October 21, 2010
June 3, 2010
Mahalo and aloha to The Honolulu Advertiser for being the home of our UH Mānoa Campus Talk blog.
To continue following our blog, and to keep current at what’s happening at the flagship campus in the University of Hawai‘i system, come visit our home page at http://manoa.hawaii.edu/.
In parting, please enjoy our award-winning TV ad titled, “One Day,” produced by and featuring both current and former UH Mānoa students. We invite you to come visit our campus at the entrance to Mānoa Valley “One Day” soon!
The advice many people get when asked how one should determine their career path is to find your passion so you can get paid for doing something you enjoy. Luckily for graduate student Maria Kanehailua, she found her passion in a job she loves right on the Mānoa campus.
Kanehailua helps to preserve the Hawaiian language and, in that pursuit, was named UH Mānoa’s Student Employee of the Year. “I feel really lucky and honored to be a part of this great establishment,” said the 2004 Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama graduate. “My passion is music and my focus is studying the Hawaiian language. So to be in an atmosphere where both are encouraged makes me feel like what I’m doing will benefit a greater amount of students in the future.”
The Hawaiian language major works as a student assistant for Ka Waihona A Ke Aloha, the Mele Institute of Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language. Its mission is to provide venues in which mele is placed at the focal point of preservation, perpetuation, discussion, presentation and performance. The center also recognizes the importance of the mele practitioner, both haku mele (composer) and hoopaa (chanter or singer), and values the cultural information that is preserved within their repetoire. One of Ka Waihona A Ke Aloha’s shining projects is the digitalization of mele preserved on reel-to-reel and vinyl recordings.
“I am privileged to have watched her develop into the awesome Hawaiian woman she is today,” said Robert Keawe Lopes, director of Ka Waihona A Ke Aloha. “Maria exhibits qualities of a mindful person who pays careful attention to detail and who is blessed with awesome talent.”
Kanehailua’s passion to preserve the Hawaiian language started long before she was actually paid to transcribe, catalog and index mele collections. She was a student in Lopes’ mele classes, became a volunteer, then did independent study courses with him before the program got a grant to hire her. Lopes says Kanehailua always goes beyond the call of duty to finalize projects and start on new ones. In one incident, he described how Hula Master Kimo Alama Keaulana shared his vinyl collection dating from the 1930s to the 1970s. Over the winter break when the entire UH system was shut down, Kanehailua took the work home so the project could stay on schedule. Recently, Keaulana was presented a digital copy and index of more than 500 of his vinyl recordings. States Lopes: “This project would not have stayed on schedule if not for Maria Kanehailua.”
For information on the Mele Institute of Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language, see http://manoa.hawaii.edu/hshk/kawaihuelani/ For more on UH Mānoa, see http://manoa.hawaii.edu/.
May 26, 2010
The annual summer series extends the intellectual resources of UH Mānoa to the community, with this one inspired by the recent Honolulu magazine article, “Our Geniuses.” Here’s an opportunity to meet some of the gifted individuals profiled in the article via lectures that are free and open to the public. Events begin at 7:00 p.m. in the UH Mānoa Architecture Auditorium, unless otherwise noted.
The series is funded, in part, by the UH Foundation’s Shunzo Sakamaki Extraordinary Lecture Endowment, with promotional support provided by Honolulu magazine.
Schedule of lectures:
Wednesday, June 2 – The Nature of Giftedness, The Nurturing of Leaders
Join Ann Shea Bayer, educational psychology professor of UH Mānoa’s College of Education; Maenette Ah Nee-Benham, dean of the Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at UH Mānoa; Robyn McMullin, curriculum specialist at Assets School; and moderator Ann Brandman of Outreach College as they explore questions such as what characterizes a gifted child? What is the best way to nurture their talents? What can we learn from the Native Hawaiian concept of those with outstanding abilities? And what does the public school environment have to teach our future leaders?
Wednesday, June 9 – Encounters at the End of the World (documentary film screening) with remarks by Peter Gorham
UH Mānoa physicist Peter Gorham went to Antarctica to “capture” the elusive neutrino, a subatomic particle with a mass less than a millionth of an electron. He will share his experiences and reflect on the Antarctic’s role as a fulcrum in the balance of world ecology.
