at HPU as a junior in high school. A dual-credit program student from Maryknoll High School, she took classes at HPU while earning her diploma. Morgado participated in theatre in high school, ran for the varsity cross country team, and was on the debate team.  


“The dual-credit program with Maryknoll and HPU was a perfect fit,” said Morgado. “It gave me a balance of high school experience and the ability to work on my college degree at the same time. My counselor at Maryknoll was always available to guide me through the dual-credit process.”  


Morgado was born and raised in Kaneohe. She grew up going to the beach with her mother and father and her younger brother and sister. She has lived her entire life in Hawai‘i and wanted to stay in Hawai‘i for her college career.  


“My siblings are my best friends,” said Morgado. “My parents are my biggest supporters and are my role models. They taught me the significance of hard work and the importance of friends and family.”  


While earning her A.A. degree at HPU Morgado found the study of criminal justice to be especially fascinating. “I enjoyed learning how the world operates from a legal perspective,” said Morgado. “The faculty members in the criminal justice department were wonderful so I decided to continue at HPU after graduating from high school, earning my B.S. degree in criminal justice in one year.”  


It was during Morgado’s final year as an undergraduate that she discovered her enduring interest in law. It was her favorite professor at HPU, Judge Randal Lee, assistant professor of criminal justice, who guided her to apply to law school at the age of 18.   


“Judge Lee’s classes were extremely engaging and informative, which fueled my passion for law,” said Morgado. “He remembers everyone, and he makes you feel seen and heard. Judge Lee goes beyond the norm to assist students to reach their goals. He is a great mentor.”  


Morgado was accepted into the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law as a teenager; she will be studying as a teenager for the first semester starting this fall. Morgado turns 20 in April 2023.  


“I’m interested in contractual, constitutional, and estate law,” said Morgado. “Language and the use of words is exciting to me. Words matter. How they are spoken and organized is how our world is structured. The way our laws and contracts are written has a direct impact on our daily lives.” 


The HPU dual-credit program partnership with Maryknoll Schools began in 2017. That fall, the first cohort of students enrolled at HPU. Kamehameha Schools and Hanalani Schools followed suit and both schools have dual-credit partnerships with HPU.   


In fall 2021, more than 1,000 Kamehameha School students enrolled in the HPU dual-credit program to earn their A.A. degrees. Many are expected to graduate in spring 2023. 


“The dual-credit program is an excellent opportunity for high school students in Hawai‘i to begin their educational journey,” said Morgado. “The program offers a lot of flexibility. I opted for full-time, but there are options to take just a class or two. Students can still participate in high school athletics, social groups, and other extracurricular activities.”  


To learn more about the dual-credit program at HPU click here.  


 


Pictured at HPU Spring 2022 Graduation (Left to Right): HPU President John Gotanda, J.D., Mariah Morgado, HPU Criminal Justice Department Chair and Instructor Sheryl Sunia, HPU Senior Vice President and Provost Jennifer Walsh, Ph.D. 



ID: sp04292201

Title: HPU Alumna Awarded Fulbright to Nepal

Date: April 29, 2022

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Alexandra Perez '18 had traveled extensively around the world before enrolling at HPU. She visited Brazil, Peru, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Portugal, just to name a few, all in thanks to her mother who has worked for United Airlines for 35 years. The study of language has always been at the top of Perez’s list when it comes to career interests. Perez graduated in 2018 with a Teaching English to Students of Other Language (TESOL) degree, and 2022, Perez was awarded a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to Nepal. To date, 60 Fulbright alumni have won the Nobel Prize, and 88 have gone on to win the Pulitzer Prize.  


“The Fulbright process is a rollercoaster,” said Perez. “The process took me about a year. The application took six months, and the waiting period was another six months. It was a stressful, emotional period, waiting for a response. HPU Professors Hanh Thi Nguyen, Ph.D., and Jean Kirschenmann in the TESOL department are the best. They always helped me with my endeavors post-grad and are a huge part of my Fulbright success.”


Perez was awarded a Fulbright to Nepal for 10 months, where she will be studying how performance-based teaching techniques, along with decolonizing pedagogies can help address the idea of under-resourced schools and teachers struggling with English as a medium of instruction.


“I’ve never been to Nepal, but many things about the country have always interested me,” said Perez. “The first is its connection to Puerto Rico. Both countries have suffered calamities in recent years, drastically affecting already low-income schools and communities. The threat of language colonization also links these very two different places together.”


Perez began her journey at HPU because she was in search of an educational experience that inspired her, and she wanted to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. “As a Puerto Rican, something about Hawaiian culture has always spoken to my own heritage,” said Perez. “And I chose HPU because I wanted to go as far away from home as possible.”


A TESOL degree from HPU opens many doors to potential employers around the world. Add a Fulbright scholarship to her CV and Perez will be one of the more sought-after graduates working in language preservation. “I do not have definite plans for graduate school just yet,” says Perez, “but I believe my Fulbright experience may help me decide whether or not I want to pursue that path.”


Perez moved back to Miami after graduating from HPU. There are many aspects to the island life that she misses, but near the top would be, “I miss the lifelong friends that I made at HPU; and I really miss the beaches on the west side, too.”



ID: sp04152201

Title: The First Step to Success

Date: April 15, 2022

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Students who attend HPU have countless options to engage in experiential-learning opportunities while studying at the university. Recently, HPU and Spain-based Telanto partnered to offer students opportunities in worldwide experiential learning. HPU alumnus Warren Woon graduated with a BScBA in travel industry management and an MBA. He is the co-founder and CEO of Xctuality, a virtual-experiential tech start-up based in Singapore.


“HPU helped me tremendously,” said Woon. “At HPU, I learned how to plan and gather the resources needed to run an operation and business. I learned how to put in the hard work to get tasks started and the critical communication required to motivate team members every step of the way.”



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Woon was born and raised in Singapore. He attended Tampines Junior College and served in the Singapore Armed Forces for two-and-a-half years. His parents are both accountants, and his younger sister is a classical musician in Singapore. Woon grew up in an environment where education is vital for a successful career. Singapore is regularly ranked as having one of the best public educational systems in the world, where students are taught at least two foreign languages (including English, the official language), and over 50 percent of the population goes on to earn a post-secondary degree.


“My parents were both fair, strict, and understanding,” said Woon. “They gave me the opportunity to study overseas in Hawai’i. They supported me every step of the way while I chased my dreams. My dad suggested that I study travel industry management, especially since tourism was a growing and important industry in Singapore. Hawai’i is a premier vacation destination so it’s naturally one of the best places to be immersed in travel industry management studies.”


Woon choose HPU because he was seeking the continuation to the strong educational background he received in Singapore; and he was also looking for an international university with a diverse student body.


“It was an easy decision to choose HPU,” said Woon. “I applied to University of Hawai’i and HPU at the same time, and HPU responded first. Professor Wendy Lam was the dean of travel industry management at the time, and she contacted me to do an interview in Singapore during her visit to the city. I was amazed at how personal the entire process was.


“Professor Lam was always pleasant and inspirational. She always had a positive response to our many challenges during classwork and planning processes, and she gave a lot of latitude to do our work, and more importantly, to not worry about making mistakes.”


Woon graduated from HPU with his MBA and BScBA in 2001. He moved back to Singapore and hit the ground running, working in finance, as a business consultant, and eventually co-founding his own company in 2020 called Xctuality. He also introduced motorized surfing in Singapore in 2014.


Xctuality’s mission is to develop the next evolution of social networking that connects people with immersive experiences. Xctuality launched Asia’s first interactive 360-degree digital theatre experience, that immerse audiences into an augmented theatrical experience, from the moment a person enters the 360-degree environment, to the interactive elements like live messaging, performances, and virtual gameplay. A recent product that Xctuality launched was Xctualyfe, a metaverse as a service platform that will enable creators and brands to accelerate into the metaverse. 


“Looking back, my time at HPU provided a real, hands-on, personalized education that was critical in my formative years,” said Woon. “The diverse and international environment that the university provides cannot be replicated anywhere in the world. HPU showed me that anyway was possible. By trying, taking that first step.”



ID: sp04062201

Title: Experiential Learning Opportunities Thrive at HPU

Date: April 06, 2022

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HPU graduate student Wipawee Promprasit has participated in four Telanto experiential learning projects with international organizations from Spain, Switzerland, and Germany. Promprasit is a Master of Science in Business Analytics and Information Security student and is anticipated to graduate in May 2022. Born and raised in Thailand, Promprasit has worked in the UK and Australia and has identified her experience of working on project-based learning at HPU as a highly effective way to prepare for a career.


“I’ve learned a breadth of knowledge from these projects,” says Promprasit, “that include breakthrough technologies, and the legal, marketing, social, economic, and political aspects relating to these technologies.”


HPU recently partnered with Telanto, a Spain-based global technology company, to provide its students with more opportunities in worldwide experiential learning. Telanto provides a digital platform connecting HPU students with industry partners to work on real-world projects online. This project-based partnership is another opportunity for HPU students to work with companies on projects, now on a global scale. HPU also offers students guaranteed internships. 


Promprasit’s first project with Telanto was with the startup company Basement DNA, based in Barcelona. Her group was tasked with the development of a digital wallet mobile application that can be used to facilitate banking and ticketing transactions. The application uses biometric (fingerprint) technology to authorize the intended transactions.   


“We researched the existing tools, providers, technologies, as well as laws and regulations with respect to identity authentication and data privacy already in practice,” said Promprasit. “We presented our research to the Basement DNA team, providing options for consideration in their further development of the product.” 


Promprasit also worked with HOPR, a Swiss-based organization that was founded by a team of blockchain experts. HOPR’s mission is to protect users’ data and privacy when accessing the internet. 


“HOPR launched a privacy-preserving network-level infrastructure, utilizing blockchain technology,” said Promprasit. “We carried out an online questionnaire survey and received 244 responses from countries around the world. Combined with secondary research from academic literature, we provided HOPR with a summarized report that can assist them in their decision making in future project direction.”


Promprasit’s experience in project-based learning has provided the opportunity for her to work with classmates and project partners in a similar working environment that collogues and clients experience in the professional world.


“Students have the chance to step outside of the classroom when working on a real-world project,” said Promprasit.


“I find project-based learning more fun and challenging. Simultaneously, students can build relationships with professional people for potential lifelong learning. I would encourage students to communicate with the project partner at the onset of the project to understand the challenge. Never hesitate to ask questions to clarify points along the way. It will help the team to produce deliverables that meet the project requirements or even exceed expectations. With all having been said, project-based learning will effectively prepare students for professional careers.”



ID: sp04052201

Title: Pursuit of the Black Paradise

Date: April 05, 2022

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What have been, historically, the possibilities for Black lives in Hawai‘i?


Nitasha Tamar Sharma explores this in her book, “Hawai‘i is My Haven.” Life in paradise and the chance to breathe become a paradox when coupled with historic and systemic racism, some ways with nuanced differences when compared with the rest of the nation. Sharma grew up in Manoa and is a professor at Northwestern University. Her recent discussion here on campus was sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and moderated by Professor Jon Davidann.


Throughout her research into the Black experience in the Islands, she’s focused on her conversations with local people, but not so much those who are members of the military or recent transplants. Instead, she’s gathered stories of people of mixed heritage, like Black Okinawan, Black Japanese, Black Samoan, and Black Hawaiian. These are the people she says are current representatives of the African Diaspora that reached the Islands almost 250 years ago.


 



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Sharma’s work shows what she calls Hawai‘i’s more expansive view of Blackness; one that contests a more common mainland viewpoint that if one is part Black, she or he is only Black. In Hawai‘i, one is more readily described as being Black-and, rather than Black-only.


 



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Sharma explores what she calls a through line of anti-black racism in Hawai‘i that today is often first perpetrated by non-white, non-black family and community members and is then continued by transplanted mainland professionals who fill institutional leadership roles. The mainland tie to institutional racism toward Black people is traced to the American business and government representatives in the years preceding the overthrowing of the Hawaiian monarchy.


 



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Sharma describes present-day disconnects between the local and mainland Black cultures, viewpoints shared by several HPU students who attended Sharma’s talk. One of her takeaways is that while Hawai‘i’s Black experience differs in some positive ways from the rest of the nation, racism is real here.  


HPU is frequently ranked among the most diverse campus communities in the nation. In Hawai‘i and on campus alike, there is no racial majority. But at the university and across the state, the percentage of Black people is very small compared with the mainland. Further, Black history isn’t taught in Hawaiian schools as it is, increasingly, on the mainland.


Sharma’s presentation helped advance the discussion, and to make the case, for greater understanding of the Black experience here in Hawai‘i, and opportunities for change that can be fostered amid the broad perspective of the HPU ‘ohana.


 



ID: sp04012201

Title: HPU Theatre Presents: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Date: April 01, 2022

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HPU Theatre’s spring 2022 production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream debuted Thursday, March 31 at the Paul and Vi Loo Theatre at Hawaii Loa campus. The play is fast-paced and condensed, exploring love in a forest where music is literally magic. The script was adapted by Lacy Perrine Chu and directed by HPU adjunct professor of theatre Sharon Garcia Doyle. 


"The cast of the HPU Theatre spring production is made up of 12 all-HPU student actors who have been working very hard in preparation for the show," said Garcia Doyle. "They've had to learn lines, study and analyze Shakespeare’s text, practice vocal and acting technique, learn how to craft character physicality in addition to choreography for over two months in preparation for the show. They have had to balance a demanding rehearsal schedule along with their family, school, and work responsibilities."


