UH Alumni Profiles
- A study in American pop-culture
- Scientist tackles world nutrition issues
- Lawyers help Hawai'i people in need
- Former U.S. Presidential advisor joins think tank
A part of pop-culture
BA, ethnic studies, '01 Manoa
Claim to fame: Contestant on TV's The Bachelor
Roots: San Anselmo, Calif., about 20 miles north of San Francisco
Quote: "I majored in ethnic studies. People who are taking the same classes now tell me that I became the subject of discussion" (about being the Asian woman on the show)
Courtney Chan works for a California security technology company while pursuing teaching credentials and a master?s in education. She plans to become a teacher, but, for a little while, she was part of a nationally televised cultural phenomenon.
On a whim, Chan applied via the Internet to be on the ABC program The Bachelor. She was shocked when the producers asked her to fly down for an audition.
One of the biggest challenges about so-called reality television was answering all the questions that followed any incident or occurrence, knowing her comments would be broadcast across the country.
"It was also hard to get used to the camera being on you 24/7," Chan says. "A lot of reality TV is not reality. Some parts of it are so surreal." In fact, the aspect of her experience Chan enjoyed most was the women portrayed as her competition. "The best part was meeting the other 24 girls from across the U.S.," Chan says. "They are all unique in their own way."
As for the whole reality TV experience, "I have something really crazy to tell my future children about," she says. "It was a neat experience, but I would only do it once."top
Scientist tackles world nutrition needs
Subramanyam Shanmugasundaram MS, horticulture, '68 Manoa
Appointment: Deputy director general for research, AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center
Work recognized in: Taiwan, Mauritius, Korea, Bangladesh
Fellow of: Indian Society of Vegetable Science
The man who calls himself a "green ambassador" will draw on three decades of international agricultural experience as senior member of a not-for-profit center's scientific team.
Dr. Sundar, as he is known to his colleagues, will help the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC) expand efforts to improve nutrition, reduce poverty and build economies through vegetable research and development.
"Research without development is meaningless. Likewise, development that is not based on sound research is empty," says Sundar.
He should know. For much of his career, he has blended high scientific standards with an emphasis on helping people.
Private organizations often consider potential profits when deciding which research to conduct, he explains. Yet research that is considered to be minor can have a major impact on the lives of the poor, improving purchasing power, nutrition and health.
UH was part of an educational path that took Sundar from India to Japan, where he earned a PhD in crop science at Kyushu University. Recruited by AVRDC in 1972, Sundar has enhanced the diets and economies in many regions.
Mung bean and vegetable soybean are both high in nutritional value and good for soil fertility. Sundar led efforts to increase production by improving varieties that are early maturing, disease resistant and high yielding. He also helped establish and coordinate regional vegetable networks so scientists in different countries could collaborate on mutual problems.top
Lawyers listen, help people in need
MA '89, PhD '91, JD '00 Manoa
BA '90, JD '94 Manoa
First meeting: Over the UH women's studies journal Voices
Services: Employment, family, civil rights and criminal law
Key to helping: Figuring out what the real problem is
Quote: "People dealing with certain types of issues shouldn't be traumatized further by the way they're treated."
For nearly a decade, women in UH's William S. Richardson School of Law discussed the need to create a law clinic sensitive to the needs of women and traditionally underserved clients. Over lunch one day, Susan Hippensteele and April Wilson-South decided to act.
"We both care a lot about civil rights. That?s a large part of our focus," says Wilson-South, "but we needed experience to provide service in a competent and useful way."
For her, that meant working as an investigating clerk, enforcement attorney and deputy director of the state Civil Rights Commission. Hippensteele helped create UH Manoa's Women's Center, worked as the campus? student advocate and remains on faculty in women?s studies.
The pair opened Hawai'i Women?s Law Center in downtown Honolulu in May 2003. Both view the law as a tool to tackle issues. "Obviously this is a business, but we?re not focused on big litigation and money. We try to resolve situations so people can continue to be productive where they are," says Wilson-South.
Reasonable fees for those who can pay help underwrite pro bono and advocacy work the two do. "There ought to be a lot more places like this?community legal services," Hippensteele says.top
Former U.S. Presidential advisor on North Korea joins think tank
Charles L. Pritchard
MA, international studies, '88 Manoa
Army service: 28 years, assignment included the Secretary of Defense's country director for Japan and Army attache' in Tokyo
Significant travels: Coordinated President Bill Clinton's historic trip to Vietnam and accompanied Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
Award: Defense Distinguished Service Medal
A former advisor to two presidents, Charles L. Pritchard has joined the Brookings Institution as a visiting fellow in foreign policy studies.
Pritchard most recently served as ambassador and special envoy for President George W. Bush in U.S. negotiations with North Korea and U.S. representative to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization.
In a September interview with the Washington Post, Pritchard characterized the Bush administration as struggling to develop policy from "wildly disparate" views about how to proceed.
While Pritchard doesn't advocate for a cabinet level envoy now, he recommends authorizing a full-time negotiator to engage North Korea and U.S. allies in the region. Long-term dialogue has the best chance of success, he says.
Prichard joined the National Security Council in 1996, advising President Clinton on U.S. policies in Asia and the Pacific, including the president's four-party peace initiative toward North Korea and security and trade issues with Japan, South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
As deputy chief negotiator for the U.S.-Korea peace talks in 1997, Pritchard helped negotiate U.S. access to a sensitive underground facility in North Korea and solicited North Korea's first apology for its hostile submarine incursion into South Korea.