University of Hawaiʻi System News Wed, 04 Dec 2019 20:21:16 -1000 en-US hourly 1 University of Hawaiʻi System News 32 32 UH Mānoa receives props for Kindness Challenge participation Wed, 04 Dec 2019 18:07:06 +0000 UH Mānoa and individuals throughout Hawaiʻi took the challenge to engage in five small acts of kindness each day throughout the month of October]]> Heart hands

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa excelled in the statewide Kindness Challenge this past October and has has been recognized for its strong participation. Organizations, like UH Mānoa and individuals throughout Hawaiʻi took the challenge to engage in five small acts of kindness each day throughout the month of October in recognition of Conflict Resolution Month. The challenge was sponsored by the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), Hawaiʻi Chapter.

The association singled out UH Mānoa for recognition of the strong support on social media provided by students, faculty and staff members in support of the campus’ participation in the Kindness Challenge.

“We are thrilled to see great participation in the Kindness Challenge from the UH Mānoa community,” says José Barzola, education specialist with the Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution and president-elect for ACR Hawaiʻi. “Our next generation of peacebuilders starts here.”

“Building the community we want to see at Mānoa begins with small acts of kindness that honor our dignity and respect for one another,” adds Amrita Mallik, campus climate program officer. “We were honored to work with our community partners to spread kindness throughout the campus and the state. Even though the Kindness Challenge is over, I hope we can all still try to do five small acts of kindness every day.”

More information about this year’s Kindness Challenge can be found at the ACR Hawaiʻi website.

High tech helmet calls 911 upon impact Wed, 04 Dec 2019 01:23:42 +0000 PACE’s 2019 Hawaiʻi Breakthrough Innovation Challenge.]]> men holding giant check
Kent Tsukamoto, managing partner of Accuity LLP and Ty Uehara, creator of ConTekt.

Computer science student Ty Uehara took home the top prize of $2,000 at the 2019 University of Hawaiʻi Breakthrough Innovation Challenge for his helmet called ConTekt. The helmet allows riders who have fallen from an accident to be in immediate contact with 911 emergency services without having to move any part of their body.

The challenge, hosted by the Shidler College of Business’ Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE), was sponsored by one of the state’s largest CPA firms, Accuity LLP. The competition gives outstanding UH student entrepreneurs the opportunity to experience entrepreneurial ways of thinking and offer ideas for more efficient products and services.

Prior to the final event, UH students submitted a two-minute video detailing their breakthrough idea and its market potential where a preliminary judging panel then selected the finalists. PACE matched the finalists with mentors from the local business community to help the teams further identify commercial opportunities for the idea and develop a five-minute presentation.

“The success of this particular challenge, for PACE, has been engaging students from technical fields of study and introducing them to business and entrepreneurial concepts,” said Peter Rowan, executive director of PACE. “I am continually impressed by the creative and ambitious ideas of our students, and am excited to be able to help them in their entrepreneurial journey that’s just beginning.”

The three other finalists of the Breakthrough Innovation Challenge were:

  • Auctor—software that helps to sort waste for recycling
  • Hawaii Innovation Lab—a vest that keeps the body cool with liquid metal
  • Hempire—eco-conscious clothing made from hemp

Visit the PACE website for the full story.

Vulcans and Vikings square off again at NCAAs Wed, 04 Dec 2019 00:16:01 +0000 U H Hilo volleyball players

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and Western Washington will meet for the second time this season, this time with much more at stake at the NCAA West Region Tournament in San Bernardino, California. The Vulcans (No. 7 seed) and Vikings (No. 2 seed) meet in the second match on December 5 at 12:30 p.m. (Hawaiʻi time).

Four matches kick off the tournament on December 5, all single-elimination bouts with the winner moving on and the loser returning home.

The winner of the eight-team west region tournament will join seven other regional champs in Denver, Colorado. for the NCAA II National Championships (Elite Eight). The championships will run December 12–14 at the Auraria Events Center, on the campus of Metro State.

This is the sixth time that the Vulcans have qualified for the NCAA tournament, and the first time since 2011.

For more on the match-up go to the UH Hilo atletics website.