Wednesday, July 7 – From Blue Planet to Blue Mars: Avatars and Replicants for Alternative Realities with Henk Rogers
Considered one of the visionaries of computer games, Henk Rogers helped change the face of the industry as the entrepreneur responsible for bringing Tetris to U.S. and world markets. Rogers will give us the inside story on game development—including a sneak peek into his newest invention, a high definition virtual world on Mars—and his very real mission to end our dependence on fossil fuels.
Social entrepreneur Olin Lagon will share personal stories from several social ventures based in Hawai‘i that have brought in millions of dollars in support of social causes, and engaged thousands of individuals across the state to lead by example.
July 28 – Unleashing Abilities: The Genius of Dogs with Maureen Maurer, Cate Dorr, Dr. Wendi Hirsch, Brian Kajiyama, and service dogs Tucker and Zeus at the UH Mānoa Art Auditorium
Maureen Maurer and Cate Dorr of Hawaii Canines for Independence present their findings on canine cognition and communication and the development of Canine Sign Language (CSL), with its glance commands for those who cannot communicate verbally with their service dogs. Brian Kajiyama will demonstrate how he communicates to his service dog, Zeus, through CSL, and Dr. Wendi Hirsch offers testimony about the life-changing work of therapy dog Tucker at Kapi‘olani Medical Center.
For more information, call (808) 956-2729 or visit: http://www.outreach.hawaii.edu/summer/sakamaki.asp/. For more information on the UH Mānoa campus, see http://manoa.hawaii.edu/.
May 24, 2010
There were lots of “ooohs,” “ahhs” and “wows!” last week in several UH Mānoa labs and classrooms. That’s because third-graders from Leeward’s Kaleiopu‘u Elementary in Village Park participated in Gene-ius Day, a program designed to get students interested in science. The half-day excursion included several hands-on activities designed for children to learn about DNA and its implications in areas like genetics, agriculture and forensics.
In one activity, students discovered what patterns their fingerprints make. In another class, an apple was used to describe the limited amount of land that farmers have to grow their crops. Students even played sleuths in a solve-the-mystery game. And in what was observed as the most academically stimulating—and fun—exercise, the excited youngsters extracted papaya DNA with pipettes while donning protective eyewear, gloves and white lab coats.
The Gene-ius Project is part of UH Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’ Biotechnology Outreach Program. Director Ania Wieczorek says her team taught nearly 2,000 students from 15 public and private schools over the past three years.
And, because the excursion was a rare treat—made especially rare during the public school year because of so many Furlough Fridays—the high-caliber educational experience was truly appreciated by both students and teachers. “This field trip is definitely the best one,” attested third-grade Kaleiopu‘u teacher Angela Sakamoto. Plus, a bonus: A television news crew showed up to document the day!
For more on the Gene-ius Day project, which may be of particular interest to public and private school teachers, visit http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/geneius-day. For more on UH Mānoa, see http://manoa.hawaii.edu/.
May 19, 2010
Calling all iPhone and iPod touch device users! The doctor is in—or the plant doctor, to be more specific. Whether you’re a home gardener or professional farmer, The Plant Doctor 1.0 could save time and money on plant investments.
In fact, The Plant Doctor 1.0 is an actual plant doctor. Scot Nelson, an associate specialist in the Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences at UH Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, has more than 20 years of experience in the science of plant pathology.
Nelson, who is proficient at remote problem diagnosis by photographs and text information, developed a new interactive plant disease diagnosis app for iPhones. “I realized that the time was right to extend this type of service to a worldwide audience at an affordable cost through the camera-ready smart phone platform,” he said. “None of the apps I had seen for smart phones were truly interactive, meaning they were static programs that provided no interaction with a live person.”
Nelson’s concept creation was essentially need-driven. Every year, plant diseases cause tremendous losses to plants and untold human suffering worldwide. One must accurately and quickly identify the causes of disease in order to manage or control it properly. Given the similarity of symptoms among diseases and the thousands of plant pathogens that can cause disease, expert diagnosis is necessary in most cases to unravel the confusion and to provide clear direction.
