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January, 2006 Vol. 31 No. 1
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Published January 2006

Campus News

Rough starts, bright futures for motivated mom

Leslie Miner and son

Leslie Miner knows a lot about strong families. Against the odds, she built one.

The 22-year-old single mother and son Ethan were named 2005 ’Ohana of the Year by Hawaiʻi Child and Family Service, an award honoring families who make progress in the face of difficult challenges.

Placed in foster care at 13, Miner remained in the system until she "aged out." On her own with an infant, she ended up in a homeless shelter. There, she and Ethan began participating in Healthy Start, a home visitation program that promotes family health and development.

Today, Miner and her son live in a Waipahu apartment. She rises as early as 3:30 a.m. to study before heading to school and work with Ethan. A daily challenge is being on the bus a lot, she says, but she uses the long ride from Waipahu to focus on Ethan, reading or coloring or just playing and talking.

Miner is studying to become a teacher. She takes pride in the A’s and B’s she consistently earns at Honolulu and Mānoa, but she is most focused on learning. "I want to make sure I’m becoming educated," she says. "I love to learn. It doesn’t matter if it applies to my tests or my papers, I just want to know."

Social work is another career option. "I had a lot of time to reflect on my past and talk about my experiences," she explains. "I’d like to work with at-risk children, in counseling and guidance as well as teaching."

Whatever her career choice, she is determined to give her son a healthy, happy life. "I want Ethan to be strong in his identity," she says. "I struggled for so long with my identity, and was easily influenced. I want him to be passionate about something, whether it be a sport or a hobby, to have strong values and to go to college. I want him to be educated."


Honolulu campus unveils 9/11 memorial

students with flags

Honolulu Community College marked the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack by unveiling a memorial that includes a golf-ball sized piece of World Trade Center rubble. The artifact was donated by an anonymous New York resident via criminal justice Honolulu CC Assistant Professor Bob Vericker, a retired New York-based FBI agent.

The polished steel and plexiglass memorial was designed by sheet-metal instructor Danny Aiu and constructedby volunteers. It stands near a piece of the demolished Berlin Wall on the Dillingham campus in Honolulu. At the dedication, a small replica was presented to the parents of Honolulu CC alumna Christine Snyder, who was on United Flight 93, which crashed in a Pennsylvania field after passengers decided to thwart their hijackers.


Maui offers business as its first baccalaureate

In response to demand identified in a county-wide survey, Maui Community College has begun offering a bachelor of applied science in applied business and information technology—the first four-year degree offered by a University of Hawaʻi community college.

The flexible ABIT program emphasizes small- to medium-sized business management, with a strong information technology component. It has been recognized as a candidate for accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

For information, see or call 808-984-3500.


Scholarship marks VP Ching’s retirement

Doris Ching

Vice President for Student Affairs Doris Ching retired at the end of 2005 after more than 36 years of teaching and advocating for students.

Ching received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Mānoa and a EdD from Arizona State University. She earned local and national accolades and leadership positions along her path from student teaching coordinator to system vice president.

A committee chaired by businessmen Robin Campaniano and Allan Ikawa scheduled a gala dinner Jan. 24, 2005, to benefit the Doris Ching Endowed Scholarship for Access.

To make a contribution, contact the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, 808 956-6311. Read the news release.


Energy Star dorm tests potential power savings

There’s something different about one Hale Wainani apartment at Mānoa. It’s not the posters, activities or inhabitants; it’s an across-the-board commitment to energy efficiency. Lights are fitted with compact fluorescent bulbs. Appliances carry Energy Star efficiency ratings. Computers are set to enter sleep mode when not in use.

Campus experts from the Center for Smart Building and Community Design are monitoring energy consumption for the test unit housed by real-life students. They anticipate an annual electrical saving of $120—enough to power 85 Oʻahu homes for a year if extended to dorms campus wide.


Wai’anae academy graduates mariners

graduates and staff of the Waianae Maritime Academy on graduation day

In less than two years, Leeward Community College’s Waiʻanae Maritime Academy has provided 133 graduates with the skills they need to work in the maritime industry.

The non-credit program was the culmination of a grassroots effort spearheaded by tugboat captain Paul "Kaipo" Pamaika’i and his wife Donna, who saw a natural match between the maritime industry’s need for employees and community residents’ need for jobs.

Coast Guard Cmdr. (retired) Don Wiggins is an instructor in the program, and alumnus William Akama III serves as administrator. The course prepares students for tightened post-9/11 requirements for certification as merchant marines. Graduates hold positions as seamen and sea women, engineers, cruise line employees and other posts. For information, call 808-696-6378.


Guides address organics, drug prevention, Hawaiian culture

New UH resources in diverse areas are available to the public. Choose the related website for:

  • Advice, calendars and background on organic farming from Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.
  • Practical things adults can do to help preteens resist unhealthy choices. Download Keeping Children Drug Free: A Prevention Guide for Hawaiʻi’s Keiki Ages 8-11 at the Center on the Family or call 808-956-4133 to request a copy.
  • Hawaiian thoughts, values and behavior in traditional and contemporary contexts. Explore the Ka Wana series. The first three volumes—on educational traditions, pono (righteous) ways of living and traditional ways of making things right—will be available in fall 2005. Subsequent volumes will focus on gender roles, health concepts, hospitality, leadership, spirituality, speech making and other topics. Watch the Curriculum Research Development Group website, call 808-956-4969 or email CRDG for information.
cover illusration of Vice-Versa

Quarterly e-zine launched

Mānoa’s Department of English has launched a quarterly e-zine, edited by master’s candidate in creative writing Tim Denevi under direction of faculty managing editor Pat Matsueda.

