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The Aloha Tower Project A place for students and the community Page 8

Protecting the Ocean

Research team studies plastic pollution Page 10

A New Generation of Leadership U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, other alumni are center stage in public life

President’s Message


s this issue of HPU Today was being completed, the Fulbright Program contacted us from Washington, D.C., with exciting news: Five new Fulbright scholars, graduate students from Russia, Austria, Ivory Coast, Fiji and Vietnam are likely headed to Hawai‘i Pacific University for the next academic year. Four Fulbrighters from Germany (two), New Zealand and Iraq are already among this year’s student body. For an institution of HPU’s size and age to continue to compile such a strong and growing track record in one of the world’s most competitive scholarship programs is simply remarkable. For anyone unfamiliar with the Fulbright Program, it was created in 1946 “to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills.” Sponsored by the U.S. State Department, it is active in 155 countries, and its scholars have won an astonishing 43 Nobel Prizes and 78 Pulitzers. The name “Fulbright” has become synonymous with academic excellence the world over. In addition to those students admitted to next year’s Fulbright class, HPU will likely be home to a graduate student from Indonesia supported by a U.S. Agency for

International Development/Indonesia scholarship awarded to promising future leaders, from the public and private sectors, for graduate study in the United States. The awards are intended to further democratic transformation in Indonesia, reduce poverty and mitigate global threats. The student was recommended by the Institute of International Education.

Just as our alumni and students are charting new territory as leaders, the university itself is breaking new ground as a leader within higher education. HPU was selected last fall by the Institute of International Education to be one of 10 U.S. universities to assist the war-torn country of Myanmar, also known as Burma, in rebuilding its higher education system. Each of the universities, which include such major institutions as the University of Washington and Arizona State, were chosen for their experience in Myanmar and track record of serving students from that nation. Our work there not only will be helpful to the Myanmar people but will deepen HPU’s reputation as a university with growing and recognized strengths in

“Hawai‘i Pacific is increasingly a place from which tomorrow’s leaders emerge.” As you can see from this issue of HPU Today, Hawai‘i Pacific is increasingly a place from which tomorrow’s leaders emerge. From alumna and newly elected Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (BSBA International Business ’09) to the Fulbright scholars who will join us next year, individuals who are drawn to leadership positions are also drawn to the blend of classroom instruction and real world experience that characterizes our academic programs, offered in the singular, international environment of Honolulu.

international affairs, particularly in Asia and the Pacific Rim. I can think of no better aspiration for a university that, as our name attests, has always been focused on both Hawai‘i and the Pacific. I offer my most sincere congratulations to this year’s Fulbright scholars, and an early welcome to next year’s class. Our ‘ohana will be enriched by your presence. Geoffrey Bannister, PhD President



President Geoffrey Bannister, Ph.D.

2 A Culture of Leadership and Service

Vice President University Marketing and Communications Todd Simmons

Spring 2013 Volume 14 Number 1

10 Connecting the Currents of Conservation HPU professor, students study ocean to protect it

13 The Mark of a Bold, New Era

Vice President Alumni and University Relations Mary Ellen McGillan

A new visual identity to signal a new university vision

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bill Kline

Vice President and Chief Information Officer Sharon Blanton, Ph.D. Vice President Human Resources Christine Godfrey EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Vice President Todd Simmons; Editor Lianne Yamamura; Sita Chhabra, Tony De Castro, Chris Aguinaldo, Rich Vermeesch, Todd Goya, Bob Bannister DEPARTMENT CONTRIBUTORS Kilei Nelson, Kris Smith, Audrey Alvarez, Ruby Rivera, Alisha Kong, Brent Curry, Celina Barrios, Todd Goya, Klaire Trajano

HPU Today is published three times a year by Hawai‘i Pacific University, University Marketing and Communications, #1 Aloha Tower Drive, Suite 3100, Honolulu, HI 96813. It is distributed at no charge for alumni and friends. This is the Spring 2013 issue, Volume 14, Number 1. If you are receiving duplicate copies of the magazine or want to update your mailing address, please notify the Alumni and University Relations office. Phone: (808) 356-5210 Fax: (808) 543-8079 E-mail: Web site:

8 The Aloha Tower Project New student housing is first focus

Interim Vice President Academic Affairs Andrew Brittain, Ph.D.

Vice President and General Counsel Janet Kloenhamer

HPU students, alumni and faculty thrive in it

On the cover: Newly elected U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (BSBA International Business ’09) joined the HPU Today team at the Aloha Tower site on a sunny January day for a conversation and a photo/video shoot in between meetings with a key elected official from Korea and a visit to a National Security Administration site on O‘ahu. Photo by Tracy Wright Corvo Below: Aerial view of the Aloha Tower Marketplace, where new student housing is being developed.

DEPARTMENTS 14 Faculty Excellence 15 Commencement 16 University Friends 19 Sea Warrior Sports 20 Class Links 24 Back Page

Photo by Tracy Wright Corvo

General Manager of Honolulu digital-media outlet Civil Beat Jayson Harper (BA Political Science ’99) interviews U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (BSBA International Business ’09). The two joined up at Aloha Tower in January for a video conversation.


View the video at

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A Culture of Leadership and Service HPU students, alumni and faculty thrive in it It was a familiar story, as political tales go: Young, fresh-faced upstart challenges prominent career politician for major elected office, with little chance of success. Following the usual script, spectators would have been right to expect a decisive win by the favorite and a quickly forgotten campaign. And yet, there was Tulsi Gabbard (BSBA International Business ’09) on election night, not the loser in a four-way Democratic primary, but the runaway winner, drubbing her closest opponent, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, by 20 percentage points. Because of huge Democratic voter advantages in Hawai‘i, the victory all but sealed her comparatively anti-climactic election to Congress three months later. “You’re going to hear me say this many times tonight, you’re going to hear me say this many times in the future—it is about serving the people,” beamed the telegenic 31-year-old as part of her victory speech

on that electric primary evening, echoing her campaign theme of “servant leadership.” And from there, a star was born. Gabbard exploded on to the national scene with a combination of intelligence and aloha and credentials that demanded attention. First Hindu elected to Congress. First Samoan American. First of two women combat veterans (Illinois’ Tammy Duckworth, who was already a familiar face on the national scene, is the other). From a prime-time speaking role at the Democratic National Convention to appearances on national TV talk shows, she quickly became a standout in the new class of Congressional freshmen, igniting speculation about just what bright promise the future might hold for her. While Gabbard’s success set a remarkable standard, she wasn’t the only Hawai‘i Pacific University graduate to make her mark last year in government leadership, diplomatic service or prominent public sector work of one kind or another. Photo by Chris Aguinaldo

Photo AP Images

Then Hawai‘i House candidate Tulsi Gabbard is applauded by women House members at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., September 2012.

Republic of the Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak (BA ’79) meets with HPU President Geoffrey Bannister during a visit to campus last September. spring 2013


“We deliver programs that give them substantive knowledge of foreign affairs and help them leverage experiences that build on that…” Carlos Juarez, Ph.D.

Professor Carlos Juarez (left) and Chris Ota (BA International Relations ’12), who supported the Peruvian delegation of APEC 2011 in Hawai‘i , are pictured with Ambassador of Peru to the United States Harold Forsyth (middle).