Chu’s adaptation of the play was originally created as a touring production with a cast of four for the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival as a way of introducing audiences to Shakespeare for the first time, noted Garcia Doyle. In HPU’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the fairies are omnipresent but invisible to the human characters.


All HPU students (with student ID) receive free admission to the production that runs through April 10. General admission is $10 and live-streaming tickets are $5. The show runs for approximatly 55 minutes.


For tickets and additional information on HPU Theatre click here.     


Showtimes:
March 31 - April 2 & April 7 - 9 at 7:30pm
April 3 & 10 at 2:00pm


Location:
Paul and Vi Loo Theatre
Hawai'i Pacific University
45-045 Kamehameha Highway
Kaneohe, HI, 96744



March

ID: sp03292201

Title: Your Career Starts Now at HPU!

Date: March 29, 2022

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The HPU Career Development Center provides resources for all students, alumni, and faculty. It’s where resume building, interview skills, job placement, internships, and federal work study (FWS) opportunities are available for alumni, and students at any level of their education. Whether youre a freshman, senior, or HPU graduate the doors are always open for advice, support, and career assistance. 


“HPU students are encouraged to make an appointment early on in their education so we can work on your resume building and interview skills,” said HPU Senior Career Development Advisor Ryan Tin Loy, M.A., CWDP. “If you want a part-time job off-campus, or maybe you’re interested in a FWS job on-campus, we can help you get that job. That internship. It’s all possible. 



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“About 50% of students who are qualified for FWS do not know they are eligible for this program,” said Tin Loy. These are paid part-time jobs. This is money you earn and do not need to pay back! Check your financial aid award letters. 


Eligibility for FWS is based on the financial need of domestic students. It is a part of broader system of federal financial assistance that often includes, but is not limited to, grants and loans. Eligibility requirements include meeting certain income guidelines in addition to meeting citizenship requirements (U.S. Citizen). While those who fall outside these guidelines are not eligible for FWS, there may be limited opportunities for non-FWS, on-campus employment. 


The Career Development Center has FWS partnerships with off-campus, non-profit organizations in Hawai‘i that students can work with to earn an income and gain experience. These organizations include Hongwangi Mission School, YMCA, Hawai‘i Diabetes Association, and the Boys and Girls Club. 


Students who take advantage of FWS positions make more than the minimum wage, and often they earn a good deal more if they have specialized skills. On-campus jobs include the HPU eSports Arena, Learning Commons, and many departments at Hawaii Loa campus, Pioneer Plaza, Makapu‘u campus, Aloha Tower Marketplace, and Waterfront Plaza.  


“There’s a wide variety of FWS jobs at HPU,” said Tin Loy. “Students should contact us today to see what’s available and what best matches their interests and skillsets.” 


Tin Loy recommends students stop by during their freshman year so they can start the process of developing their careers and earning income.  


“My strategy is to focus on students who want to alleviate their costs,” said Tin Loy. “Let’s get you a part-time job, a paid internship. I want you to graduate with little-to-no-debt with the skills and work experience to start your career when you graduate.” 


Students who are employed meet new people, make new friends, and become a larger part of the community. Students also tend to  have good work-life balance in the process.  


“Volunteer, exercise, join a club, be engaged,” said Tin Loy. “The busier you are in college the better the chance to make new friends and stay out of trouble. When you’re isolated and not engaged you may feel homesick. The best way to avoid that is to meet people through work or internships.” 


HPU alumni are welcome to stop by the Career Development Center anytime to get help mastering the interview, building a resume, or participating in mock-interviews to enhance verbal and non-verbal communication skills.  



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My advice to anyone looking to ace that interview is tell your individual story,” said Tin Loy. Do not compare yourself to anyone else. Tell your story, why you want to work at that company. Have knowledge of the company. Try not to rush when answering questions; don’t shoot from the hip. Take your time when responding to a question. It’s OK to pause. Silence is a good thing sometimes.”  


There are also pointers on what not to do in an interview. “Do not leave your phone on, do not dress inappropriately, do not arrive too early, or a minute late,” said Tin Loy. “Arrive 10-15 minutes early. If you’re running late, contact the interviewer, tell them what happened. Do some research on how to get to the location. Research the organization, their mission, values. Always be prepared.”  


The Career Development Center is located in Waterfront Plaza, Building 6, Suite 440. Click here or email cdc@hpu.edu to make an appointment, or to get additional information on the center and their myriad career resources.  



ID: sp03282202

Title: HPU Alumnus, OIF Veteran meets President Biden at White House

Date: March 28, 2022

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Ron Haskell was born and raised on a dead-end dirt road in the village of Eagle, Michigan, population 133. Eagle is the second least populated village in Michigan after Turner. Haskell went to high school a few miles down the road, in Grand Ledge, where the population is about 8,000. He joined the Navy after 9/11 and deployed to the Eastern Mediterranean and Persian Gulf in 2003. An Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veteran, Haskell was honorably discharged in 2005. He worked for the fire department for two years in Virginia and enrolled at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) on the post 9/11 GI Bill®.


“I shared the hallways with Jill Biden when she was an English professor at NVCC,” said Haskell. “I thought it was the most amazing thing to be at a community college and seeing the Second Lady teaching English. For that, I have long admired the Bidens.” 


While Haskell was studying at NVCC his wife, Kim, was offered a position to help open an office for the Department of Defense Inspector General in Hawaiʻi. Haskell knew he could study anywhere on the GI Bill®, so he and his wife jumped at the chance to move to Hawaiʻi.  


“At the time, the big school in Hawaiʻi did not take the full GI Bill® from veterans if they were out-of-state,” said Haskell. “So, I spent one semester at Windward Community College where I met an amazing recruiter from HPU. She spent a great amount of time with me, convinced me that HPU was the perfect fit. She was right!” 


Haskell enrolled at HPU in 2011 with the plan to become a high school history teacher. He majored in history and his HPU professors always extended time to provide mentorship and guidance.  


“Professor Doug Askman was certainly one of my favorites,” said Haskell. “His Hawaiian history course was a highlight of my time at HPU. The best class I had at any level of my education was the history of oil in the modern world by Professor Jon Davidann. I still go back and read the books we studied.  



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In graduate school, the late John Windrow was an amazing person and professor. His mentorship and easy demeanor were what I remember most. In the final semester of graduate school, I was working long hours in HPU athletics as a broadcaster; I had a baby on the way; I was taking comprehensive exams; I was in the process of accepting a job in Washington D.C. I’m not someone who cracks under pressure. But I was really struggling to get a grasp of it all. Just sitting in Professor Windrow’s office and walking through things, talking about life, was truly what got me through.” 


Haskell graduated from HPU with a B.A in history in 2012 and a M.A. in communication in 2014. Soon after graduating, he joined the U.S. Department of Labor as a communication specialist, and in 2017 he became senior public affairs specialist at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In 2019, he accepted a position as the communications project manager for VA’s broadcast studio, and in 2020, he was promoted to director of communication for VA’s Office of Patient Care Services. 


“My team at VA oversees communications for 22 program offices with a combined budget of around 7 billion dollars,” said Haskell. “Supporting senior executives in the government means a lot of speechwriting and other executive communications. Having a strong foundation in history and the world is essential to anyone doing speechwriting and communications.”  



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In 2021, Haskell met President Biden. He was selected by VA leadership to go to the White House to staff a reception prior to the annual Veterans Day ceremony held at Arlington National Cemetery.


“I’ve been to the White House a handful of times previously,” said Haskell. “I went to the West Wing when President Bush George W. Bush was in office, and I went to the East Wing a handful of times when President Obama was in office. Anytime you get to go to the White House is a real honor. 


“President Biden was in the Blue Room receiving guests and preparing for the speech at Arlington National Cemetery. They announced my name and title to the room. The President waved me in. While I was meeting with President Biden, I told him about the work our team does at VA. Caregivers, toxic exposure, LGBTQ+. Things like this.  


“While chatting, President Biden took out a challenge coin, which is a very big deal in military culture. He placed the coin between our hands before shaking. That presidential challenge coin, that picture of our meeting will be something that I cherish for my entire life.” 


HPU has played a pivotal role in Haskell’s life. Attending a smaller university where students work closely with professors is what makes HPU a perfect fit for students seeking an exceptional education with experiential learning opportunities.   


“A strong academic understanding of how to frame issues and communicate are skills that I learned at HPU,” said Haskell. “This has been critical to any success I’ve had professionally.” 


For Haskell, the pursuit of happiness is a balance and not so much a destination. There is a triad between satisfaction, fulfillment, and drive. The more balanced these objectives are the happier you feel.  


“If you root yourself in improving the lives of others, and bringing light to the world,” says Haskell, “I’m convinced that when your time ends here you will be somewhere close to perfect happiness.” 


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill



ID: sp03172201

Title: HPU Faculty Spotlight on Psychology Professor Vincent Tsushima

Date: March 17, 2022

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Professor Vincent Tsushima, Ph.D., has taught psychology at HPU for over 20 years. He received his Ph.D. from St. John’s University and his J.D. from Fordham University Law School. Born in New York and raised in Hawai‘i, Professor Tsushima has a remarkable ability to connect with students, making the pursuit of an undergraduate and/or graduate degree in psychology at HPU both fun and tremendously rewarding.


“I love teaching at HPU for many reasons, but foremost among them are our students who are intelligent, open-minded, and adventurous. A professor could not be luckier,” said Professor Tsushima. 


Professor Tsushima teaches introduction to psychology, group counseling, forensic psychology, tests and measurements in psychology, abnormal psychology, research practicum, ethical and professional issues in clinical mental health counseling, and therapeutic interventions. He has conducted research in the areas of behavioral medicine and forensic psychology and is currently conducting research in neuropsychological assessment. Professor Tsushima is currently the Director of the Doctorate Program in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) at HPU.


When not in the classroom Professor Tsushima enjoys playing guitar and piano at home, and occasionally live on stage. He has played in several bands throughout his life and always looks forward to the next chance to jam with friends and family. 


“Reading books and playing music have always made my brain happy,” said Professor Tsushima.


To learn more about the psychology program at HPU and the degree opportunities available in the College of Liberal Arts click here.



February

ID: sp02242201

Title: Medical School Admittance... Guaranteed?

Date: February 24, 2022

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Getting into medical school can be tough. The acceptance rate is around 7 percent, and the weight of an applicant’s success is heavily dependent on his/her MCAT score and GPA. Even if you have a stellar GPA and MCAT score it does not guarantee you a spot into medical school. There are just not enough spots to admit every qualified applicant, and that can be a sobering statistic for a college graduate inspired to become a medical doctor. 


But here’s the good news. HPU has a unique partnership with one of the best medical schools in the country. This agreement is called the Early Acceptance Program (EAP) in Medicine and Dentistry, and the medical school HPU has partnered with Lake Erie College of Medicine (LECOM). 


In 2021, U.S. News ranked LECOM the “best grad school in the nation;” LECOM produces more primary care physicians than any other U.S. medical school, and in 2019, U.S. News reported that LECOM receives the most applications for admittance into any medical school in the country. 


The EAP program at HPU is an incredible opportunity for any HPU student. Participating in the EAP program is possible after one semester of study. When a student earns a degree at HPU (with at least a 3.4 overall GPA) he/she matriculates directly into the Dental or Medicine Program at LECOM. Your spot is reserved. Guaranteed.  


Elizabeth Milner is a sophomore at HPU who is participating in the LECOM program; she is also part of the Honors Program at the University. Born and raised in a small town in Michigan called Blissfield, Milner knew at an early age that she would become a doctor. She plans on studying biomedical research, earning a dual medical degree and a Ph.D. in microbiology education at LECOM. 


“In fifth grade, I was already interested in the medical field,” said Milner. “My dad is a nurse practitioner, my older brother is completing his final year of nursing. I guess you can say it’s a family trait to enter the field of medicine.”  


In high school, Milner knew she wanted to expand her horizons and travel far away from her hometown, population 3,276. “The LECOM program at HPU sparked my interest right away,” said Milner. “It’s a rare opportunity to have a guaranteed spot in medical school upon graduation. You have one foot in the door, and it really shows students here that the faculty believe in us and prepare us for medical school. On an academic, research, and a personal level we are mature and ready to enter this highly prestigious medical school upon graduation.” 


LECOM provides a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) Program for students who wish to take a total-approach to health care and excel in working to help their patients achieve optimal health and well-being. Dentistry at LECOM is a unique problem-based learning curriculum that allows students to develop as integral members of a healthcare team and positively impact the well-being of their patients through oral health and preventative care.  


“When I told my parents my plan to study in Hawai‘i during my sophomore year of high school, they said, ‘Follow your dreams, go for it!’ They are so proud that I am going to be an HPU graduate, with guaranteed admittance into a top medical school. I cannot wait for the chance to help people as a medical doctor.”


To learn more about the EAP program at HPU click here, or email Allison Bachlet, Ph.D. at abachlet@hpu.edu.



ID: sp02232202

Title: HPU Alumna's Journey to Becoming Managing Editor at Midweek

Date: February 23, 2022

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When Nicole Monton was a freshman at HPU she was not sure which major was right for her. She started in psychology, switched to business, then nursing, over to English, but in her sophomore year, she found the perfect fit in journalism. Everything just clicked and Nicole was well on her way to excelling in her new major, and eventually starting a highly successful career as a journalist in Hawai’i. 


“HPU really put a great deal of focus in getting that real-world experience in the industry,” said Monton. “I learned how to communicate effectively. There were a lot of professors that inspired me. (The late) Professor John Windrow, Professor John Hart, and Brittany Yap, in particular. They were important in my educational success at HPU.” 


