Ke Alaka'i New Student Issue Fall 2022

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The Ke Alaka‘i began publishing the same year the University, then called Church College of Hawaii, opened. It has continued printing for more than 60 years. The name means “the leader” in Hawaiian.What began as a monthly newsletter, evolved into a weekly newspaper, then a weekly magazine and is now a monthly news magazine with a website and a social media presence.Today, a staff of about 25 students work to provide information for BYU–Hawaii’s campus ohana and Laie’s community. © 2022 Ke Alaka‘i BYU–Hawaii All Rights Reserved by Emily Hendrickson

seasiders! Graphics


NEW STUDENT 2022 3 Aloha Office: BYU–Hawaii Aloha Center 134 ON THE COVERS: Photos of the BYU-Hawaii ohana by Ke Alaka‘i photographers. NEWSLaie,CENTER:Box1920BYUHHI96762 Editorial, photo submissions & distributionkealakai@byuh.eduinquires: To view additional articles go to

CONTENTSofTable Campus & Community 6 The Sunshine State 8 Making a Dorm a Home 10 Managing Culture Shock 12 Living Through Words 14 Art as a Universal Language 16 100 Things to Do Outside Your Room 18 Ride the Wave 20 Representation Matters 24 Taking Care of BYUH’S 28 All in One BYUH APP 30 Life After Shakespeare 33 Best of Oahu 34 Fall and Winter Events 42 Global Connections 44 B Digital 46 Baking Chunky Cookies 50 Learning the Lingo 52 Creature Feature: Hawaiin Monk Seal 54 AAPI 56 Malama I Ka Aina 58 Neighborhood Chickens 101 60 Sand Shortage 62 The Bus’s New Holo Card 64 Plan Your Perfect North Shore Day 66 BYUH with the Community 70 Banyan Dining Hall 74 Turf Field on campus 76 Science Building Mental Health Needs

NEW STUDENT2022 InaugurationFeatures 82 From Doodles to Side Business 84 Mongolian Horse Fiddle 87 Academic Advisors 88 More Than a Job 90 Students at the United Nations 92 Honoring Maori Manaakitanga 94 Follow Your Heart 96 Academics VP Isaiah Walker 100 A Native Son of Hawaii 104 Representation of Culture 106 Inauguration Parade 110 Becoming Genuine Gold

THE World-class surfing and tropical sunshine are only a few reasons to love the culturally rich islands of Hawaii

Haverly, a senior from Hauula, Oahu majoring in Hawaiian Studies, said, “The people are what I love the most. I have lived in Hawaii all my life and I have been blessed to be surrounded by not just friends, but to have the majority of my family . . . nearby.” She said she also enjoys the landscape, yearround sunshine, beaches and “luscious green mountains.”

What do you love most about Hawaii?

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BY LAUREN GOODWIN awena Murray described the scenery of Hawaii as a “work of art,” including its beautiful beaches and surf. Pilialoha Haverly expressed gratitude for being raised in a place where people “innately love and trust” each other.

Pulotu, a senior from Kailua Kona, Hawaii, majoring in social work, said the ocean holds a special place in her heart and is what she loves most about Hawaii. “The ocean is a great food source for many. It brings peace and cleansing for all who are in it, and there are so many activities to enjoy from it,” she said. “It’s the biggest playground Hawaii offers.”

Mahinalani Pulotu said the ocean is her BYU–Hawaii students and a Laie community member said there are plentiful reasons to treasure the sunshine state.

Murray, a Laie community member from Lahaina, Maui, said she enjoys the natural beauty that surrounds the state. “Year round, without fail, from the sky to the ocean and everything in between, [is


Pulotu said a few of her favorite pieces of traditional clothing are lauhala hats, Ni’ihau shell leis and kihei, which is a shawl that ties over one shoulder.

Haverly stated the lei po’o, or the head lei, is her favorite piece of traditional clothing because she enjoyed making them and bonding with her mother and sister. She said, “Sometimes I get together with aunties and cousins to make lei po’o, talk story and laugh together. It’s a really fun time.”

Pulotu said her favorite Hawaiian food is lomi salmon, which is pieces of cut up salmon mixed with tomatoes, onions and other condiments. Murray said her favorite Hawaiian food is kulolo, which is a dessert made primarily of taro and coconut.

What do you think Hawaii is known for? According to Pulotu, Hawaii is known most for surfing and Duke Kahanamoku, “Who was a huge figure in the sport of surfing and swimming.” Haverly said, “As cliché as it is, Hawaii is pretty well known for its white sand beaches and the surf. We have some beautiful beaches on all the islands and some pretty amazing surf and surfers who live here.”

In a halau, or hula school, Haverly said she wrote and printed out the lyrics to every song in both Hawaiian and English. Although the English translation isn’t perfect, she said it allows the dancers to have a deeper connection to the song they are dancing to. Pulotu said Hawaii organizes the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, Big Island, every year in celebration of King Kalakaua. The festival is a week-long event where hula dancers from all over the world come to compete and perform in honor of King Kalakaua, she explained. “King Kalakua was the last king who reigned in Hawaii. He was a ‘merrie’ king and brought back the arts of music and hula, which had been suppressed for many, many years due to missionary teachings,” she continued.Murraysaid the principle of aloha is very unique to Hawaii. She explained, “It means love and trust, and I think that’s where the ‘kick back’ vibe of Hawaii originates from because we innately love and trust one another.” She said this sense of aloha and trust is expressed by calling someone auntie or uncle or leaving house doors slightly opened or unlocked.

What is a unique and significant cultural practice of Hawaii? Hula is one of the most significant cultural practices, Haverly said. “We learn the meaning of the songs … how to make leis, how to be as one and how to connect and become closer to our ancestors and the land on which we live.”

What is it like going to BYUH having grown up in Hawaii? Attending BYUH can be a bit of a culture shock, said Murray, because most of the students are from other parts of the world. She said she had to learn to understand the way others lived and vice versa, which pushed her to learn more about people than she had expected.

Haverly said being able to take Hawaiian Studies courses has helped her learn more about her culture. “I have learned a lot about my Hawaiian culture, my ancestors and the things they went through and how they lived,” she shared. Having grown up in Hauula, studying so close to home is something Haverly said she really loves. “I also get to see friends that I grew up with and be able to make new friends with people from all over.” •

Murray said her favorite material is kapa, or bark cloth, because of the hard work that is put into making it. The material is made out of the bark of a Wauke or Mulberry tree, and the bark is pounded and soaked in water for multiple days to create the cloth, she explained. “The [delicate process] is what makes it so special and unique to Hawaiians.”