She is among the most visible representatives of a growing record of alumni success in those areas that is changing the way many people see the university. Coming as it does at a time when U.S. interests are pivoting toward the Pacific Rim and Asia, it has the potential to open new doors for students, academic programs and faculty of a university whose middle name is Pacific. How prominent are their achievements? • In January 2012, Christopher Loeak (BA ’79) was installed as president of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, a nation of tremendous historical and current importance to the United States. Loeak spent much of the rest of the year drawing international attention to the climate change and health issues affecting his nation at such prominent forums as the 2012 London Olympics, the United Nations and the Clinton Global Initiative, the latter two of which provided keynote speaking roles. • In October, the university received word that three graduates were receiving new assignments as U.S. diplomats. Stephane Castonguay (BA Political Science ’04, MA Communications ’07),


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Patrick Branco (BA International Relations/Political Science ’09 and former HPU student government president) and Andrew Abordonado (BA International Studies ’09) each prepared to begin new assignments in 2013 after impressive success in previous roles ranging from Congressional and United Nations intern to foreign service in Pakistan to graduate degrees at Johns Hopkins and Berkeley. In February of this year, Branco was further honored when newly appointed U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz invited him to be his guest at the first State of the Union address for President Obama’s historic second term. • Pamela Michael (MS Marine Science ’11) was one of a 2012 class of stellar grads and students who scored big with fellowships, internships and key campaign positions. Michael landed one of 41 highly competitive marine science policy fellowships in Washington, D.C., at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association or NOAA, while Lance Jackson (BA International Relations ’11) was tapped for a prestigious Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship— a program administered by the Woodrow

Wilson National Fellowship Foundation for the U.S. Department of State. Meanwhile, senior Ladimir Geake (BSW/Social Science ’13) was named one of four congressional interns at the Washington-based Victory Fund, while former Student Government Presidents Tim Lussier (BSBA Entrepreneurial Studies ’10, MA Communication ’12) and Saige Martin (BA Anthropology/ Journalism ’13) served President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, respectively, as key campaign staffers (see sidebar, page 7). Other schools might have longer track records of success or “bigger brands” to point to, but for a university that opened its doors to its first 54 students only 48 years ago this fall, such a fast-growing accumulation of alumni and student success in such key areas is nothing short of remarkable. Ask those who are the most visible exemplars of that success how they account for it, and they typically point to a potent combination of classroom instruction and real-world experience in Hawai‘i’s rich international setting. “The understanding of culture—not in an abstract way, but in application— is one thing I found in my experience in and around HPU,” said Gabbard in a January interview at Aloha Tower, just days after taking her congressional oath of office and days prior to her election as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. “Within the international environment comes a level of respect and understanding necessary to succeed in public life.” Few faculty have as much direct contact or influence on the development of students in these areas as Carlos Juarez, Ph.D., chair of the Department of

Scott Nolan Smith

Making a Difference Around the Globe Saige Martin (BA Anthropology ’13) from Philadelphia, Pa. n Campaign Associate for poverty and homelessness at Pamela Michael (MS Marine Science ’11) from Lacey, Wash. n Pursuing a Ph.D. at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research OrganizationUniversity of Tasmania with a research focus on climate change impacts on the ocean environment.

Medical Corps, providing humanitarian assistance to refugees in Sudan. Ana Villavicencio (BA Environmental Studies/ Minor International Relations ’02) from Ecuador n Country Coordinator for Educational Advising at the Fulbright Commission in Quito, Ecuador.

Stephanie Wesch (BA International Relations ’11) from Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany n Staff with Instituto Christine Morrice (BA de Estudios Internacionales Following is a sampling of HPU alumni pursuing careers International Studies ’02) from (Institute of International Manila, Philippines, and Bangkok, Studies), an International Law in service worldwide—political, foreign and public service. Thailand n Research Fellow at and Human Rights Think Tank If you are an alumnus working in one of these fields, share Asia-Pacific Center for Security in Cochabamba, Bolivia. your story: Studies, Waikiki, pursuing the Stephanie Young Andrew Abordonado The Hon. Tulsi Gabbard Master of Arts in Diplomacy and (BA International Relations ’02, (BA International Studies ’09) (BSBA International Business ’09) Military Studies at HPU. MA Diplomacy and Military from Honolulu, Hawai‘i from Leloaloa, American Samoa Scott Nolan Smith (BA ’07) from Studies ’04) from Bellingham, n Recipient of Thomas Pickering n Member, U.S. House of Seattle, Wash. n Head of Digital Wash. n Consultant to the International Affairs Graduate Representatives; Vice Chair U.S. Intelligence Community Fellowship, fully funding his Democratic National Committee. Diplomacy, British Embassy, Washington, D.C., and Co-Founder with Booz Allen Hamilton, master’s in public policy at UC Meryl Gormand (BA International Digital Diplomacy Coalition. Washington, D.C. Berkeley (2011-2013) and fast Relations ’06) from Paris, France, tracking him into the U.S. Foreign David Kühn von Burgsdorff and Ibiza, Spain n Staff at Japan Service as a diplomat in 2013. Bank for International Cooperation (BA Economics ’06) from Germany n Emergency Programs Officer Patrick Branco (BA International in Paris, France. at an NGO called International Relations and Political Science ’09) Kolap Hul (BA International from Kailua, Hawai‘i n Assistant Relations ’00, MA Management David Kühn von Burgsdorff Information Officer in the U.S. ’01) from Phnom Penh, Cambodia Embassy, Bogota, Colombia, n Manager, Procurement Unit, Washington, D.C. United Nations Development Zuleika Candan (BA International Programme, Phnom Penh, Relations ’02) from Uruguay by Cambodia. way of Gothenburg, Sweden The Hon. Christopher Loeak n Field Representative for Kvinna (BA ’79) from Ailinglaplap Atoll, till Kvinna, a Swedish NGO Republic of the Marshall Islands working for women’s human n President, Republic of the rights, in Liberia, West Africa. Marshall Islands. Stephane Castonguay Tim Lussier (BSBA Entrepreneurial (BA Political Science ’04, Studies ’10, MA Communication MA Communication ’07) from ’12) from West Linn, Ore. Kailua, Hawai‘i n U.S. Foreign n Executive Director, Grassroot Service Officer/Diplomat at the Institute of Hawaii. U.S. Embassy Costa Rica who will be reassigned to Islamabad, Beatriz Manrique Pakistan, May 2013. (BA International Relations ’00) from Santiago, Chile n Staff advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and health care issues in Mozambique.

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Social Sciences. A former staffer for U.S. Sen. Alan Cranston of California, as well as a former Fulbright scholar and visiting fellow at Oxford University, Juarez has been a member of the HPU faculty since 1998 and heavily involved in the diplomatic and international affairs communities. In addition to serving as president of the Fulbright Association’s Hawai‘i chapter, Juarez has the distinction of serving on the Consular Corps of Hawaii as Honorary Consul of Peru — a position that drew him deeply into the heart of the APEC 2011 meetings in Honolulu. He served as personal translator to Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, accompanying him to meetings with leaders from around the world, including President Barack Obama.

For Juarez, making sure that students have that kind of experience is what sets HPU apart. “Those who come here at some level are already entrepreneurial. If you come from the mainland, this is Patrick Branco (BA International Relations/Political Science ’09) already an adventure,” said Juarez, who took a break from organizing MCP staff members, in fact, still recall a trip for 12 HPU students to travel to the bright young Army National Guard New York for the Model United Nations lieutenant who showed up with a very Conference to speak with HPU Today. specific academic goal in mind and a This marks the seventh consecutive year straightforward request for direction on that the student group has participated how to make it happen. Gabbard feels in the event. “They develop cultural the presence of military students at HPU, competencies interacting with students where active-duty personnel make up from all over—it’s not the same as a about one-third of the student body, mainland campus. There’s also the aloha heightens the quality of the student body, spirit and our promotion of a more and that those service personnel get an tolerant, open-minded unparalleled experience from perspective. the university.