Enter The Plant Doctor 1.0. The app makes it easy for people to receive accurate plant disease diagnoses and cost-effective recommendations without having to submit live tissue samples to a diagnostic lab.
Here’s a quick snapshot of how it works:
- Download the free app from the iTunes store in the lifestyle category.
- Read the free descriptions of ten of the most common plant diseases and their causes.
- Unsure of the nature of the problem? Purchase a personalized diagnosis and recommendations for $1.99. The app collects user-supplied information (text, photographs) about the problem and sends it to professional plant pathologist like Nelson, who will try to provide a diagnosis within a day’s turnaround.
- Receive live communications from the pathologist, including the probable name of the plant disease and causal pathogen, tactics for managing the disease, and contact information for local university experts who may be able to provide more data or examine samples in person.
To view a sample diagnosis, device requirements or blog, see www.plantdoctorapp.com.
All the app proceeds Nelson makes will be donated towards a scholarship award for a college student. For more information on CTAHR, see http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/site/. For the UH Mānoa home page, see http://manoa.hawaii.edu/.
May 14, 2010
A mere four months ago, Architecture 490 students in Professor Leighton Liu’s class didn’t even know how to work the tools used to build and shape furniture and light fixtures. But you’d never guess that from the extraordinary exhibit in the Hagio and Irene Shen Architecture Gallery (room 204) in the Architecture Building. On display are various pieces at a high level of complexity and beauty.
But are they functional? “They’re absolutely functional,” assures Liu, who will retire at the end of the month after nearly 40 years at UH Mānoa. “All of the pieces reflect spectacular effort and creativity. They move, they have water, they do all kinds of things.”
Take the “A Better Tomorrow” piece created by student Shau Yu Lin, who built a rainbow-hue lighting fixture featuring gel-like crystal soil that feed nutrients to plants for up to a year-and-a-half. Lin experimented with the colors and came up with a concept that shows life in the form of a plant—from its roots to the branches.
Student Howard Shek also depended on nature for inspiration. He built a light fixture representing the sun, and used water with a pump to project rays across the wall. It took numerous tries to get it right, but Shek loved going through the process of problem-solving and working through each challenge.
According to Liu, all of the students spent numerous hours outside of class to perfect their pieces. So it’s not surprising that Liu, the 1996 winner of a UH Regents’ Medal for Excellence, was with them every step of the way—advising, guiding, helping. Happy retirement, Professor.
The furniture and light exhibit will be on display until Thursday, May 20, and is open weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact Professor Liu at 956-8311 or email@example.com. For more on the School of Architecture, see http://www.arch.hawaii.edu/site/index.php. For more on UH Mānoa, see http://manoa.hawaii.edu/.
May 12, 2010
Just one week after their special day, mothers from near and far will have another joyous event to celebrate this weekend. On Saturday, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa will hold its 99th annual Commencement exercises, where proud moms—and dads—will watch loved ones reach one of the most memorable milestones of their lives.
This day will be extra special for one particular mother. That’s because Elinor Lutu-McMoore, a wife and mom of three boys, happens to be graduating, too – and, in fact, she is this year’s undergraduate student speaker. The candidate for a bachelor of science in Meteorology is thrilled by the honor. While attending classes at UH Mānoa, the full-time student worked as a meteorological technician at the National Weather Service (NOAA-NWS), took care of her family, and overcame a fear of public speaking to be selected as student speaker. And her talk will surely resonate with other UH Mānoa graduates, who know all too well that earning a college degree is no easy feat.
Asked how she coped with the pressure of trying out for student speaker while juggling her finals, Elinor said with a smile, “It’s all worth it! I just have to remember that with great honor comes great responsibility.” After graduating, she plans to serve as a meteorologist intern with NOAA-NWS, and then returning to her home in American Samoa to become a staff meteorologist. “I want to give back and serve my people,” she said.
Elinor’s success story is just one of many among our 2010 graduates. So, at Saturday’s Commencement ceremonies, expect a lot of applause, lei, high-fives, and hugs and kisses. These graduates have come a long way and deserve our accolades and congratulations!