The premiere issue of Vice Versa includes an article on the late Mahealani Dudoit, founder of the groundbreaking Hawaiian literary journal ’Oīwi.


New garden nurtures curriculum

It takes a coalition to raise a garden. In this case, Mānoa education faculty members Pauline Chinn and Jennifer Herring proposed a "curricular landscape" that would beautify college grounds and serve instruction in the sciences and Hawaiian studies.

Architecture instructor Janet Gillmar’s class created a landscape design. Freshman honors students provided labor. The campus Buildings and Grounds Management Office lent logistical support, and several individuals and organizations contributed indigenous and endemic plants and trees, including sweet potato, ti, taro, hala, coconut, sugarcane, milo, kou, kukui and ʻōhiʻa.

An Adopt-a-Landscape team pledges ongoing maintenance. The garden is located in the courtyard and ewa side of Wist Annex and Wist Hall. For information, contact Landscape Coordinator Nica Pyron.


Honors laud astronomer, fiscal officer and catalog

Popular Science named black hole expert Amy Barger one of its "Brilliant 10" young researchers. The 34-year old former University of Hawaiʻi postdoctoral researcher splits her time between UH’s Institute for Astronomy and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Read the Star-Bulletin article.

Fiscal Officer John Awakuni

In other honors, the Western Association of Summer Session Administrators awarded Mānoa’s Outreach College the Best Catalog-Newspaper Format award for its 2005 catalog.

Additionally, Mānoa Fiscal Officer John Awakuni was named the state’s Employee of the Year for maintaining day-to-day operations on top of managing paperwork related to recovery from the Halloween 2004 flood that swamped Hamilton Library.

William S. Richardson School of Law

Law school listed among best in nation

Princeton Review again named the University of Hawaiʻi’s William S. Richardson School of Law one of the nation’s best law schools. The 2006 rankings place UH second for best environment for minority students and fifth for most diverse faculty. More at the Princeton site.


Going the distance in Hawaiʻi

medal on a ribbon

Reaching out to the Big Island produced 10 new radiologic technicians and won Kapiʻolani Community College faculty medals denoting excellence in teaching from the Texas-based National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development.

The two-year Oʻahu-basee associate of science Radiologic Technology program combines classroom study with hands-on laboratory and supervised clinical experience, assessment and counseling support.

group with medals on

Funded by a Rural Health grant and working in partnership with Hawaiʻi Community College, instructors delivered academic work to the Big Island via teleconference and Internet technologies and placed students in radiologic agencies and community hospitals in Hilo, Waimea and Kona for their clinical training. Project staff included, from left, site instructor Ernest Simien, Hawaiʻi Community College training coordinator Lei Kapono, department head Sanae Moikeha, program director Harry Nakayama, clinical coordinator Jodi Nakaoka and counselor Russell Kinningham.

For information about the program, call 808 734-9252 or visit Kapiʻ'olani health programs webpages.


Going the distance overseas

David Taniyama didn’t let deployment to Iraq interrupt his studies. He took Honolulu Community College Professor Douglas Madden’s fall 2005 architectural, engineering and CAD technologies course via the Internet.

Like classmates closer to home, he participated in discussions online, but Taniyama had a military educational services officer proctor his exams and packaged his model project for overseas shipping for grading.

Unusual, perhaps, but not unique. Fellow Honolulu Professors Ronald Pine (philosophy) and Patrick Patterson (history) have had students complete online courses from all over the world, including Iraq, Europe and Asia, as well as the U.S. mainland. Now that’s distance education.


Hands-on construction project helps community

Honolulu Community College architectural drafting and carpentry students have turned an old Kalihi home into a resource center and caretaker’s residence.

The project was part of a community effort to turn the 99-acre Kalihi Valley Park into an active, living cultural and learning center. The once gutted building will provide a gathering place for classes and programs at the park, which is believed to contain remnants of ancient agricultural terraces.


University partners with developers for campus projects

UH has entered a new and entrepreneurial era in campus development, working with private developers to advance needed projects. In 2005, the Board of Regents approved selection of—

  • Hawaiʻi Campus Developers, an Atlanta-based partnership, to plan and build a Hawaiʻi Community College campus west of the current site in Hilo and Hawaiʻi CC—s West Hawaiʻi Center mauka of the Keāhole airport in Kona.
  • West Oʻahu Development LLC to develop the West Oʻahu campus in Kapolei. Owner Hunt ELP is developing infrastructure and housing for the Navy on Ford Island.
  • Maryland-based Townsend Capital LLC to design and build new Cancer Research Center of Hawaiʻi research, office and outpatient facilities adjacent to the UH School of Medicine in Kakaʻako. The Townsend team includes firms involved in cancer center construction in Seattle, New York, Houston and San Diego. UH received $10 million in federal funds for the center.
  • American Campus Communities to develop the first phase of new on-campus student housing at Mānoa—approximately 800 beds on the site of Frear and Johnson Halls and International Gateway House.

Other capital improvement news

Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services gave the University of Hawaiʻi an A+ underlying rating for its $163 million university revenue bonds, citing historically favorable financial performance.

Gov. Linda Lingle released $6.7 million to renovate Maui Community College’s 32-year-old Student Services Building and $10 million to build and equip a one-stop center for administration and student services at Kaua’i Community College.