While earning her B.A. at HPU, Nicole accepted an internship at the television station KHON. The position provided Nicole with real-world experience in a newsroom, putting much of the knowledge she was studying at HPU into crafting news stories for the popular television station. After graduation, Nicole took the advice of Professor Windrow and applied to MidWeek.  


“I was fortunate to get an entry-level position at MidWeek,” said Monton. “I was the calendar editor. People sent in their events, and I would edit them in AP style.” That position started over 10 years ago, and now Monton is the managing editor at MidWeek.    


“There is something new all the time at MidWeek,” said Monton. “I write for various publications, coordinate with the sales department and with clients, and work on a great deal of graphic design and pagination.”   


With a circulation of over 250,000 copies a week, MidWeek publishes a magazine, weekly papers and community papers. There is a great deal that needs to be accomplished each week to ensure each publication includes news stories, features, special sections, interviews, an events calendar, and more.   


“My advice to every undergraduate journalism student at HPU is to find an internship that appeals to you. Even if it’s outside of your comfort zone, you will pick up tools for your toolbelt. It makes you marketable as a professional journalist.” 



ID: sp02182201

Title: Q&A with HPU’s New College of Business Dean Mark Rosenbaum

Date: February 18, 2022

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Mark Rosenbaum, Ph.D., took his leadership role at HPU in January 2022, coming from Saint Xavier University in Chicago. Prior to his leadership at Saint Xavier, Rosenbaum was chair and professor of the department of retailing at the University of South Carolina, the Kohl’s professor of marketing at Northern Illinois University, and an assistant professor in the department of marketing at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.


Rosenbaum is a two-time Fulbright Scholar (Cambodia, 2009; Nepal, 2015) and a Fulbright Specialist (Uzbekistan, 2019). He is a research fellow at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, a visiting professor of marketing at Universidad de Externado in Bogota, Colombia, and the American Hotel Academy in Brasov, Romania. 


Rosenbaum earned his Ph.D. in marketing from Arizona State University. He holds master’s degrees from San Diego State University, New York University, and the University of Illinois Chicago, along with a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.  


Rosenbaum spoke with the ‘Ohana in February 2022.


 



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The ‘Ohana: Please tell me about your background, where you’re from. 


 


Dean Rosenbaum: I’m originally from Chicago, Illinois. Born and raised in suburban Chicago. One of my first jobs was at Chernin’s Shoes. A Chicago-based shoe store. I was a stock boy when I was 13 years old. I had to get a work permit to work at that age. I’ll never forget what the owner of the company told me. He said, “You have the most important job in this store.” I thought he was kidding. But he said, “If I have a customer and she has to use the bathroom and she sees it’s dirty she will never come back here.” I never forgot that experience because I realized it’s the small things that matter to customers. After spending several years in the shoe store, and having every job in the store, I thought, if I am going to sell shoes, I want to sell the most expensive shoes in Chicago.  


I was the youngest employee that Saks Fifth Avenue ever hired. I worked at Saks during my undergraduate and graduate education; and what I discovered was as I was selling expensive shoes to customers who, for the most part, did not need another pair of shoes. I was fulfilling another need.    


We would sit and talk about life for an hour, hour-and-a-half. That led me to focus on my dissertation, which was loneliness is a driver of consumption.  


Once I finished my MBA at the University of Illinois Chicago, I went to New York and entered the jewelry market. I would sell fine jewelry to the nation’s largest department stores, including Liberty House. As the department stores were consolidating, I decided to start my own jewelry company, which was a failure, but that led me to pick up another degree at San Diego State University. While there, the chair of my department said, “You’re not going to believe this but the faculty member who teaches statistics quit! Do you know statistics?” I said, I don’t. He looked at my resume and said, “You have two weeks to figure it out.”  


And that was my start in statistics. I taught five courses in statistics, and I decided to pursue my doctoral degree in services marketing from Arizona State University. I wanted to understand retail from a psychological perspective. Understanding the social support that retail employees play in a person’s life. That all stemmed from my experience of selling shoes at Saks.  


  


What brought you to HPU? 


  


I lived in Hawai‘i back in the early 2000s, working at another university, so I was familiar with Hawai‘i. What brought me to HPU was not just the location, but really, it was the position and mission of the university in calling for skill-based learning.  


  


Skill-based learning. Please tell me more. 


    


Sure. HPU is dedicated to experiential learning and student engagement. My life has been impacted by working with businesses, especially on experiential learning projects at Northern Illinois University. If a professor has a Ph.D., you have to work with businesses for the next pressing issue, and through an experiential learning project I began working with Living Well Cancer Center, in Geneva, Illinois – a suburb of Chicago. I realized the social supportive role that non-medical personnel play in cancer patients’ lives. I knew nothing about cancer, other than it impacts family members. But here is a business faculty member taking the social support research from retail and applying it to cancer patients.  


I ended up publishing an article about social support in cancer research centers and that led to several publications looking at the non-medical care that men with cancer need during their cancer journey.  


I also became reiki level one certified in a study to understand the impact of massage, yoga, light-touch massage for women with breast cancer. I would have never had those experiences without experiential learning. 


I am dedicated to experiential learning as a faculty member and as a student. Anyone can read content, memorize it, and churn it out for an exam. But is that real learning?  


Real learning is when students can apply when they learn. Faculty members have to leave their comfort zones. Because the issues of business are constantly changing. I’ve worked with Jewel Osco, which is part of the Safeway family, on understanding consumer purchasing of organic products. Again – organic groceries were not my area of my expertise! 


    


It's amazing how you have picked up so many experiences and skills. Statistics, research, reiki…  


    


Yes, and one of my other consulting projects was with Abbott Nutrition. Understanding digitization of healthcare. In the future, it will be possible to analyze your bodily health through your breath at the pharmacy. Including a positive cancer diagnosis.  


    


Really? 


  


Yes. That’s the future of healthcare. That’s the digitalization of healthcare. That’s where we are headed. It raises many issues. Let’s say, genetic testing. Are we learning too much information about ourselves? Do consumers understand the dark side of digitization? Every technology has a dark side.  


Faculty must be dedicated to working with local businesses. Even if it means faculty saying, I am not an expert in this field, but I have the ability to do research and work with students and become an expert in areas I never planned on. 



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What are your short- and long-term goals for the College of Business at HPU?


 


My short-term goal is to work on our accreditation journey with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). But that accreditation journey requires that we be a force for good in the community. I want to work with faculty to increase experiential learning. To work with communities, to make sure we play a role in promoting the local and state economy.  


My long-term goal is to develop a clear niche as a skill-focused university that is geared towards skill development. 


  


Skill development. In the MBA program? 


    


In the MBA, as well as the undergraduate program. The marketplace right now is asking business schools to play a key role in providing skills to students, whether these skills are mastering software programs like Excel. Mastering data digitalization programs like Tableau.  


    


HR programs? 


  


Sure. Companies are looking for Salesforce.com certifications. SAP relationships. Business education began as a skill-focused program. In the 1960s, under the influence of the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie Foundation, business education became more theoretical based. More into the sciences of psychology. In fact, there was an article if marketing should be called “marketology.”    


What’s happened is that in many instances at universities the emphasis on theory has swung too far. Businesses are saying we need the skills! Because there was a deficit in skill-based training, many third-party vendors began to fill the niche of skill-based training. Coursera, LinkedIn, edX all began to fill that niche of skill-based training.    


There is an opportunity for HPU to integrate skills into the programming, and that fits right into lifelong learning. Business schools need to take a life-long learning approach. It’s not just teaching today and tomorrow but teaching into the future. 


  


Why should students be interested in earning an MBA today?  


           


Many students pursue an MBA when they realize their career needs to be enhanced. There are two types of graduate learners. Those who want to enhance their careers, and those who want to switch careers. Those who switch their careers appreciate the close relationships with faculty, as well as networking with other leaners. Those who want to enhance their careers and maybe want to learn an extra skill or two really fit into the market for online learning.  


HPU’s College of Business has both in-person and online programs. We can educate students who fit into both career paths. Those who want to switch careers and those who want to enhance their careers.  


   


Do students have the option to take in-person or online courses for a graduate degree? 


  


At the graduate degree level, we have two key programs. In-person and online. The in-person attracts those students who want to switch careers. The online program attracts those who are more interested in career enhancement. 


  


Do you have any thoughts on the Great Resignation?  


    


The Great Resignation is quite complex. I hope that the Great Resignation is temporary because we do need to maximize employment across the board. Service organizations need talent, and we need people paying into social security and taxes.  


I think that from a psychological perspective COVID asked people to reconsider what’s important in their lives. And for many individuals working in unfulfilling jobs, just having a job and not having a career – and there is a difference – were easy jobs to walk away from. Many people walked away because they looked at alternative income, such as expanding home prices as something to draw from in the future. That is almost playing roulette. 


I hope that people who had jobs and not careers will look at this time as an opportunity to switch careers or enhance their careers. Go back to school, learn new skills. The Great Resignation was a part of a psychological impact of COVID that made us reconsider what is important.  


What is the impact of the pandemic today? For many people, they took a hiatus from working jobs. Unfortunately, I have seen the impact on service organizations, many of them having to close early because they do not have the employees to run double-shifts.    


  


What’s your favorite activity to do in Hawai‘i? 


    


One of my favorite things to do is explore Kaka‘ako. You can find me every Saturday at the farmer’s market, engaging with the local community. Looking at the artwork, the murals. Developing relationships with local restaurant owners, boutique owners.  


I am dedicated to exploring my community. Exploring Kaka‘ako now, from Waterfront Plaza to SALT to Ward. I hope that the growth will be manageable growth and not to the point where we cannot control growth. It’s wonderful to see the community, but at the same time I wonder if too much is planned in a very small space.     


  


Too many buildings. 


    


And will we even be able to walk? We have to appreciate the few parks that we have in Kaka‘ako and treat the area with respect. 


  


What is your idea of perfect happiness? 


    


For me, perfect happiness is when I wake up each day and I have vision in my left eye. Because I suffer from Macular Degeneration in my right eye, I do not know the day when I will lose vision in my left eye. Which means, happiness to me is truly the day I can see. And if I can see, I want to make it a great day.    


Someday, I won’t have vision. I don’t take anything for granted in life. Macular Degeneration does not give a person any warning. It just comes on and when it happens vision is lost. So, for me, as long as I can see it has to be a great day.  


 



ID: sp02012201

Title: VP at Sony Music Group Reminisces on His Global Education at HPU

Date: February 01, 2022

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Martin Staudigl ‘96 always had an interest in music and business, playing the violin at an early age and then studying international business at the acclaimed Leopold-Franzens Universität Innsbruck in Austria. After earning his degree, Staudigl was keen on new experiences abroad. He researched universities in the U.S. that offered a highly diverse educational setting. HPU fit right in with Staudigl’s objectives to earn a M.A. in human resources management and organizational change. 


“I didn’t know much about Hawaiʻi or HPU when I finished my degree,” said Staudigl. “I am the biggest fan of HPU. What convinced me to study there was the international setting, its diverse student body, and the compelling offering of academics – especially in my field of interest.” 


Staudigl arrived in Honolulu and quickly thrived within the university’s diverse, international community and setting. He enjoyed interacting with HPU’s global student body, studying in the center of downtown Honolulu, often walking across the street after class to work on assignments and meet with friends by the sea at the historic Aloha Tower Marketplace.  


“At HPU, you have the chance to learn and appreciate people’s differences, which is extremely important to succeed in a global business setting,” said Staudigl. “HPU is unique because it blends Asian cultures with European and American cultures. I found the interaction and networking with a global student body as equally important as the strong academics at the university. In the end, you can learn the content of the classes from anywhere. The difference is what you learn from each other within the classroom.” 



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After earning is master’s degree at HPU, Staudigl worked a few years in New York at Ernst & Young and then at General Electric in Munich as their Human Resources Manager for two years before accepting an offer to work at NBCUniversal Media as their Director of Human Resources for the EMEA region. He worked for NBCUniversal for over 10 years, and recently accepted a position with Sony Music Entertainment Germany/Switzerland/Austria as their Vice President People Experience. Staudigl currently works and lives in Berlin. He now gets to spend more time with his brother, a lawyer for the German government.  


“HPU helped my career twofold,” said Staudigl. “I learned to work with diverse people, appreciating our differences, whether it comes to culture, individual behavior, gender, sexual orientation, etcetera. I learned to be empathetic, to listen, to effectively connect with different people in a short amount of time. The experience was tremendously relevant in today’s global business world.” 


To learn about the various degree programs offered in the Department of Public Service at HPU click here. 



January

ID: sp01212201

Title: A Life-Changing Experience at HPU

Date: January 21, 2022

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When Norwegian-national Petter Håland enrolled in the MBA program at HPU it was immediately clear that the University was a vibrant, global place, with students from over 60 countries and all 50 states. In one of Håland’s courses he sat down next to a young woman from Singapore named Jackie. A conversation ensued, they fell in love, married, and had two children. The tête-à-tête that sparked between two international MBA students continues on to this very day.


“My experience at HPU changed my life. I met my wife, fell in love, had Toby and Emma,” Håland  said. “I think of HPU as a small United Nations. Each class is comprised of students from all over the world. I learned the value of respecting cultural differences during my time at HPU, which has served me quite well in my career.”


Håland is the head of the finance and budget team at the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism in New York City. He and Jackie live in Westchester; they have also lived in many locations across the world. 