At the heart of the HPU experience, of course, are graduate and undergraduate degree programs that create an environment in which adventurous, entrepreneurial students can develop competencies that lend themselves to careers in government service, public policy positions, elected service and other Pamela Michael (MS Marine Science ’11) and Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Under dimensions of public Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. life. While it includes Characteristic of Juarez, he made sure standard university offerings such as there were also opportunities for HPU History, Communication and Political students. Chris Ota (BA International Science, it also features Diplomacy and Relations ’12), for instance, was tapped Military History, Global Leadership to serve as driver for the Peruvian and Sustainable Development and ambassador to the United States, International Business—choices enhanced providing opportunities throughout the by HPU’s special location in the Pacific. week of APEC activities for the student to For Gabbard—and thousands of other witness firsthand some of the dynamics HPU alumni—Military Campus Programs he studied in the classroom. (MCP) added another dimension to HPU.


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“I just met a Marine working as a legislative fellow on the Hill who is an HPU grad,” she shared, having traveled from Washington to Honolulu the day before. “This is an active-duty person. We talked about what an incomparable job HPU does in serving military students. There’s a culture of service that just permeates the university.” Whether chosen by military students or other members of the student body, HPU’s academic pathways converge on a journey through the rich context of Hawai‘i and its importance in global affairs over the past century and lead to exciting career destinations. But to Juarez, the experience may say as much about the traveler as the trip. “We deliver programs that give them substantive knowledge of foreign affairs and help them leverage experiences that build on that. But how much of it is us developing them, and how much of it is them being entrepreneurial,” he asks. “Maybe a little of both.”

A Tale of Two Presidents Tim Lussier ccompleted his master’s degree in Communication and his tenure as student body president at HPU simultaneously. He was the epitome of a happy graduate last May in Honolulu, with family and friends helping to mark the big occasion. The celebration didn’t last long, but the excitement was just beginning. Days later, Tim Lussier he was hunkered down at Romney for President headquarters in Boston, beginning work as the presumptive GOP nominee’s Western Digital Field Manager, overseeing critical online work in multiple swing states, including Michigan, the candidate’s home turf. “It was, as they say, like drinking from a fire hose,” recounted Lussier, a few weeks after the November elections. “Obviously, the campaigns agreed that Florida, Ohio and Virginia were must wins. Our campaign wanted to reach for Michigan and Wisconsin, which hadn’t been swing states previously.” Around the same time that things were heating up for the Romney campaign, fellow former student body president Saige Martin was flying into New York City, having just finished a year-long stint abroad in Turkey, where he had been working for the United Nations’ Human Settlement Program. A friend working on the Obama re-election campaign called from Pennsylvania, a state unexpectedly thought to be up for grabs. The campaign had staffing issues in Philadelphia on

a get-out-the-vote effort not yet in election-year shape. “She said, ‘Is there any way you can get here? I need you,’” said Martin, 22. Having volunteered for the president’s 2008 campaign, he didn’t have to be asked twice—he was in Philadelphia the following day.

“Once you learn how to manage, how to lead, it’s very applicable to the real world,” he said. “That’s what’s great about a university. I once heard someone say that half your education is inside the classroom, half outside. Students have a real opportunity in Hawai‘i to experience that to its fullest — and my experiences there helped me become who I am today.”

How did two former HPU student government chiefs become so centrally involved in the global political race of 2012? While we all know the anticlimactic outcome of the Obama/Romney rumble, a lesser known matter may be how two former HPU student government chiefs came to be so centrally involved in the global political race of 2012. Maybe more to the point, what is it about HPU that emboldens its grads to be leaders in such a competitive area? To Martin, who grew up in a small town “where there were more sheep than people of color,” it’s not exactly a mystery. “The confidence comes from the ability to leave your home and your family and friends and move to an island in the Pacific Ocean to a completely different culture and start a life,” said Martin, who at 19 was the youngest student body president elected at HPU. “So many who go to HPU do it on their own. It made me very independent, prepared me to go abroad and to take advantage of the opportunities I’ve had since then.”

Now comfortably past the campaign, both are settling into new challenges. Lussier, 26, is now executive director of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a non-profit think tank promoting free market and smaller government ideals to Hawai‘i news media, policy makers and the general public. Ever the adventurer, Martin is a campaign associate for poverty Saige Martin and homelessness at, the nation’s largest social change organization, and is living in New York. He’ll graduate from HPU in May with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, returning to Honolulu to participate in commencement ceremonies. “I feel like I owe HPU so much,” he said. “I never would have had the opportunities I’ve had if I hadn’t gone to HPU.”

Lussier, like Martin, said student government offered opportunities and experiences that translated well on the campaign trail.

By Todd Simmons with Jayson Harper, Lianne Yamamura and Audrey Alvarez

spring 2013


The Aloha Tower Project New student housing is first focus

Momentum around Hawai‘i Pacific University’s Aloha Tower Project (ATP) shifted into high gear in March, as HPU cleared the last major obstacle between it and redevelopment of the iconic downtown Honolulu waterfront site. HPU and its former development partner on the project agreed in February to a buyout of the developer’s minority interest, leaving the university as the sole owner — a detail essential to the university’s ability to use proceeds from a coming tax-free bond-sale for the ATP renovation, as well as other campus facilities and IT needs. The HPU Board of Trustees approved the deal in a March 8 meeting. Those events followed three months of forward progress on the project, including gaining necessary ownership and management approvals from the


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governing body for the Aloha Tower site, the Aloha Tower Development Corporation. As this issue of HPU Today goes to press, final arrangements are being made for the bond sale, with demolition projected by summer and renovations following that. “We’re excited about our ability to move forward with a project that we believe has tremendous implications for the university, for our downtown merchants and community and for all of Honolulu,” said HPU President Geoffrey Bannister. Even as machinations to make the project a reality continue to develop, HPU leaders are working to

Conceptual renderings by Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects. The university continues with the Aloha Tower Project development discussion. Construction plans will be finalized at a later date.

than 300 students, as well as resident advisors and perhaps visiting faculty or other university guests. The remainder of the mixed-use development likely will be devoted to retail establishments — restaurants, clothing shops and other businesses catering to residents as well as tourists from Waikiki and the mammoth cruise ships that dock next to Aloha Tower at Pier 10.

(above) Inside view of concept for urban lofts and accompanying community gathering space (inset below, left).

University leaders are focused on development that will support student success and that will make the Aloha Tower site an attractive place for a variety of individuals to visit. Rather than envisioning those two points of appeal as mutually exclusive, project leaders believe they will be complementary, creating an atmosphere that, among other things, helps HPU compete more effectively for international students.

(below and right) Aerial views of Pier 10, which is being conceptualized for use as a multi-purpose athletic, performing arts and lecture space for university and community events.

“This will be enormously helpful in our efforts to attract even more students to study in Hawai‘i,” Bannister said. “Creating an inviting environment for those students is at the heart of our plans, and we believe that environment will also be very exciting for Honolulu residents and for visitors to our island.” identify a master planner to integrate development needs not just for the ATP, but campus wide. With the recent completion of the university’s strategic plan along with ATP progress, elements necessary to guide master planning well into the future are finally in place. The first priorities of that planning with regard to the ATP are expected to focus on student housing and development of gathering spaces for athletic events, concerts, lectures and other public events. The second floor of the existing marketplace is projected to be converted to chic urban lofts, enough to house more

Seeking input—

how might HPU best develop the Aloha Tower Project? Please share at:

spring 2013


Connecting the Currents of Conservation HPU professor, students study ocean to protect it by Chris Aguinaldo

“Plastic,” said David Hyrenbach, Ph.D. The Hawai‘i Pacific University Assistant Professor of Oceanography was recently interviewed on CNN on the second anniversary of the 2011 Japan tsunami and spoke of the effects of marine debris on seabirds. Last year, he was also featured on NBC Nightly News reports investigating similar debris. Millions of viewers of CNN, NBC and many other news outlets saw these stories.

