Honoring excellence in maintenance

three people with award

Honoring Erline Vasconcellos with Board of Regents Chair Randy Moore.

We had the honor of recognizing two deserving UH employees at our monthly Board of Regents meeting at Leeward Community College.

This year, there were two recipients of the President’s Award for Excellence in Building and Grounds Maintenance. This awards goes to individuals who have exhibited sustained superior performance in a maintenance, landscaping, custodial or trucking position. The award includes a $1,000 monetary prize.

This year’s recipients are Erline Vasconcellos, a building and grounds supervisor at UH West Oʻahu, and Joseph Tan, a custodian at Leeward Community College.

Congratulations to both for your dedication to the University of Hawaiʻi!

three people with award

Recognizing Joseph Tan alongside Board of Regents Chair Randy Moore.

Men’s March Against Violence

group of men walking

With Athletics Director Ben Jay, followed by UH Football Head Coach Norm Chow, UH West Oʻahu Chancellor Rockne Freitas and our UH delegation.

Thank you to everyone who participated in yesterday’s Men’s March Against Violence that took us from the State Capitol through the municipal area. We had wonderful and highly visible showings by all our Oʻahu campuses, and it was great to have so many of our student athletes supporting this important cause. Special thanks to Dean Jerris Hedges of the John A. Burns School of Medicine for your leadership of the event and heartfelt remarks, and to Kapiʻolani Community College for your sponsorship.

I was very very proud to be part of Team UH yesterday.

group of men standing

With Team UH

Welcoming ceremony in Hilo

Men with lei

With UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney at Hawaii CC.

UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney and Hawaiʻi Community College Chancellor Noreen Yamane hosted a kīpaepae hoʻokamaʻāina, or formal Hawaiian welcoming ceremony, for me at Hawaiʻi CC on August. 26th. I am told kīpaepae hoʻokamaʻāina means anchoring one’s presence to the land, skies and seas.

I was honored to take part in this ceremony. Thank you to the administrators, faculty, staff and students of UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College, as well community members who attended.

Recognizing our 2014 Regents and Presidential Scholars

I had the privilege of meeting and recognizing our 2014 Regents and Presidential Scholars on Thursday night. We honored 20 exceptional local high school graduates who were awarded UH Board of Regents scholarships. They are high achievers who excelled in the classroom and on their college entrance exams. We also honored 10 incoming juniors who were named Presidential Scholars for their academic achievement.

All 30 scholars will receive full tuition waivers, $4,000 a year and a $2,000 travel grant.

We are committed to their success and are very happy to have Hawaiʻi’s best and brightest attending our UH campuses.

Congratulations to all our scholars and their parents!

2014 Regents Scholars

2014 Regents Scholars

2014 Presidential Scholars

2014 Presidential Scholars

UH regents, Regents and Presidential Scholars and their parents tour the taro farm at the UH Mānoa Hawaiʻinuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge.

UH regents, Regents and Presidential Scholars and their parents tour the taro farm at the UH Mānoa Hawaiʻinuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge.

Working together with our faculty

men around podium

With UHPA’s J.N. Musto, Gov. Neil Abercrombie and V.P. of Community Colleges John Morton.

This is a very happy day for the university. Governor Neil Abercrombie, the University of Hawaiʻi Professional Assembly (UHPA) and UH announced a tentative two-year agreement for UH faculty at a news conference at the governor’s office.

The tentative two-year agreement is unprecedented in that a public sector contract agreement has never before been reached a year in advance.

For the university, this provides stability, an understanding of the financial commitments, but also understanding that we’re working together with our faculty to advance this institution.

Thank you to Regents John Holzman, James Lee, V.P. of Community Colleges John Morton, UHPA’s J.N. Musto and Dave Duffy and Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

We all worked together to come to an agreement that I think everyone is really quite pleased with, and we’re looking forward to support from the state legislature.

Welcoming ceremony at Hawaiinuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge

I was extremely moved by a wonderful welcoming ceremony at the Hawaiʻinuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge on June 20.

So many of my colleagues and friends from UH Mānoa participated in the ceremony, along with community leaders representing the governor’s office, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kamehameha Schools, the Queen’s Health System, Queen Liliʻuokalani Trust, Lunalilo Trust and the Board of Regents.

kava ceremony

The traditional ʻawa ceremony.

woman putting lei on man wearing many lei

So this is what it feels like to graduate from high school in Hawaiʻi! Thank you to so many friends and colleagues who took the time to take part in and observe the ceremony.

I was touched by everyone’s support of the University of Hawaiʻi and of me when I did an impromptu hula with my Kumu Ab Valencia and others.

Thank you for all the best wishes, advice and willingness to work together for the future of UH.


More photos from the event from Flickr.

Higher Ed 101 with the Hawaii Society of Business Professionals

panel discussion three men

I enjoyed a robust panel discussion on higher education on June 19 with Hawaiʻi Pacific University President Geoff Bannister and Chaminade University of Honolulu President, Brother Bernard Ploeger.

Our discussion was sponsored by the Hawaiʻi Society of Business Professionals at the Hawaiʻi Prince Hotel. We covered everything from dwindling resources, tuition, athletics and what keeps us up at night. Hopefully we provided some insight for HSBP and its members.

Sponsor Olomana Loomis ISC live-tweeted the event. Some of my remarks, below.

Makawalu Vortex sculpture dedication

man flanked by art David Lassner at the Makawalu Vortex

Here I am, flanked by the two pohaku at the dedication of the Makawalu Vortex at the UH Cancer Center.

We had a beautiful morning on June 19 for the dedication of some new artwork at the UH Cancer Center. About 120 people attended the dedication of the Makawalu Vortex—two large stone sculptures that are meant to create healing energy.

The themes of this piece of art also include scientific creativity and multiple perspectives. Thank you to local artist Jerry Vasconcellos, who created the Makawalu Vortex from rocks quarried in Kailua.

group shot of men

(L to R): Local artist Jerry Vasconcellos, Chancellor Tom Apple, Cancer Center Director Michele Carbone, Cancer Center Facilities Director Francis Blanco, JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges, me and Executive Director of the State Foundation for Culture and the Arts Jonathan Johnson.

See more photos from the event on the UH Cancer Center Facebook page.