What is your favorite food from Hawaii? “I love going to a family luau and being able to see all the good food people have made,” Haverly shared. “But if I had to choose some of my top favorites, in no particular order, it would be poke and rice, chicken long rice with rice or a good laulau with poi and rice for dessert.”

What is a traditional piece of Hawaiian clothing?

NEW STUDENT 2022 7aloha

What is a big holiday in Hawaii? King Kamehameha Day, on June 11, is a big holiday in Hawaii, Haverly said. “Before COVID hit, there would be parades with what we call pa’u riders. That is what the parade is very well known for.”

A pa’u rider is a woman horseback rider who wears a long colorful skirt and many different types of leis, explained Haverly. There are eight riders called pa’u princesses, one for each of the Hawaiian Islands, she said, and each rider wears a specific color that represents their island. “There would [also] be floats with hula dancers and singers,” said Haverly. “Even bands from different high schools or colleges would join the festivities.” Pulotu shared the holiday is in celebration of King Kamehameha and how he conquered and united the Hawaiian Islands. Murray said another holiday that is big in Hawaii is May Day, also called Lei Day, which is held on May 1 and celebrates “the sharing of aloha, stories, hula, adornments and food.”

a] work of art,” she shared. “I am so blessed to live in such a gorgeous place.”

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Alex Mortensen, a junior from Utah majoring in hospitality and tourism management, said since she will be in Laie for four years, it is important for her to buy things she is excited to use every day. For example, she said getting sheets and blankets she loved helped her feel at home. She said she also brought photos from home to hang in her room and a stuffed animal to remind her of her mom.


BYU–Hawaii students said using exciting and inspirational decorations can help students feel at home in a dorm room, but the key to feeling closer to home is getting to know their roommates.

“Although people come from all different backgrounds and are different culturally, it is important to get to know them and have a good relationship with them,” Parsons explained.

Parsons added unpacking and decorating her room allowed her to express herself and feel content in her space. She said using the corkboard in her hale to hang up photos and inspiring quotes was important in making the space her own. •

Claire Parsons, a sophomore from Australia majoring in business management with an emphasis in human resources, said, “Sometimes a space is space, but the people in the space are what make it.” She said getting to know her roommates helped her settle in. She got to know her roommates by being friendly and communicating with them, and she shared they have become like a second family to her.


Personalizing a dorm room makes it feel more like home, but students say building friendships with roommates is important as well. Photo by Ulziibayar Badamdorj. Graphics by Katie Mower.

BYUH student says living in a dorm can help a person find their second family

Noah England, a sophomore from California majoring in conservation biology and ecology, said one way he got to know his roommates was cooking for them. “One thing that has really helped me feel comfortable and happy in my home was cooking for my roommates,” he said. “I have been trying to learn how to cook, and so I would cook for them or buy them food. It helps me feel closer to home and them.”


Embrace practices Lydia Wilson, a sophomore from Suva, Fiji, majoring in busi ness management, said she experienced culture shock when serving a full-time mission in the Marshall Islands because she expected the Marshallese island life to be similar to what she was accustomed to in Fiji. Instead, she said she found the culture and mannerisms of the people she served were far from what she expected.

Living in Libya as a child also brought some cultured shock, Park said. While she was there, she explained the town celebrated Eid Al-Adha, which Andrew Webb on Culture Trip says is a Mus lim Festival to celebrate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son. Families butcher a sheep and use it for a big feast later that week, Webb explains. Park said she watched the sheep’s head be cut off when she was only 10 years old. “I saw the blood and [the sheep was] screaming,” she described. “It was really, truly a culture shock.” Although the sheep was delicious to eat, she said she still hasn’t quite gotten over the shock, even after all these years. She said she knew the culture in the United States would be different than what she was used to, so she prepared by watching the American sitcom “Friends.”

Siwoo Park, a sophomore from Gwangju, Korea, majoring in vocal performance, said Americans’ courteous phrases surprised her when she arrived in Hawaii. “Everybody blessed me when I sneezed,” she explained with a smile, emphasizing how because Ko reans don’t typically do that, she didn’t know how to react. She said she was also confused when people in Hawaii would apologize for small things like passing by her or when she told them an unfortunate story about herself, such as when she was late to class. At first, when people would casually apologize to her, she said she would emphatically assure them, “Oh no, it’s not your fault!” Park explained, “In Korea, [they] don’t have those phrases” and added people only say they’re sorry when they sincerely mean it.

Though it was against her nature, she said she started to talk like the Marshallese people, sit like them and make rice balls with her hands.She stopped questioning why they acted the way they did and mirrored it instead, she said. As she adopted Marshallese mannerisms, she said the people she served accepted her and she became a crowd favorite. Wilson said to overcome culture shock, people need to accept themselves and their culture and then accept and respect the culture around them. “Be aware of the people around and accept them for who they are,” she suggested.

Williams said students should be careful to not let themselves be victims of culture shock by not letting it stop them from accepting and learning the culture around them. “[I] can’t be a Fijian in Hawaii without becoming aware of Hawaiian traditions and culture,” she explained. Find similarities

Students urge others to withhold judgment when they encounter culture shock and be open to learning about cultural differences

She said one day a classmate spoke about an American mannerism that is offensive in his culture, which triggered a moment for her to recognize her limited perspective and acknowledge how big the world is. Though it was shocking at first, she said she appreciates the culture she’s experienced since coming to BYUH. “I’ve learned so much about other people, the world and myself. It’s caused me to reflect on my own culture and see the world with a bigger perspec tive than what I was limited to before I came here.”


Hadlee Charlton, a freshman from Mountain Green, Utah, majoring in elementary education, said when she first came to BYUH, she was shocked by the high concentration of different cultures she had never been exposed to before. She said she expected to experience different cultures on campus, but explained, “I don’t think [people] can really predict how it’s going to affect [them]. [They’re] thrown into it and immersed in it all at once.”

On a campus with students representing more than 70 countries, BYU–Hawaii students said they are no strangers to experiencing culture shock, but acknowledging differences, embracing practices and finding similarities are essential to getting over the shock.Anarticle from Brown University says most people who move to a new country or new location within a country experience some form of difficulty adjusting to the new culture. This discomfort is commonly referred to as “culture shock,” explains the article.


Once she acknowledges cultural differences, she said she tries not to question or get upset over how people behave. “If I face culture shock, I think, ‘[People] are different. [They] all have different person alities.’”

Acknowledge differences

Lydia Wilson enjoying a Spam musubi. Photos by Sugarmaa (Kendra) Bataa.