“Some material that enters the ocean can end up in a bird years from now in a totally different part of the world.” David Hyrenbach, Ph.D.

Besides the obvious problem of blemishing beaches—like the heavily littered Kamilo Beach on the southern tip of the Big Island where the news crew visited—the waste can affect the marine ecosystem in other ways. Hyrenbach was filmed showing assorted bottle caps, a toy figure, what appears to be piping, and much more debris recovered from albatross stomachs, following necropsies at the


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HPU Assistant Professor of Oceanography David Hyrenbach, Ph.D., and graduate student John A. Johnson conduct a necropsy of a sooty shearwater at the Oceanic Institute.

Oceanic Institute, a research and teaching affiliate of HPU.

“Eventually, some bird who may be breeding thousands of kilometers away from us ends up eating this piece of plastic,” he said. “Some of the smaller plastic debris, like airgun pellets and broken fragments, can be ingested by

The irony isn’t lost upon him, how plastic toy soldiers once used for imaginary battles may have led to the death of the seabirds. But looking at what birds have consumed can give some understanding of how much foreign material might be in the ocean, Hyrenbach explained. Other marine predators, like tuna and mahi-mahi, may also ingest this material —with serious implications in the food chain, leading to humans. In other lab drawers, Hyrenbach has items that he and his students have removed from seabirds — including lighters, toothbrushes, other toys and more. “Plastic lasts for a long, long time. The ocean currents and wind move the material around. On top of that, the birds go very, very far,” he said. “Some material that enters the ocean can end up in a bird years from now in a totally different part of the world.”

Kay Kasamoto photo

However, technology has changed the ocean, too—and one innovation, in particular.

Chris Aguinaldo photo

Hawai‘i has no shortage of beaches. Before humans set foot upon its pristine sands, marine life and far-flying birds were there first. Waves carried seeds and plants from shore to shore. Earth’s ancient network brought life to the islands. Before modern technology, the world was and continues to be connected by the ocean.

Samples of debris collected during the Sea Education Association Plastics at SEA expedition in fall 2012, which HPU graduate student Zora McGinnis was crew member of. The expedition documented more than 70,000 pieces of plastic during a trip from San Diego to Honolulu.

“That’s what’s out there, and it’s our fault. There’s nobody who can say plastic is occurring naturally in the ocean.” Zora McGinnis

migrating sub-Antarctic shearwater species and travel to New Zealand, Chile and even Tasmania.”

McGinnis was part of the Plastics at SEA expedition aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans, a 134-foot brigantine-rigged sailing oceanographic research vessel. Their trip included observing floating plastic concentrations in the region known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” While the crew was focused on marine debris in general, McGinnis conducted her own project, a visual plastic survey. “I’m using a model that David and his former student perfected for marine debris that can correct for everything that I’m not seeing,” said McGinnis. “The methods we use to quantify the abundance of floating plastic are adopted from marine mammal survey methods,” explained Hyrenbach. “We determine how the type of object—size and color— and the ocean conditions—wind intensity and cloud cover—influence the observer’s ability to detect the floating debris. My previous graduate student, Andrew Titmus (MS Marine Science ’10), used this method successfully in a previous cruise to the area of the ‘Garbage Patch.’” When the ship docked in Honolulu, McGinnis helped the crew move

McGinnis, under the guidance of Hyrenbach, is also investigating plastic ingestion by small pelagic fish, like myctophids and flying fish, and large predatory fish, such as tuna and mahi-mahi. She’s hoping her experience can help people understand how their HPU graduate student Zora McGinnis holds a soccer ball and garbage can cause problems vials filled with tiny plastic fragments collected during the Sea thousands of miles away. Education Association Plastics at SEA expedition in fall 2012. “You’re out there, standing on deck… beautiful day. You look out and it’s pristine, and you’re about as far from anywhere as you can get. And all of a sudden, something big floats by,” she said.

important habitats for the development of marine protected areas, and studying far-ranging species as biological indicators of marine pollution.

McGinnis held a soccer ball on the deck of the ship, wondering how it ended up in the middle of the Pacific. Yet she’s also concerned about what can’t be seen, those tiny pieces of plastic that are being ingested by marine life.

Hyrenbach was also recently awarded the Hawaii Audubon Society Program Research Award, recognizing work that has had a major effect on conservation. He plans to use the award to pursue shearwater population studies done by undergraduates on O‘ahu.

“That’s what’s out there, and it’s our fault. There’s nobody who can say plastic is occurring naturally in the ocean,” McGinnis said. While all of this sounds grim, Hyrenbach remains optimistic of the future and the critical role science has in conservation. He points to his students in Pelagicos, HPU’s pelagic (sea) ecology laboratory, who are conducting and sharing valuable research about the ocean and marine life. Hyrenbach—a 2007 Pew Marine Conservation Fellow — is also continuing his own research, which has conservation applications such as identifying

His work on conservation of Hawaiian seabirds also includes partnerships with researchers and educators from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and other key partners in marine science. While he and his students are continuing their work, there’s a lot that regular people can do to help the environment, he said emphatically. “Stay positive,” Hyrenbach said. “Realize we have a lot of power as consumers in what you buy and we should use it for good.”

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Chris Aguinaldo photo

Because plastic is so persistent in the marine environment, it is essential to accurately gauge how much is in the ocean and where is it being concentrated by the currents. Organizations, such as the Sea Education Association (SEA), conduct research expeditions to examine the effects of plastic marine debris in the ocean ecosystem. Last fall, one of Hyrenbach’s marine science graduate students, Zora McGinnis, embarked on a 39-day voyage from San Diego to Honolulu.

recovered debris from the ship, which included tires, Styrofoam pieces, ice trays, buoys and more. The expedition documented more than 70,000 pieces of plastic.

This could be as simple as buying products in recyclable containers or supporting businesses that use ecological packaging and have readily available recyclable collection stations. We also have power through the ability to vote and inform our community and leaders about sustainability and the environment. “Our issues need to be at the forefront of our policies and discussed” with lawmakers, he said.

The last thing that can help steer us toward a better future isn’t something everyone can do, Hyrenbach admits. But for those who truly want to make a difference in a world that will need novel solutions from highly-trained, analytical thinkers, here’s his suggestion: “Consider a career in science. Any science.” He explained that with future environmental concerns, we need experts ready to study the world, draw meaningful conclusions and find answers. For those who want a vital career doing important work like helping to manage natural resources or setting up marine protected areas— science is where they should be.

Marine Turtle Biological Stranding Associate Devon Francke (MS Marine Science ’11) of the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Marine Turtle Research Program, agreed it was Hyrenbach who drew him to HPU, after looking at other graduate institutions. “I saw what he did, thinking this could be a good match. I ended up contacting him,” Francke said. “David was very encouraging. He was always there to help, too. He always made the time to be in the field helping, not just me but all the other students, too.”

Photo by David Hyrenbach, Ph.D.

