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September, 2004 Vol. 29 No. 3
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Published September 2004

UH Alumni Profiles

Scholar studies Pele and politics

Kuualoha Hoomanawanui headshot

Kuʻualoha Hoʻomanawanui
BA, Hawaiian studies, ’91, MA, Polynesian religion, ’97

Pursuit: Mānoa doctoral student in English

Roots: Kailua, Oʻahu and Kapaʻa, Kauaʻi

Spare-time activities: Editing ʻŌiwi: A Native Hawaiian Journal, literacy work in the Hawaiian community, swimming

Favorite saying: Ma ka hana ka ʻike, knowledge is gained through doing

Hero: Every person who has never taken "no" for an answer on a quest for social justice

Family: Husband Ioane Hoʻomanawanui; dog Alaʻe

Kuʻualoha Hoʻomanawanui was one of 35 doctoral students in the nation to receive a $21,000 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship this year. It will support her literary analysis of Pele literature appearing in 19th-century Hawaiian-language newspapers—her favorite is the "least adulterated" stories published by J. N. Kapihenui in 1861—and the politics of publishing and translation during a volatile period of Hawaiian history.

Hoʻomanawanui says Hawaiians were way ahead of Westerners in " celebrating mana wahine (female power) through the exploits of Pele and her sister Hiʻiakaikapoliopele." She has exhibited her own strength since receiving a GED in 1984 and enrolling in Kauaʻi Community College. She credits her tūtū and parents for raising her to believe she can accomplish any goal. Seconds dissertation advisor Cristina Bacchilega, "What Kuʻualoha will do as a scholar and a teacher for the Hawaiian community is priceless."


Fundraiser is a charitable matchmaker

Ko Miyataki headshot

Ko Miyataki
BEd ’64, EdD ’88 Mānoa

Career: President, Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific Foundation

Roots: Kaʻū, Big Island

Family: Husband Glenn, former associate dean of the UH Māoa College of Business, is president of the Japan American Institute of Management Science

First job: Counselor at Mission Junior High, Omaha, Neb.

Secret vice: Loves junk food

Fundraising is matchmaking, Ko Miyataki believes. "My goal is to marry the donor’s interest to the needs of the institution," she says. In May she returned to the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific (REHAB) Foundation, after two years with Kamehameha Schools’ Ke Aliʻi Pauahi Foundation.

As REHAB foundation president, Miyataki obtains private funding for activities that enrich and enhance the experiences of patients with physical and cognitive disabilities—such as the Louis Vuitton Creative Arts and the Tom Jones Horticultural Programs. REHAB operates the 100-bed hospital on Kuakini Street and eight outpatient clinics on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi and Maui.

Those who know her say Miyataki infuses an organization with a wonderful sense of style, warmth and genuine gratitude, whether it’s on the job or as a volunteer board member for Lanikila Rehabilitation Center or the Honpa Hongwanji Mission’s Living Treasures program. She credits the synergy among clinicians, staff, patient families, neighbors and friends with helping REHAB live up to its motto of rebuilding lives together. When it comes to raising funds for the hospital, she says "we do that with passion and an infectious sense of spirit because what we do at REHAB affects people’s lives."


A futurist for hire

Jonathan Peck headshot

Jonathan Peck
BA ’81 and MA ’83, political science

Profession: Vice president, Alternative Futures Associates and the Institute for Alternative Futures

Resides: Alexandria, Va.

Family: Wife of 26 years, journalist Barbara Vobejda; 14-year-old daughter Sarah

Hobbies: Skiing, swimming, reading, coaching and church work

Favorite futuristic movie: Contact—"Instead of projecting fear, it projects the hope that the universe is friendly to life."

Jonathan Peck spent seven years hitchhiking across America. He worked as a cowboy in Montana, ran a hotel in the Caribbean and fished for salmon in Alaska. He considered careers in law and business. Arriving in Hawai&3699;i as a newlywed, he enrolled at Mānoa and discovered his calling in the futures program headed by Professor James Dator.

A consultant for 22 years, Peck uses research to create scenarios, goals and strategies that prepare organizations for change. He describes himself as an "organizational hitchhiker," engaging the cultures of diverse clients, from Fortune 500 companies to professional associations and government agencies.

Testifying on Capitol Hill about the future of Medicare, he introduced himself as a futurist. A senior senator barked, "Well, I’m a nowist!" But for Peck, the rewards, like transforming the role of healthcare in the U.S. military, outweigh the skepticism. "What I get from my work is the belief that I’m going to leave behind for my child a world that is far healthier, far more equitable and far more peaceful."


UH alumni hold four seats in Korean congress

Korean National Assembly building

Four Mānoa graduates gained National Assembly seats in South Korea’s spring 2004 election.

Representing the Grand National Party are Aesil Kim (PhD ’79 in economics), a professor of economics at Hanguk University of Foreign Studies, as the first proportional representative and Youngsun Song (MA ’81, PhD ’84 in political science), the country’s first female analyst in security and defense as director of the Center for Security Strategy, Korea Institute for Defense Analyses.

Bongsuk Son (MA ’75 in political science), who has been chief director of the Korean Institute for Women and Politics, is the first proportional representative for the Democratic Millennium Party.

Chansuk Park (PhD ’81 in geography), who served as president of Kyungbook National University, represents the majority Yeollin Uri Party.

First proportional representatives lead their party’s policy focus.


Alumni designers push edgy dressing with Acid Dolls

Acid Dolls fashion shot

Feminine yet edgy is what you’ll find in the fashion brand Acid Dolls, created by Mānoa apparel product design and merchandising 2004 graduates Cindy King and Cecilia Kim. Their first line for women, Urban Couture, is street clothing they describe as "part corrosive, part cute."

The fashionistas debuted their handmade garments as student designers in Kapiʻolani Community College’s fall 2003 French Week. This summer, their Beach Couture line hit Town & Country Surf stores, targeting the surf market in Hawaiʻi.

Since launching of their e-store in March, the women say that business has been strong. The locally made clothing, priced at $30 to $100, can be viewed at their website.


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