UH Hilo celebrates with two in-person Fall Commencement Ceremonies

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669
Int Dir, Univ Rel; Dir, Media Rel, University Relations, Office of
Posted: Dec 8, 2022

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo celebrates with two in-person 2022 Commencement Ceremonies this month in Vulcan Gymnasium. Both ceremonies are limited to invited guests and are not open to the public. The ceremonies may be viewed via live stream at: https://hilo.hawaii.edu/commencement/.

A special Alumni Commencement Ceremony will be held Friday, December 16 at 4 p.m. to honor UH Hilo’s Spring, Summer and Fall Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 graduates. These students graduated during the COVID-19 pandemic and did not have in-person ceremonies. Approximately 89 alumni are expected to participate.

UH Hilo's Fall Commencement Ceremony celebrating the Class of 2022 will be held Saturday, December 17 at 9 a.m. Approximately 189 students have petitioned for degrees and/or certificates and for various post-graduate credentials representing the College of Arts and Sciences, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikolani College of Hawaiian Language, College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management, College of Natural and Health Sciences, College of Business and Economics, and the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy.

Jessica Valdez serves as the student speaker at the Alumni Commencement Ceremony.

Valdez graduated in Fall 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, and a subject certificate in Pre-Law with highest honors. As an undergraduate student, she balanced two part-time jobs with UH Hilo’s Housing and Residence Life Department and Hilo High School’s Student Activities Department while also serving as a member of Circle K International, a community service organization. In Fall 2019, she represented UH Hilo as a Global Vulcan while studying at the University of Birmingham in England with the support of the Audrey S. Furukawa Study Abroad Scholarship. After graduating, she was selected to serve as an intern for U.S. Congressman Kaialiʻi Kahele before being appointed to her current position as the Council Aide to Hawaiʻi County Council Member Sue L. K. Lee Loy. In the future, Valdez intends to pursue a Juris Doctor degree.

Harris Ubedei represents the Class of 2022 as its student speaker.

Ubedei is a proud Palauan national majoring in Administration of Justice with an interdisciplinary certificate in Pre-Law. He transferred to UH Hilo from Palau Community College. At UH Hilo, he served as General Editor for Hohonu Academic Journal, a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and the Political Science Honor Society’s Pi Sigma Alpha. He is a recent recipient of the Palau Fellowship Award, an internship program funded by the Palau National Scholarship Board.

Ubedei is returning to Palau where he will work in the office of the Senate of Palau’s National Congress. Following this, he plans to attend the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa to pursue a Juris Doctor degree.