Farrah-Marie Gomes

Farrah-Marie Gomes, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo vice chancellor for student affairs, has been named to Pacific Business News’ 2017 Women to Watch list. She will be honored at the PBN 19th Annual Women Who Mean Business Gala on March 9.

Gomes says the recognition is “pretty exciting as well as unexpected,” and that she is still partially in denial. But she says it’s also a nice reminder that she has been able to do some wonderful things, and that it’s “really just the starting point.”

According to A. Kam Napier, editor in chief of PBN, “Our Women to Watch honorees are women who, while still early in their careers, are making a mark on their industries and going above and beyond in their community engagement.”

Gomes is not new to prestigious recognition by PBN. In 2016 she was named to PBN’s annual Top 40 Under 40 list.

UH Hilo’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Farrah-Marie Gomes, center front row standing with head lei, is welcomed to her new position during a kīpaepae welina ceremony, December 2016.

Huge impact at UH Hilo

Gomes is providing vision, leadership and direction for student success at UH Hilo. Her primary role is to focus on enhancing the student experience.

She has many goals to improve student affairs as well as enhance the lives of both the faculty and the student body. Gomes wants to ensure that students have a positive experience at UH Hilo while also supporting the growth of students by helping them build an outlook for his/her future. “It’s not just UH Hilo here, it’s UH Hilo here and beyond,” said Gomes

Gomes says she wants to invest in not just the students but the staff as well. Her goals function on both micro and macro levels.

On a micro-level, she feels building relationships between students and faculty members “adds an overall value to the experience here,” meaning the best staff will result in what is best for the students.

On a macro-level, her goal is to embrace the opportunity to see UH Hilo reach its full potential. She wants Hilo to be identified as “one-of-a-kind” and offer things that can only be found here.

Gomes wants the students and staff to not just be successful here at UH Hilo but to be successful in life as well.

“True transference is in relation to the employer,” she explains. “We always keep an eye on the workforce because that really is the recipient of the fruits of our labor.”

For more on Gomes, read the full article at UH Hilo Stories.

—A UH Hilo Stories article written by Anne Rivera, a public information intern in the Office of the Chancellor