She said students can find peace amidst culture shock by embracing their situation and being curious. “If [they] hear something that is a little bit of a shocker,” she advised students to “ask questions and try to understand.”

Charlton said if students worry about their differences from others, they will just stress themselves out. She recommended students try to focus on their similarities rather than their differences. She said she believes it is possible to find at least one similarity with every person they meet. •

To get over the shock, Wilson said, “I told myself I needed to be like them, to think like them and to try to understand them.”

After reading “The Jesus,” Plicka explained much of his writing comes from deep experiences compiled over a very long time. In this case, a file in his drawer titled “Jesus, the Man” that held scraps of paper for many years, inspired the essay. “I think I was always looking for more evidence of Jesus’ humanity,” said Plicka. “When I would read the scriptures, I would think to myself, ‘That’s so something a human would do,’ and I would make a note of it.”

Elizabeth Allen, a senior from Oregon majoring in supply chain management, said she felt spiritual listening to Plicka’s stories. Allen said she particularly enjoyed Plicka’s essay entitled, “The Jesus,” which described the many perceptions of Jesus Christ. “There’s quite a few of them I want to send to my friends that I feel could resonate with them really well.”

As one of Plicka’s colleagues, Patrick said she remembered being on the hiring committee when Plicka was hired. She expressed how much of a good-hearted and cooperative colleague he has been. “He is always a positive person to be around and a real deep thinker.”

He said language helps readers understand themselves and others, have more empathy and learn from other’s mistakes. He expressed he finds joy in teaching students and believes they can foster a deep connection through literature. “Without literature in our culture, and by extension, in our individual lives, we become less compassionate and less humane and less flexible in our thinking.”

Upon reading and teaching various genres, Plicka said he felt inspired to write his own creative nonfiction pieces. He explained he began by writing fictional short stories for his dissertation and drew inspiration from other essayists and nonfiction writers. He shared one of his biggest influences is Brian Doyle, a Catholic writer who integrated religious themes into his works. “The first time I read his work I felt like I had been reborn. … He taught me what it means to write from the vantage point of faith.”

She said, “A creative writer works really hard to say the things we all think but we find difficult to put into words. They wake us up to noticing things we otherwise take for granted.” “But Whyyy?” is published in “Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction” and recounts an experience Plicka had with his 4-year-old son asking him why we need birds.

How to be original: Read Plicka said he has been teaching at BYUH for nearly a decade and, as the only creative writing professor on campus, he is also the director of the creative writing minor and faculty advisor for the BYUH journal of literature and art, “Kula Manu.”

Plicka expressed he enjoys writing about families, character development and what people easily take for granted. He said creative nonfiction harbors a spiritual element, allowing writers to express their own thoughts and feelings. “It can be a transformative experience where we connect with somebody else on what feels like a meaningful level, and we’re changed because of it.”

BYUH Professor Joe Plicka says creative writing is all about helping others notice what is usually taken for granted

“The closer I got to death, the closer I felt to life,” he said. Plicka shared how as he sat down to tackle the topic during his professional development leave, he found himself writing about nature, faith and his children, which led to the publication of three per sonal essays and a few more forthcoming works.

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Compiling meaningful experiences During the faculty forum, hosted in the Little Theater with about 40 attendees of students and faculty, Plicka began by reading two pieces written by Doyle, then five of his own essays published as a result of his professional development leave.

Writing from a perspective of faith Literature and language, Plicka explained, are “sacred [like] scripture” to him and “a road map for the person [he wants] to be.”

Ayear originally devoted to studying death became a celebration of life explained Joe Plicka, assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts & Letters, at a faculty forum on Sept. 9.


Harnessing the art of the overlooked Dean and Associate Professor Patricia Patrick attended Plicka’s forum and expressed she adored his piece, “But Whyyy?,” because it conveys the importance of appreciating what people easily overlook.

Plicka writes, “Could birds be the difference for us, the razor-thin margin, between homed and homeless? Between flush and strapped? Between, possibly, life and death? Who knows? Do you want to take that chance? I don’t.”

• The following QR code leads to three of Plicka’s published works: Professor Joe Plicka. Photo by Emarie Majors. Graphics by Emily Hendrickson

Plicka said he believes anything people experience can offer a perspective on life. “Anything in the world, anything you see, anything you experience can become a window into some deeper kind of thought or experience.”

Because the program is small, Plicka explained he teaches various subjects such as poetry, fiction and nonfiction.

The forum, entitled “Stories, Prayers and Songs: A Reading,” was conducted by Mason Allred, assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts & Letters, who explained Plicka’s work was published for various online literary magazines, including “Brevity” and “Braided Way.” Allred added Plicka was featured in an anthology called “Fire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon Poets.”

Allen, who has taken three of Plicka’s creative writing classes, said he is very knowledgeable, experienced and devoted to his work. “It is sometimes rare to see someone very dedicated to something for their entire life,” she said.

He added aspiring writers should invest in reading authors or writers of their preferred genre. He said some students avoid reading books to not to be influenced by other authors’ pieces, but Plicka emphasized, “You can’t be original if you haven’t seen what others have done. Otherwise, you’re just going to repeat what they’ve done.”

14 KE ALAKA‘I 2022 BYUH sophomore who painted murals in the cafeteria encourages artists to use their materials every day BY XYRON LEVI CORPUZ ART AS A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE

Mungamuri’s main inspiration for her art is Norman Rockwell, who she said is an American illustrator and oil painter. She said she likes stories, and whenever she sees Rockwell’s work she feels like she is watching a movie. “One of my favorite pieces of art is called ‘The Gossips,’ which is one of [Rockwell’s] paintings,” she said. “You can see from the beginning the gossip goes through every single person and at the end is a totally different story.’’


• Left: Esther Mungamuri sketches a portrait with charcoal.

Mungamuri said she would not survive without art in the world because she is not good with words, writing, numbers or the Mandarin language. She said she sees art as a universal language. “You don’t need to translate [art]. You just see it, and you know it,” sheTheexplained.goalofher art, she said, is “to inspire people and give [them] a warm and happy feeling” because there are already too many bad things happening in people’s lives.

Tatum Sammons Jensen, a senior from Arizona majoring in communications, said it is very inspiring for her to see Mungamuri’s dedication in art class. “She was always doing an extra painting,” she said. “As I was coming in late at night, she was always there in the classroom working on something, either for the watercolor class or something else.’’ She said she thinks Mungamuri could have taught the class because she was already so skillful. At the same time, she added Mungamuri is very humble and willing to be critiqued and learn more as an artist.