Continue to learn and educate about conservation, he added. Hyrenbach is a strong supporter of educating younger children about math and science. Pelagicos recently contributed materials to a high-tech science instruction package focused on teaching children about seabirds and the environments they encounter. “Winged Ambassadors” is made up of lessons and activities that meet science and math standards for elementary and high school students, with contributions from HPU, NOAA, USGS and managed by Oikonos, a nonprofit organization working to increase ecosystem knowledge.

After making the decision to pursue science, McGinness adds that finding the right mentor is the most important thing. Hyrenbach “has been really helpful,” she said. “I am here because of David. I couldn’t find any other graduate professors also doing [this kind of work on] marine debris.”

Devon Francke (MS Marine Science ’11) with a turtle before releasing it back into the water in June 2010, during his graduate studies at HPU. He is now a Marine Turtle Biological Stranding Associate with the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Marine Turtle Research Program.

The work was rigorous. Francke recalled that Hyrenbach did not make things easy. “He showed us you must think on a deeper level. You have to be able to analyze the situation, come up with possible solutions on your own.”

Hyrenbach was very impressed when Francke came up with a method to video record turtles while collecting other data, which turned out to be useful to explain certain behaviors. Hyrenbach said he felt a deep sense of pride when he started learning new things from Francke.

The feeling is mutual. Francke is grateful for Hyrenbach’s dedication to students and for his work in conservation. “He is there as your mentor and guide through the process. He was there to work with you and make sure you understood,” Francke said. “It was definitely the correct decision to come here and work with him.”

View a video of the Plastics at SEA return with Zora McGinnis at


hpu today

The Mark of a Bold, New Era when hawai‘i pacific university, undertook an effort last summer to design a new logo to complement the long-standing HPU seal, leaders did so recognizing a growing number of major university developments in the environment: Completion of the first major university strategic plan, planned redevelopment of the Aloha Tower site and the fast-approaching 50th anniversary of HPU (coming in 2015). To underscore the dawn of a new era through a new mark intended to serve as HPU’s primary visual symbol for external audiences, University Marketing and Communications (UMC) secured the services of the Jon Duarte Design Group (JDDG) of Honolulu and its principal, Jon Duarte. Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Duarte and his highly successful firm have represented such clients as Hawaii Pacific Health, the APEC 2011 conference in Honolulu, Kamehameha Schools, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Alexander & Baldwin Properties, Hawaii Theatre, Ko Olina Resort & Marina and many others. “We were looking for design guidance that would connect the university more explicitly to the culture, history and unparalleled natural environment of Hawai‘i. Our hope was that in doing so, we’d make more prominent use of some of the concepts that students and alumni say were influential in their decision to come to HPU in the first place,” said HPU Marketing and Communications Vice President Todd Simmons. “The Jon Duarte Design Group portfolio is replete with examples of how they’ve helped Hawai‘i brands develop visual identities through thoughtful, elegant use of Hawai‘i ideas, and that made the firm a logical choice for this work.” JDDG created an initial set of 13 different design approaches, which were shared with a campus work group of students, faculty and staff last September. Though

the designs were quite different from one another, the work group zeroed in on a single design as its preferred approach— a dynamic repeated in subsequent weeks as UMC shared the marks in small groups and individual meetings. “It was remarkable, the unanimity with which dozens and dozens of constituents made their choice,” said Simmons, who has been part of similar logo efforts at universities in Oregon and Florida. Duarte incorporated feedback from the work group and other reviews over the course of the fall term and early 2013, resulting in the logo on this page. At the heart of the design is the makau or the Hawaiian fish hook. The ancient symbol has special significance throughout Polynesia, befitting a university whose middle name is Pacific, but particularly so in Hawai‘i, where the fish hook connotes the “deep connection and reverence the Hawaiians had for the ocean,” according to the cultural education website, “The ocean surrounded them, was their source of food and their means of travel. Their jewelry and ornamentation was made of shells fished from the sea. They had navigated thousands of miles on uncharted high oceans, depending on their navigation by the stars and by listening to the language of the waves,” the site explains. [The fish hook] stands for everything that is good and promises its wearer prosperity, strength and good luck.”

Simmons notes that individuals ranging from university trustees to elected officials to students have interpreted symbolism in the design that surpasses the hook. “Many see ocean waves,” he said. “Our university kupuna, Dr. Lynette Hi‘ilani Cruz (BA Pacific Island Studies ’87), even envisioned a cradling hand.” A preview of the logo was shown at a Honolulu alumni pau hana in February, and a survey of those at the event revealed strongly positive reactions on questions as to whether the logo would create “a positive association” with HPU and “distinction” in the higher education marketplace, as well as whether it’s a logo that they’d like to buy on HPU gear. Online surveys at KHON and the HPU campus newspaper, The Kalamalama, yielded positive responses, as well. UMC began implementing the mark in March, and HPU Today readers will see it soon in places ranging from the university website to Facebook to retail products on sale through the HPU Bookstore. “Changing or introducing new logos is often a challenging process at any university, given that students, alumni and fans sometimes have strong emotional connections to those marks,” said Simmons. “We’re no different in that regard. I’m grateful for the acceptance that this one has met thus far, and while it hasn’t been uniform, the response has been reassuring overall.”

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Faculty Excellence Quiet, unassuming, thoughtful— Professor Jerome Feldman is a scholar’s scholar. Fortunately for HPU students, his scholarly interests are perfectly suited to a university in the heart of the Pacific. An art historian with a Ph.D. from Columbia and internationally recognized expertise in tribal art of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, Feldman came to Honolulu in 1979 to join the faculty of Hawaii Loa College after having taught at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “A friend

of the [Hawaii Loa] president had heard me speak, and put a bug in his ear to hire me,” he said. When Hawaii Loa merged with Hawai‘i Pacific in 1992, Feldman elected to stay, even as the two campuses grew into a university much larger than either had ever been independently. Now 68, Feldman has taught art history to thousands of HPU and HLC students, shaping understanding of the visual arts for generations of alumni. He’s also remained vital as a scholar: In 2004, he was named the Slade Photo by gary hofheimer


hpu today

Visiting Professor at Cambridge, one of the most prestigious honors in academia for art historians. More recently, he contributed a chapter to a collection titled “Iconography Without Text” of special importance to understanding Hawai‘i history: “Hawaiian Petroglyphs As Narrative.” “I suppose I’ll retire at some point,” muses Feldman, reflecting on his career late on a Spring semester afternoon, before adding with quiet conviction, “But right now, I feel I can do this.”


Class of 2012: December Commencement

On Dec. 18, Hawai‘i Pacific University conferred degrees to more than 400 graduates at the Neil Blaisdell Arena. Opening the evening’s program was Halau Ka La Onohi Mai O Haehae (lower right), led by HPU professor Tracie Lopes. The valedictory speakers (at right, from left to right) were Landrita L. Haith (BSBA), Xiaofan Cui (BSBA) and Robert W. Kinslow (MA Global Leadership and Sustainable Development). State of Hawai‘i Gov. Neil Abercrombie served as the commencement speaker. In recognition of the governor’s more than 35 years of service to the people of Hawai‘i and his advocacy for education, President Bannister presented him with the HPU Fellow of the Pacific award (below). images by Will Runk Photo

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Celebrating the Impact of Philanthropy Hawai‘i Pacific University’s supporters attended a special celebration at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Oct. 18. President Geoffrey Bannister, and HPU students and faculty thanked donors for their generous and growing support of HPU— and the evening program showcased student success stories and HPU’s reach beyond the classroom. President Bannister also spoke about the university’s bold aspirations, noting “to make HPU the great private university that Hawai‘i so richly deserves, we are taking actions in service of that vision—actions that we hope will improve the student experience and enhance the campus climate.” Guests were also entertained with performances by the HPU Hawaiian Ensemble, HPU International Vocal Ensemble, and HPU professor Tracie Lopes leading the Halau Ka La Onohi Mai O Haehae in a beautiful oli and hula.