“I love traveling and exploring the world,” said Håland. “So far, I’ve lived in Norway, Canada, Hawai‘i, California, New York, South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia.” 


Håland is a Korean adoptee who grew up in Norway. Visiting South Korea was always of keen interest. “I was born in Seoul and was adopted at 6 months by a Norwegian family,” said Håland. “I grew up there, and studied at university in Norway, but Hawai‘i was always on my mind as a place to study. What a great experience it would be.”


After completing his undergraduate education in Norway, Håland was accepted into several graduate schools. “There was Australia, London, and Hawai‘i. I chose Hawai‘i and made the best decision to attend HPU.”  


It was on a study abroad trip at HPU that Håland had the chance to live and study in South Korea. But Håland’s study abroad experience almost didn’t happen! MBA students traditionally did not study abroad because of the short nature of the MBA program, but after speaking with several professors and the director of graduate studies Håland was selected to attend a semester program at Sogang University in South Korea.


“I was the first MBA student from HPU studying abroad,” says Håland, “and the first HPU student to attend Sogsng University. It was life changing. I received a summer internship in South Korea after receiving my MBA and got to really experience the international lifestyle of working abroad.”  


Håland states that attending HPU is a highly unique experience, mainly attributed to the University’s diversity, location, professors, and myriad opportunities. “There are many impressive professors at HPU,” said Håland. “One professor gave me the advice that I follow to this very day. ‘Always be aware how you come across to others.’ HPU gives students the opportunity to understand who they truly are, gain different perspectives on the world, and broaden their horizons into the future.”


To learn more about the MBA program at HPU click here.


 



ID: sp0118202201

Title: Q&A with HPU Legend Benny Agbayani

Date: January 18, 2022

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Benny Agbayani, Jr., '03, is a retired professional baseball player, HPU alumnus, and member of the HPU Athletics Hall of Fame. He played for the New York Mets, Colorado Rockies, Boston Red Sox, and in Japan in Nippon Professional Baseball. 


Agbayani ranks sixth in average, third in homeruns, fourth in runs, and ninth in hits in the HPU record book. He was drafted by the New York Mets in 1993 and played Triple-A with the Norfolk Tides before making his major league debut for the Mets in 1998. He is the first HPU Shark to make it into the major leagues.  


In 2000, “Benny and the Mets” played the New York Yankees in the first-ever “Subway Series” in New York City. Benny drove in the winning run in game three at Shea Stadium.   


Agbayani currently works for Hawaiian Airlines and is the softball head coach at ‘Iolani School where he coached his two daughters Aleia and Ailana. He spoke to the ‘Ohana in November 2021. 


  


The ‘Ohana: Please tell me about your background, growing up in Hawai‘i? 


  


Benny Agbayani: I grew up in Aiea. That’s where it all started for me. Playing soccer, baseball, football. I went to Saint Louis High School. It was a great experience there. It’s called the brotherhood. Saint Louis forever. Our graduating class is very close.  


 


How about your family?  


 


My dad is Benny Senior. My mom is Faith. My dad worked for the Federal government. My mom worked at Hawaiian Telephone Company. My older brother is Lanny, and my younger brother is Brendyn. Everyone’s in Hawai‘i. 


  


Who taught you to play baseball? 


  


I was self-taught. There was a coach that came by the house one day and he asked me to play baseball. I was about five years old. He stopped by and talked to my mom and dad. At that time, I was playing soccer, but the coach had seen me outside throwing a ball and I ended up playing baseball.  


 


Just like that. 


 


Yes. I played little leagues, played senior minors, senior majors. I did everything. I just started playing and didn’t really think much about it at the time. I watched the Atlanta Braves on TBS and thought maybe one day that would be me. I just kept watching baseball on TV. You always kinda think about the idea of playing professionally. But it wasn’t until high school that I started to think about it more. 


 


Was it in high school that you excelled? 


 


Not really. There was a lot of great players. I just kept working. When I started, there was not a lot of resources. I would hit old mangos in the yard, coconuts. We didn’t have camps or resources, showcases, like they have today. We just learned day-by-day. I would see someone on TV and then go outside and work on what I saw from other ballplayers. 


 


How did you know HPU was the right fit for you?  


 


At first, I went to Oregon Tech. I played football because I came out of Saint Louis. Coach Ron Lee was going to Oregon Tech as their offensive coordinator. The plays there were similar, just under different names. I was wide receiver at Oregon Tech. I really enjoyed the game, but I looked myself in the mirror one day and I decided to play baseball.  


So, I came back to Hawai‘i in 1990 and went to HPU, where I should have gone all along. My wife was attending UH and was playing softball, so it was an easy choice for me to come back to Hawai‘i and play baseball at HPU. You look at it: baseball versus football? The future of my career; I knew baseball was the right choice for me.  


 


How did playing baseball with HPU help your career as a major league player?  


  


In the early-90s, we didn’t have much. David “Boy” Eldredge got what we needed. We had just enough. We had uniforms, hats. We had to maintain the fields. It was like the minor leagues where we were grinding it out. Traveling for a month or more. Riding in vans, sleeping in hotels, like it was in the minor leagues. They took care of us at HPU.  


We practiced at Ke'ehi  Lagoon. We raked the field, pulled the weeds, maintained the field ourselves. We played games at Ala Wai and Ke'ehi  Lagoon. It was a grind. We all really enjoyed ourselves. The team got very close; we are still close to this very day. Most of the guys that played on the HPU team were from Saint Louis. We were a good team for what we had then. 


 



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Why is HPU a good fit for high school seniors looking to apply to colleges today? 


 


The resources HPU has now are amazing. It’s growing so much. The nursing program. I know nurses that have graduated from HPU and it’s a terrific program. The school has grown so much. Just look around downtown; HPU’s presence is everywhere. When I went to HPU, it was just Fort Street Mall. Now, it’s so impressive to see the growth of the university. From Aloha Tower, downtown, to Makapuu, to Waterfront Plaza. Wow.    


 


Of the many experiences you have had as a professional, what sticks out the most? 


 


The first day I was called up into the majors. It was a unique call-up because I was getting married at the time and I had made the Triple-A all-star team. The owner of the Norfolk Tides told me that they were going to take care of everything. They flew my family in, and I ended up getting married on the field at Norfolk, Virginia. ESPN showed up and it was a big thing, because after that we went to Montreal for my first game as a professional athlete with the Mets. It was a great moment.   


 


What was the most challenging aspect of playing in the major leagues?  


 


Trying to improve yourself and staying there. Playing in New York is rough because they are always trying to sign the high-profile players. Being a younger player, you have to do your part and stay there. Being on the Mets, you had to always improve and make a name for yourself.   


 


There is incredible attention on the Mets and Yankees. 


 


True. It’s like a seesaw. Whatever the Yankees did the Mets had to do. The Mets had to counter it. The Yankees had a lot of money, so the Mets always went out and got players to match big name players. The Mets and Yankees were the two best teams in the league. We met in the World Series. 


 


Any memorable stories about being in the “Subway Series” with the Mets and Yankees? 


 


The stadiums were rocking. It was family members that all came together and watched the games. Everybody embraced it. It was the first time that it happened. It was a dream come true for fans, the players. There was every famous person we could think of at the games. It was something we would never forget.   


 


What is an underrated attribute in being a successful professional athlete and collegiate athlete?  


 


Knowing when it’s your time. Being at the right place at the right time is key. It’s all about timing, and you have to grind it out until it’s your chance. You have to make that moment count. You may only get one shot and you have to make that moment count. Someone got hurt and I ran with the chance that I got. That’s the name of the game when you play professional sports.  


 


What was it like coaching your daughters at ‘Iolani? 


 


They are really good! You train them when they are little and you get these high expectations, but as I tell my three kids, you can’t live up to what I did. You have to have your own dreams, and that’s exactly what they have done. You have got to make your own shoes. That’s what I tell them, you have to make your own shoes. My wife and I guide them. We ask them to listen, to stand on their own two feet. We give them everything that they need. They all have the tools and talent to succeed.  


After my career, I just wanted to ensure that I didn’t have any health problems or issues. I wanted to be sure that I was there for them. Education is very important. Being a student-athlete is important. I was fortunate that I did not get hurt when I was in the major leagues. You never know what’s going to happen, so education is key. You just never know what will happen and you need to have an education. You need to know how to be independent.  


 


What is your idea of perfect happiness? 


  


Family. Just being around them. Sharing every moment with them.  


 



ID: sp01072201

Title: Reinventing Life and Musubi in Hawai‘i: A Spotlight on HPU Alumnus Manabu Asaoka

Date: January 07, 2022

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HPU alumnus Manabu Asaoka believes in the ability for reinvention – in his own life, and in musubi. Asaoka was born and raised in Shizuoka, Japan, a bucolic town nestled just below Mount Fuji. He earned his undergraduate degree in Korean language and culture from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. He took a traditional route after graduation, working in hull insurance for 16 years at the Tokio Marine.


Then a realization.    


“Counting from 22 years old when I started working,” says Asaoka, “I guessed that I would work for 45 years, until I was 67. I had been at the insurance company for 16 years! I realized that I had spent one-third of my working life in one job. I decided, OK, what’s next?”


That question of what’s next? while working as a “salaryman” in Japan was highly unusual. It is common in Japan for a person to work for 45 years at one company; and at the age of 67, retirement begins, a life of comfort and contemplation settles in. 


“It was required that I move from location to location when I worked in hull insurance,” said Asaoka. “No one knew exactly where I would be living from month-to-month. It was irregular timing, to move from place to place. I could not settle down. It was fun at first, but I was ready to settle down.” All told, Asaoka had uprooted his life, with his wife, Fumiyo Asaoka, four times in 16 years.


Asaoka knew he wanted to start his own business in a foreign country. It was his dream since childhood to open a food establishment. His wife loves to cook. Her degree at Japan Women’s University was nutrition so the path ahead was well on its way to being established. Asaoka began his new journey by researching foreign countries that fascinated him and his wife. Out of interest for the land, culture, and language, they decided on either Australia, Canada, U.S., England, or Ireland. They chose the U.S. after some deliberation between England and the U.S. After reading up on states in America, Asaoka knew that Hawai‘i was ideal.


“Before starting my business, I knew that I wanted to go back to school,” said Asaoka. “School is very important to me. I looked for the courage to go to school in Hawai‘i.”


After careful consideration of each university in Hawai‘i, Asaoka decided that HPU would be the perfect fit. It was more accommodating for international students, and he wanted to complete a master’s degree in two years.


“HPU was much better than the other schools I researched,” said Asaoka. “And they had a good number of international students. I applied to HPU from Japan while working in hull insurance.”


Asaoka chose the master’s in communication at HPU because he had a great amount of experience in business from working at the insurance company for 16 years. “A CEO should find a good team that communicates well. Interpersonal communication is vital for success in any business. I wanted to focus on how to communicate effectively, and it was a particularly good time for me to refresh my way of thinking with people from around the world.


“At HPU, I experienced myriad cultures, a strong sense of values with my classmates. There were many opportunities to work with classmates and faculty members. The smaller classrooms were important for me to learn. The professors have practical experience for the students and HPU’s students are very experienced and professional.” Asaoka excelled at HPU, earning his M.A. in 2007.


Musubi. Why musubi?


“When I came to Hawai‘i to study, I was amazed that there were so many bentos everywhere,” said Asaoka. “It was surprising to see musubi, too. But in Japan, musubi must be a triangle. When I saw the spam musubi in Hawai‘i it was very interesting and tasty. But I wanted to present the proper Japanese-style musubi in Hawai‘i. The filling should be inside the musubi.” Asaoka combined the traditional Japanese elements and the newer Hawai‘i elements of musubi and created something unique and remarkable.



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“There is one study that I read at HPU that compared several foreign people from around the world,” said Asaoka. “It measured anxiety when a person sees and hears a foreign language. The study found that Americans are more sensitive to unknown, or foreign languages. The Japanese are the most fascinated and open to unknown languages. So, it was very interesting to know this information.


“I knew that the musubi store we created in Hawai‘i had to feel like Japan. Contemporary Japan. The shop would resemble a bakery, where the customer has the option to choose what they want. No Japanese characters, language; it must be all in English. A hybrid of Japan and Hawai‘i. The customer must feel comfortable to shop and communicate. I learned all of this knowledge from HPU.”


Mana Musubi opened in 2007 at its current location, 1618 S. King Street. Each of the roughly two dozen musubi varieties are handmade with many local ingredients. It takes a good amount of time to make each of the musubi. An additional store would be required to produce more product each day, but quality control is vital for Asaoka, and he is torn on whether another location is necessary.


“Expansion may result in compromise on quality,” said Asaoka. “The more stores we open, the quality may decrease because I cannot personally monitor and ensure quality for each store. The location we have is ideal. We love our neighbors; our customers are mostly local, and we have many repeat customers.”



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Mana Musubi’s bestsellers are salmon, spam, and spicy tuna mayo. They open at 6:30 a.m., Monday to Saturday, and close at 12:30pm. The store typically sells out before 11 a.m., but they offer advance ordering as well. Asaoka starts his day at 2:30 a.m. when working at the store, but he is physically in Japan most of the year to care for his parents. To run Mana Musubi from Japan, Asaoka has a total of 16 employees and each employee has a specific role to ensure quality of the product.


“I know life moves fast. We may pass away at any time,” said Asaoka. “When I pass, I want to know that I enjoyed my life with no regrets. I gave it my all. I do not want to limit myself; and I seek to open myself to new challenges and new experiences. This is my true happiness.”




