For 14 of the last 17 years of entering the competition, Honolulu Community College has brought home the gold in the student division. This year only five finalists were named in the student category, all of them from Honolulu CC. Linda Inamasu won Pele Gold, Ryan Kakitani, Alex Kawamoto and Jordan Guillermo won silver and Kara Nyuha won bronze.
“I am so incredibly proud of my students. They consistently produce high quality, professional grade work,” says Sandra Sanpei, professor of Honolulu’s communication arts program.
Part-time student, Inamasu came back to school after being laid off in 2010. A 2002 marketing graduate from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Inamasu tinkered with graphic design software during her marketing career. With the support of her husband and two sons, she came back to school to earn a second degree that would satisfy her interest of graphic design. Her entries “Design Museum Boston coffee table book” and “Colorado Balloon Fest logo” both received gold honors.
“The harder you work, the more satisfied you are with the final product,” shares Kakitani who will be graduating on May 16. His design “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominee Brochure” won him a silver award.
After graduating from Mililani High School, Kawamoto went to the Art Institute of San Francisco for a year. Homesick, he came back to Hawaiʻi and enrolled at Honolulu Community College. His design brochure for a famous children’s museum in Philadelphia called “Please Touch” won silver honors.
2011 Kapolei High School graduate, Guillermo will add Honolulu CC to his list of schools he earned a degree from in a few weeks. His entry “California College of the Arts Stationary Package” won him a silver Pele. He is currently an intern at the Design Asylum owned by Honolulu Community College Distinguished Alumnus, Lowell Gillia who also teaches for the communications arts program.
Nyuha is a repeat Pele winner from last year, this time receiving a bronze for her magazine layout entitled “Preservationist” that is featured in Abstract Magazine produced by AIGA Hawaiʻi.