(clockwise from top left): Student Body President Collin Paran; President Geoffrey Bannister, Ph.D.; HPU Hawaiian Ensemble; Board of Trustees Chairman Michael J. Chun, Ph.D., conversing with fellow dinner attendees; HPU International Vocal Ensemble.


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(above) President’s Dinner attendees meeting and greeting outside of The Royal Hawaiian Hotel (left) The Royal Hawaiian Hotel Photos by Gary Hofheimer

View a video of student Adeline Prayoga, sharing her HPU experience at

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Honoring Mariah’s Memory Mariah Danforth-Moore Memorial Fund

“We are grateful that even as the Danforth-Moore family continues to grieve the loss of Mariah, they are demonstrating such concern for the safety of other students and pedestrians at this intersection,” said HPU President Geoffrey Bannister. “I’m truly humbled by their generosity. Through their donation and the others it will undoubtedly inspire, we will make a difference for safety on this highway.”

(above) Hot Spots Traffic Safety event at HPU’s Hawaii Loa Campus—participants included Farmers Insurance Hawai‘i employees; Danforth-Moore’s mother, father, aunt, and uncle; HPU students and staff; and the Honolulu Police Department. (right) Stephen Danforth, Mariah DanforthMoore’s father, conducting an interview at the November 2012 sign-waving event.

The family of a Hawai‘i Pacific University student who died in a hit and run accident at the entrance to the Hawaii Loa Campus (HLC) in 2011 has contributed $20,000 to establish a fund promoting pedestrian safety at the campus. The Mariah DanforthMoore fund will finance a safer crosswalk and driving conditions at the entrance of HLC.

The university and the Hawai‘i law firm of Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner each matched the family’s donation, and Farmers Insurance Hawai‘i donated $1,000. As part of the Farmers Hot Spots program, the insurance company also hosted a sign-waving event at the entrance of the HLC in November 2012, with more than 100 people gathering to remind drivers and pedestrians to take extra precautions. Danforth-Moore was killed while walking in a crosswalk in front of the HLC on the evening of Nov. 20, 2011. The car fled the scene, and DanforthMoore was rushed to Castle Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. The 19-year-old from Oneida, Wis., was a sophomore majoring in Psychology. Since this heartbreaking occurrence, her family, the HPU community, and local organizations have been hard at work to raise awareness about safe driving and increase the safety of pedestrian crosswalks. The Mariah Danforth-Moore Memorial Fund supports these and future efforts.

To support the Mariah Danforth-Moore Memorial Fund, go to (choose the “Make a Gift Online” option and specify “Mariah Danforth-Moore Memorial Fund” in the “Other/Comments” field of the form) or send a check made payable to Hawai‘i Pacific University with “Mariah Danforth-Moore” in the subject line to: Hawai’i Pacific University, 1132 Bishop Street, Suite 307, Honolulu, HI 96813.


hpu today

SEA WARRIOR SPORTS articles By Brent Curry

Team Bonding on the USS Missouri base, including a group of students and professors from HPU’s Military Campus Programs who hosted a barbecue after the Sea Warriors defeated Menlo College 84–48. However, the highlight of the tournament for the players was the day after the game when they toured the USS Arizona Memorial and then spent time living like sailors — sleeping in the same bunks and eating in the same mess hall. Maybe more importantly, there was no texting, tweeting, Facebook messaging or talking on the phone. HPU basketball players and staff alike had to communicate the old-fashioned way: face-to-face and with only the people around them.

One December night, the history books came to life for Hawai‘i Pacific men’s basketball team members as they spent the night on the famed USS Missouri. The event was fitting, as it was sandwiched between games of the HPU Basketball Classic, which were played at Bloch Arena on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The HPU Basketball Classic featured Menlo College and Upper Iowa University in this inaugural year, and by all accounts it was a success. The Sea Warriors were welcomed by everyone on

“More than anything, the time we spent together with coaches, players and the sports information guys was the best experience,” said HPU senior guard, Jelany White. “It is different when you are on the court. We got to learn new things about each other and bond. That’s important because down the line we are going to need each other.” After a night of sleeping in bunks designed for sailors that are a max of 6 feet 2 inches tall, the team made their way to the mess decks for breakfast followed by the raising of the American flag. After team photos under the Missouri’s massive 16-inch guns, the team was released after having spent 16 hours onboard the ship.

One Athlete’s Path from Tennis to Running Once an aspiring tennis pro, Hawai‘i Pacific’s Polina Babkina may end up as an Olympian in another sport. After finishing her cross-country career at HPU with All-PacWest First Team and All-West Region honors, Babkina has turned her energy to long distance running. If early returns are any indication, Babkina could someday be an elite marathon runner. Babkina burst onto the marathon scene on Dec. 9, 2012 when she was the first local woman to finish, and the 12th woman overall, at the Honolulu Marathon. She ran the 26.2 miles, the longest race of her life, in 3 hours and 3 minutes to place 89th out of 24,413 participants.

“I love the sport so much. I want to be an elite runner. It is such a motivation to do better when I see their times, she said of the women who beat her in the Honolulu Marathon. “My goal is to make the Olympic Trials someday,” said Babkina. When asked which country she would like to run for, she flashed a big smile and said, “I can’t answer that question yet.”

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It almost never happened; Babkina originally came to the United States from Sochi, Russia, to play tennis at University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She ended up running at the University of West Alabama for three seasons. With her bachelor’s degree in hand and a season of eligibility remaining, Babkina enrolled at HPU to begin work on her Master of Arts in Communication degree.

She made an immediate impact on the PacWest and the West Region, finishing second at the PacWest Championship and capturing All-Region honors, finishing 16th (22:15) at the West Regional.

On Feb. 18, Babkina was the No. 2 female finisher in the Great Aloha Run. She is now preparing for the San Francisco Marathon in June.

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Alumni Events Okinawa September 2012

USS Missouri Nov. 10, 2012

HPU President Geoffrey Bannister along with a group of HPU students, faculty, staff and guests are dwarfed by the imposing guns on the deck of the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor. HPU’s Association of Diplomacy & Military Studies organized a special overnight encampment aboard the USS Missouri, Nov. 10. A group of about 80 students, staff and community members toured the historic battleship, including areas where normal tours do not visit.

Pau Hana Feb. 1, 2013

Alumna Naomi Hazelton-Giambrone (MA Communication ’05) chats with alumnus Nicholas Haigler (BSBA ’10) at the Feb. 1 HPU pau hana event

On Feb. 1, alumni joined President Bannister at a special Hawai‘i Pacific University pau hana. Alumni were invited to hear about the Aloha Tower Project and its role in HPU’s new strategic plan, and saw a preview of the University’s new logo.


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Gwyndolin Gorg (BA) has been named interim director of the Maui Language Institute at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College. She is also the vice-president of the African Americans on Maui Association — a 501(c)3 nonprofit that promotes harmony and cultural understanding amongst all races, cultures and ethnicities. Gwyndolin is the author of “I am the Blues.” Published by Pacific Raven Press, her book is available in 24 languages. HPU President Geoffrey Bannister met with Republic of the Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak (BA), College of the Marshall Islands President Carl Hacker and Marshall Islands Consul General Noda Lojkar, during a visit to HPU last September. President Loeak visited Honolulu on his way to New York to speak at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting.


