Hawaiʻi News Now’s Lincoln delivers keynote address at UH Hilo spring commencement

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Y Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669
Int Dir, Univ Rel; Dir, Media Rel, University Relations
Posted: Apr 29, 2019

Mileka Lincoln
Mileka Lincoln

Hawaiʻi News Now news reporter Mileka Lincoln delivers the keynote address at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo 2019 Spring Commencement Saturday, May 11, 9 a.m., Edith Kanaka`ole Stadium. Doors open at 8:15 a.m. for general admission, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. When seating reaches capacity, guests may view the ceremony via a live stream in Aunty Sally’s Luau House.

Approximately 640 students have petitioned for degrees and/or certificates from the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Natural and Health Sciences, Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, Business and Economics, Pharmacy, Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language, and for various post-graduate credentials.

After more than a decade away, Lincoln returned to her hometown Hawai'i Island in 2013 to fulfill her dream of working as a journalist. She graduated from Hawai'i Preparatory Academy in Waimea, HI, and magna cum laude from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA.

“My time at ‘SC was incredible!,” Lincoln said. “I studied abroad in London, mastered driving in LA, back-packed through Italy and Greece, and spent every waking moment on campus at ATVN – our student-run news station, where I worked my way up the ranks from floor director, to one-man-band reporter, to evening anchor. 

“Next stop: Texas! I got my start in TV news working along the border in Laredo,” she added. “From there I made my way north to San Antonio where I started out doing traffic in the morning and left anchoring weekends when I made the move to Austin. We launched a brand new morning show, and I was thrilled to anchor it. 

“Now I'm finally home! It's a dream come true – made possible by timing, a lot of luck, and hopefully, a little fate! Over the last six years, I’ve shared the magic that is Merrie Monarch, I’ve traveled to Manhattan to highlight Hokule’a and the incredible Worldwide Voyage, I’ve reported on landmark legislation when Hawai’i legalized same-sex marriage, I’ve covered hurricanes and lava flows – and along the way I have met some of the most amazing people. 

“It is truly humbling to have the opportunity to share the stories of my own community. It’s a kuleana I don’t take lightly and a privilege that I cherish!”

Misty Figueira, who receives her B.A. in English and Sociology as well as a Creative Writing Certificate, is student speaker.

A 2014 cum laude graduate of Pahoa High School, Figueira is currently a student assistant with UH Hilo’s Campus and Community Service and National Student Exchange offices. She also works as an Uplink Club Leader and Tutor at Waiakea Intermediate School, and previously served as a peer advisor and English tutor with various University departments.

Figueira is an active member of numerous extra-curricular activities, including: general editor, Panorama: Bi-Annual Study Abroad Newsletter; literary editor, Kanilehua: Art and Literary Magazine; member, Cancer Action Network: Cancer Engagement Council; general editor, Hohonu: Peer Reviewed Academic Journal; and ceremonies chair, Colleges Against Cancer. She is also the recipient of various academic awards and honors. 

Figueira aspires to be a high school English teacher and an active community member of Hawaiʻi Island.