University of Hawaiʻi — West Oʻahu
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Graduate Testimonials

Class of Spring 2017 - We want to know about your experience at UH West O‘ahu! What are your future plans? Submit your stories and pictures here.

Testimonials

Isaiah Baclaan, Psychology & Health Care Administration
Isaiah Baclaan
What is your major?
Public Administration with a focus in Health Care Administration & Social Sciences with a focus in Psychology.
 
What is your high school/hometown? 
I graduated from James Campbell High School and my hometown is Ewa.
 
What are your post-graduation plans? 
Post graduation I intend to join the Hawai‘i Army National Guard. Since I started going to UHWO I have done my best to serve the community and improve the university for the benefit of others. I hope that through the national guard I can do the same thing but for our state and country. I also intend to pursue a masters degree in public health and then attend medical school as medicine has always been a passion of mine, even in my years in high school working as a caregiver for my family. I've also served in many political roles at UHWO such as Student government President and Representative to UH Caucus, so who knows I might pursue a future in politics as well, only time can tell.
 
Why did you choose to attend UHWO?
I chose to attend UHWO because it was the most convenient source of to get higher education and a bachelorette degree in the west side. I had given thoughts of transferring out before I started my freshman year, but once i started I realized that the atmosphere was the perfect place for me to grow my academic and professional skills. Since coming here I've been able to be an integral part of the university serving as a leader, the student government President, and involved in the community through volunteering and service learning. The faculty and staff really pushed me to achieve the best out of my time here and I would say thats why I stayed 5 years to get both of my degrees. 
 
What is your favorite memory of your time at UHWO?
My favorite memory would be the community gathering events. To be totally honest it is hard to give a specific answer since all of UHWO's events are planned and implemented by students who are passionate about serving their fellow students, while also enjoying each others time and company. An example of one of these events was ASUHWO's first Town Hall. Our student government ASUHWO coordinated a time where students could voice their concerns and even learn about what was going on in their university. It was also the time where the 5th senate of Kapolei was officially sworn into office by Interim Chancellor Ching. It was a proud moment for me to see everyone being recognized for the handwork they put into student leadership and service. 
 
What will you miss most about UHWO?
I will miss the closeness. Everyone has a great relationship with professors, faculty, and staff. It's an environment where people can share their hopes and dreams and move forward together. I honestly could not have made it to graduation if it wasn't from the support of all of my college friends and the relationships I developed with the faculty and staff of our university. I like to think that everyone is product of those that supported them to be the best version of themselves. UHWO gave me the environment, relationships, and education to be one step closer to achieving the best version of myself and for that ill always be grateful. I am looking forward to seeing the growth of this university and am proud to say that I am graduating and going to be an alumnus of UHWO. 

Haylie Culp, Secondary Education & Political Science

Haylie CulpWhat is your major?  
Secondary Education - Social Studies focus & Social Science - Political Science Concentration
 
What is your high school/hometown? 
Neosho High School, Neosho, MO
 
What are your post-graduation plans? 
I will begin teaching Summer School at Mililani High School before moving back to Missouri to teaching at Neosho Junior High School in August, and begin a Masters in Educational Leadership from Pittsburg State University in Kansas for the Fall Semester.
 
Why did you choose to attend UHWO? 
I selected UHWO for the commute time, and affordable tuition. I actually chose the campus while still living in Colorado, and hadn't seen it, so when I arrived my first impression of the small class sizes told me I had made the right choice.
 
What is your favorite memory of your time at UHWO?
Anything Pueo Leadership or service learning related. I loved getting to explore the community, learn about the culture and traditions and give back to the community. My favorite service learning experiences are a toss up between the time I got a chainsaw stuck in a tree at Palehua for an Education Course in Educational Philosophy and moving boulders to restore the He'eia Fish Pond for a Food Politics class.
 
What will you miss most about UHWO? 
The relationships. We live a long way from our family, but so many of the people I have met through my time at UHWO have become second family. Because the campus is so intimate, I actually got to build meaningful relationships with students and faculty in a way that I don't think would have been possible anywhere else.

Jenn Morrison, Elementary Education

What is your major?Jenn Morrison
Elementary Education
 
What is your high school/hometown?
St. Lucy's Priory High School in Glendora California
 
What are your post-graduation plans?
I will be pursuing my graduate degree in Education. I will be working as a full time ESL and Math Tutor as well as a substitute teacher. I will be lobbying for more funding for education in our capitol as well as washington D.C.
 
Why did you choose to attend UHWO?
I was researching colleges when I was moving from the mainland I wanted a college that was close to home and had a strong education department because i was making Hawai‘i my forever home. I wanted a campus that was tied to the leeward coast because that is where my home is and where I would be teaching. I wanted a campus that was rooted in the values of Hawai‘i and preserving the ʻāina and culture. It was important to me that I would be able to have in classroom experience before I graduated and UHWO prided itself on their education department. UHWO was small enough to feel like an ohana rather than an institution. When I visited campus I noticed professors calling students by name which made things very comfortable. However, the rigor and pedagogy of UHWO was going to be challenging enough for me to expand my knowledge base. Small but fierce was how would describe UHWO. That is why it was a perfect fit for my long term plans of changing the way education is designed in Hawai‘i and helping root success on Hawai‘i's keiki. Specifically focusing on how to empower a community that changed my path in life.
 
What is your favorite memory of your time at UHWO?
My favorite memory of my college career would be working in a first grade class and having a parent hug me and tell me that they never thought their child was going to be able to read and write at grade level but after working with me for a semester their six-year-old had gained so much confidence that they were reading books on their own without being asked to. That same parent told me that because of me they hope that their child's grows up to be a teacher to give back. And I was grateful for my education they gave me the tools and the strategies necessary to empower this 6 year old.
 
What will you miss most about UHWO

I will miss the feeling of community and ohana that's rooted in Hawaiian culture. The focus on empowering the local community that is felt in every debate in class and every activity on campus is what I will miss.

 


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