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The University of Hawaiʻi System’s Academy for Creative Media (ACM) has received a national award from Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP), a national, nonprofit organization, with a mission to achieve full participation and equality for Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs) through leadership, empowerment and policy.

Lee headshot
Chris Lee

ACM System Founder and Director Chris Lee will be honored with LEAP’s Community Award at its annual awards celebration on Thursday, July 21, 2022. Due to the recent COVID-19 surge, the event and award presentation will be held virtually.

“On behalf of everyone at the Academy for Creative Media System, we are extremely grateful for the Community Award from LEAP on the 40th Anniversary of its founding as the preeminent API leadership organization,” Lee said. “This Community Award is a tribute to all of our campuses, programs, faculty, students and staff. In particular, I would like to thank Dr. Doris Ching for her guidance in developing and expanding the ACM System over the last 20 years into the robust and unique program it is today.”

According to LEAP: “Beginning with the ACM Film School at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, ACM System has grown to include 10 public campuses—3 four-year and 7 community colleges. This unique, integrated approach of complementary programs serves as a catalyst for 21st century jobs in Hawaiʻi as part of the global creative marketplace and as a platform for our indigenous stories to be told to the broadest possible audience. With over a thousand students enrolled across the state, ACM System is the first majority Asian/Pacific Islander creative media school in the country.”

Other 2022 LEAP awardees include:

  • Versha Sharma, Teen Vogue editor in chief
  • Kyle Reyes, Utah Valley University vice president of student affairs
  • Margaret Ashida, Southern California Edison senior manager, local public affairs

ACM has been a champion of storytelling, serving as a destination for creative media education and is home to one of UH West Oʻahu’s newest and fastest-growing degree programs—the bachelor of arts in creative media—with the new, $37-million Student Production Center serving as the hub for creative media education in the state.

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