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UH Manoa co-op student and supervisor of the year named

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Nov 15, 2005

HONOLULU -- The 12th annual UH Manoa Co-op Supervisor and Student of the Year appreciation and awards reception commenced on on Oct. 27, 2005 and named supervisor Ralph Wakumoto, an engineer with the U.S. Navy Region Hawaii its 2005 Supervisor of the Year, and Alan Cheong, mechanical engineering major, a Co-op with Miller/Watts Constructors Incorporated, its 2005 Co-op Student of the Year.

The annual awards and appreciation event recognizes the outstanding student contributions in the business community and the unique support of the community employers who provide avenues for students‘ professional growth and career opportunities. A committee comprised of a university faculty, a business community representative, and a Co-op student alumnus selected one outstanding Co-op student employee and one Co-op supervisor for their contributions and commitment to the Co-op program.

Theresa Dodson, a student with Environmental Compliance Co-op, who nominated Wakamoto for the award, said "When I began working for Ralph, he took me under his wing and has given me guidance and hope towards building a career in environmental protection. He has taught me that communication in the work environment is one of the most important factors in maintaining a positive work atmosphere. When I feel overwhelmed with a project or something goes wrong, I can always talk to him. This allows me to analyze the situation and get his perspective. Communication is the most important characteristic that any work environment can have."

Cheong's supervisor, Vincent Fragomene, Project Manager, shared, "Alan‘s contribution to Miller/Watts Constructors, Inc. has been nothing short of outstanding. He is a hard working, conscientious, loyal member of our team on this construction project. His contributions have been significant, and have clearly added to the value that the Navy will be receiving when this project is completed and turned over to the customer. He has assisted in tracking over $1.5 million worth of production effort, completed submittal reviews, take-offs and calculations on several production and quality control activities that have assisted several of his teammates during the day-to-day operations."

Cheong received a plaque and a two-hundred-fifty dollar scholarship from the UH Manoa Student Employment and Cooperative Education office. As UH Manoa‘s Co-op Student of the Year, Cheong will also represent the university in the National Cooperative Education Internship Association (CEIA) Student Employee of the Year competition to be held in April of 2006.

Cooperative Education is a unique form of education which integrates classroom study with paid, planned, and supervised work in the private and public sectors. It allows students to acquire essential practical skills by being exposed to the world of work beyond the boundaries of the campus, enhancing their confidence and career direction. Today, there are over 600 colleges and universities in the United States with cooperative education programs (excerpt taken from the National Commission for Cooperative Education).