2021

December

ID: sp12132101

Title: Mother and Son Graduate with Nursing Degrees

Date: December 13, 2021

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At the HPU Fall 2021 Graduation Ceremony held at Aloha Tower Marketplace on December 11, HPU nursing student Bennet Bernhard graduated with honors, earning his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, and his mother, HPU nursing faculty Donna Bernhard, received her Doctor of Nursing (DNP) degree. HPU’s Nursing Pinning Ceremony was held on December 9; Donna pinned Bennet at the ceremony, marking a noteworthy achievement of both Bernhards graduating from HPU with degrees in nursing.


“I was inspired by my mom and my dad to become a nurse. They’re both nurses,” said Bennet. “When I was 16, I volunteered at Queens Medical Center and have been there for just under nine years. I was very interested in patient care so I started in the ICU; I began in summer and continued to work in the ICU through high school and college. I find direct patientcare to be the most interesting – that connection, advocating for patients’ health.”


Donna began her nursing career in Germany. She was motivated to become a nurse after she had spinal surgery as a teenager. “That was my initial thought at 17,” said Donna. “I wanted to be an OR nurse and be part of the team doing the spinal surgery.” She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in Germany and eventually rotated through the OR. The ironic part is that she did not enjoy working in the OR as much as she initially thought she would, so she has worked in ICU for most of her adult life. “I am faculty at HPU and work in the ICU at Queens. I do both,” said Donna.  


Bennet is interested in working in Hawai‘i as a nurse, but he is open to working anywhere that he can get experience. His focus is on specialty, rather than location, preferring to work in the ICU rather than worrying where a position is located. 


“Hawai‘i has a shortage of nurses, that’s true, but the state has a shortage of experienced nurses,” said Bennet. “Hawai‘i does not have a shortage of new graduate nursing students. The second you have that experience you can get a job easily. I do want to travel as a nurse to get experience, and eventually come back to Hawaiʻi. It’s a great place to work as a nurse. 


Donna went into the nursing field because she wanted to make a difference. “There are not many fields where you can go in and make such a tremendous change and difference in a person’s life,” said Donna. “Being a nurse is incredible.”


Bennet believes that HPU was the ideal university for him to attend and earn his BSN. He knew that he could complete his degree, obtain extensive experience, and receive a holistic education where other universities fall behind in teaching the whole person.  


“I love the HPU nursing program,” said Bennet. “I enjoy HPU because I fit in a lot with the entire community here. I feel more natural and at ease here than I would have been at another university in Hawai‘i.” 


The long-term goal for Bennet is to earn his DNP degree and have his own clinic. He would also like to try flight nursing where he would save people that are stranded and need transportation to a major hospital. “I’ve always been interested in travel and in being a nurse, so combining the two interests would be incredible,” said Bennet.  


“He’s got it all figured out,” said Donna, with a smile. “My goal is to finish my research on long-COVID, which is the longer effects of contracting COVID-19. Once that study is finished, I plan to relax a little, spend more time with my family, and enjoy a little time off before I pick up my study again on long-COVID. Maybe there is more to publish. I’d very much like to publish my paper in a journal on long-term COVID effects and their implications on health-related quality of life.”  


To learn more about HPU’s nursing programs click here



November

ID: sp11302101

Title: HPU Welcomes Home Prominent Oxford Economist: Q&A with Gerard Dericks, Ph.D.

Date: November 30, 2021

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Gerard Dericks, Ph.D., is the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Education at HPU. He leads all aspects of the Center’s mission and activities at the university. The Center’s primary focus now is to launch its “Teach the Teacher” certification course at HPU, which is specifically designed for high school social studies and economics teachers. This education will equip Hawaiʻi’s teachers to teach modules in basic economics with free market principles. Teachers will then take these principles and share them with their high school students.


Dericks received his Ph.D. in real estate economics from the London School of Economics. He has taught at the London School of Economics, University of Bath, and the University of Oxford, where he was lead economist on the NaturEtrade project and a post-doctoral research fellow. His research has been featured in The Economist, Financial Times, Nikkei Business, BBC, CBS, Science Magazine, Nature, Physics World, BizEd, Psychology Today, and Times Higher Education.  He is also founding director of the Hawai‘i-based academic summer school World Scholars Academy


Dericks spoke to The  ‘Ohana  in November 2021. 


 


The 'Ohana: Please tell me about your background and where you grew up.


 


Gerard Dericks: I was born and raised in Hawaiʻi. I went to high school at Mid-Pacific Institute. I participated in their theatre program, among other activities. After I graduated, I attended HPU for a time. But after growing up in Hawaii I decided I wanted to go out and explore the world.  


 


Did attending HPU inspire you to go out and see the world? 


 


Sure. HPU was extremely international, even then. We had many Scandinavian students, students from Japan, Europe, too. It was a big attraction to study at HPU. I was familiar with Hawaiʻi and wanted to see more of the world, so I went to Japan to earn my undergraduate degree.  


 


Why Japan? 


 


Growing up in Hawaiʻi, we have a strong Japanese cultural influence, and it is a very useful language to know. I was young and wanted to see that part of the world. I lived and studied in the southernmost main island, near Fukuoka. I attended university there for four years. 


 


What was your major? 


 


Business management. And it turned out that we had a great supervisor for our dissertations. He had a brilliant intellect, and we admired him a great deal. He had earned his Ph.D. at the London School of Economics (LSE). So, a number of us thought we would apply there for a master’s degree. The best students in his class applied and we got in!  


 


What a great opportunity.  


 


Yes. I did well in my program there, and they asked me to do a Ph.D., and that appealed to me a lot. I studied real estate economics at LSE. After finishing my master’s, I felt like a pilot who only knew how to press the autopilot button in their understanding the economic world. And I thought well, in doing a Ph.D., I could really understand things more deeply. And that really appealed to me a lot. So, I accepted the offer. 


 


Have you been back to Japan since graduating from LSE? 


 


I did. In 2016. I went back for a work assignment when I was at Oxford. We did a report on some power plants that were being proposed to be built. 


 


What drew you to attend HPU as a freshman? 


 


I love the entrepreneurship environment of HPU. You could decide things quickly within HPU. I was a bit spontaneous. And the tennis coach, Henry Sommerville, recruited me to play tennis.  


 


HPU’s tennis team is always very impressive. 


 


Yes. We were national runners-up back in 2001.  


 


What interested you initially about economics? 


 


I think it goes back to living in Hawaiʻi. Hawaiʻi experienced the same type of a boom-and-bust economic environment in the late-80s and 90s. It was very fascinating to me, and I wanted to understand what was going on.  


 


You studied real estate economics at LSE. Do you see a similar real estate bubble now in Hawaiʻi when compared to the 80s and 90s?  


 


We see market pundits predicting bubbles constantly. Everyone thinks they can market time, but it’s usually all in their minds. Housing prices are high in Hawaiʻi, and guess what, they can get higher! There is no reason why they will not go higher. So, rather than a short-term or medium-term predictions for the future, let’s talk long-term. 


 


Sure. 


 


Given the state of policy and economics, generally, I see housing prices continuing to be more unaffordable in Hawaiʻi. Unless something changes, like someone comes along to help increase economic education throughout Hawaiʻi. 


 


Which brings us to your work with the Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Education at HPU.     


  


Right. I think that some people do not understand cause and effect when it comes to economics. They have models in their head that are incorrect. That leads to bad policy and bad outcomes like housing affordability. If you own housing it’s great, but if you don’t it’s a tragedy. The question is, what do we want to do? Maybe the best possible outcome would be to relax development restrictions enough to prevent prices from going any higher.  This would probably comprise both allocating new land to housing and allowing the existing supply to build taller and denser.   


  


We do have a shortage of land.   


  


If you are land constrained the rational solution is to substitute land with capital. That is to say, to build taller and denser structures on the land that you do have.  


 


Do you see any parallels to land in Hawaiʻi to land in Japan? The availability of livable land is quite limited in Japan and in some cases in Hawaiʻi as well. 


 


Sure. There are a lot of similarities between Japan and Hawaiʻi. We could build more in Hawaiʻi. We would need to build up. But remember, everything is a trade-off! Would you rather have another thousand 50-story buildings on Oahu and your housing bill goes down 60%? Or would you rather have a better view of the ocean when you go hiking and pay what you are paying now regarding housing? The choice is yours.  


There are several places we can build more densely on Oahu. Increase supply and decrease prices with minimal effects on other people’s enjoyment of the environment. There are always trade-offs. Remember, we are sacrificing more affordable housing when we say “no.” Is that trade-off really the one that we should be making with our available resources? Something to really consider.  


 


What is your mission at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Education, and where do you see yourself in the year ahead? 


 


My primary focus over the next nine months to a year is the rollout of our “Teach the Teacher” program. The idea behind this is to empower Hawaiʻi to tackle its most pressing economic problems through better economic understanding, which should lead to better policy. We are going teach our youth, give them a solid background in economics, and a greater appreciation for entrepreneurial values both in their society and in their own lives.  


 


Will you be teaching both private and public high school teachers? 


 


We want to bring on private schools and charter schools. But from my understanding our programming will be most popular with public high school teachers. Mainly because the teachers will be getting credit for taking the course and this will help for their salary scales. The course will be accredited. It will be for teachers that are passionate about economics and for those interested in getting an accreditation. This will make our teachers even more valuable in our community.         


 


Will this be a free course for teachers to take? 


 


In the longer term it will be free. In the shorter term, I am pursuing both having a course at HPU and a course that is independently certified by the Department of Education. We want to get something available right away. That can be done through HPU more quickly, so we are pursuing both avenues simultaneously. With HPU, it should be quite heavily subsidized, or free, but we cannot say that for sure yet.   


The courses will be on the weekends and will be 24 hours of contact time. It could be as fast as two weekends. Right now, economics teaching is limited at the high school level except for AP economics at some schools.  


 


When teachers take what they learned into the classrooms, this will quite possibly be students’ first economics exposure in the classroom. 


 


Exactly. Very exciting stuff.  


 


It will be a great way for high school seniors to really think about entrepreneurship and economics early on in their lives. 


 


That’s right. Students will have a better understanding on what they can do. Hawaiʻi’s economy has become more diversified. There is more potential now in this digital age. Working from home has become more acceptable. Even if it could be done pre-pandemic, it was not as acceptable as it is now. 


 


Did you have any interesting high-school jobs or odd jobs while a student? 


 


When I was an undergrad student in Japan I started a restaurant in my dorm. 


 


In your dorm? How did that work? 


 


It was a breakfast restaurant. It was a little ridiculous! We had a dorm building and I advertised that I would make you breakfast. It worked, but it sure was a lot of work. It was enjoyable to me. It was funny. I liked to make breakfast at the time.  


 


What’s your idea of perfect happiness? 


 


Seeing a vision of yours coming into fruition. It’s a beautiful journey.


 


 



ID: sp11242101

Title: Studying by the Sea

Date: November 24, 2021

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Jeremy Rivera’s childhood dream was to live near the sea and to learn how to surf. He and his best friend kept that humble, idyllic passion alive through high school in Colorado and into young adulthood. Rivera initially enrolled at the University of Colorado Boulder but knew early on that it was not a perfect fit. There needed to be more exposure to an international community, a multicultural experience, strong academics. And then there was that dream to live near the sea. Hawaiʻi was calling. 


“I had never been to Hawaiʻi prior to arriving as a sophomore transfer student from the University of Colorado Boulder,” said Rivera. “After looking at schools in California, and then learning of this smaller, unique university called Hawaiʻi Pacific University, my friend and I believed it was the perfect place that offered a balance of solid academics, exposure to an international community, and ideally located for a perfect college experience.”  


When Rivera arrived in Hawaiʻi, he spent the first year at the scenic Hawaii Loa Campus in Kaneohe. The sea was exactly five miles away. A 10-minute car ride to Kailua Beach, one of the most scenic beaches in the world.    


“I lived at Hawaii Loa Campus my first year and then rented a house in Lanikai,” said Rivera. “I loved the lush environment of the Hawaii Loa Campus, and the community we created within the dorms.”  


Rivera majored in international business with an emphasis in marketing. He chose his major because of a growing interest and curiosity in how global businesses function. “I’ve always been fascinated by how leading brands scale their customer experience and maintain the same standards, regardless of location,” said Rivera.  



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When reminiscing about a favorite professor at HPU, Rivera mentioned the professor's approach to teaching, how it was applicable to real life. The professor encouraged Rivera and his classmates to read the Wall Street Journal every day. Rivera soon realized the impact of lessons learned in what it takes to be successful in business. 


Rivera graduated from HPU in 1997 and moved back to Colorado to establish The Little J Marketing Co. The company started as a creative agency focused on brand strategy and design and has since expanded to be a full-service marketing and film production company. Rivera’s title is principal and managing director.


“My experience at HPU brought me in contact with incredible people from very diverse cultural backgrounds,” said Rivera. “HPU was able to foster an environment where authentic friendships and relationships could be formed. The better you understand people, the more you realize we are not that different from one another. The multicultural experience at HPU helped me in developing relationships with clients, hiring team members, and in my international work travel.” 


Even though Rivera is no longer living by the sea, he has bright memories of a time and place where he spent early mornings on the beach, walking through campus with a feast of friends, sand dried on his feet. Hawaiʻi and HPU remain a brilliant memory to revisit on cold Colorado nights by the fire.  


“I really encourage high school seniors to choose a university that draws you out of your comfort zone. If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat,” said Rivera. “Life is filled with challenges. To be successful at whatever you want to do it will require a degree of risk. HPU will prepare you for the ups and downs of this incredible journey we call life.”