Windward CC celebrates the holiday season with music showcases Tue, 03 Dec 2019 19:42:59 +0000 CC on December 4 and December 10 at Palikū Theatre.]]> Kamuela Kimokeo
Kamuela Kimokeo and students at Palikū

Welcome the holiday season with Windward Community College as they present music showcases featuring special musical guest Nathan Aweau and student talent. The concerts will be held at Palikū Theatre, December 4 and December 10, and are free and open to the public.

  • Hauana Mele featuring Nathan Aweau
    Wednesday, December 4, 7–8:30 p.m.
    Enjoy the sounds of the Hawaiian ensemble comprised of ʻukulele and slack key guitar students under the direction of Kamuela Kimokeo with special guest artist, Nathan Aweau.
  • Winter Piano Concert
    Tuesday, December 10, 7–8:30 p.m.
    Listen to the performances of the piano program students under the direction of So Jin Kimura.

Donations will be accepted to provide more opportunities like these for Windward CC students.

For more information about the music program and new certificates designed for performing artists, contact Kamuela Kimokeo at (808) 236-9131 or

piano student
A piano student performing at Palikū
Football awards winners announced at Alec Waterhouse banquet Mon, 02 Dec 2019 23:04:59 +0000 Cole McDonald

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa football team, staff and supporters celebrated the 2019 season with the annual Alec Waterhouse Football Awards Banquet, Sunday, at the Pōmaikaʻi Ballroom at Dole Cannery.

The Rainbow Warriors (9-4) wrapped up the regular season with a 52-31 victory over Army West Point on November 30. UH Mānoa will compete for the Mountain West Championship December 7 against Boise State in Boise, Idaho.

The Alec Waterhouse Most Valuable Player award went to quarterback Cole McDonald. Last year’s offensive MVP has passed for 3,401 yards and 29 touchdowns with a 64.8 completion percentage this season. He reached 3,000 yards for the second straight season joining Timmy Chang and Colt Brennan as the only UH quarterbacks with two or more seasons of 3,000 yards.

For more go to the UH Athletics website.

UH Mānoa women’s volleyball hosts first, second rounds of NCAA tournament Mon, 02 Dec 2019 20:03:52 +0000 Rainbow Wahine celebrating

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa women’s volleyball team earned the No. 12 seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament and will be hosting the first and second rounds at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Rainbow Wahine will open the first round against Northern Colorado on December 6 at 7 p.m. In the other match-up, the University of San Diego will take on Washington State.

It is the 19th time that UH Mānoa will host an opening round match in the NCAA Tournament. For the Rainbow Wahine, it is the 38th overall and 27th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.

Read more about the Rainbow Wahine.

Ticket information

Ticket packages for the 2019 NCAA Women’s Volleyball first and second round matches at the Stan Sheriff Center go on sale December 4, at 9 a.m. Any remaining individual session tickets go on sale December 6, at 9 a.m.

Tickets can be purchased online at, at the Stan Sheriff Center Box Office (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), or by calling 944-BOWS (2697) during those same hours.

More information at the UH Mānoa athletics website.

UH Mānoa marketing professor one of world’s most influential researchers Mon, 02 Dec 2019 18:00:27 +0000 male
Stephen L. Vargo

A professor of marketing from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Shidler College of Business was named to Web of Science Groups’ Highly Cited Researchers of 2019 for the sixth consecutive year.

Stephen L. Vargo earned this distinction by publishing the highest number of articles most frequently cited by his peers over the course of the past decade. His articles focused on the “Service-Dominant (S-D) Logic” framework, which redefines how value is co-created through economic exchange. Those making the list for 2019 were identified as scientists that are influencing the future direction of their fields. Fewer than 0.1 percent of the world’s researchers, across 21 research fields, have earned this exclusive distinction.

“Steve is an exceptional researcher and we are fortunate to have him as an endowed marketing faculty,” said Vance Roley, dean of the Shidler College of Business. “Over the past 10 years, Steve has received a number of awards for his contributions to the marketing field including the prestigious Shelby D. Hunt/Harold H. Maynard Award for 2019.”

Vargo earned his master’s in psychology from the University of Oklahoma and a doctorate in marketing from the Michael F. Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma. His research interest areas are in market and market theory, strategy and service-encounter.

He has published more than 100 research publications that have been featured in notable journals such as: Journal of Marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Service Research, Journal of International Marketing, Journal of Retailing and MIS Quarterly. According to Google Scholar, Vargo currently has more than 52,000 citations.