Lee Grossman (BSBA) has been named interim executive director of the Baltimorebased International Dyslexia Association (IDA). The IDA is a nonprofit, scientific and educational organization dedicated to the study and treatment of dyslexia and related language-based learning differences.


Eugene “Gino” Amar Jr. (BSBA) is the new administrator of Kohala Hospital. Gino has spent 20 years with the hospital. He began there as an accountant before being named the hospital’s business office

manager and then assistant hospital administrator. Prior to the appointment, he served as the hospital’s acting administrator. Gino was instrumental in getting recent renovations at the facility done, as well as constructing a secondary access road to the hospital’s emergency room. He is also tasked with the implementation of the hospital’s electronic medical record system.


Alvin Au (MBA) is the representative of College of International Cultural Exchange (CICE), Central China Normal University. CICE is committed to promoting international exchange study programs in order to achieve a well-rounded cultural exchange. In the upcoming year, CICE will invite HPU to participate in their cooperation project of education work. Sherri Clark (AS Management) is serving a two-year term as the Hawai‘i board member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.


Sean Battle (BSBA Human Resource Management), who is co-founder and partner of PCI Strategic Management, was selected as a 2012 GOVstar Award finalist. The GOVstar Award recognizes local government contracting firms for their growth, contributions to the industry, workplace atmosphere, technology


innovation, and veteran support. Sean was also a finalist of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year 2012 Award.


Alan Tin (BSBA TIM ’93, MBA) was named Parthenon Teacher of the Year for the Business Division of Heald College and accepted his award in Orlando, Fla. Shortly afterward, he was awarded the extremely coveted “Faculty-Member of the Year” dream maker award for the entire Heald College school system.


Tim Stroble (MBA) has been named vice president of Personal Lines for the Bankers Insurance company. Tim has 16 years of experience in the business with Safe Harbour Underwriters, All Risks, Ltd., Zurich and Farmers.


Kyle Margenau (BS Marine Biology) and his family returned home to Kailua this past summer for the birth of their third child, Henry, who arrived in midAugust. Kyle had been teaching science in Chongqing, China, while accompanying his wife on her diplomatic posting for the Canadian government. He is now teaching high school

science at Damien Memorial School in Honolulu and is enjoying getting back to life in Hawai‘i, including teaching his kids to surf and eating plate lunch.


Gordon Bruce (MBA) has recently been named chief executive officer of the Information Technology company, Paxca. Previously, he was the chief information officer for the City and County of Honolulu. Gordon looks forward to be part of a company that can provide cost-effective solutions for both small and large companies. His goal is to take their mission and vision to the next level and provide the best service possible. Mimi Wong (BA Advertising) has returned to Vancouver, Canada, and is facilities manager for Hatch Ltd., a prominent global engineering/ construction company.

the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He will also track emerging policy trends, developing and recommending positions and strategies on health policy. Sylwia Kupiec Farley (BSBA Marketing) reconnected with her HPU ‘ohana when she provided makeup services for a university photo shoot. Her company, Moxyme, does hair, make-up and styling services. Congratulations to Ricardo Revol (MBA Marketing) on his recent nuptials to wife, Guadalupe (Guada) Figueroa, on the North Shore of O‘ahu. Ricardo and Guada met each other as children and grew up together in their hometown of Salta, Argentina. He has also been promoted to director of

2002 Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has promoted Joy Barua (MBA) to director of community benefit and health policy. He previously served as director of community benefit for Kaiser. In this expanded role, Joy will be responsible for the organization’s strategic planning, government relations and regional leadership on the state health exchange and health care transformation, resulting from the federal health care law,

National University of Malaysia better known as UKM. In his spare time he works on his entrepreneurial business, a carwash company specializing in cleaning and detailing. Starwood Hotels & Resorts has promoted Brent Lausterer (MBA) to director of sales and marketing for the Sheraton Kauai Resort and The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas. Tobias Vogt (BA International Studies ‘00, MA Diplomacy and Military Studies) received a doctor of philosophy degree in war studies from King’s College, London on June 1, 2012. He was awarded a Master of Policy Management degree from Georgetown University in 2008. Tobias lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his wife Annelie.


Bettina Mehnert (MBA), chief operating officer/director of Architects Hawaii Ltd., was named one of the 20 people to watch out for in the next 20 years, by Hawaii Business Magazine.

2004 corporate finance with World Fuel Services Corporation, a Fortune 85 Company and leader in the downstream marketing and financing of aviation, marine and ground transportation fuel products and related services. Daniel Chong (BSBA ’99, MBA) has recently decided to continue his studies after 11 years of being in the work field. He is working on his doctorate degree at the

Marni Hurtsy (MBA), president and CEO of Mega Construction, Inc., has worked in her family business since 2001, and is now the new president of the General Contractors Association, an organization that serves contractors and community in Hawai‘i.

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Naomi Hazelton-Giambrone (MA Communication), co-owner of Pacific Edge Magazine, and her husband, Jamie Giambrone, had a beautiful baby boy, Ryan Thomas Giambrone, born Nov. 3, 2012. On Feb. 28, Naomi received the 2013 SBA (Small Business Administration) Women in Business Champion Award for the State of Hawai‘i.


Kristen D’Angelo (BSBA Travel Industry Management) opened Sweet Hearts Patisserie in Annapolis, Md. The shop specializes in cookies, cupcakes, cake pops and other desserts, and is especially known for their salted caramel French Macaroons.


Tessa Bodell (BA Advertising and Public Relations) has joined SmithGifford, an award-winning, full service advertising agency in the Washington, D.C. area, as social media account manager. Tessa will serve as the account manager on key accounts of the agency, including Inova, Lindsay Automotive, Middleburg Bank and National Geographic Museum. Rebecca McElwain (MBA International Business) earned an MA in Strategic Management from University of New South Wales, Australia Business. She was also promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Fla.


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Lorenzo Nava (MSN), a family nurse practitioner who has recently completed two years with the Peace Corps, has been accepted to John Hopkins University Doctorate of Nursing Practice Program (DNP) and will start his schooling this summer. Claire Wines (BSBA Public Relations) is currently the associate vice president at FTI Consulting, a global business consultancy company with a head office in New York. Christopher J. Wong (BSBA Management) was appointed to the board of directors of History Education Hawaii, Inc. this August. History Education Hawaii, Inc. is the officially recognized “Hawaii Council” of the National Council for History Education (NCHE).


Staff Sgt. Juan Carlos Gachet (MBA) graduated with honors from California InterContinental University with a Doctorate of Business Administration in Global Business and Leadership.


Courtney (MA Diplomacy and Military Studies) and Iven (BA Economics ’01) Sugai and sons Kawena and Kanoa welcomed baby Hoku to their ‘ohana on Aug. 31.

Celina Barrios (BA Public Relations ’05, MA Communication) was recently promoted to director of marketing and communications under the new VP of Marketing and Communications, Todd Simmons. Celina is also pursuing a doctorate degree with University of Southern California (USC). She will graduate in 2015 with a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) from the USC Rossier School of Education. She is also a board member for Hawaii Operation Homefront, assisting military families and wounded warriors on O‘ahu. Former Student Government President and new U.S. Diplomat Patrick Branco (BA International Relations) encouraged incoming freshmen to become involved and make the most of their college experience. His message to students at the New Student Orientation Candle Lighting Ceremony, “As you begin your college careers, be brave, try new things, meet new people, and experience life…. College is a time to discover your passions and develop a discerning palette. The only way to do that is not to be cautious but to be brave. My biggest recommendation to you is to intern, to volunteer and to get involved.” Michael Fairall (MA Diplomacy and Military Studies), founder and owner of Mokulua High Performance building, an affordable sustainablefocused general contracting company in

Kailua, received the 2012 Certified Green Professional Builder Designer of the year award. He credits much of his diplomatic business approach to his education at HPU. Paula Kowalski (BSBA Travel Industry Management) was promoted to housekeeping manager at the Sheraton Waikiki in October. Logan Mehl-Laituri (BA Human Services) continues on with his studies as graduate student at Duke University Mariah Mellor (BA Journalism) works as a promotional writer in the Marketing Communications department at MEDITECH, a Massachusetts-based computer software and service company selling and implementing information technology systems to healthcare organizations throughout the world.


