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For the second consecutive academic year, Hawaiʻi Community College has been named a Top Fulbright Producing Institution for its Fulbright scholars and students. It is one of only 17 associate’s degree granting institutions out of more than 1,200 to receive the recognition for the 2023–24 academic year.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. Department of State’s flagship international academic exchange program. Since 1946, it has provided more than 400,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research abroad in more than 160 countries.

person speaking to kids
Sara Vogel
3 people making thumbs up
Pamela Scheffler

The campus currently employs two Fulbright scholars. Sara Vogel, Hawaiʻi CC Title IX coordinator, is a current Fulbright scholar who is researching Indigenous sexual education in Vancouver, Canada. Pamela Scheffler, Hawaiʻi CC geography, biology and environmental science professor, has served as a Fulbright scholar twice—most recently during the 2022–23 academic year, when she researched stingless bees in Indonesia. During the 2012–13 academic year, she researched biodiversity patterns in India.

Vogel said, “When I heard that Hawaiʻi CC was one of the top producing Fulbright institutions, I thought to myself, ‘That makes sense, because we’re a scrappy island, we’re people who get things done and we want to make sure that we’re not only sharing our stories across the islands, but across international borders.’”

Scheffler also serves as the Fulbright liaison for the campus and supported Vogel’s application.

“We’re comfortable and small and we’ve got a lot of community here, but we’re also looking outside and looking at the world around us and creating international opportunities for our students, for our faculty, for our staff,” Scheffler said.

Former Hawaiʻi CC Professor Trina Nahm-Mijo, who retired in 2021 after more than four decades of service, taught dance in Estonia 2010–11 as a Fulbright Scholar. The campus also hosted a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence from Turkey 2018–19.

Hawaiʻi CC has much to offer,” said Interim Chancellor Susan Kazama. “We can do so many things from our local culture and our Indigenous culture that we can teach the world.”

By Kelli Abe Trifonovitch

Pamela Scheffler and Sara Vogel and Fulbright logo

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