Expression turned passion Mungamuri said she started drawing when she was 5 years old. She shared, “One time, I drew on the wall in my house because I wanted to express whatever was on my mind.” She explained that was where her passion started. Today, Mungamuri explained she does portraits, illustrations and comics using charcoal, watercolor, ink, digital art and a little bit of oil. She said her favorite medium is watercolor and ink because both use a lot of water and she loves the movement of the water on the paper.

Mungamuri gave advice for others who want to get into art. “If you want to have control of your pencil and of your material, you need to get to know them first. You need to use them every day.”

To see what no one else sees Mitzi Lilian Yañez Lizama, a sophomore from Chile majoring in psychology, said Mungamuri, who was her dorm unit mate, has an extraordinary ability to notice details and capture emotion. She said, “I had never met someone like her. For example, I was so impressed with the mural she made in the cafeteria. … She’s going to be something big in the future.” Mungamuri proposed the idea of making a portrait illustration of Yañez Lizama, which she said she agreed to do. Not only did she like the finished portrait, but she said she was also very impressed with it. “She has a talent to show emotions in her drawings, like in the eyes and smiles. Something that caught my attention was when she told me it was pretty hard to draw my smile.” She said Mungamuri told her she has a special smile and her teeth were organized in an uncommon way. She said she found it cool Mungamuri had noticed small details others usually didn’t. “She has this gift or talent to see what nobody else does. … I was just so amazed,” Yañez Lizama added.

A sked by her previous manager to paint three walls of the original BYU–Hawaii cafeteria where she used to work, Esther Mungamuri said her fa vorite is called “the ulu tree and the girl.” She explained the painting is one of three murals she did and features a girl picking fruits un der an ulu tree and putting them in a basket on her lap and beside her are the ipu and the uli uli, two Hawaiian instruments. The painting took her about a month to complete, Mungamuri added. She explained the murals “the ulu tree and the girl” and “surfs up” were painted because her previous manager wanted to fea ture different aspects of the island. The “surfs up” mural features the surfing culture on the island, and the waves on the painting are made of rainbow colors from popular shave ice, she explained.

Dedicated and inspired

Above: Mungamuri poses with two of the three murals she painted in the original BYUH cafeteria. Photos by Christal Lee. Graphics by Marlee Palmer.

The third mural is called “aloha.” She said the purpose of this mural is for guests to see the welcoming word painted on the middle of the wall when they eat at the cafeteria. The universal language to inspire Mungamuri, a sophomore from Taiwan majoring in visual arts with a concentration in painting, said she always knew she had a passion for drawing. Even after trying different activities such as basketball, swimming, violin and piano, she said she never forgot her love for art. “I think that’s how you find your talent. You try everything, but you still love that one.”








21. Go surfing at Puaena Beach Snorkeling at Electric Beach Hike Wiliwilinui 24. Meditation labs on Wednesday morning 8 a.m. in the Old Gym dance room 25. Go to the gym to lift weights on the machines Mermaid dive in the ocean (dive down and come up like a mermaid) 27. Night swimming 28. Pick a destination to watercolor 29. Catch a frog when it rains 30. Play leapfrog across campus Sophie Randall, a sophomore from Anchorage, Alaska majoring in peacebuilding. 31. Make dribble castles (take wet sand and drizzle it into a pile) 32. Hike Laie falls 33. Walk across the ocean to goat island 34. Take a nap in the sun 35. Open gym volleyball every night in the Old Gym 36. Climb a tree 37. Play tennis 38. Read a book on the beach 39. Walk on the beach 40. Write in your journal Ada Palmer, an elementary education freshman from Scarsdale, New York. 41. Pet campus cats 42. Go to the cafeteria 43. Go on a walk around campus 44. Go to class 45. Pick up your mail 46. Go to the beach 47. Go to church 48. Play board games 49. Go to guidance counseling 50. Get ice cream at the Seasider Cafe






100thingstodooutsideyour room

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BYUH students offer plenty of ideas getting out of the house, including attending club activities and having a potluck meal with friends. ELLE LARSON






Hao-wen Chih, a freshman from Lexington, Kentucky studying marine biology. Walk and chill at the Laie Hawaii temple Study in the library Get an açaí bowl at the Seasider Cafe Swim at Bikini Beach Play Pokémon Go Get a job Walk around Hukilau Marketplace and see the open gym and play badminton Play Frisbee on Saturday night Attend club events Daichi Manabe, a sophomore from Japan majoring in business management marketing. Surf at Castles Beach Watch dolphins at Makua Beach Go to Foodland for spicy poke Get your hair cut with a friend Drive around the island Go to 7/11 for a drink Go to McDonald’s and stress-eat sugar Learn Jiu Jitsu on the grass Go to L&L BBQ Run on the beach Amella Pena, a junior from Draper, Utah majoring in peacebuilding.





91. Spend quality time with your unit mates in the common room 92. Do yoga 93. Have movie nights in the McKay Building courtyard 94. Have dance parties at the hale pavilion 95. Meditate outside the library on the 96.benchesWalk behind the campus 97. Go to Give and Take 98. Go to the Swap Meet in Honolulu 99. Watch the sunrise at Laie point 100. Watch the sunset at Sunset Beach Graphics by Marlee Palmer.






Hannah Meine, a freshman from Canada majoring in marine biology. 81. Do homework at the Hukilau marketplace under the pavilion 82. Do little acts of service throughout the day 83. Eat with someone new in the cafeteria 84. Go to the movie nights at the little theater 85. Go to the Hub and play board games 86. Play foosball in the lounge 87. Walk around campus and find the first open bench to study in a new area 88. Check out a movie and a movie room in the library to 90.watchStick sticky notes on people’s cars Emma Luna, a sophomore majoring in marine biology from Rio Rico, Arizona.

Jezreel Gabut, a sophomore from Básayas, Philippines majoring in hospitality and tourism management Go to C Store and buy ice cream Get tutored at the Heber G. Grant building Play basketball with your friends Throw out your trash Attend ward Family home evening Talk to a stranger and make a new friend Play an instrument Get groceries at Foodland Group study at the library Look for inspiration in nature Audrey Pryde, a freshman from Twin Falls, Idaho majoring in biochemistry. Go ziplining at Kualoa Paint palm trees in your sketchbook Go swimming at the pool Play intramural sports at the turf field Go to the weekly devotional Go to music concerts on campus Get chips at Foodland Find a shaded spot to read Teach yourself how to play piano in the practice rooms at the Cannon Activities Center Walk at night around campus with roommates Modesta Terry, a junior from the Solomon Islands majoring in business management with a focus on human resources. Play basketball at the CAC Go to work Watch movies outside with friends Bike the bike path in the evenings Visit friends and family in Laie Buy a meal at Elephant Shack at the Polynesian Cultural Center Stargazing behind hale 10 and the baseball field Babysit at Temple View Apartments Minister to your friends visit 80. Sunday potlucks outside the library

























Mower said her family friend often says, “At the end of the day, it’s just water,” and the wave will pass over you. You might get hurt while surfing, but “to learn to surf. You kind of just have to be okay with that.