General information on UH Mānoa’s 99th annual Commencement
The undergraduate ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, at the Stan Sheriff Center, with the student procession starting at 8:30 a.m. Doors will open at 7:45 a.m.
The advanced degree ceremony will begin at 3 p.m., with the student procession starting at 2:30 p.m. Doors for the afternoon ceremony will open at 1:45 p.m.
No tickets are issued, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Come early to assure best seating. Balloons and strollers are not allowed inside the Stan Sheriff Center.
Free parking is available in the lower campus parking structure, which will open at 6 a.m. After the ceremony, congratulate graduates and adorn them with lei (an island tradition!) on the football practice field (for students with surnames A-L), the soccer practice field (M-T), and at the softball stadium (U-Z)
For a live Webcast of one of the nation’s most unique, aloha-filled and lei-bedecked Commencement ceremonies, see http://manoa.hawaii.edu/commencement/.
May 10, 2010
When she read the letter congratulating her on winning one of five Sony Technology Awards, Rebecca Fonoimoana jumped out of her chair and started screaming. The mother of the UH Mānoa junior, after finding out what her daughter won, started jumping for joy, too. Fonoimoana’s enthusiastic reaction was shared by all five UH Mānoa undergraduate winners of the prizes from Sony.
Sony executives came to Sinclair Library last week to hand out the awards, which included a VAIO E Series Notebook, Bloggie HD camera, Walkman S Series and an 8 GB memory card.
Lucky winners are Jessica Ayau (Secondary Education, 2011), Luke Dumaran (Elementary Education, 2012), Rebecca Fonoimoana (Natural Resources and Environmental Management, 2011), Filipe Palma (Architecture, 2017), and Jovana Shigetani (Nursing, 2013).
It took more than luck to win the award, it also took hard work. Criteria to apply for the laptops were maintaining a 3.5 minimum grade point average, being a member of an underrepresented group in higher education, some level of financial need, enrollment as a full-time undergraduate in a course of study leading to a degree, and contribution of significant service to the community and/or campus.
“The Sony Technology Awards recognize the key role of modern technology in the learning process – and is a truly welcome help during these challenging economic times,” said Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw.
Oh, and don’t worry about their old computers, say the students, they will be recycled. Dumaran, says he’s using his old computer as a carrot for his niece to get better grades. Fonoimoana is donating hers to her little sister.
Visit our home page at http://manoa.hawaii.edu/.
May 5, 2010
Today is officially the last day of classes at UH Mānoa. And, as the Class of 2010 eagerly anticipates Commencement exercises on May 15, a recent grad named Henry Cheng is on the way to his next learning experience. He is a shining example of how an undergraduate education at UH Mānoa can translate into a continuing world of scholastic opportunity.
Cheng’s parents came to Hawai‘i as Vietnam War refugees, and he was born and raised in Kapahulu. The Kalani High graduate went on to matriculate at UH Mānoa, accepting his diploma in biological engineering with high honors in December 2009. But that’s not the end of the road for him in academia. Cheng has been awarded a Luce Scholars scholarship, a prestigious and nationally competitive fellowship administered by the Henry Luce Foundation. The program, which partners with the Asia Foundation, is intended for college seniors, graduate students and young professionals in a variety of fields who have had limited exposure to Asia. It will open doors.
Walking through those doors will be Cheng, one of 18 Luce Scholars to benefit from a stipend, language training and individualized professional placement in Asia. His year-long internship at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand will allow him to work on pandemic preparedness projects. They will involve either avian influenza or the Nipah Virus, an emerging zoonotic virus that has infected humans in Southeast Asia with a 40-70 percent mortality rate.
After completion of his Luce Scholarship year, Cheng will enter Stanford University’s Bioengineering PhD program in Fall 2011, with funding from a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. And he will never forget where it all started. “Today, I believe that attending UH Mānoa was the best decision I ever made,” says Cheng. “My professors were not just educators who gave me a quality education, but also mentors who genuinely cared about me. My classmates were not only friends I could study or go hiking with, but also scientific researchers, sustainability activists, community volunteers, and student government leaders that I worked with to make a difference for Hawai‘i.”
Oh, Henry. You go, Henry. Represent!