ID: sp11222101

Title: Giving Back to Support Those in Need

Date: November 22, 2021

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When Avery Fukeda graduated from Saint Louis School in Honolulu he knew he wanted to earn his bachelor’s degree in Hawaiʻi. He was looking for a unique college experience, one that would be different from anywhere else, a university that offered myriad degree programs, small class sizes, guaranteed internships, and student life opportunities to mature into a strong leader. HPU was a perfect fit.


“Attending HPU gave me the opportunity to live, learn and explore my career opportunities right here in Hawaiʻi,” said Fukeda. “I wanted to develop friendships that span the world, and engage with professors who have real work experiences in their fields. I also wanted access to internship opportunities.”



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Fukeda always loved business, so HPU’s business administration degree was a natural choice. An active and engaged student, Fukeda joined the Circle K International organization, Campus Activities Board, and Student Philanthropy Council. He was President of the Circle K International organization and Student Philanthropy Council, and Vice Chairman of the Campus Activities Board.


“Being part of registered student organizations (RSOs), or clubs, played a significant role in helping me find success in fundraising and building relationships,” said Fukeda. “Being a student leader really challenged me to find ways to raise money to support RSO activities and dues. 


“I remember when I was with Circle K and we had to pay international, national, and district dues each year. It costed around $900 per year. As president, along with club officers, we would engage and advocate for our club with friends and classmates. We asked them to join and pay club dues each year. Through various fundraising efforts the club was able to attend the CNH Circle K District Convention in 2015 and took home 12 distinguished awards and the prestigious William A. Dunlap fellowship award.”


Internships are an invaluable opportunity for students to get firsthand experience in various professional environments. Fukeda interned for Make-A-Wish Hawaiʻi, and this role helped him reach his current position as Director of Development and Special Events at Hawaiʻi Theatre Center. 


“I worked as a development intern as a student and was provided the opportunity to work with individuals who shared their knowledge of fundraising,” said Fukeda. “I was introduced to the many facets of fundraising roles, including donor solicitations, event planning, grants management, corporate relationships, and more. It was an amazing opportunity to have and, from that experience, I became passionate about what I wanted to pursue in life. I wanted to give back and support those in need. Through HPU, I was provided the opportunity to explore non-profit fundraising and development.”


Fukeda joined Hawaiʻi Theatre Center in 2019 as Development Associate. He was promoted to Development and Events Manager and was quickly promoted again to his current role. Fukeda is responsible for all fundraising at the non-profit, ensuring that the 99-year-old iconic theatre provides access to the arts for future generations. In addition, he is responsible for planning and execution of the upcoming Centennial Celebration for the Hawaii Theatre in 2022.


Hawaiʻi Theatre opened in 1922 and at the time was the largest theatre in Hawaiʻi. It had seating for over 1,800 people and had several modern features, including air conditioning. The Theatre was reopened in 1996 after an extensive $32 million dollar renovation and is the oldest existing structure in Hawaiʻi that was built and used as a theatre. Today, the Theatre hosts live concerts, and musicals, including the 2020 Gift of Aloha Concert – a live televised concert that raised over $300K for the Theatre during one of the hardest phases of the pandemic and was one of the largest fundraisers in the theatre’s history.


“HPU provides students the opportunity to live, learn, and explore. Right here in Hawaiʻi,” said Fukeda. “You have the chance to develop friendships that span the world, engage with professors who have real work experience, and you have access to internships for all majors. HPU also has a career development center, and they provide opportunities to network with alumni to learn about their experiences and career pathways.”


To learn more about the college of business at HPU click here.



October

ID: sp10292101

Title: An Alum’s Quest to Confront Climate Change: Q&A with Yves Plancherel ‘01

Date: October 29, 2021

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Yves Plancherel, Ph.D. graduated from Hawai ‘i Pacific University with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and teaches in the department of earth sciences and engineering at Imperial College London. He leads the environmental diagnostic and analysis research group at the college.


Plancherel was a former rescue soldier in the Swiss Army. Before his work at Imperial College London, he was lecturer in climate change and environment at Grantham Institute, one of the leading climate science and policy institutes in the United Kingdom and was also a researcher at the University of Oxford for six years.  


Plancherel earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences from Princeton University and earned a M.S. in Oceanography from the University of Hawai ‘i at Manoa. He received the Excellence in Teaching award from Princeton University in 2009.  


Plancherel spoke to The ‘Ohana in October 2021 from London. 


 


THE ‘OHANA: YOU’VE HAD AN IMPRESSIVE CAREER AND EDUCATION. WHAT TOOK YOU TO HPU FROM SWITZERLAND TO EARN YOUR B.A. IN MARINE BIOLOGY? 


 


Yves Plancherel: Well, it could have been complete chance!  


 


CHANCE? PLEASE TELL ME MORE…  


 


I received a letter from HPU saying a recruiter was going to be in Geneva, which is about three hours from where I lived, and I decided to attend that informational session. I had no plans to study abroad at the time. But thankfully, I had elected to send my English test results to universities located in nice places. 


 


HPU IS IN A BEAUTIFUL PLACE.  


 


Indeed! I recall having an enjoyable and very positive chat with the HPU recruiter, who also showed me some stunning photos of Hawai‘i and HPU. Photos that would make any landlocked Swiss student dream! It was then that I started to realize that going to Hawai‘i and get a great education in marine biology at the same time was possible. I had just started a biology degree in Switzerland as the next best thing. It’s a bit of a cliché, but I grew up watching the Cousteau films with total admiration, so when the opportunity presented itself to pursue a degree in marine science, I didn’t hesitate.  


 


SO, YOU CAME TO HAWAI‘I AND ENROLLED AT HPU. WHERE DID YOU LIVE? 


 


I first lived in university housing, near the Hawai‘i Convention Centre. Coming from abroad, barely speaking the language, and completely unprepared as I was, this made everything a lot easier. It was good fun as well and I am still connected to some of my flatmates and neighbors from that first year. I very much enjoyed the international make-up of HPU’s student body and quickly made friends from every continent.  


Americans are very lucky to live in a melting pot of cultures. This was very much not the case in the small village where I grew up, so it is not something I took for granted. I benefited hugely from this discovery and immersion of cultures.  


 


YOU MAJORED IN MARINE SCIENCE AND WENT ON TO EARN TWO ADVANCED DEGREES IN SCIENCE FROM PRINCETON UNIVERSITY. WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WERE INTERESTED IN SCIENCE? 


 


I always had an easier time in science subjects, from primary school. I did stray from the science path in high school, though.  


 


HOW SO? 


 


I chose modern languages. French, German, English, Spanish, and did that for four years until baccalaureate. Luckily, the Swiss education system ensures that core subjects, such as math, are covered regardless of the option chosen. This was key for me, as I realized that I was not that gifted for literature. I had to play catch up at first, but the core science background I had upon graduating high school was sufficient for me to get back on the science track and start a biology degree in the University of Fribourg.   


In high school, I was also very lucky to have an amazing chemistry and physics teacher who realized that I was better suited for science, so he nearly systematically requested that I come to the blackboard and be his “assistant” during class.  It was very comical.  


 


WHAT DID YOU DO AS HIS “ASSISTANT?” 


 


On quiet days, it was mostly just acting as a scribe, writing class notes or solving problems on the board. On more exciting days, I recall having to stuff toilet paper in my ears as improvised ear-protection and having to hold a fire extinguisher to cover him while he was igniting bubbles of hydrogen and oxygen and setting explosions during a demonstration. Probably not recommended by health and safety today!  


 


WOW. THAT SOUNDS NOT TO CODE! 


 


The dean eventually popped in to check what was happening at her school. But these were memorable times that made learning science fun and engaging.  


 


WHO WERE SOME YOUR FAVORITE PROFESSORS AT HPU? 


 


We had great teachers across the program, and some of them would have quite a big impact on my career trajectory. In hindsight, I now realize how lucky we were to have relatively small class sizes. I recall particularly Varis Grundmanis, who was teaching oceanography. To this day, he has been one of the very best teachers I have had. He was an outstanding communicator of science. I also owe a big thank you to Keith Korsemeyer, who wrote me a reference letter to apply to graduate school at very short notice!  


I also recall having a thought-stimulating seminar class with Shaun Moss. As a professional scientist from the Oceanic Institute, Shaun brought a different, more applied perspective of scientific research. That class had us read and present scientific papers and that was to become great preparation for graduate school.  


Finally, I owe Chris Winn a lot. Chris gave me the chance to participate in my first oceanographic expedition, a five-week research cruise from Hawai‘i to San Diego. That was an outstanding experience, and quite fun to set up and prepare as well. That opportunity was key, as it gave me the critical research experience and networking that I needed to make the next step.   


 


AFTER YOU GRADUATED FROM HPU, WHERE DID LIFE TAKE YOU? 


  


I started graduate school at the School of Earth Science and Technology, focusing on oceanography, at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. After my master’s, I decided to reorient my research and to move from the field of microbial pollution to global scale climate and ocean modelling. I found a nice program on this topic at Princeton University, and this is where I eventually earned my Ph.D.  


There, I also had the honor to interact routinely with Syukuro (Suki) Manabe, now the 2021 Nobel Laureate in physics, who really helped me a understand the field of climate modelling in a way that reading papers or books cannot. Often, there is also a story between the lines and there are connections between scientific papers that can be hard to see.  


As the founder of the field, Suki could explain the science, and tell the story behind each experiment, who did what and why, when, filling in the missing context, and even tell the story of failed experiments, the stuff that never gets published but that represent learning; very inspiring.  


 


FOR HPU FRESHMEN STILL CONSIDERING A MAJOR, WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND?  


 


I would primarily encourage them to do what they like and pursue their curiosity. Curiosity is how breakthroughs are made. But students should also be warned that curiosity without competence is not as useful, so they should make sure to learn what needs to be learned, technically, and become good at it. That process can be painful and will almost certainly involve homework, but it will pay off later! 


If something drives them, they should do that, with 120% effort. I would also tell them not to be shy and seek out and take all the opportunities available. A lot of good things happen simply by meeting the right people and keeping an open mind. Experiences are additive, not exclusive. This is the best time to try, try a lot of things. Join societies, clubs, do internships, start a business.  


As students' progress in their degrees, I would encourage them to think about the general direction they want to go into and try to anticipate our society’s needs in the next five years or so. For example, we are now facing a climate emergency. Developing solutions to address this crisis is going to occupy a lot of people and there will be many opportunities in that space, for everyone, in all sectors: science, energy, security, agriculture, health care, engineering, IT, education, sociology, communication, etcetera. We must completely reinvent the way society produces and consumes resources and energy and no one has the answer. Don’t think of climate change as a constraint.  Tackling the climate problem is a necessity, so instead, see it as an opportunity and move fast, be part of the solution! 


 


Great advice. Be part of the solution. 


 


Exactly! Climate change is a hugely challenging problem, but it is also great opportunity for creative minds. 


 


PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORK. 


 


I am currently based in the department of earth sciences and engineering at Imperial College London, where I lead the environmental diagnostics and analysis research group. The group focuses on environmental science, looking mostly at problems directly related to climate change or linked to the decarbonization transition.  


Currently, people in the group are working on a spectrum of projects ranging from oceanography, climate science, remote sensing, machine learning, security, nature-based solutions, and supply chain dynamics, but we are generally interested in any creative idea that fits the overall objectives of the group.  


  


DO YOU MISS HAWAI‘I? WHAT DO YOU MISS ABOUT BEING AN UNDERGRAD AT HPU? 


 


I do miss Hawai‘i and HPU! The weather, the water, the landscape, the food… especially poke! I miss the aloha spirit of course. Few things really seem to compare. There will always be a before-Hawai‘i and an after-Hawai‘i for me. There are also a few Hawaiian habits in me that I can’t shake out. 


  


LIKE WHAT? 


 


After all these years, I still use words like “lanai” or “pupu” routinely. Few here know what I’m saying, but these words in my head are like millisecond time-machines bringing back memories of life in the islands so I don’t really have any incentive to overwrite that vocabulary!   


I am impressed to see how HPU is growing and changing. Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to visit again – I look forward to the opportunity. 


 


WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF PERFECT HAPPINESS? 


 


Sadly, I don’t have an answer. But personally, I like a life influx. One source of happiness for me comes with some form of a quest, a journey towards a goal or ambition and realizing that one makes progress, however little, towards that goal. 


 


 



ID: sp10272101

Title: The Dream of Marine Biology at HPU

Date: October 27, 2021

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Ahmed Al Lawati '18 was always drawn to the sea, riveted by the aquatic life beneath the surface. Born and raised in the historic city of Muscat, Al Lawati grew up where the sea plays a great role for the residents of Oman. Nearly 2,000 miles of coastline stretch around this picturesque country. At sunset, the sky of Muscat awash in orange; light bounces across the tides and into mountains that resemble a rising ocean’s swell. White low-rise buildings imbue a golden hue on the shore and on the sailboats that glide in the Bay of Oman.


“I grew up in Muscat and later attended high school in Montpellier, France, where I learned French,” said Al Lawati. “I attended Ecole Privée Bilingue Internationale when I was in France and then completed the last two years of high school at the International School of Oman in Muscat.”


Hawaiʻi is located approximately 8,500 miles from Muscat. That is nearly one-third of the way around the world. A different language, new customs to learn, an entirely new way of life greeted Al Lawati when he arrived to study marine biology at HPU.  


“My family has always been important, an influential part of my life,” said Al Lawati. “They always supported my life decisions, specifically when it came to moving to Hawaiʻi to pursue my dream of being a marine biologist at HPU.” 