If someone loves the water, loves being outside and loves being active, there is no reason they shouldn’t give surfing a try, she shared. “It is a great way to have fun.” However, Mower warned if you’re not experienced, to not go out in bigger waves.

Step-by-step guide If you are learning how to surf, here are some tips from Janna Irons in an Outside Magazine online article titled, “A Beginner’s Guide to Surfing”


Step One: Find a beginner spot

The first thing Irons suggests is to go to beginner spots, and before paddling out, make sure to watch the surf for at least 30 minutes to learn how the waves break. Castles Beach in Laie and Pua’ena Point in Haleiwa are good beginner spots close to campus and on the North Shore.

BYUH alumna says if she gets caught under a wave while surfing, she combats fear by remembering if she stays calm, she will find the surface again

... Embrace the water,” she said.

Mower explained if she falls and is stuck underneath a wave, she will try to relax and stay calm instead of tensing up. Eventually, “I’m going to get up, find the surface again and I’m going to be okay.”

Amanda Penrod, a senior from Oceanside, California, majoring in English, suggested borrowing a soft top/foam board if you’re a new surfer. “If you don’t have any friends to go with you, one option is taking a lesson, but the other option is just doing it and watching other people surf,” she said.


Mower said her favorite time to surf is during the sunset hours. “The water is reflecting the colors, and you’re just out there enjoying a beautiful sunset,” she said. “Doesn’t get any better than that.”

Her remedy is, “be more present and more mindful and more faith-filled. It helps to say a prayer,” she explained. “Meditating, taking deep breaths and grounding yourself can help alleviate fears.”

‘Know that it is okay to be afraid’

While first surfing, Whiteley was unable to catch a wave, but she said her experience led her to make a goal to start going to the gym and get stronger. During her first day, a wave came and Whiteley’s surfboard was titled just enough for the wave to knock her over. At first, she was frustrated, but after falling in the water for the first time, she shared she felt more comfortable after that. •

It is also important to understand the rules and be respectful, says Irons. Surf etiquette is important to understand, which includes only one person per wave. The surfer closest to the break gets the right of way (or “ride of wave”), and paddle out away from the break, says Irons.

Go out there and try!

Penrod added with more experience comes more comfort. For her, understanding people are all in God’s hands has helped her relax.

Nichole Whiteley, a junior majoring in communications from Saratoga Springs, Utah, said she went surfing for the first time last Fall Semester. She explained despite her fear of drowning and sharks, “I promise you’re going to regret not going.”

Step Two: Know the right of wave

Step Three: Find a foam board and get out there!

BYUH alumna Katie Mower from Boise, Idaho, agreed. When she first learned to surf, her sister-in-law gave her instruction once, then every time she went out with her brother, he would leave her to figure it out herself, said Mower. Overcoming fear Getting past the fear of surfing “just came from watching people and trial and error,” said Mower. Penrod said even though she loves surfing there is still fear involved sometimes. Amanda Penrod (top left), Katie Mower (top right) and Nichole Whitely (middle right) surfing together. Photos by Emarie Majors.

She said she is trying to get out of her comfort zone while in Hawaii. “Live life to the fullest and experience new things because that’s the whole point of life … [to] learn and grow,” said Whitely.

Laie is home to Pacific Islanders who grow up mixed within different cultures, shared Caryn Lesuma, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts & Letters and a Laie native. Many are seeking a sense of who they are, just as she did when she was younger, said Lesuma. As a part-Samoan, she added, she grew up trying to figure out who and what she represented.Growingup in Laie, Lesuma said it was the norm for Pacific Island students to only earn college admission through athletic scholarships. However, books surrounding Pacific Islander young adults demonstrate “there are many ways to be a Pacific Islander,” she said. When she was younger, there wasn’t much literature with Pacific Islander characters who she could identify with, shared Lesuma. As an academic, Lesuma said one of her areas of study is Young Adult Literature of Oceania (YALO). She said YALO books explore issues relevant to Pacific Islander young adults and help to represent their journey in understanding who they Thereare.isvalue in representing the youth and providing literature for them to identify with, to help them “consolidate their identity and feel comfortable in their own skin,” said Lesuma. A love for reading Lesuma said her mother always enjoyed reading. When she was a child, Lesuma said her mother would read books such as “The Chronicles of Narnia” to her and her siblings before bed, and she enrolled them in Kahuku High’s summer reading program. “She sort of set an example of what a reader is … so, we all were reading all the time at home.”


Ever since elementary and high school, Lesuma said she has enjoyed reading novels in the fantasy and science fiction genres. Both genres portray “the possibilities of new worlds and different ways of thinking,” she explained. She said she is optimistic about ideas of the fantastic, where there are many possibilities. Her husband, Vaughn Lesuma, said his wife shared with him her passion for reading when they first met. “I’ve never been much of a reader, and since I met her, I’ve read more books than the rest of my life combined.” English professor aspires for Pacific Islander representation in young adult literature BY LEVI FUAGA SRETTAM

Penrod shared she sent the “Telesa” books to her mother, who was excited to see that there were books with Samoan characters. She said it is important for people to become aware Pacific literature actually exists.


Vaughn Lesuma added, “I saw her getting to work researching Pacific literature, going to conferences and presenting on these topics, even writing a thesis on it.”

Rhea Penrod, a senior from Provo, Utah, majoring in English, said she took several of Caryn Lesuma’s classes. She said Caryn Lesuma wants to bring more voice and attention to the Pacific literature genre, which isn’t easily acces sible. This issue mainly stems from insufficient publishing which leads to the genre being unheard outside of the Pacific, explained Penrod.

Windows and mirrors In her English 420 course, Caryn Lesuma shared she teaches books act as “windows” and “mirrors” for readers. Books act as a win dow for readers to look into and learn about others’ experiences and empathize with them, she said. Additionally, she said a book can mirror our own experiences, reminding us that we are not alone and there are other people who understand what we’re going through.

“When I was her age, I felt similar defensiveness about being ‘afakasi [a Samoan with European ancestry]. I was proud to be Samoan but insecure about it because I didn’t speak the language or ‘looked’ Samoan enough. Like her, I have gained confidence in my identity by taking opportunities to learn more about what it means to be a Samoan woman.”

