I thought I was going to be a veterinarian.
But things changed when, as a 22-year old a couple of years into my NFL career, I was invited to speak to a group of about 40 at-risk students at Kailua High School. Once I started to speak – about being disciplined and how hard I trained and on making the right decisions – the students quieted down and became very attentive.
On my drive back to Honolulu I decided that I wanted to be a teacher and positively impact the lives of young people.
So now, more than four decades later, when I walk onto this Kapolei campus and see the smiling faces of the students, I look back on that day and remember that 15-mile drive back to Honolulu when my future was decided and I know that the decision was Pono.
I hope that you continue to experience similar events as you pursue your education here at UH West Oʻahu.
I’d like to share some noteworthy events at UH West Oʻahu.
We’re excited to bring the following guest speakers onto the campus this month to help expand the knowledge base of our students, faculty and staff, thanks to the efforts of our faculty:
November 13: MAʻO Organic Farms’ Director of Social Enterprise, Kamuela Enos, will discuss “The Restoration of Ancestral Abundance” as part of the first UH West Oʻahu Sustainability Speaker Series event on Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 11 a.m. - noon in the Campus Center Multipurpose Room C208. Enos will discuss how ancestral practices, that took place in great isolation, utilized renewable energy and were based on having deep relationships, provide a codex for modern iterations. The event is free and open to the public.
November 14: UH West Oʻahu will host a presentation by Distinguished Visiting Scholar from Finland, Dr. Pasi Sahlberg, on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center Multipurpose Room C208. The internationally renowned education expert will speak on “Finnish Lessons for Hawaiʻi” and discuss how the story of education reform in Finland might inspire new policy and practice in Hawaiʻi. Dr. Sahlberg is director of the Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation in Helsinki, Finland, and a visiting professor at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. His presentation is free and open to the public. Event made possible by the UH West Oʻahu Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program, the University of Hawaiʻi Diversity and Equity Initiative, and offered in partnership with the Consulate of Finland and the Hawaiʻi Association of Independent Schools.
Associated Students of the University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu
I had the pleasure of swearing in the ASUHWO Officers and Senators on October 31. I look forward to working with the future leaders of the campus and eventually the State of Hawaiʻi.
Senior Management Team:
I’d like to introduce you to members of our Senior Management Team, who will work together with our students, faculty, and staff to make this campus the premier destination for higher education in Hawaiʻi:
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Linda Randall, oversees the planning, developing, organization and evaluation of academic programs, policies, procedures and guidelines for the University. Dr. Randall earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Swarthmore College, a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Business and a doctorate degree in management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Eun Ahn, serves as the head of the Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative, chairs the WASC Educational Effectiveness Review Steering Committee, and supports the VCAA in overseeing all the academic programs. Prior to taking over as Interim Associate Vice Chancellor in May 2013, Dr. Ahn was a Professor of Finance and Economics at UH West Oʻahu for five years. He received his doctorate degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois and Master in Business Administration from the University of Chicago.
Vice Chancellor for Administration, Donna Kiyosaki, has been on the campus since 2011. Vice Chancellor Kiyosaki’s duties include the management of the campus’ buildings and space resources, financial management and budget preparation, and facilities and capital improvements. Vice Chancellor Kiyosaki came from the private sector, where she was the Senior Vice President for Development at Waimana Enterprises.
In 2009, the Obama Administration tapped Vice Chancellor Kiyosaki as the Hawaiʻi State Director for Rural Development at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr. Lui Hokoana, arrived in September from the UH System, where he served as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. Dr. Hokoana is responsible for campus-wide planning and policy formulation and ensures that student affairs programs, services and activities are aligned with the academic mission and strategic goals of UH West Oʻahu. Dr. Hokoana holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from UH Hilo, a master’s degree in communications from UH Mānoa and a doctorate degree in education from the University of Southern California. In 2011, Dr. Hokoana received the Governor’s Award for State Manager of the Year.
Executive Assistant, Wendy Tatsuno, is one of the newest members of the Senior Management Team. She arrived from Kamehameha Schools and Ke Aliʻi Pauahi Foundation after an 18-year stint, where she most recently served as an Executive Assistant. Tatsuno, who has her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from UH Mānoa, will focus on assisting me on my various initiatives to help the campus grow, including strategic planning and pursuing scholarship opportunities.
Director of Communications, Leila Wai Shimokawa, comes to UH West Oʻahu from the Board of Regents Office, where she served as the Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the Board. Prior to that, she worked at The Honolulu Advertiser as a reporter. Shimokawa is an alum of UH Mānoa, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and master’s degree in Public Administration. Shimokawa also played soccer for the Rainbow Wahine, where she was a captain for two years.