Al Lawati received a scholarship from HPU and a scholarship from the Ministry of Education in Oman to attend the university. He was the Vice President of the International Club at HPU and was also a member of the Pangeaseed Club. Pangea derives from the Greek word meaning “entire Earth.” 


“Ever since I was 11, I was always interested in what the ocean holds and hides,” said Al Lawati. “I decided to pursue a career in marine sciences at HPU to find solutions to the challenges that our oceans are facing, such as global warming, overfishing, and other anthropogenic disturbances.



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“HPU played a vital role in exposing me to the type of environments, equipment, and research that I currently undertake in my job during field work, especially since the marine biology courses at HPU were very field-oriented.”


Al Lawati is currently a marine environmental consultant at Five Oceans Environmental Services in Oman, one of the leading environmental service companies in the Middle East. He believes the small class sizes is one of several reasons why his education at HPU has advantages that no other university can offer.


“The small class sizes allowed students to interact with professors regularly,” says Al Lawati, “allowing us to learn more and establish proper relationships between students and professors, which are hard to find at other universities. In addition, the field-oriented courses at HPU were not only very educational, but also extremely interesting and hands-on. Being able to study in Hawaiʻi offered a great opportunity to learn about the rich Hawaiian culture and history. There are amazing museums, and a paradise of nature that surrounds the island, from its beaches to its awe-inspiring mountains.


“I can honestly say that the college life I experienced at HPU was some of the most memorable years of my life. It was filled with adventure, exploration, and life-long friendships.” 


To learn more about marine biology at HPU click here  



ID: sp10152101

Title: Serving Hawai‘i’s Kūpuna One Meal at a Time

Date: October 15, 2021

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For over 20 years, Courtney Barry has been involved in nearly every facet of the hospitality industry. He’s held positions with Hilton Hawaiian Village, Outrigger Canoe Club, Hy’s Steak House, and Whole Foods Market. But his deepest passion lies in preparing meals for Hawai‘i’s kūpuna.


“To work in senior living is where my heart is,” said Courtney. “I remember spending summers in Chicago with my grandparents. And really, that’s where my passion comes from when caring for our seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s. My grandmother had dementia, so it’s become my drive to ensure our kūpuna have nutritious meals every day.”


Courtney was born and raised on Oahu. He graduated from Kaiser High School in Hawai‘i Kai and knew early on he wanted to become a professional chef. Courtney enrolled to earn his associate degree at the esteemed Kapi‘olani  Culinary Arts Program, and in 2005, he graduated from HPU with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurial business administration.


“I chose HPU because of the opportunity to study business with great access to international students and teachers,” said Courtney. “I was taught a global perspective on cultures and how other parts of the world do business and communicate. My favorite part was when we built a full business plan and managed that plan from beginning to end. Speaking with students and professors about my plan, really getting to see what it’s like to operate a business in Hawai‘i was fantastic. I have awesome memories at HPU.”


Courtney is currently the Culinary Service Director at Hale O Meleana with Ohana Pacific Health. Previously, he was Food Service Director at The Plaza Punchbowl Assisted Living; and when in Texas, his previous experience included Food Service Director, Executive Chef, Dining Services Director, and  Corporate Culinary Services Support. He met his wife Evelyn in Honolulu, and later they moved to Texas to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren. After six years in Texas, Courtney and Evelyn moved back to Honolulu to be with family in Hawai‘i, and whenever possible, they visit their grandchildren in Texas.  


“My advice to high school students who are considering universities is really think about what you’re interested in learning and what will guide you in life and your career,” said Courtney. “Think big! Go for your aspirations. HPU has many different paths and programs. Take advantage of the many possibilities at HPU. You’ll meet and befriend many people from around the world.”


To learn more about HPU’s College of Business and the undergraduate and graduate degree programs at the university click here.



September

ID: sp09212101

Title: HPU Alumna co-authors paper impacting how scientists collect future data

Date: September 21, 2021

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Nan Himmelsbach, a spring 2021 graduate in Hawai‘i Pacific University’s (HPU) Master of Science in Marine Science program (MSMS), co-authored a paper that hopes to change how scientists collect information for future studies.


The paper entitled “Poor data stewardship will hinder global genetic diversity surveillance” was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The paper details thousands of publications, some of which are missing crucial information such as dates or locations from collected data. The missing data proves to be a gap for future biodiversity and conservation efforts.


The project incorporated 21 researchers spanning six different time zones across multiple institutions. Himmelsbach was among 13 undergraduate and graduate students involved with this paper. 


“This whole effort and the paper specifically are pretty integral to actually pointing to a specific issue that we have within the genetic community,” Himmelsbach said. “Our hopeful impact with all of this is that we would really be able to encourage people to re-work their frame of thinking when collecting all this information and putting it out there even if it’s not directly relevant to their study.”


Originating from just outside Boston, Massachusetts, Himmelsbach completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, with a degree in Environmental Science & Policy and a concentration in Biology & Biodiversity and a minor in Sustainability. 


After completing her undergraduate studies Himmelsbach developed a keen interest in ocean sciences after watching ocean-related media and being alongside the East Coast.


“My interest in the ocean really came from just growing up around it,” Himmelsbach said. “The ocean was something accessible and I was always the kid digging through the sand trying to find crabs or collecting things through buckets.”


In her search of various graduation programs across the country Himmelsbach learned of HPU and met Matthew Iacchei, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Marine Science. Himmelsbach credits Iacchei as a mentor who has guided her research and career goals, and was an integral part in her attendance at HPU.


“He opened up a whole new door to me in terms of being creative and going my own way and letting me go through some of the challenges of creating your own project or breaking into a field that’s unfamiliar,” Himmelsbach said. “From that I was able to learn a lot, and that really shaped my outlook on where I want my career to go and what I look for in a mentor.”


While enrolled at HPU, her graduate thesis focused on environmental DNA metabarcoding of stomach contents in opah (moonfish) and researching their diets. After graduating, her work then continued on to the Joint Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Research, where she continues similar genetic work with different fish such as mahimahi.


When recalling her time at HPU, one of her biggest takeaways from the program was her cohort in the MSMS program.


“Everybody was from all over the place and had different backgrounds. We all really meshed together,” Himmelsbach said. “It gave me a really great support system, a whole bunch of friends that I valued. I think the relationships that I had made coming into the program are truly something I will take away forever.”


For more information about HPU’s MSMS program, click here.



ID: sp09202101

Title: Getting the Global Experience at HPU

Date: September 20, 2021

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Scott Nolan Smith always had a passion for politics, international affairs, and global studies. Born in Germany, raised in Naples, Italy, and later attending middle and high school in the Seattle area, Smith spent a significant part of his formative years obtaining firsthand experience in a global setting.


“Choosing HPU and majoring in political science was a natural fit for me,” said Smith. “I chose HPU because of the small class sizes and the ability to study the Asia-Pacific region while living in the Pacific.” 


Smith met his future wife, HPU alumna Alicia Kubert while studying at HPU, both living at the scenic Hawaii Loa campus. “Our first date was at a restaurant at Aloha Tower Marketplace,” recalled Smith. “It’s incredible to know that the space is now the anchor of HPU’s downtown campus.”


Shortly after graduation in 2007, Kubert and Smith married. In August 2021, they celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary.


Studying at HPU encouraged Smith to approach the world through a different lens. The strong academic foundation prepared him to earn a Master of Arts in Diplomacy from Norwich University.


“The professors at HPU left amazing impressions, in particular, Professor Vincent Tsushima and Professor Ken Schooland,” said Smith. “I also had the opportunity to learn from visiting professors from universities all over the world and participate in seminars led by diplomats in residence. It was a unique environment that prepared me well for the future.”


While studying at HPU, Smith served in student government. Then, it was called the Associated Students of Hawai‘i  Pacific University (ASHPU). Now, it’s called the Student Government Association. After two years of service on ASHPU, Smith became vice president during his senior year. The experience contributed to a future career in public affairs.


Smith recently began a new job as Director, International Affairs at Global Gateway Advisors, an independent communications consultancy based in New York City. He is also a co-founder and board member of the Digital Diplomacy Coalition, a global community focused on the use of technology to advance international engagement and social good. 


“I’m a consultant working in communications and public affairs,” explained Smith. “I help organizations better engage audiences, tell their stories, and advance their goals. A lot of my work focuses on supporting UN agencies, NGOs, foreign governments, global foundations, and multinational brands. I’ve been privileged to work with amazing organizations on multiple continents, and HPU was a key point along my journey.”


Smith also serves as a director on the HPU Alumni Council. The Council’s mission is to keep HPU alumni around the world informed and engaged so they can collectively support the next generation of Sharks.  


“The connections that I made in Hawai‘i  have held strong to this day,” said Smith. “The intimate nature of HPU and the close community gave me lifelong friends from across the globe. All of these experiences have helped make me who I am today.”


To learn more about HPU’s Alumni Council click here.



ID: sp09142101

Title: The Pinnacle of Success in Hospitality and Tourism Management

Date: September 14, 2021

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Morning sun in Jerusalem breaks through the clouds and radiates a mellow gold across the ancient city walls. Travelers from around the globe arrive to experience the historic sites of Jerusalem, often booking tours to visit the Holy Land.


Cornelia Samara had a vital role as a young girl in helping her parents run and operate the family travel agency, meeting tourists at airports, attending dinners at hotels. She was captivated by the energy of meeting people, creating lifelong experiences for them.


“As a child, I used to watch a show called Hotels,” said Samara. “I was fascinated by the seemingly ‘glamorous’ lifestyle of hotel life. A hotel is so much more than a place to stay. It’s an opportunity to create beautiful experiences – not just for our hotel guests, but for hotel employees as well. I was fortunate to have grown up in a multi-cultural environment – starting with my parents – to being introduced to tourists from various destinations, and finally, to my friends at school with such diverse backgrounds.”


Samara was born and raised in Jerusalem to a Palestinian father and German mother. Her parents ran Samara Tourist and Travel, a thriving business that operates to this very day in Jerusalem. “My mother is retired, and my father passed away years ago,” said Samara. “My sister, Christina now runs our family travel agency and is the co-founder of Breaking Bread Journeys.”


On a 30-day trip around the world Samara stopped in Hawaii with her two sisters and mother. She fell in love with the ‘ohana spirit. HPU called to her.


“I was drawn to HPU, the local internship programs offered at the University,” said Samara. “HPU has small class sizes and a great mix of international students. The University provides students with the opportunity for hands-on learning with professors in their fields.”



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While enrolled at HPU and earning her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in travel industry management Samara was charmed by the tranquility of ʻIolani Palace. The Palace, a five-minute walk from HPU’s downtown campus and was the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii, is the only royal palace in the United States.


“I loved the element of tranquility and peace at ʻIolani Palace and its surrounding lush green lawns,” said Samara. “It provided a great location for concentration and studying.”


When Samara graduated with her degree in 1997, she began her career in travel industry management. The hospitality internship program at HPU helped Samara start her meteoric rise in the industry. What started out as a reservations intern at Royal Hawaiian Hotel quickly became front office receptionist, which led to a series of opportunities that took Samara across the world.


“My journey in the industry has taken me to Singapore, Cincinnati, Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston, Washington D.C., New York, Miami, and now, Philadelphia,” said Samara. “I became a general manager with Hyatt Hotels at their flagship Andaz Hotel in New York City, then opened 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, Barry Sternlicht’s flagship property in the city.”


In July 2021, Samara was appointed general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. She will oversee hundreds of hotel team members at the first and only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Hotel.


“I am so proud to have been introduced to such varied cultures and ethnicities while at HPU,” said Samara. “This experience helped build the foundation of diversity, belonging, and inclusion that I’ve used as an anchor within my career in hospitality.


“In pursuing a career in hospitality management, I most certainly recommend HPU to someone who values both academics, taught by professors in their field, and hands-on cultural experiences with students from across the world. Graduating from HPU equips you with a background in relating to people from around the world, which is one of the most important attributes to being successful in the hospitality field.”


To explore the hospitality and tourism management program at HPU click here.     



ID: sp09022101

Title: Opening Doors with a Degree in English

Date: September 02, 2021

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When Jovi Nazareno graduated from Mililani High School on Oahu, she knew that she wanted to study in Hawai‘i for college. She wanted to attend a university that offered small class sizes, personable and knowledgeable professors, scholarships, and a strong campus community. HPU was the perfect fit. 


“HPU provided me with a firm foundation,” said Nazareno. “It was a great experience, from the classes to the professors, it was fantastic. I loved it. The scholarships that HPU offered were a huge factor for me. It was also nice to stay with family and not be on my own.”


HPU was the first private institution that Nazareno attended. She knew early on that she was interested in double-majoring in English and psychology. The courses at HPU inspired her to begin connecting psychology, English, and education – specifically how psychological factors could help or hinder the development of writing skills.


“Psychology courses, such as adolescent psychology and personality psychology are related to English composition courses,” said Nazareno. “I had the opportunity to tutor students on their writing skills, and that closely related to my studies as a psychology major. Having real, practical classroom experience as an English tutor was very helpful.” 


The confidence and skills Nazareno gained at HPU – through tutoring, magazine editing, and taking part in a psychology practicum – made her a strong candidate in the job market. Nazareno graduated from HPU in 2005 and entered the workforce almost immediately. She was offered a job as an editor at an engineering firm in Honolulu. Her goal was to apply what she had learned from earning her degrees at HPU to her career. “I worked with scientists, engineers, and management professionals,” said Nazareno. “It really helped that I had a strong English and science background.” 