Also named to the list was Jeyhan Kartaltepe, a 2009 UH Mānoa Institute for Astronomy PhD graduate, who is now faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Record highs graduation, retention rates at UH Mānoa Mon, 02 Dec 2019 18:00:22 +0000 UH Mānoa students who enrolled in fall 2015 graduated in four years, which is more than double the 17.5 percent of students who enrolled in fall 2006. ]]> U H Manoa graduates

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa on-time graduation rate reached a record high in 2019 after a near 20 percent increase over the last nine years. Thirty-six-point-six percent of UH Mānoa students who enrolled in fall 2015 graduated in four years, which is more than double the 17.5 percent of students who enrolled in fall 2006. The six-year graduation rate, the official graduation rate used by the federal government, reached a historic high at 60.5 percent, slightly higher than the national average.

“This is truly a team effort as our faculty continue to develop innovative, exciting and relevant programs that attract and retain our students,” said UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno. “Our nationally recognized STAR GPS online registration system guides students in the courses they need to take in order to remain on target to achieve their graduation goals.”

Bruno also commended the work of the academic advisors saying, “They work closely with the faculty to ensure that the students are kept fully informed about their programs, as well as opportunities to grow and learn via experiential learning such as study abroad and internships.”

Record one-year retention rate

The Mānoa campus also set a record for one-year retention rates for first-time, full-time students at 81.1 percent. This is a good indication that the on-time graduation rate will continue to climb. Data shows that students who make it through their first year of college are more likely to earn a degree and finish in four years. It is the first time first-year retention rates exceeded 80 percent in 10 years. UH Mānoa administrators are cautiously optimistic about the ongoing efforts to make freshmen feel welcome and integrate into campus life from their first day of school.

“I think itʻs indicative of students feeling comfortable here and like they are part of a larger picture,” said Ronald Cambra, assistant vice chancellor for undergraduate education. “They are getting to the point to where they know exactly what they need to do in pursuit of their degree.”

To maintain and increase the number of students successfully continuing on their academic pathways and towards timely graduation, UH Mānoa is working on launching a number of programs:

  • A summer advising program targeted for summer 2020 that involves interactive communication between students and academic advisors. Many units have expressed interest in summer advising as a bridge between semesters that keep students engaged year round.
  • An expanded transfer coordinating center slated for spring 2020 to support students transferring to the Mānoa campus from the UH community colleges.
  • A “balance” program as part of the STAR system that would identify at-risk students struggling with their classes and link them with tutoring and support services.

“Those three things are on our plate going forward,” said Cambra. “They tie in beautifully with supporting the retention and graduation rates, so weʻre going to be busy!”

UH Mānoa has also seen record success recently with student recruitment, welcoming 2,020 freshman in fall 2019, its second largest freshman class ever and second in recent years to go over 2,000. It is also just 189 students shy of the largest freshman class in the university’s 112-year history, set in fall 2018.

Entrance to campus U H Manoa

December 2019 anniversaries Sun, 01 Dec 2019 17:45:14 +0000 Hawaiʻi celebrates December 2019 faculty and staff anniversaries.]]> The word 'congratulations' in front of a flower

The University of Hawaiʻi celebrates December 2019 faculty and staff anniversaries.

