University of Hawaiʻi — West Oʻahu

Ka ʻUmeke Nōweo

February 1, 2017

Chancellor Benham greetings new students

I am honored to have the privilege to be your Chancellor, to be your partner in our collective efforts to strengthen the educational ʻauwai for the communities and families in Leeward and Central Oʻahu. As chancellor, I know that communication is essential, so, I will be using this space on our UHWO website as one forum (among others) to let you know what we’re working on and thinking about.

I have named this site Ka ʻUmeke Nōweo. A Bright Mind, literally, the bright, shiny gourd. This is a metaphor for a mind eager to learn and be filled with knowledge. It brings to mind two other metaphors commonly used in education, particularly Hawaiian education, he ʻumeke kāʻeo, a well-filled mind; and the story of a mind like a bowl that can be filled with shining light or rocks emanating from within the gourd. The bright and shiny aspect, nōweo, may be ascribed to either the beauty of the polished surface of the ʻumeke or the light shining from within it.

Advancing a community of skilled professionals and leaders is a vital mission of UH West Oʻahu. To ensure that we meet this goal our faculty and staff continue to cultivate unique and differentiated learning opportunities that lead to exciting discoveries and innovations that engage the many communities we serve as we address the needs of a complex, ever evolving 21st Century. “Learning, Discovering, and Engaging is the pathway to leadership!” This is our value proposition! We know that if we live into these values, if we do it well, 30 years from now, when we’re a 20,000-person campus, our legacy will be one of great prosperity!  Prosperity born from investing in people who do extraordinary things!

An example of extraordinary endeavors is our UHWO Hawaiʻi State Legislative Internship program supervised by Chancellor Executive Assistant Ken Inouye and supervised by Dr. Masahide Kato. Student interns engage in substantive work at the State Capitol in the office of a legislature. Interns not only learn about the legislative process, but they also gain a fuller understanding and appreciation for public service, and establish contacts not only in the legislature but also outside the legislature. All the interns in last year’s program who graduated from UHWO ended up getting jobs directly related to their involvement in the internship program! 

Working group during Professional Development day

I will share more extraordinary efforts in future monthly messages in Ka ʻUmeke Nōweo, so, please visit our site often! I am proud to be a “Pueo”, a member of the UHWO ʻOhana knowing that wherever we go, our core values of quality learning and teaching, vibrant discoveries and innovations, and key connectivity through our engagement strategies guide our good work!

E mālama pono!

Chancellor Maenette K.P. Ah Nee – Benham, Ed.D.