Student Spotlight Fall 2014 – Ashley Hagerty

Meet Ashley Hagerty, a senior neuroscience major from Temple University who, with a take on Socrates’ words, lives the examined life. Find out how this young but wise 21 year-old thinks about the world around her.


Ashley under water

Ashley at Hanauma Bay

What Are Your Personal Superstitions?

I’m a science person, so I don’t really have superstitions. But I do believe thinking positively will lead to positive outcomes, as corny as that sounds. Living a positive life is a healthy life.

Where in the World Would You Like to Get Lost?

Maybe the Amazon. My sister and I have talked about travelling there for a long time. You would probably come upon things that have never been seen before or haven’t been discovered. You might see evolution at work.

Which Pop Music Stars Fascinate You?

I don’t really listen to mainstream music! I guess if I had to pick someone it would be Iggy Azalea. I like her energy.

Do You Want to Live to 100?

Yeah. And I have longevity on my side. My grandmother lived to be 104.

With what technology would you write a love letter?

Pen and paper, of course.

What Superpower Do You Wish You Had?

It used to be reading people’s minds, but now I don’t think I want to know what people are thinking. Between flying and invisibility I’d choose invisibility. Then you can really be alone.

What did you enjoy doing at age 10?

Reading and gymnastics. I wanted to be doing that all the time. I was also into the Spice Girls.

What are you doing when you feel most alive?

I feel most alive when I’m in a beautiful place with people I enjoy. The other day some friends and I were biking back from
Falls, and the setting was so spectacular! It was a wonderful feeling.


If you could have lunch with any three people (real or fictitious/from any time period/dead or alive), which three people would you choose?

  1. 1) Edgar Allan Poe, my favorite poet
  2. 2) Neil Degrasse Tyson, a famous scientist and host of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
  3. 3) Immanuel Kant, 18th century German philosopher

What’s special about your home school, Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?

Being at a city school provides a ton of opportunities. Philly is always home to me, and I have a sense of pride being there. It’s diverse, and even though it’s a big school, it has a sense of community. The university does a lot of outreach, especially in the neighborhoods that surround it.

What’s special about UHM?

The life style is so laid back. I love how professors come to class in flip flops and Hawaiian t-shirts. People have different priorities, and they are patient and kind. There is not a pressure to keep performing.

What are you looking forward to about being in Hawai‘i in the fall?

Surfing, sky diving, and camping out at the North Shore over Thanksgiving.

Are you a morning person or a night person?

Definitely a morning person! My roommate and I joke about my “grandma schedule”. I like to be in bed by 10 because my internal clock wakes me up at 6 am.

If you were stranded on a lonely beach, what are the five things that you would want to have with you?

  1. 1) Books about survival, or any books in general
  2. 2) A surfboard. I just bought a board and a bike with a rack.
  3. 3) A source of water
  4. 4) My dog
  5. 5) My record player. I wanted one when I was in high school. I like to go out and look for albums, so that purchasing music is a mindful pursuit. It’s so easy to go online, click and automatically get music. My mom found me a record player that is also a CD and tape player and a radio.
Ashley coexisting with her new surf board

Ashley coexisting with her new surf board

What is that one thing which makes you different?

My interests are different. I enjoy philosophy, religion, and science, all of which attempt to explain the essence of being human. Also, I try really hard not to talk badly about people.

If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be and why?

Hmm. I don’t necessarily dislike anything enough to eliminate it. I thought at first I would eliminate commuting, but that’s my thinking time. Homework can sometimes be a chore, but doing it brings a sense of accomplishment. Every part of the day is an integral part!

Share one truth and one lie about your personality and let others guess which is what.

I’m very sarcastic. I don’t like trying new things.

If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?

Gosh! Lets come back to that one!

If you were to get a permanent tattoo done, what would it be and where?

I already have a tattoo on my ankle, but I’ve actually been thinking of getting UH’s motto in Hawaiian somewhere small and subtle, maybe on my finger in white ink. The motto is, “Maluna a‘e o na lahui a pau ke ola ke kanaka”, or “Above all nations is humanity”. Too often I think we are prone to see each other’s differences rather than our basic similarities as humans.

Tell us something you hate doing. 

I hate disappointing people, especially my family.

Tell us something you love doing and why.

I love making other people feel good or happy. That makes me happiest.

If you could have an unlimited storage of one thing, what would it be?

