UH mourns passing of Sinikka Hayasaka Strand, president emeritus of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, linguistics professor

Memorial service to be held on Jan. 30

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Jan 11, 2006

A memorial service for Ritva Sinikka Hayasaka Strand, one of the University of Hawaii‘s most committed and distinguished leaders, will be held on Monday, Jan. 30, 5 p.m., at Central Union Church. She passed away in Florida on Dec. 20, 2005 at the age of 65.

A native of Finland, she was known professionally as Professor R. Sinikka Hayasaka. She dedicated 39 years of her career at the University of Hawaii, having served as acting provost of Leeward Community College, acting dean and chair of its language arts division. She was a founding member of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly and led the faculty union as president for six years.

Prior to her academic career, Hayasaka worked as a broadcaster in Finland, Japan and the United States. She was fluent in many languages, including Finnish, Japanese, English, Swedish, German and Spanish. Recognized internationally as an expert in the field of professional teaching standards, she was a member of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards and served as an active leader of the National Education Association.

Hayasaka received dozens of national and local academic and community awards, but was most proud of her commitment to the people of Hawaii through her service as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hawaii Public Employees Health Fund.

The family plans to establish a scholarship fund in her name with the University of Hawaii Foundation. More details will follow when they become available.