Vaughn Lesuma said although his wife appreciates mainstream literature, most of its authors and the novels’ settings take place in mainland America or the United Kingdom. He said she thought it would be amazing to share more stories about youth in the Pacific, having the same impact as books like “Harry Potter” and “Twilight.”“Itwasthen,”

Caryn Lesuma said she resonated with Leila, the protagonist of the young adult paranormal romance book series “Telesa,” written by Lani Wendt Young. Leila, who is part-Samoan, starts off as being insecure about being mixed-race and gets defensive towards people’s remarks about her, Caryn Lesuma explained. However, she added, Leila learns to accept her mixed-ethnic background and recognizes it as another way of being Samoan.

Caryn Lesuma said she began studying realistic fiction while studying young adult literature as an academic field. Unlike fantasy and science fiction, realistic fiction revolves around characters dealing with real issues, she explained. Within the realm of young adult literature, she said this genre is important in addressing issues that young adults deal with.

A call to action Caryn Lesuma said her goal is to write a novel, nonfiction or fiction, and contribute to her own call to action: acquire more books with Pacific Islander representation. “If I’m going to be encouraging more writers to Caryn Lesuma holding the book “Telesa” within which is a character she resonates with as a part-Samoan. Photo by Marwin Jay Villegas.

The series revolves around characters with elemental powers inherited through genealogy, while they try to manage relationship drama, Caryn Lesuma shared. She said the series represents Samoan youth, both in Samoa and the diaspora, and social issues in Samoan and popularized Pacific Literature.

Vaughn Lesuma said his wife’s passion has led him to appreciate his culture more, as well as authors writing Pacific literature for the next generation. “We both grew up in Laie, and I’m so proud of her for representing that everywhere she goes.”

Akanoa said the disconnection between students and literature occurs when students can’t apply what they learn when they return to their home country. She said it’s important to bridge those gaps in applying different literatures to the students being taught. “We also have to be flexible enough to allow for different types of thinking, or perceptions that students bring in, according to their experiences. … Their experiences are according to who they are, their identity, their backgrounds, where they’re from.” Akanoa said she and Caryn Lesuma are both on the committee for the Center for Learning & Teaching at BYU–Hawaii. As such, she said they are required to further their scholarship and find ways to support the institution.

… Her No. 1 priority in teaching her students … [is] to be prepared for the future. She wants to help them feel seen and heard and confident in their studies and what they’re learning.”Vaughn Lesuma said his wife’s love for teaching is a big part of who she is and she celebrates her students’ success and laments in theirCarynstruggles.Lesuma added the biggest value of her job is seeing students relate and identify with literature. At BYUH, people from and outside of the Pacific are able to draw connections and empathize with each other, she shared. “That kind of realization and confidence can build to know that you’re not the only one going through what you’re going through.”

Caryn Lesuma is a go-getter and does not wait for things to happen, said Akanoa. Oftentimes, she shared, Caryn Lesuma will be the first to complete her assignments for their colloquium class. She said her work ethic inspires her to always be on top of her work as well. “She’s not bothered by it. She’s just willing to move the research forward and that’s because she’s very passionate about this topic.” Penrod shared Caryn Lesuma engages young adult literature from a fun perspective. During a conversation, she and Caryn Lesuma discussed how the young adult genre makes reading more enjoyable. She said it allows opportunities for people who don’t feel like readers to engage with the material. “She really cares about young people.

write these books, I should also be contributing myself.” She, Christina Akanoa and Becky DeMartini, head of instructional services at the Joseph F. Smith Library, are currently researching ways to improve Pacific Islander students’ reading and writing skills, she shared. Christina Akanoa, assistant professor in the Faculty of Business & Government, said the project will target reasons why Pacific Is landers are failing English 315. Eventually, she said they want to help Pacific Islander students to not only pass English 315 but also pass with goodThegrades.proposed pedagogy, or teaching method, is to help students better relate to the literature being taught, said Akanoa. She said Caryn Lesuma makes Pacific literature rele vant to Pacific Islander students who better understand the context and background of the stories. In contrast, other literary fields are more irrelevant and hard for Pacific Island students to connect with, Akanoa explained. “If students are not connecting to the liter ature that’s been taught in classic content, they’re going to have a hard time in class.”

Caryn Lesuma relates books to windows and mirrors, in which readers can look into the lives of others and see the similarities reflected in their own lives.

Connecting to young adults Akanoa said Caryn Lesuma is passionate, committed and detail-oriented in teaching English. She said Caryn Lesuma can relate to young adults and understands their interests since she is a young teacher. Caryn Lesuma was able to create a presentation of their research for the school data governance in less than 24 hours, she added. “If a person has commitment to a cause, it really means that they love the students or they love what they do.”


Taking care of BYUH’S MENTAL health NEEDS

He said this trend is not new to post COVID-19 university life. In the first year of his directing the counseling center at BYU in 2011, Smith said, the counseling center served about 3,500 individuals in a calendar year, and in his last year as director in 2021, he said they helped 6,000 in a calendar year. At BYUH, the numbers have also increased between 2020 and 2021 according to Skinner. She said Dr. Eric Orr, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Sciences and a member of BYUH’s Counseling Services, told her they had 10 hospitalizations in the Fall 2021 Semester. Normally they only have one or two hospitalizations in an entire academic year, Orr Skinnersaid. said the intake form system they created is working to combat these increasing numbers, even with their lack of counselors available for the students.

As the number of students seeking help from BYUH’s Counseling Services rises, Counseling Services professional Steve Smith says building a strong community can help overall mental health issues

Skinner explained, “It is important for the students to understand that if they are in crisis, we will see them. ... We will make space for all the students.”

“The four-tier system really helps us identify people with the greatest need, and so far, fingers crossed, it’s working. I still fear that we could miss somebody. I pray every day, let there be space for people who need it. Our students are really, really suffering.”

She encouraged students to just walk into the counseling center if they are in crisis because they will make sure they get you in. An increasing demand

“The demand has risen everywhere in the country. ...Without enrollment increasing, the number of students asking for help is going up. And that is happening in every counseling center I know of in the country.”

Smith said no one really knows why the numbers have increased, but he believes it is partly due to the decrease of stigma for those who seek counseling. Gen Z especially, “are more willing to seek help,” said Smith.


Sierra Allred, a junior from Oregon majoring in peacebuilding, said she was going through a difficult period in her mental health in September of 2021, and she felt the need to turn to BYU–Hawaii’s Counseling Services for help. She said when she went into the counseling center, they handed her a form to fill out that would determine her levels of needs.