Frozen bananas! They taste like ice cream.

What Advice would you give to a new ASH student?

Make the very most of your experience. Go out and do stuff at least every other day. Try something new and find a community here based on your interests, outside of your normal core group.



Now back to: if you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?

Adventures Had and Adventures to Come

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Fall 2014 Diamond Head Hike

To the top

To the top

We had a small but enthusiastic group for our Fall Semester 2014 Diamond Head hike. The upside to hiking Saturday morning is that it’s not as hot, and the rest of the day can be spent studying, going to the beach, or enjoying the UH Warriors football game. The downside to hiking Saturday morning is that Saturday morning is prime sleep time!

Since it was a holiday weekend, the park and trail were super crowded, so we parked the car on a side street a quarter of a mile away from the State Park entrance. Before heading up the trail both TJ and Riley visited Magoo’s food truck. Riley fueled up with a 10:00 am hot dog and TJ got the famous Hawaii Shave Ice.


Emi and TJ

Emi and TJ

Riley and the hot dog

Riley and the hot dog

Okay, so it was very hot despite being morning, and the stairs to the tunnel were steep, but all that was forgotten once we emerged from the World War II era cement bunker to sunshine and lovely views of the ocean and coastline below. Ships and sailboats dotted the blue waters, and a lighthouse overlooked the south shore. Waikiki and its famous hotels lined the coast to the west while Kapiolani Park spread out directly below us.

Olivia on the edge

Olivia on the edge


We stayed a while at the top taking pictures and videos and then began our descent from the top of the volcano’s ridge back down to the center of the crater.

Ashley's new caption!

Ashley’s new caption!

Emmie emerging from the tunnel

Emmie emerging from the tunnel

At the finish another trip to Magoo’s food truck was in order, with a few more people getting shave ice. (TJ went for a second. Gotta like a good appetite!)



Be sure a visit the ASH Facebook page to view an album of pictures.








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Student Spotlight: Kristine Balslev

A Rock Lover Comes to America

Meet Danish ASH student Kristine Balslev, a geology major from the University of Copenhagen who also composes and performs rock music.

Kristine on a geological site in Spain

Kristine on a geological site in Spain

Home School: University of Copenhagen in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Home Town: Copenhagen, Denmark

Major: Geology

On a geological site in Southern Sweden

On a geological site in Southern Sweden

Favorite UHM Class: Indian Philosophy with Professor Dalmiya. This class is a dream. The teacher is incredible, and I get the impression that the entire philosophy department is outrageous! I learned so much. I’ve never had a professor who brought me so much knowledge and presented it in a way that I could remember it all. I was never bored in that class.

Favorite Form of Social Media: Face-to-face interaction is the best. There’s too much of the other kind, and that’s the problem with social media.

What’s on your iPod? Right now it’s on shuffle, and I’m currently listening to “The Band”. I listen to all sorts of music, as long as it’s good.

What one word would you use to describe yourself? Distracted.

What one word would your friends use to describe you? They would say the same thing.

Describe an important accomplishment: Deciding to come to Hawai‘i. It took some work to make this happen, I did all the work myself, and now I’m in Hawai‘i. It’s true that if you decide to do something, you can make it happen.

Fun Fact: I’m giving up geology to work on being a rock star. I play, sing and write music. My music can be found at I’ve already broken the news to my parents; I’m ready to give it a real shot.

Ambition: To become a recording and performing music artist.

Favorite music artists: George Harrison, Dave Grohl, and Stevie Nicks

What’s next? I’ll return to Denmark, do a lot of music, and go to a music festival called the Roskilde Festival. This will be the 12th year in a row that I’ve gone to this festival.

Favorite Book: I’ve read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas so many times! I also really enjoyed Shantaram, an autobiography written by the author while in prison in Australia, recounting his escape and exile in India and the friendships and craziness that went with it all. It’s funny, beautiful, and touching, and I can’t believe it’s real.

Favorite Movie: Any Quinten Tarantino or Coen Brothers film.

Favorite TV Show: While here in Hawai‘i I’ve been watching Arrested Development and 30 Rock. I don’t watch TV at home, but usually stream shows.

Greatest Vice: Eating doughnuts. They are so cheap and readily available here. But I think I’m now cured.

