Fifteen undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa have been hard at work behind the scenes to help Hawaiʻi stage one of the largest international events the state has ever hosted.

Group of students with news reporter
The APEC interns were interviewed on KITV 4 about their work to prepare for APEC 2011.

Led by Mānoa Department of Economics Chair Denise Konan, the students have helped in various ways over the past year to prepare for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders Meeting in Honolulu. Konan serves as special advisor on APEC to University of Hawaiʻi President M.R.C. Greenwood, who is a member of the APEC Hawaiʻi Host Committee.

Part of the University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization internship program, the students tackled both individual and group projects. Their efforts were highlighted in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser special APEC issue.

Jeremy Hine, for example, worked for the APEC host committee and U.S. State Department to coordinate volunteer training for the meetings.

Students prepared economic briefs for each of the APEC member economies. The one-page synopsis of economic conditions and policies in each APEC economy were used by the APEC Hawaiʻi Host Committee for volunteer training and other purposes.

The group also hosted APEC Night on Nov. 3, with information booths and traditional food from the various economies. Read a recap of the event in the UH Mānoa student newspaper, Ka Leo.

Interns also taught younger students about APEC and what it means to Hawaiʻi in various schools, including Mānoa Elementary, Sacred Hearts, Punahou and ʻIolani.

A few interns, led by Joshua Boney, developed the study guide and questions and answers for Chevron Academic WorldQuest Competition. This year’s high school quiz game focused on APEC.

Group of students with Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie
Gov. Neil Abercrombie joined the APEC interns for lunch at UH Mānoa.

Several interns worked closely with indigenous artists of Hawaiʻi to create a large mural featured at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center. The mural reflects cultures and values of the 21 APEC economies and shows that they are all interconnected.

While most of the interns are economics majors, their projects involved several other Mānoa departments. For example, a few interns worked with students from the Academy for Creative Media to create a short video, which was shown at Campus Center Movie Nights. Their goal was to inform students and create an open discussion about APEC.

The APEC interns lunched with Hawaiʻi Gov. Neil Abercrombie on the first day of fall semester classes. During the lunch, Abercrombie shared his hopes for showcasing Hawaiʻi’s rich diversity during the APEC meetings.

To learn more about the activities of the APEC student interns, visit their blog or “like” them on Facebook.

Article by UH APEC communications intern Taylor Gardner