UH Hilo Bonner leaders attend 2022 Bonner Summer Leadership Institute in New Jersey

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669
Int Dir, Univ Rel; Dir, Media Rel, University Relations, Office of
Posted: Jul 26, 2022

UH Hilo Bonner Leaders
UH Hilo Bonner Leaders

Six undergraduate students and two staff from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Bonner Leadership program recently traveled to Ewing, New Jersey to attend the 2022 Bonner Summer Leadership Institute, held June 16-19, 2022. Representatives from 52 colleges and universities across the Bonner Network gathered at The College of New Jersey to participate in this first in-person Bonner event since 2019.

The six students who attended the conference as UH Hilo’s first cohort of the Bonner Program included:

• Amena Tep, a rising senior majoring in Political Science and Administration of Justice, from Dallas, Texas.
• Isabella “Bella” Chapman, a rising senior majoring in Marine Science and minoring in Political Science and English, from Rome, Georgia.
• Carley Atkins, a rising junior majoring in Hawaiian Studies from Hilo, Hawaiʻi
• Devin Brown, a rising junior majoring in Geography, from Seattle, Washington
• Evonne Fronda, a rising junior majoring in Accounting from Waikoloa, Hawaiʻi
• Lavinia Manufekai, a rising senior majoring in Political Science and Administration of Justice, from Hilo, Hawaiʻi

The conference was centered around a theme which celebrated the resiliency and strength of the Bonner community and return of in-person national Bonner gatherings.

Manufekai said, “I have never been to the mainland at all. The Bonner SLI 2022 showed me that there is way more outside of Hawaiʻi. I think we all learned about ourselves more.”

The plenary sessions and elective workshops covered student leadership development, community-engaged learning, salary negotiation, social action, and more. Participants were provided opportunities to network with other students and staff through a variety of social activities and excursions.

“It was amazing to come together as a cohort and build our skills together amongst other Bonners around the country,” Tep shared. “This event shaped us for the better.”

Chapman was selected as one of only two student keynote speakers discussing topics of resilience.

“Getting to act as a student keynote speaker and share the examples of resilience in the Hawaiian community was an incredible opportunity,” she said. “The meaningful feedback from fellow Bonners in response to the speech was incredible and an amazing experience.”

The Summer Leadership Institute is an annual event that is hosted by one of the institutions in the Bonner Network.

The UH Hilo Bonner Leader program will introduce a second cohort for Fall 2022. The current Bonners will serve as mentors and both groups will work together to shape the program for future students.