If Movie Were Made About Me, I’d Want This Actor to Play Me: James Franco. He’s kind of weird, and his vocabulary is very narrow, but he’s saying weird stuff, and it’s like where is he going?

Person I’d most like to meet: Dave Grohl. I wrote a song about him. He’s funny, talented, and been through it all. He’s like a bumper sticker!

If I’m cooking we’re having: Rattlesnake Chili, with coleslaw. I usually make it with chicken, since it’s hard to get rattlesnake. The recipe is from a cookbook by a guy who cooked for 80s rock bands.

Favorite Thing to Do in Hawai‘i: Snorkeling and surfing. I didn’t do either enough, but I really enjoyed it.


Favorite Thing to Do in Copenhagen: Be with my friends and play music.

Favorite Local Food: I like the restaurant “Korean Hawaiian Barbecue”, which is near where I live.

Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition: Lei giving, and I like the ukulele.

Favorite Hawai‘i Place: Diamond Head. I live right next to it and enjoyed seeing it transform from green to brown. When I heard that it would turn brown after the rainy season I thought, “Oh no,” but I like it better now in the brown stage because you can see all the features and the lineation.

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Student Spotlight: Brooklynn Cookson and Emily Ishihara: Southern Connection

Emily and Brooklynn

Emily and Brooklynn

Hometown and Home School
Brooklynn: I’m from Tahlequah, Oklahoma and attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Emily: I’m from Andover, Massachusetts but I attend Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.

Favorite UH Class
Brooklynn: “Drugs and Society”; I like everything about this class!
Emily: “Hawaiian Language”; growing up I heard about many of the things we talk about in class from my grandfather, who is from Hawai‘i, but in class we go much more in depth.

Favorite Form of Social Media
Brooklynn: Writing letters. I like the old-school stuff because it’s calming and eases my mind.
Emily: I like letter writing, too, but I’m also into Instagram because I see what other people are doing, not just hear about it.

What’s on your iPod?
Brooklynn: Everything! The 1975, Zedd, Beyonce, Mylie Cyrus, Eric Church, Josh Abott, and more.
Emily: I like country, rock, and basically everything except rap.

One Word That Your Friends Use to Describe You
Brooklynn: Compassionate. I care about others.
Emily: Loud!

One Word That You Use To Describe Yourself
Brooklynn: Peaceful. I always make peace with others. I don’t like that feeling of being angry.
Emily: Loud!

Greatest Adventure
Brooklynn: Coming to Hawai‘i and not knowing a single soul! At first my family was not really happy about my plan to spend a semester in Hawai‘i, but since I’m paying for college myself, I’m able to make my own decisions.
Emily: I guess my greatest adventure was going to college far away from home. I didn’t apply to one school in the North East. I wanted to go away and see something new.

Brooklynn above Rabbit Island

Brooklynn above Rabbit Island

Emily at Kilauea Caldera

Emily at Kilauea Caldera

Something Few People Know about Me
Brooklynn: I have a freckle on the inside of my lip, and my dad has the exact same thing.
Emily: Laughing. I’m related to The Brothers Cazimero, a famous singing duo here in Hawai‘i.
Brooklynn: You’re related to the entire world, Emily!!

Favorite Thing to Do at Home
Brooklynn: Float on the river, go to the lake, and be outdoors with friends.
Emily: Taking the train into Boston and exploring without a set plan.

Greatest Vice
Brooklynn: Spending too much time on social media. I deleted Facebook for a while because it can be so negative and I needed to be more productive.
Emily: I have really bad sweet tooth!

Best Talent
Brooklynn: I’m a good listener.
Emily: I’m a good singer.

Dream Job
Brooklynn: Being a mom.
Emily: Photographer, travelling the world and taking pictures of everything.

Person You’d Most Like to Meet
Brooklynn: Bob Marley
Emily: Ellen DeGeneres

Favorite TV Show
Brooklynn: Grey’s Anatomy, hands down. I feel like I can perform surgery after watching that show!
Emily: Laughing. That’s my favorite show, too.

Favorite Movie
Brooklynn: Pocahontas
Emily: Mulan

Reality Show I’d Go On
Brooklynn: Grey’s Anatomy. But that’s not a reality show.
Emily: You be good on The Real World.
Brooklynn: Yeah, The Real World.
Emily: I’d go on The Amazing Race or The Voice.

