Monthly Archives: April 2014

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Student Spotlight: Rachel Durkan

Category : Student Spotlight

Meet Rachel Durkan, a super-energized student who goes all-out in everything she does!

Rachel and the split coconut

Rachel and the split coconut

Home School: Virginia Tech

Home Town: Malvern, Pennsylvania

Major: Horticulture

Favorite UHM Class: Herbs and Spices. It’s a super interesting and chill class. We recently took a field trip to a small chocolate factory in Chinatown. Itʻs also a very small retail store, but the owner grows the chocolate plants on site and makes the chocolate. I ate a raw chocolate bean.

Favorite Form of Social Media: Instagram. I’ve been posting a lot of my Hawai‘i pictures lately. I also like to write letters and have sent lots of postcards to my friends and to my boyfriend who is studying in Holland right now.

What’s on your iPod? Everything! I listen to reggae when I study and chill out. I also love Lana Del Rey and Rihanna.

What one word would you use to describe yourself? Passionate

What one word would your friends use to describe you? Chaotic and maybe goofy.

Fun Fact: I’m obsessed with orangutans. One of my goals is to go to Indonesia to volunteer and work at an orangutan preservation.

What is your greatest adventure? This semester in Hawai‘i has been one of my biggest adventures! This is the farthest and longest I’ve been away from home. Honolulu is different than I thought it would be. It’s a much bigger city than I expected. I’ve also learned a lot about different plants, things I wouldn’t have learned at Virginia Tech. Over spring break I had a weeklong internship at the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai. It turned out to be a great week, and they even gave me a scholarship to take back to Virginia Tech for next year. One of my duties included weeding out invasive plant species, and I also learned about propagation and endangered plant species on Kauai.

Rachel, on right, with a friend from her Kauai Internship

Rachel, on right, with a friend from her Kauai Internship

Dream Job: My “reality” dream job would be professor for a college, teaching about something I love – plants, and heading up a study abroad program so that I could travel. My “fantasy” job would be to live with orangutans in the wild, studying them and the plants around them.

What’s next? This summer I will have an internship in South Carolina at the Moore Farm Botanical Gardens.

Best Talent: Persistence! It took me 5 years to convince my parents to let me have a dog. I would write them letters, bring home books, and do other things to let them know how much I wanted a dog. Finally after I put myself on a waiting list for a pet goat they agreed to get a dog!

Greatest Vice: I tend to over think every thing I do. It’s been better since I’ve been here. I’ve learned to balance worrying about schoolwork and going out for experiences and adventures. I still go to the library every evening for 2 hours but try to take advantage of the daylight hours and go explore.

Favorite Movie: Stand By Me, or Law Abiding Citizen, the first movie I saw with my boyfriend.

Favorite Book: Time Travelerʻs Wife. My favorite book that Iʻve read here is Tears of the Desert, about the War in Darfur.

Favorite TV Show: Vampire Diaries. I used to watch this show with my little sister before going to college, and now when I call home on Fridays, we always talk about what happened on the show!

The Reality Show I’d Go On: The Amazing Race. My brother would be my partner. Weʻd get mad at each other but would get over it in 2 minutes and get back to the race!

Craziest Ambition: To travel someplace new every year.

Person Iʻd Most Like to Meet: Jane Goodall

If a Movie Were Made About Me, Iʻd Want this Actor to Play Me: Jennifer Lawrence

If I’m cooking we’re having: Something with avocados in it!

Favorite Spot on Campus: The grove of banyan trees across from Hamilton Library. Itʻs super shady there.

Favorite Local Food: Malasadas! When my family visited, we went to Leonardʻs everyday.  

Favorite Hawai‘i Place: The North Shore of Oahu – itʻs so different from Honolulu. I like how itʻs so chill.

Favorite thing to do in Hawai‘i: Go to the beach. I also joined an open water swim club, the “Waikiki Swim Club”, and we go on weekend swims. One weekend I swam with turtles, and once we swam out to the Moke Islands off the east side. Editorʻs Note: most people kayak the long distance to the Mokulua Islands!

Swimming to Mokulua Islands

Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition: Lei giving. One of my goals is to take a lei-making class. Next year at Virginia Tech Iʻll be a TA for the class “Floral Design”, and I hope to show students how to make a lei!


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How I Met Felix Xie: Student Spotlight

Category : Student Spotlight

Get to know Felix Xie, a wonderfully typical college student who chose the University of Hawai‘i for a study away experience.

Felix atop the Lanikai Pillbox

Felix atop the Lanikai Pillbox

Home School: Bates College in Lewiston, Maine

Home Town: Skowhegan, Maine

Major: Environmental Studies

Favorite UHM Class: Painting

Favorite Form of Social Media: Actually I like face-to-face interaction. Hanging out with my friends is my favorite way to be social.

What’s on your iPod? Arctic Monkeys and Vampire Weekend

What one word would you use to describe yourself? Ambiguous. I do a lot of different things and don’t really identify myself in one particular way.

What one word would your friends use to describe you? Cool – I hope.