The next layer is for students with urgent needs and is defined as people who have had a past history of suicidality but nothing current, Skinner explained. They are seen within seven days.The third layer is general problems, and she said, the fourth layer is a peer mentor to help with generic issues if the students are willing to see them. Allred said when she went into the counseling center, she was not in crisis, so they could not get her an appointment for two months. “I have experienced depression in the past, and when you’re in that space and you feel like you can’t get help, it’s a very hopeless feeling.” She said although in her situation she found ways to cope without the counselors, “it was definitely discouraging because if you want to talk to someone, you should have that.” She said if she were contemplating suicide or dealing with depression and still had to wait one to two months, “It would be scary.”

Allred expressed her gratitude for how

“Everyone is worthy and deserving of the resources it takes and the time it takes to heal their heart and help resolve their mental health issues,” said Allred. Sister Carol Skinner, a counselor at BYUH Counseling Services, who worked as a licensed psychologist for 20 years before serving her mission here, said she helped develop this new system for the counseling center intake form to ensure the students with the most urgent care are prioritized. She said the first layer is anyone in an emergency, who will be seen within 24 hours. She said an emergency is defined as “current suicidality with intent.”

She said her friends have also expressed this concern where they make an appointment when they feel they need it, but when they finally get in, they feel guilty because they have worked through what they were struggling with, Allred shared. “I don’t think [a student] will seek out help if they feel like their situation is not as bad as someone else’s,” explained Allred. Emotional drain Smith, along with Student Life Vice President Jonathan Kau, acknowledge BYUH’s Counseling Services employees hard work to help as many people as they are able.

In mid-November 2021, Counseling and Disability Services at BYUH had an evaluation, in which they brought an outside reviewer named Steve Smith. Smith was part of the BYU in Provo counseling center for 30 years as a training director in the counseling psychology department and served in administration for the counseling center and as director of the counseling center. When asked if the wait time Allred had experienced was common among other universities, Smith said it was not uncommon to have a waiting period of six weeks. He said the wait time to get in the counseling center at BYU in Provo for those who with non-crisis cases is five and a half to six weeks as well.

Allred said although many of this new generation of students are willing to seek help, the shortage of space available for students has opened the door for guilt. She said when she did go in after two months of making the appointment, she felt guilty because, “I know there’s a lot of other students who need help a lot more than I do.”


Kau said, “I commend the Counseling Services team for all they are doing to meet the needs of students.”

“After you get the help and the resources that you need, … it’s like a weight has been lifted.” Due to the lack of counselors, Skinner said, her job can be very draining and she often works longer than she is supposed to because she wants to reach as many students as possible. “The emotional drain affects me physically.” She said not only would more counselors allow more students to be helped, but also it would increase the quality of the help students receive because the counselors would not be as mentally, physically and emotionally stretched. She said there is a gear shift that has to take place in the counselors’ heads as they go from one client to the next, and that becomes more difficult the busier they are.

It is not a simple matter of just hiring more counselors to keep up with such an unprecedented increase … we need to look at this and see what is reasonable and what is needed.”

Smith agreed with Kau. “You can’t add enough counselors ultimately to stem the tide and meet the demand.” As director of the BYU in Provo counseling center, Smith was also part of the Association of University and College Counseling Center Directors, with more than 600 college counseling center directors who agreed with that same conclusion, said Smith.

Skinner said due to BYUH’s large number of international students, students without cars and the lack of mental health resources nearby, the situation at BYUH is more difficult than other universities where students can more easily turn to mental health care outside of theBecauseuniversity.ofthis, she said, the responsibility of the students’ mental health care falls back on theSmithuniversity.explained part of the responsibility of this problem may be to add a counselor, but another aspect is trying to address what the particular mental health issues are on a certain campus.This is done through effective outreach called primary prevention, he said, which includes QPR training, suicide prevention, stress management, etc. According to the Suicide Prevention Research Center, QPR training stands for “question, persuade, and refer” and is a suicide prevention training designed to teach the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond.

Skinner agreed that at most universities this is the case: students should not rely solely on the university to provide mental health care. However, she added, “There’s not enough mental health services in this area that our students can easily access.”

“Does the university have a responsibility to provide for the comprehensive mental health of every student that comes? I don’t think so. I think their responsibility is to provide for dealing with those issues that get in the way [of their studies] and helping an individual deal with them. “And if a person’s struggles are so great, then they may need to take some time away from the university,” said Smith. Smith said he admires his colleagues at BYUH who are trying to find that balance. Allred said the amount of time it took to resolve her situation would not have changed meeting with a counselor because, “For me, I feel empowered with a lot of tools to help get myself out of dark places because I have been there in the past and I have gone through counseling and therapy so I have been given the tools.” However, she said, she felt that it would’ve been more helpful if she could have talked to someone closer to the moment that was causing her distress. “I think the role of the counselors is: if you don’t have those tools, they’re going to give you those tools. But they’re also going to keep you accountable and help you practice them so you are more prepared in the long term.”

Responsibility Kau said while he wants to help keep students in the classroom and help them as much as possible, it is not the sole role of the university to provide all counseling and medical services students may need. “We cannot provide all [the] resources. We will do what we can to help students succeed, but students may also have to find their own additional support. They have a medical benefit. They have access to Counseling Services. But there are limits, unfortunately.”

Smith said, “This university... [is] working hard to get people in as quickly as possible... Right now they are keeping their heads above water, but they are having to swim pretty quickly to do that.”

While Kau and Smith acknowledged the hard work the counselors do and the struggles with a lack of counselors, Kau said, “There are limits to what the university can provide.”

Building community Smith’s advice to students on how they can individually help is to get the QPR training and to have an “awareness of persons who struggle, a willingness to sit and talk, a willingness to engage ...

“Building community is one of the most important things you can do,” continued Smith. BYU campuses have a big advantage because of built-in communities, he said. Participation in church events helps build that community where they can then invite others to come, said Smith. Allred said during those two months she was waiting for help from Counseling Services, she found other resources on campus that helped her cope with her struggles. One of the places that she said she found a community was the yoga classes held several times a week on campus. “I think the yoga class is great. It’s very grounding. … Everyone in that space is very welcoming.” She said there are many places around campus or clubs students can join that can help them through hard times. Smith said, “If someone is struggling or is suicidal, is it your job to make sure they are okay? It absolutely is not. But can you be part of the solution by building a strong community.” • Scan the QR code above to find more resources on suicide prevention. Graphics by Marlee Palmer.

26 KE ALAKA‘I 2022 mental health services have helped her in the past. She said she didn’t have access to mental health services when she was struggling in high school, but she was able to receive help during her mission. She said the changes she saw after getting help were “like night and day. Because if you feel like you don’t have a place to turn or people to listen, and it feels like no one cares and you are very alone and very hopeless.”