If A Movie Were Made About Me, I’d Want this Actor to Play Me
Brooklynn: Pocahontas
Emily: Jennifer Lawrence

If I’m cooking we’re having:
Brooklynn: Anything you can get a recipe for.
Emily: Burgers on the grill.

Favorite Thing to Do in Hawai‘i
Brooklynn: Exploring, not knowing where I’m going, just going.
Emily: I love to take pictures of everything.

Emily with her camera at Kalae on the Big Island, the southern most tip in the United States

Emily with her camera at Kalae on the Big Island, the southern most tip in the United States

Favorite Spot on Campus
Brooklynn: The Japanese Gardens and Jamba Juice.
Emily: Campus Center area. I like to study there with the background noise.

Favorite Place in Hawai‘i
Brooklynn: The beaches at Bellows or Waimanalo. The water looks like blue Kool-aid!
Emily: Makapuʻu Lookout. We saw whales when we were there. It’s a very peaceful place.

Brooklynn at her favorite beach

Brooklynn at her favorite beach

Emily, Brooklynn and Sam at Makapuʻu Lookout

Emily, Brooklynn and Sam at Makapuʻu Lookout


Favorite Local Food
Brooklynn: Malasadas! I could eat them at every meal and never get tired of them!
Emily: Shoyu chicken (my grandfather makes it at home in Maine) and manapua.

Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition
Emily: Taking your shoes off before going into someone’s house, which is a sign of respect.
Brooklynn: I like that too. I also like the shaka, which means, “no worries, all is good”. And everybody is so relaxed here.

What’s next?
Emily: I’m going back to Mercer next semester, and in two more years I will figure out what I want to do with my life.
Brooklynn: More adventure is next for me, I hope. I’m going wherever the wind takes me.
Emily: That sounds like Pocahontas!

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Student Spotlight: Rachel Durkan

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

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


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

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.

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Student Spotlight: Two Mid-Westerners Fly Out of the Polar Vortex and Dive Into the Waves of the Pacific Ocean

Get to know Samantha Mathes, a biology major from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater and Erin Walsworth, an environmental geoscience major from DePauw University.

Cara, Sam, Rachel, and Erin at Sunset Beach

Cara, Sam, Rachel, and Erin at Sunset Beach

Favorite UH Class
Sam: “Cell and Molecular Biology”. I like this class because it’s interactive, not just lecture after lecture.
Erin: “Geoethics”. This class covers the both the geology and the ethics of geological hazards.

Favorite Form of Social Media
Sam: Twitter and Snapchat. My friends back home hate me because I keep posting pictures from the beach.
Erin: I’m not that great at social media, but I’d say I like Twitter because it makes me laugh and Instagram because it makes me feel like I’m there with the person.

What’s on your iPod?
Sam: iTunes Radio, like Top in Pop and Top of the Charts, and also Brittany Spears, Back Street Boys, and *NSYNC.
Erin: Country music and rap.  Country music reminds me of summertime at home, driving around with the windows down, playing music. Rap gets me amped up before a test or during a run.

One Word That Your Friends Use to Describe You
Sam: I hope my friends would say I’m fun.
Erin: Peppy.

One Word That You Use To Describe Yourself
Sam: Ambitious
Erin: Optimistic

Greatest Adventure
Sam: My greatest adventure is coming here! I knew about the ASH program for an entire year before applying. I’ve been excited about this for a long time.
Erin: This semester is my greatest adventure as well. This is the farthest and longest I’ve been away from home.

Something Few People Know about Me
Sam: People are surprised that I have a twin sister.
Erin: Hmmm. Well, I went to state in the Vocabulary Bowl in 7th grade. And I’ve broken every one of my toes.

Person You’d Most Like to Meet
Sam: Elvis.
Erin: Mia Hamm.

Greatest Vice
Sam: I worry too much about school. If I’m at the beach I think, “I should have brought my notes!”
Erin: Oreos! I haven’t been without them in my room all semester.

Best Talent
Sam: I love to organize things! Picking out my schedule for the next semester is so much fun. I enjoy getting all the time slots to work out.
Erin: I’m good at encouraging other people.

Dream Job
Sam: If I could be anything and get paid I would be a professional tennis player.
Erin: My dream job is head up Social Responsibility for an NGO (non-government organization), and I’m going for it!