Modern Weddings Hawaii: The Definitive Guide for Hawaii Brides officially opened the doors to their North Pauahi Street office in Honolulu on July 2, 2012. Three of the five employees are HPU graduates.

(From left) Ginger Fenna, Director of Operations (BSBA ’00, MBA ’04), Sarah Martin, Sales & Marketing (BSBA ’09, MBA ’11), Morgan Childs, Creative Director, Chelsea Rissmiller, Web Developer (MA ’11) and Sara Lynn Burnett, Editorial.



After attaining a master’s degree from HPU, Melvin Givens (MA Communication) continued his role as a producer at Honolulu news station KITV4. He also started an entrepreneurial adventure with Givens & Associates LLC, developing web sites and web content for nonprofits, organizations and corporations. Congratulations to Laura Santimore (BSBA Computer Information Systems) for her inclusion in Stanford Who’s Who, as owner of Kona Ice Aloha, a mobile state-of-the-art shave ice truck. The delicious treats are delivered to events in her colorful truck with fun music playing. Children can pump their own flavors from Kona Ice’s patented “FlavorWave” on the side of the truck which contains 10 flavors. There are another 30 flavors available upon request. The company is active in fundraising activities, having raised more than $1 million for charities to date.

Noel K.M. Marquardsen (BA Human Resource Management) has been appointed director of human resources of Turtle Bay Resort, the landmark hotel on O‘ahu’s North Shore.

Chandra Braeger (BSBA Travel Industry Management) has been appointed management trainee for the Sheraton Waikiki and the Royal Hawaiian. Recent Hawai‘i Pacific University graduate Thomas Obungen (BS Strategic Communications) received an award as one of the “Top 15 Social Media Personalities in Hawaii.” Former Hawai‘i Pacific University Student Government President Tim Lussier (BSBA Entrepreneurial Studies ‘10, MA Communication) went from being a new graduate to serving as “Western Regional Digital Media Manager” for Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in a matter of months. He visited HPU on Monday, Dec. 10, to share the story of his six months in a hard-fought presidential race.

Back on Campus! Aaron Oandasan (BSBA Management ’05) and Joy Kikuchi (BA Journalism ’04) are happy to announce their engagement. They shot their official engagement photos at Hawaii Loa Campus on Feb. 10, 2012. They met in 2000 while they were attending HPU and plan to marry on April 28, 2013.

Dear HPU Class of 2012, Congratulations and welcome to the Hawai‘i Pacific University Alumni ‘ohana! To commemorate this milestone, a graduation photograph of you, courtesy of the Alumni and University Relations office, has been posted on our HPU Alumni Global Network ( In addition to your photograph, joining the HPU Alumni Global Network connects you to our official alumni directory, a community of HPU connections in Hawai‘i, the continental U.S. and around the world. For additional ways to stay connected to your fellow alumni and alma mater, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and join our LinkedIn Group ( We look forward to hearing from you. Please do not hesitate to contact us at if we can assist you. Good luck on the next phase of your life! A Hui Hou! Aloha, Mary Ellen McGillan Vice President Alumni and University Relations

American Carpet One Foundation Scholarship recipient Tai Bui (BSBA Finance and International Business ’12) meets with scholarship donors, Chris and David Arita, and President Bannister before the December graduation ceremony.

Did you know? December Graduation DVDs can be ordered at the HPU bookstore for $25? For questions, email: To order online visit:

“If you done it, it ain’t bragging.”

— Walt Whitman

We love bragging about you — our alumni are HPU’s ultimate measure of success. Professional advancements and awards, wedding and birth announcements, impromptu alum gatherings, we want to hear it all!

Please submit photos and news to: spring 2013



Chairman of the Board Chun Honored

In Memoriam Jean F. Cornuelle, trustee emerita, who had been an invaluable board member for 36 years, passed away in early March. The highlights of Cornuelle’s Hawai‘i Pacific leadership included roles as HPC Acting Board Chairman and the campaign chair of a substantial renovation project for HPC’s Meader Library. The funds raised from the campaign financed much needed books, library equipment, furniture, and the construction and renovation of current and additional library space.

Photo courtesy: Kaoru Kohashigawa

The late Jean Cornuelle, receiving the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award from the 2012 Association of Fundraising Professionals Aloha Chapter President Alan Tang.

In addition to her HPU commitment, Cornuelle was a fixture in Hawai‘i’s non-profit community, generously giving of her time, talent, and treasure. She had been actively involved with numerous nonprofits including The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i, which her late husband co-founded with HPU trustee emeritus Sam Cooke; the Hawai‘i Community Foundation; and Hawaii Public Radio. To honor Cornuelle’s outstanding community leadership, she was presented HPU’s prestigious accolade, the Fellow of the Pacific award in 2000. More recently, in November 2012, the Aloha Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals presented her with the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser award at its National Philanthropy Day event. Fred B. Smales, proprietor of Plywood Hawaii and former president of Hawaiian Cement and Lewers & Cook Hawaii, passed away on Dec. 1. Smales served on the Hawai‘i Pacific Board of Trustees from 1974-2001. His wife Connie (BS ’82) is an HPU alumna. Carol Jenkins, HPU reference librarian, who had 20 years of service with the university, passed away on Dec. 28. Additionally, she was an author and editor of a variety of books and worked in numerous roles in local publishing houses.


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The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Aloha Chapter presented HPU Board Chairman and retired President and Headmaster Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Campus Michael Chun, Ph.D., the 2012 President’s Award. Chun received the award at the AFP National Philanthropy Day event on Nov 1.

Network with HPU Alumni around the World Join the HPU LinkedIn Group and Connect today!

A Brighter Future We at Hawai‘i Pacific University pride ourselves on the importance of investing in those who have put in the work necessary to succeed in higher education. HPU awards merit-based scholarships to local, mainland and international students. In fact, 75 percent of the students from the Fall 2012 undergraduate class received financial and scholarship assistance directly from the University. Students who apply today will be rewarded for being a part of a group of high academic achievers. There has never been a more exciting time to be a part of HPU, Hawai‘i’s leading private university. With new funding for university facilities and plans for expansion, the future is bright for today’s students and for the generation to come.



1132 Bishop Street, Suite 307 Honolulu, HI 96813

Your gift supports student success Theresa (BSN ‘15), a nursing major from Arizona, is one of the many HPU students to receive a scholarship this year. Your gift through HPU’s Annual Giving program makes that possible. Scholarships help promising students concentrate on school and their bright futures, rather than repayment plans. Whether you support scholarships or another area of your choice, please consider making a gift today

HPU Today - 2013Spring  

HPU Today is published for alumni and friends. Each issue contains in-depth feature stories, news about the University, and information for...

HPU Today - 2013Spring  

HPU Today is published for alumni and friends. Each issue contains in-depth feature stories, news about the University, and information for...