A visionary, a student advocate and a podcast producer are among the outstanding, diverse University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo students to be recognized for outstanding leadership. “Ka lama kū o ka noʻeau” (the standing torch of wisdom) is a traditional Hawaiian ʻōlelo noʻeau or proverb that symbolizes the passing of wisdom from one generation to another.
Each year, UH Hilo recognizes students who embody that virtue by showing extraordinary leadership on campus or future leadership potential.
On April 16, five students were honored by the Ka Lama Ku Student Leadership Development Program at the annual Student Leadership Recognition Awards.
A committee of UH Hilo students reviewed the nominations and selected the awardees for this year’s virtual ceremonies.
Alina Ramos received the Alakaʻi Award which recognizes leaders who inspire, excite and provide commitment toward shared goals. Ramos is a resident assistant for the Natural Science Living-Learning Community in University Housing. She also is on the Relay for Life event leadership team. Ramos was nominated for her ability to organize, lead and keep the residence life student staff on-track. She took on mentorship roles and ensured that returning students felt comfortable and connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ʻIke Pāpālua Award
The ʻIke Pāpālua Award, showcases leaders who have the gift of vision: Michael Taylor is the University Radio Hilo (URH) general manager. He is majoring in political science with minors in Japanese studies, computer science and history. Taylor was nominated and selected for his ability to see the potential and future of URH. Under his leadership, URH has almost doubled in staff, having the largest list of DJs in recent history. He has dedicated his time to building strong foundations for the organization. Taylor’s work includes branding, recurring programming, enabling access to live URH broadcasts online and as an FM broadcast in Hilo.
Allison Dupre earned the Kuleana Award which recognizes leaders who instill and motivate others toward solutions, have hōʻihi (respect) toward others and are effective communicators. Dupre is the program coordinator for the UH Hilo Women’s Center and a UH Hilo student representative for the UH System Commission for the Status of Women. She is majoring in business administration with a focus on healthcare management. Dupre was nominated and selected for her commitment to student-centered programming and services, with a focus on equity for marginalized communities. She created and advocated for institutionalized systems that will improve student life at UH Hilo, including securing funds and resources for reproductive health, menstruation equity and spaces for LGBTQA+ students.
The Laulima Award is given to leaders who know the importance of teamwork, networking and collaboration: Lindsey Rohlf is a senior resident assistant in University Housing and is majoring in marine science. Rohlf was nominated and selected for her ability to foster and maintain community in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. She adapted and worked with her team to help residents who were being displaced and moved due to COVID-19 restrictions. Rohlf empowered other staff, developed community building opportunities, and brought her residence hall together.
The Mālama Award, recognizes leaders who take care of others and community: Bruce Torres Fischer is a member of the Importance of Place Strategic Doing Committee and is a podcast producer for the Ka Leo o ka Uluau podcast. He is working toward a master’s degree in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language). Torres Fischer was nominated and selected for his superior work with the strategic plan committee and his proposal and planning for the Ka Leo o ka Uluau podcast. His podcast brings people from across campus together, demonstrating his exceptional care for Hawaiʻi Island and the collective experiences of the UH Hilo community.
—By Lauren Okinaka, who is earning a bachelor of arts in communication with a minor in English at UH Hilo