Favorite Movie
Sam: A Cinderella Story
Erin: Sound of Music

Favorite TV Show
Both: Friends

Reality Show I’d Go On
Sam: Either The Hills or Wipeout
Erin: Most Extreme Eliminations

If A Movie Were Made About Me, I’d Want this Actor to Play Me
Sam: Blake Lively
Erin: Reese Witherspoon

If I’m cooking we’re having
Sam: Fiesta Lime Chicken!
Erin: Hay Stacks

Favorite Thing to Do at Home
Sam: Hanging out with friends, playing Just Dance.
Erin: Playing soccer with my family and going to concerts in the summer with my friends.

Favorite Thing to Do in Hawai‘i
Sam: Swimming in the ocean. I went to the North Shore last week, and the big waves were so much fun to play in!

Sam at the beach

Sam at the beach

Erin: Swimming in the ocean and also hiking. There aren’t any mountains in the mid-west!


Erin at the top of Mt. Tantalus

Erin at the top of Mt. Tantalus

Favorite Spot on Campus
Sam: My dorm! We’ve got air-conditioning, study rooms, and a game room.
Erin: The Japanese Gardens. It’s so peaceful there and a great place to get sun and get some work done.

Favorite Place in Hawai‘i (so far)
Sam: Top of the Makapuʻu Lighthouse trail. We saw whales the last time we were there.
Erin: Kaʻena Point, the westernmost tip of the island. We jumped in the ocean once we got there.

Favorite Local Food
Both: Acai bowls – they’re everywhere, all over the island.

Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition
Sam: Giving leis to the opposing basketball team members. It’s such a friendly gesture!
Erin: I like lei-giving as well. On my 21st birthday my friend gave me a lei.


Erin and Sam meeting pro bowl players

Erin and Sam meeting pro bowl players

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Student Spotlight: Two football players from Bates College take the off-season to study in Hawaiʻi

Get to know Brian Carilli, a politics major and Josh Freedland, a psychology major, who traded the snow and cold of the infamous winter of 2014 for the sun and adventure of the tropics.

Cliff Jumping

Cliff Jumping


Favorite UH Class
Brian: “Political Design and Futuristics”. This class is very thought provoking.
Josh: “Culture, Gender, and Appearance”. The professor is really good. She was a psych major and at one time worked for Gucci.


Favorite Form of Social Media
Brian: I’d say face-to-face interaction. I’m not into technological communication.
Josh: Yeah, I like hanging out with real people.


One Word (or a few) That Your Friends Use to Describe You
Brian: Brazen or insane
Josh: Mellow, relaxed.


One Word That You Use To Describe Yourself
Brian: Outgoing
Josh: Laid back


Greatest Adventure
Brian: My greatest adventure is coming up. After graduation my friends and I will hike the Long Trail, a 272-mile trek through the Green Mountains, from the Massachusetts – Vermont border to Canada. It’s the oldest hiking trail in the US.
Josh: My coolest adventure was a two-week trip to Israel with a group of high school peers. My greatest adventure here in Hawai‘i was a 40-foot jump off Kapena Falls. I’m terrified of heights and stood at the top for 20 minutes before taking the plunge into the water.


Something Few People Know about Me
Brian: I played trombone in middle school band.
Josh: I was an extra in Grownups 2 and met Adam Sandler.


Person You’d Most Like to Meet
Brian: Ronald Reagan
Josh: My future self


Greatest Vice
Brian: I get a little too engaged. I wear my emotions on my sleeve.
Josh: I’m not laid back enough, especially here in Hawai‘i.


Best Talent
Brian: My persuasive powers.
Josh: Not getting stressed out. Oh, and I’m learning ukulele. That might be a best talent soon.


Dream Job
Brian: Maybe an adventurer or adventure guide — something to do outdoors. Anything but sitting behind a desk!
Josh: Something to do in sports. I had an internship at an agency that represents football players, and that type of profession interests me.


Favorite Movie
Brian: Synecdoche, New York. It’s a deep movie.
Josh: Lion King


Favorite TV Show
Brian: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Josh: Seinfeld


Reality Show I’d Go On
Brian: Jersey Shore, but just for a month or so.
Josh: America’s Got Talent. I’ve been practicing my ukulele.


If A Movie Were Made About Me, I’d Want this Actor to Play Me
Brian: DeNiro
Josh: James Franco


Favorite Thing to Do at Home
Brian: Probably paintball for the adrenalin rush or hiking.
Josh: Going to sporting events. I like to go to Fenway Park in the summer for baseball.