50 Year

Lind, Meda C
Professor, UH Mānoa

40 Year

Learned, John G
Professor, UH Mānoa

30 Year

Anama, Verna M
Pre Audit Clerk, UH System

Hunrick, Blake R
Professor, Leeward CC

Kaheiki, Mary-Eunice H
Agricultural Research Technician, UH Mānoa

Stone, Marissa B
Secretary, UH Mānoa

Tengan, Kyle N
Physical Plant Management, UH Mānoa

Terada, Keith Y
Professor, UH Mānoa

Wessel, Pal
Professor, UH Mānoa

Yamamoto, Lance T
Institutional Support, UH System

20 Year

Blanco, Francis J
Physical Plant Management, UH Mānoa

Chee, Brian
Information Technology, UH Mānoa

Ha, Chung-Eun
Associate Professor, UH Mānoa

Matsushima, Tracy R
Media Design and Production, UH System

Morando, P
Instructional and Student Support, UH Maui College

Taira, Deborah Ann
Professor, UH Hilo

Ward, Monika Anna
Professor, UH Mānoa

10 Year

Gaillard, Nicolas Max
Assistant Researcher, UH Mānoa

Irei, Kariann Chieko
Institutional Support, UH Mānoa

Kingdon, David N
Associate Professor, Kapiʻolani CC

Moriyasu, Ann A
Academic Support, UH Mānoa

Okamoto, Douglas O
Research Support, UH Mānoa

Oshiro, Elliott Matsuo
Academic Support, UH Mānoa

Oshiro, Melelani Amy
Assistant Extension Agent, UH Mānoa

Torigoe, Helen H R B
Instructor, Kapiʻolani CC

UH professors’ experiment aboard the International Space Station undergoes repairs Fri, 29 Nov 2019 19:15:23 +0000 astronaut
NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan waves as he is photographed seemingly camouflaged among the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (lower left) and other International Space Station hardware during the first spacewalk to repair the cosmic particle detector. Photo courtesy of NASA.

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) experiment aboard the International Space Station (ISS), worked on by two University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa physics professors Veronica Bindi and Philip von Doetinchem, is undergoing repairs.

Since May 2011, AMS-02 is operating as an external module on the ISS and is essentially a full particle physics detector shrunk to the size of the Space Shuttle payload bay. The experiment had been operating very successfully until recently when four pumps of the AMS-02 cooling system failed. Repair is needed to extend the lifetime of the experiment. This is especially crucial to the study long-term variation of cosmic rays and the search for the rarest particles, which are the focus of Bindi and von Doetinchem’s research.

Four Extravehicular Activities (EVA) are planned in order to install a new cooling system for the instrument. The current EVA series are considered the most challenging spacewalks since the repair of the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009, mainly because AMS-02 was not designed to be serviced. The repair effort required the development of special tools to gain access to the instrument and its cooling system while minimizing the creation of debris or sharp edges that could put astronauts at risk. Astronauts Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano trained extensively on those tools and techniques prior to flying to the ISS and are in charge of these EVAs.

The first spacewalk, which took place on November 15, set up the worksite for the repairs, including removing a debris cover to gain access to the instrument. During the second spacewalk on November 22, the astronauts cut the tubes of the old cooling system to prepare for the installation of the new pump system. The third spacewalk is expected on December 2 at 2:10 a.m. HST and can be followed live. Scheduling of the last spacewalk will depend in part on the progress made during the first three, as well as other station activities. Studying the abundances of different types of cosmic rays, the goals of the AMS-02 experiment are very broad from understanding highly energetic acceleration mechanisms in the galaxy and the galactic environment to examining solar effects to trying to understand dark matter and the asymmetry of matter and antimatter.

More on Bindi and von Doetinchem

Bindi has been part of the team that constructed, integrated and operated the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer for more than 17 years. Since 2012, Bindi has been an associate professor in the UH Mānoa physics department. Her group, composed of post docs, research assistants, and several undergraduate students, is involved full time in the data analysis of the AMS-02 instrument. She extended the goals of AMS-02 to studying the solar modulation of cosmic rays, solar energetic particles, and space radiation. She is the principal investigator of a long-term grant with NASA to use AMS-02 to study the space radiation environment for future manned missions to the moon and Mars.

Commenting on the ongoing repairs Bindi said, “From Wallops NASA facility, I observed the rocket launch on November 2nd that successfully brought AMS-02’s new pump system and tools to the International Space Station with extreme excitement. I followed from the control center in NASA headquarters, all the steps that the Italian astronaut Parmitano performed during the two interventions on AMS-02. Now we still have at least two more EVAs to go, and they are the most complicated ones. I really hope that the AMS-02 repair will bring new life to the instrument and that we can extend the data taking for many years to come. These data provide crucial information on space weather and space radiation environment necessary for future space manned missions.”

Von Doetinchem is a long-term member of AMS-02 and contributed to construction, integration, operation and analysis since he was a graduate student. His research group focuses on searching for the extremely rare antiparticles, which are potentially playing an important role in discovering the nature of the unknown dark matter. Researchers know that dark matter makes up a very large fraction of the universe, in-fact much larger than the known luminous matter, and unveiling its properties is one of the towering questions in physics.

“I am very excited about the ongoing repairs. Knowing how challenging the integration of the payload was on the ground, I can only imagine how difficult it must be in space. Extending the lifetime of the experiment is very important for my research and will hopefully help to shed light on dark matter,” he said.