Nazareno’s curiosity into earning an advanced academic degree continued well into her career as a professional editor and writer. At one point, she was interested in earning her MFA in creative writing, and at another time, she was interested in earning a graduate degree in psychology. Nazareno wanted to understand how to continue supporting people in learning skills, such as writing, but there were many different paths she could take to achieve this goal. 


“I always felt that I had to choose between degrees, and I had such a hard time choosing which degree to pursue,” Nazareno said, with a chuckle. But when she took a course called the “Neuroscience of Learning: An Introduction to Mind, Brain, and Education” a lightbulb clicked. The course was part of Harvard Extension School’s liberal arts graduate program.


As a full-time working professional, Nazareno was drawn to this graduate program because of its hybrid set-up where students are required to spend some time in-person, on campus, but most time online, with the option to take courses on a part-time basis. “It felt like a low-risk, high-reward opportunity,” said Nazareno. “I took a class to see how it would go and soon realized that I could apply my extension graduate coursework towards my future work.”


Nazareno applied to the Mind, Brain, and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she ultimately earned a Master’s in Education in 2021. Her graduate studies at Harvard took about three years to complete. The Mind, Brain, and Education program is a transdisciplinary approach to thinking about education, and Nazareno credits HPU for the foundational knowledge that enabled her to explore connections across different disciplines.


“I felt like I had the background and knowledge to build upon my education,” said Nazareno. “I’m taking some time to think about what to study next. I’m totally fascinated by how the brain functions and how we learn, so I am strongly looking into pursuing a cognitive science or neuroscience program at the Ph.D. level.” 


To learn more about the English program at HPU click here.



July

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Title: It's a Plant-Based Paradise

Date: July 21, 2021

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When Sarena Celseti graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a B.S. in business the one thing she knew was that she didn’t want to be an accountant. Celseti saw a plethora of opportunities on what she could do next. She thought of the Pacific Ocean. She took a trip to Hawai‘i and knew that Oahu would become her new home.


“HPU was my dream school ever since I was 14,” said Celseti. “In high school, I was assigned a project where I researched three universities that interested me. When I saw HPU and all the opportunities the University presented I knew this was the place for me.” 


After receiving her B.S. in 2019, Celseti checked out the HPU website and submitted her application for the MBA program. In 2021, Celseti completed her MBA, immediately applying her business knowledge and expertise into owning and operating a café in Kailua called Plant Based Paradise.  


“Plant Based Paradise is a small café and we have help from interns,” said Celseti. “We create healthy made-to-order meals and snacks, and we also have grab-and-go options for people on the run. We’re happy to offer HPU students a 10% discount.  


“HPU helped me a lot in learning how to lead others and manage a business. Most of the classes in the MBA program were leadership focused. Those classes helped me work with others in the workplace and develop important communication skills.”  


Celseti also works part-time as a community advisor (CA) at HPU. She works closely with parents and students who are interested in the University and wish to pursue student housing. “Being a CA has helped me develop as a leader,” said Celseti. “It’s helped me get my priorities in order, and become a more confident and organized person.” 


It can be difficult to find your passion in life. There may be obstacles in the way, but it’s important to remember to listen to your intuition to find your true calling.  


“Don’t go to a school just because someone else is going there or just because your parents told you to go to a specific school,” said Celseti. “Choose the school that you are being pulled towards because the community probably needs you as much as you need that community.” 


When thinking back on her experience at HPU and recommending a favorite professor, Celseti had one name in mind almost immediately. “Professor Brad Harrison,” said Celseti. “He was my first and final professor at HPU and helped me in marketing and finalizing my MBA. I am very grateful for his bright spirit and enthusiasm that always made class enjoyable. 


“To me, life is not defined by what society calls success. A mortgage and a 9-to-5 job. It’s following dreams and taking chances, even when there is a chance of failure. Perfect happiness involves time spent outside, in the ocean, and in nature. Finally, it is a life that is full of good moments, good people, and of course, good food.” 


To learn more about the MBA program at HPU click here 


For additional information on Planted Based Paradise in Kailua click here. 



ID: sp07162101

Title: To Study Abroad and See the World in a New Light

Date: July 16, 2021

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Studying abroad will transform your life. You find yourself in a different country, surrounded by history, language, a whole new set of friends from around the world. It may seem overwhelming at first, but soon, you embrace the change and suddenly this new country you’re living in becomes home.


HPU alumna Katarina Lage loved studying abroad so much she went three times while earning her international studies bachelor’s degree in 2017. Lage was born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota. She knew at an early age she wanted to see and experience the world, and HPU was the ideal place to begin her journey as a career foreign service officer.  


“I was searching for a university with diversity,” says Lage, “and honestly HPU was the only school that I wanted to go to because of the study abroad and the international studies opportunities. I wanted to go where it felt like an international setting. HPU was fantastic, in every possible way.”    


Lage studied abroad in Greece for one semester. She wanted to walk through history, see the ancient sites, learn Greek, meet new friends, and visit the coastal pass of Thermopylae. The Battle of Thermopylae took place along the narrow pass on the shore of the Malian Gulf, where legend has it that the Persian army of one million soldiers fought 300 Spartans and 700 Thespians in an epic three-day battle during the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC.   


“Greece was incredible,” said Lage. “I’m of Greek descent, so I felt a strong pull to see where my mother’s side hails from. It was the perfect place to study abroad and to experience my ancestry.”   


Lage planned her trip with AIFS at HPU, which closely partners with HPU to assist in obtaining visas, travel arrangements, and in setting up a local resident director in foreign countries to support students if they are ever in need while living abroad. Scholarships for students are available; many students receive at least one scholarship to help make the study abroad experience at HPU more accessible.    


“The partnership with AIFS and HPU made me more comfortable and my family more comfortable when I went abroad for the first time,” said Lage.



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After Greece, Lage studied abroad in Ecuador for one semester at Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ, one of HPU’s exchange partner universities. She immediately fell in love with the country, its people, the customs and language.   


“My Ecuadorian host mom is like my second mom,” said Lage. “She helped me learn Spanish, and she prepared the best home cooked meals. I talk to her almost every day. She met my mom, my grandmother, and my aunt. I now have real family in Ecuador.”  


Lage’s last study abroad trip was to Thailand for a summer faculty-led program with HPU professor James Primm, Ph.D., and a cohort of HPU students. Just like her first experience in Greece and her second trip to Ecuador, Thailand was an experience of a lifetime.   


“When you are abroad and studying, living, and speaking a foreign language in another country,” says Lage,” everything feels like a situation you may never have again. It feels like suspended reality at times. It’s just that wonderful.”  


Shortly after graduating from HPU, Lage enrolled at Tallinn University in Estonia to earn her master’s degree in international relations. When she graduated in 2019, Lage knew that she wanted to continue the adventure of living abroad, traveling to new countries and meeting people from every walk and creed of life. In 2020, Lage accepted a position as a foreign service officer in the Dominican Republic, where her work helps facilitate legitimate immigration between the Dominican Republic and the United States.   


“My passion is diplomacy with students, helping to provide opportunities that help bridge the gap between the U.S. and other countries,” said Lage.  


The study abroad programs at HPU are designed to be available to students who wish to see the world, study in a new environment, and obtain real world experiences that will help advance careers once they graduate and enter the workforce. Studying abroad also widens the appreciation of different cultures and ideologies. There is nothing quite like it, and students often say that it was the greatest experience of their lives.



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“To eliminate xenophobia and the fear of foreign ideologies and people, society needs to encourage students around the world to travel and study abroad,” said Lage. “Seeing and experiencing other cultures firsthand will help in a collective understanding that we are all the same. We all want the same things for our parents, our partners, our children, our friends. We all deserve equal human rights and compassion.”  


Study abroad. The message is simple, but powerful.   


“One-hundred percent do it,” said Lage. “Study abroad! If you’re already thinking about it – maybe you’re on the fence – then you really want to go. So go on. Have the experience of a lifetime.”  


The study abroad and international exchange programs office at HPU is in the Student Services Center at Waterfront Plaza. The vision of the program is to create memorable and transforming global learning opportunities that enrich career preparation and foster commitments to global citizenship. The Program builds upon the University’s international context and challenging learning opportunities to support and inform students and faculty engaged in study and learning abroad.   


“I’m actively working with students interested in studying abroad,” said Melissa Matsubara, Director of HPU’s International Exchange and Study Abroad Programs “The HPU study abroad application for Spring 2022 is Oct. 14, 2021, but it’s never too early to start the process. The sooner you can meet with me the more options and scholarship opportunities you’ll have for when you’re ready to go abroad. There is a lot of funding available for studying abroad, making it much more affordable than most students realize.”  


Interested students can email Matsubara at mmatsubara@hpu.eduTo learn more about the 400 study abroad and international exchange program options at HPU click here 


To make an appointment, or join the HPU Study Abroad mailing list click here. 



June

ID: sp06172101

Title: HPU Alumna Helps Discover New Species of Jellyfish

Date: June 17, 2021

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When Anita Harrington was young she thought of the ean. She dreamed of the sea creatures that she read about, from the books and books she borrowed at the local library. Harrington grew up in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, knowing at the age of six that she would study marine biology. 


“I definitely held that dream as a young girl in mind when I graduated from high school and went on to study marine biology and oceanography at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW),” said Harrington. “As an undergraduate, I received the Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship, and as a result, had the chance to intern at the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.”  


Harrington took a year off after graduating from UNCW. She traveled the country, stopping in various cities and national parks along the way. She went to the South Pacific, spending most of that year working in New Zealand.   


In 2017, Harrington accepted a position at HPU as a marine science master’s student. HPU Associate Professor Brenden Holland, Ph.D. became Harrington’s advisor when she began her studies. Holland was new at the University, and Harrington was his first graduate student. Holland told her about a specific box jellyfish that aggregates along the southern coast of Oahu each month, 8 to 12 days after a full moon.   


“Questions surrounding this species, including whether it was a native or introduced species are what drew me in initially,” said Harrington. She was intrigued by the idea. So she began to study the jellyfish that Holland had mentioned, and eventually wrote her thesis on the species, entitled “An Investigation into the Trophic Ecology and Introduction of the Winged Box Jellyfish, Alatina alata , in Hawaiʻi.”


Harrington’s research and thesis were exemplary, resulting in the prestigious John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. This achievement marks the first time since 2012, and second time ever, that a HPU graduate student has received the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. Harrington was also her class valedictorian.


While working on her master’s thesis at HPU, Harrington teamed up with a team of researchers from Japan, Canada, and Hawai’i to help discover a new species of jellyfish found off the coast of Japan. This new species of jellyfish is the size of a human hand, has a black ring around the bell, and has 53 tentacles. It’s called Tima nigroannulata, and the article that Harrington helped write with Holland is “ A New Species of Hydromedusa from Japan.” It was recently published in Zoological Science, a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the Zoological Society of Japan.


“I never expected to assist in the discovery of a new species, '' said Harrington. “I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work on this unique project outside of my thesis.”


Harrington is spending her fellowship year as the Science and Policy Fellow for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) at Science Applications Headquarters in Washington D.C. The FWS’s mission is to conserve and protect wildlife, plants and their habitats. This mission closely aligns with Harrington’s own personal goals.  


“I am very excited to see where this fellowship leads me,” says Harrington, “and I hope to return to Hawai’i one day soon.”



May

ID: sp05072101

Title: HPU bids Aloha to Third Butler Daughter with Degree in Nursing

Date: May 07, 2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring home the chronic need for registered nurses in the workforce and one Oahu family has given its all to make a difference. James and Angela Butler, of Kaneohe, are watching the third of their three daughters graduate with a nursing degree from Hawai‘i Pacific University (HPU). Autumn Butler will join her older sisters Aubrey and Maile in serving as a nurse right here in Hawai‘i.


“We are so proud of our girls,” said Angela Butler. “Our first daughter, Aubrey’s experience at HPU sparked her sister Maile to enroll. That followed on to Autumn, who saw both her sisters excel at HPU and in their careers.”  


Aubrey Butler currently works with veterans at Tripler Hospital, and her sister Maile Butler works at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Autumn Butler plans to work in Pediatrics.


“HPU provided me with the education and degree I needed to get where I am today,” said Maile Butler. “Receiving my acceptance letter into the nursing program was one of the best moments of my life. The program was well structured, but like any other nursing program on the island it was very competitive. I worked extremely hard to complete nursing school with straight A’s, join the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and gain every bit of experience I possibly could at HPU.” 


The Butler family has a long tradition of family members graduating with degrees in nursing, and working in their respective communities. Angela Butler’s grandmother was a nurse at Saint Francis Hospital in Honolulu, and James Butler’s sister is a nurse in Texas.  


“There’s nothing more enduring than honoring the legacy of the giants whose shoulders we stand on,” said HPU Dean of the College of Health and Society Halaevalu Vakalahi. “Autumn, Maile, and Aubrey have truly honored the legacy of their parents. We are extremely proud that they are HPU nursing alums.” 


HPU offers a suite of nursing degrees and a certificate program. This includes the baccalaureate degree program in nursing, the master’s degree program in nursing, the post-graduate APRN certificate program, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice. 


“As a leader in nursing education in Hawai'i, HPU has produced well-prepared individuals for the workforce, to serve all of the communities in Hawai'i,” Vakalahi said. “Our alumni are well represented in hospitals, clinics, and most significantly, in our communities. Our small class sizes facilitate individualized attention and mentorship, which makes HPU graduates well-prepared and sought out by local and national employers.”