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Christina Keaulana and Camonia Graham-Tutt
Christina Keaulana and Camonia Graham-Tutt

Two University of Hawaiʻi faculty members and a former chair of the Board of Regents (BOR) are among the 32 honorees of the 24th Pacific Business News Women Who Mean Business awards. The 2022 awards ceremony in March recognized the strides being made by some of the most influential women in Hawaiʻi‘s business community.

Jan Naoe Sullivan

woman smiling
Jan Naoe Sullivan

Jan Naoe Sullivan is the chief operating officer of Oceanit, a diversified engineering and tech company that is involved in aerospace, engineering, life sciences and information systems. Oceanit is dedicated to building a healthy, sustainable tech sector in the State of Hawaiʻi. Sullivan, whose term on the BOR ended in 2021, served for 10 years.

During her time on the board, Sullivan followed in the footsteps of her late father, Roy Takeyama, by serving as chair of the BOR, in addition to serving as vice chair and in other leadership capacities including chair of the committees on budget and finance and research and innovation. Sullivan also spearheaded a number of policy changes resulting in positive long-term impacts on the university, particularly in the areas of budget, investment, research and innovation.

Camonia Graham-Tutt

Camonia Graham-Tutt, associate professor of community health at UH West Oʻahu, is a certified health education specialist, making her uniquely qualified to assess, design and implement sustainable community health education programs that deliver positive benefits to vulnerable communities. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Baylor University in health science education and her PhD from Howard University in the field of medical sociology. She brought many collaborative initiatives to the UH West Oʻahu campus, including the Health Careers Meet & Greet and the Student Research and Creative Works Symposium.

“I am truly humbled and in awe of this recognition. I have a deep passion for the business of research and for helping students to see themselves as researchers in their respective fields, especially our underserved students,” said Graham-Tutt. “Bringing the Student Research and Creative Works Symposium to UH West Oʻahu has brought me full circle in my career. I was once the student I am helping, not knowing where to go to learn about research, and now I am able to receive the truest reward, being able to help students achieve their research goals.”

Chancellor Maenette Benham, who was a Women Who Mean Business honoree in 2018, said “When I think of a faculty member who is passionate about the success of her students, who is committed to community stewardship, and who is a contributor to the health and well-being of everyone on our campus, I always think of Dr. Graham-Tutt. She is a bright light who embraces our key value of poʻokela, to strive for excellence!”

Christina Keaulana

Christina Keaulana, assistant professor and special education coordinator at Leeward Community College, designed, coordinates and manages tuition scholarships and stipends for two alternative pathways to special education teacher licensure. She also serves as a Hawaiʻi Department of Education professional development course designer and instructor delivering training to in-service teachers to improve their ability to work with diverse student populations. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, and her master’s and PhD degree from UH Mānoa. She has authored multiple state and federal grants resulting in more than $2.5 million in grants awarded to students pursuing education careers in Hawaiʻi.

“I am extremely honored to be part of a highly impressive 2022 cohort of Pacific Business News‘ ‘Women Who Mean Business’ composed of outstanding women business leaders in Hawaiʻi,” Keaulana said. “Along with these fellow ceiling breakers and game changers, I know we are having a profound collective impact in our respective fields. Every one of these women are addressing imminent needs in Hawaiʻi and shaping the future to improve the world for our next generation.”

Leeward CC Chancellor Carlos Peñaloza credited Keaulana’s wealth of experience in special education and commitment to her community in helping to develop support programs that address the shortage of highly-qualified special education teachers in the state.

“She has also been instrumental in securing external funds to financially support the students in her programs,” he said. “I join all of Leeward Community College in congratulating Dr. Keaulana as a 2022 Women Who Mean Business honoree.”

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