Describe a turning point in your life: Transitioning into college was monumental. I’m a different person now than I was in high school. I appreciate the process that college has in developing a person. College has been eye opening; I grew up in a small town in Maine, and now at school I have international friends.

Fun Fact: I’m a huge fan of the TV show How I Met Your Mother.

Ambitions: To travel the world.

Greatest Vice: I take long naps.

Dream Job: Professional soccer player.

What’s next? This summer I’ll go to New York City for an internship with an advertising agency. It’s going to be a blast.

Favorite Book: The Great Gatsby

Favorite Movie: The Wolf of Wall Street. I just saw it — it was an amazing film!

Favorite TV Show: How I Met Your Mother, of course.

The Reality Show I’d Go On: I don’t really watch those shows, but I’ll say Survivor.

If Movie Were Made About Me, I’d Want This Actor to Play Me: Joseph Gordon Levitt

Favorite athlete: Kobe Bryant

The Most Famous Person I’ve Met: Paul Fourgous

Person I’d most like to meet: Leonardo DaVinci

If I’m cooking we’re having: Sushi

Favorite Thing to Do in Hawai‘i: Go to the beach

Favorite Thing to Do in Maine: Fish

Favorite Local Food: Poke

Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition: The shaka – it’s an “all is well” kind of sign.

Favorite Hawai‘i Place: So far I’d say the North Shore, Hanauma Bay, and the Big Island

Felix.Lanikai.Pillbox


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Student Spotlight: Laura Butler Shines with the Stars of Hawai‘i 5-0

Category : Student Spotlight

Communications major Laura Butler produces her own ticket to Hawai‘i by creating an internship with television show Hawai‘i 5-0.

Home School: Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY

Home Town: Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ

Favorite UHM Class: Hawaiian Studies. I’m learning different things and studying a culture I didn’t know anything about before.

Favorite Form of Social Media: Twitter; you can pass a lot of time on it!

What’s on your iPod? Maroon 5, Broadway musicals, and Demi Lovato, Apollo Run, OneRepublic

What one word would you use to describe yourself? Determined

What one word would your friends use to describe you? Busy!

Describe your top accomplishment: I worked on “DJ3K”, the documentary about New York Yankees Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit. I was 18 years old and 2 days out of high school when I began the job. Since I knew about the technology that they were using on the production, I became involved with managing the content coming off the memory cards, for the documentary and even received a credit on HBO. The show was nominated for an Emmy. (Editor’s note: click this link to view “DJ3K”.)

Describe your internship with Hawai‘i 5-0: I’ve always been a fan of the show, and I’m also very interested in TV production. So I decided to think of a way to get an internship on the show and come to Hawai‘i. I researched and discovered how film students at UHM become interns. I realized that wouldn’t work for me because I am a communications major. Later after more research I discovered I had a connection to the show through an alumnus from Ithaca. After more research and perseverance I was able to craft an internship within the wardrobe department. In fact, I am the only intern who specializes in wardrobe.

The back of the on-set chairs the actors sit in during the break

The back of the on-set chairs the actors sit in during the break

What are your duties? There is quite a range of duties. I sort the stock of clothes worn on the show, help with paper work, shadow and help the set dressers, help pull cloths to dress extras, and even help “age” clothes to make them look like the actor went through a particular experience, like getting shot! I can easily spend 10 hours on set. I enjoy it very much since the environment is very open and kind. I feel ok asking questions, but also know when not to.

The stock where all the clothes are kept and pulled from when needing to dress extras.

The stock where all the clothes are kept and pulled from when needing to dress extras.

What have you learned through your internship? I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t wok in communicating with various departments within the production. I’ve learned how easily things can slip through the cracks without good communication. Also, I’ve seen how important it is to balance controlling things and letting them happen on their own, trusting the people and situations involved. Lastly, I’ve learned that one must have quick problem solving skills in this business!

Original Five-0 stage where many of the interior scenes of McGarrett’s house and the medical/lab scenes are currently filmed.

Original Five-0 stage where many of the interior scenes of McGarrett’s house and the medical/lab scenes are currently filmed.

 

What’s Next? I plan to graduate from Ithaca and get a job in production.

Dream Job: Producer of a hit TV show.

Craziest Ambition: My craziest ambition is the same as my dream job and my hopes for the future! Becoming a producer is really tough!

Favorite Movie: Right now it’s Frozen.

Favorite TV Show: Hawai‘i Five-0, of course. But also NCIS, Royal Pains, and Intelligence.

The Reality Show I’d Go On: The Voice. I like to sing!

Fun Fact: I play the guitar.

If I’m cooking we’re having: Chicken Parm. I’m the only one in my family who can make it.

Favorite Thing to Do in Hawai‘i: Go to the beach

Favorite Local Food: Fish! The on-set catering always has delicious fresh fish!

Favorite Hawai‘i Place: The North Shore. It’s a great place to go to get away from all the excitement of town. The North Shore is calm and relaxing and has a small town feel to it.

Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition: Lei-giving. After you wear the lei, you can hang it in your room, and it makes the room smell wonderful.