Favorite Thing to Do in Hawai‘i
Brian: Hiking
Josh: Hiking or tanning


Brian on the trails

Brian on the trails

Favorite Hawai‘i Place (so far)
Brian: Kapena Falls or Maunawili Falls. I love cliff jumping!
Josh: The same for me, or maybe Waikiki.


Favorite Local Food
Brian: Shave Ice
Josh: Shave Ice or Malasadas


Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition
Brian: Hawai‘i Time! Things are slower paced and more relaxed here, compared to Boston.
Josh: Yeah, I like the laid back atmosphere. I also like the tradition of handing out ti leaves at UH basketball games. Fans wave them to distract the opposing players.


Favorite Spot on Campus
Brian: The weight room
Josh: The dining room

Josh, a friend, and Brian enjoying the night life

Josh, a friend, and Brian enjoying the night life

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Student Spotlight: On the Run with Cara Bennet

Vassar student Cara Bennet brings a love of running to her study away in Hawai‘i.

Cara beach running.small

Home School: Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY

Home Town: Bethesda, Maryland

Major: History, with a minor in Native American Studies

Favorite UHM Class: Hawaiian Studies. I’m learning new things in this class, things I’ve haven’t heard before, and yet there are also similarities to my Native American studies.

Favorite Form of Social Media: Probably the phone. I’ve had one since 4th grade. My parents are telecommunications lawyers, so it’s in our blood! After 9-11, my mom wanted me to have a phone at school to stay in communication in case something happened.

What’s on your iPod? Mostly Jack Johnson. I’ve always been a fan since high school. My family has a connection to Hawai‘i since my mom travels here a lot on business, and Jack Johnson’s music also keeps me connected. I’m going to one of his concerts in Columbia, MD in June. This past fall as I was warming up for a cross country race in Saratoga Springs, he was doing a sound check for a concert later that day. I had one of the best races of the year after that!

What one word would you use to describe yourself? Tenacious.

What one word would your friends use to describe you? Responsible. My nickname as captain of my cross country team was “Responsible Cara”.

Describe one of your top accomplishments: My senior year in high school I was voted captain of the cross country team, and even though it was predicted throughout the year that another team would come out on top, we won the county, regional, and state championships.

Fun Fact: Hmmm… well… I ran my first half marathon by accident. My parents were running a half marathon in Virginia Beach, and I needed to do a 7-mile long run for training, so I was just going to run along with my dad for ½ of the race. But we got to the 7-mile mark, and I just kept going! It felt great! Another fun fact is that I eat A LOT of peanut butter. My roommate has to limit me. Peanut butter at only one meal!

Craziest Ambition: To run an ultra marathon one day.

Greatest Vice: (1 minute later) I’m pretty indecisive. I guess that’s why I’m having a hard time answering this question. Here’s one example: on our cross country team runs it takes about 20 minutes to decide on a route. We have a place called the “Corner of Indecision” at the beginning of our runs.

Dream Job: Possibly working with Disney. My friends and I are a huge Disney fans. Instead of going to beach weekend after senior year, like the rest of the class, we went to Disney World. It was loads of fun!

What’s next? I’ll finish up senior year and my last season on the cross country team. I’ll also figure out my senior thesis for history, which will possibly involve Native American or Hawaiian studies.

Favorite Book: The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

Favorite Movie: The Lion King. I’ve seen the Broadway show in NYC and London.

Favorite TV Show: Veronica Mars. Even though the show is no longer airing, a movie is coming out, funded by Kickstarter, which was instigated by the fans of the show.

The Reality Show I’d Go On: Maybe The Amazing Race

Person I’d most like to meet: Jack Johnson or Apollo Ohno.

Favorite athlete: Marathoners Kara Goucher or Joan Benoit Samuelson

If I’m cooking we’re having: Lots of vegetables. I can’t imagine a meal without them.

Cara north shore.small

Favorite Thing to Do in Hawai‘i: Running and hiking. Incidentally I’m running the Hapalua Half Marathon in Waikiki this April.

Favorite Local Food: Fresh fruit. And poke — I love seafood.

Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition: The general friendliness of people. Here in Hawai‘i people strike up conversations so easily, unlike in the DC area.

Favorite Hawai‘i Place: The North Shore or Waimea Canyon on Kauai.

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