“ you can be part of the solution by building a community.strongSTEVESMITH”

28 KE ALAKA‘I 2022

2. A detailed map with cartoon icons that uses your location, if allowed, to pinpoint where you are and help you find your way around campus. The map also has a search feature to find classrooms and buildings you need and connects to Apple Maps to provide directions and arrival times.


Alger Aranda, a BYU–Hawaii alumnus of 2020 from the Philippines, praised the BYUH Mobile App because he said it provided easier access than the school website to the most frequently used student resources. “With the app, you don’t have to worry about memorizing the tools’ URL [because] it provides you with the most used tools with the click of a button.”

App developments have slowed down in the last year because of the pandemic, said Ray. He hopes BYUH will get to work developing an official app to fill student needs and facilitate student life. How to download The developing team said unfortunately, the app is only for iOS users and is now opti mized for iOS 13. To download the app, go to the App Store and download BYUH Student.•

Student developers create campus mobile app to make online tools more accessible BY ELLE LARSON Self-motivated student developers created BYUH Student, an unofficial school app that makes returning and new students’ lives easier with one-touch links and an interac tive map of campus to navigate.

Photo by Ulziibaya Badmadorj.

Laura Tevaga, the director of communica tions and marketing, said, “Ray and his team are off to a great start. We are excited about the feedback as it helps them to gather about what students would like to see as the University explores developing an official app.”


“We need the student’s voices,” he said. “Please let us know what are you looking for in the BYUH app.” You can leave feedback in the email to the address included in the “About” page in the app.Asof now, the app is BYUH approved, but it is not an official school app. Feedback on the BYUH Student app will contribute to the creation of an official school app like those of other university campuses.

3. A “tool kit” containing various BYUH tools chosen for a student’s convenience, such as: Student Center, Canvas, Seasider’s online orders and Stellic Mapper. The tool kit also offers a truth table generator, a normal distribution calculator and an event pass.4. A link to university events, such as the Malamalama ceremony, firesides and registration deadlines. Xu said he is excited for new students to benefit from the app, especially when they might have a hard time finding classrooms and other places around campus. The BYUH Student app was launched last year, on Sept. 28, 2020, and accumulated 152 users in the first two months. Looking forward Xu encouraged students to give the developers feedback or any suggestions for needed features that would be helpful for everyday use.

APP all in one

A key developer of the project and BYUH alumnus from China, Ray Xu, said, “It takes longer to navigate on the website, and when you close the browsers, you have to do it again, but with the app, you just need a few clicks.” App Tools Xu said he wanted to create an “allin-one” app to help students be more successful scholars. The app includes access to the1.following:Thecafeteria menus, updated daily.

While attending school in California, Lesuma shared, her goal was to become a ring to University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH Manoa), she landed an internship at the Honolulu Star Advertiser working as a journalist and reporter, she said. Despite lacking journalism experience, she said, she was hired because she was a good writer and showcased flexibility in completing required tasks such as using a camera and updating news websites. “An important trait is that you have to be able to wear a lot of hats,” Lesuma shared. “Be open to learning new skills and developing other traits that you might need … that can really help you to be valuable to your employer.”

Lesuma said freelancing is a good opportunity to build a portfolio with the goal to become a multimedia journalist. Other than writing, she added, a person would need experience in using videography, photography and social Autumnmedia.Barraclough, a senior from Washington D.C. majoring in English and information technology, said Lesuma’s advice on freelancing helped resolve her concerns about finding a job incorporating both her computer and writing skills.

When she and her husband moved back to the mainland, Lesuma said, she became a tutor at a Korean after-school program. It was there she knew she enjoyed teaching and pursued her masters in English at BYU in Provo followed by her PhD, she said. “Where I started … is totally the complete opposite of where I thought I’d end up but I’m

“How much information technology has made its way into English and has modernized that field … was something I hadn’t previously considered.”

really, really happy. I think part of that was just trusting that the Lord would guide me to where I’m supposed to be.”

Cara Gentry, a junior from Texas majoring in English, said she liked how there are many career opportunities available for English majors. Her goal, she shared, is to return to Texas to teach middle and high school. Upon


30 KE ALAKA‘I 2022

It has been a tradition for the English Department to hold discussions to help English majors ponder about their future, said Joseph Plicka, associate professor in the Faculty of Arts & Letters. He said there is a lot of rhetoric about which degrees are more useful and which degrees aren’t productive. “I think that the idea that one major is more employable than the other is mostly false.” This discussion was held on Feb. 25, 2022, and a panel of professors discussed their career paths after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English. The panel included Caryn Lesuma, Stephanie Robertson, Aaron Shumway and Scott Springer. Being Adaptable Caryn Lesuma, an associate professor in the Faculty of Arts & Letters, said an English degree can lead to many career opportunities and it’s important to trust in the Lord to guide you to where you’re supposed to be.

Four BYUH professors share where majoring in English can lead BY LEVI FUAGA

As a student at BYU-Hawaii, Robertson said, she worked as an editor for Ke Alakai and as a tutor at the Reading and Writing Center. She then became a tutor at BYU–Idaho and worked as a copy editor for technical writing and creative pieces, she explained. Eventually she would enjoy taking up an internship at BYUH, Robertson shared. Robertson expressed one of her goals was to start working as a full-time librarian and got her master’s in library and information science at UH Manoa. She said her degree is versatile and works with both her experience as a librarian and teacher at BYUH. At one point, Robertson shared, she found herself feeling an overwhelming sense that BYUH was where she needed to be. “If you feel any sort of confirmation, just write it down. Trust in that step … and take every opportunity that you can.”

Charles Bradshaw, an associate professor in the Faculty of Arts & Letters, said each of the speakers demonstrated how flexible and adaptable they were in pursuing their careers.

Flexibility and adaptability, he said, are important traits in today’s job market.


Photos by Yui Leung. listening to the professors, she added, she realized there is more she is capable of doing than just teaching.

Prior to teaching at BYUH, he was a global director in the academic publishing industry for 15 years, he shared. He currently serves on the global board of the BYU Management Society in Provo, Utah. His education includes a doctorate in higher education administration from North eastern University, an MBA in leadership and organizational changes from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and Spanish from Utah State University.

Plicka said he admired how the panelists shared their stories in an informal discussion. He said he and Bradshaw chose the panelists based on his knowledge of them and their reputation. In the future, he said they would want a more diverse group of people to come and share their advice and experience to students. •

One Foot In Front Of The Other

Loving The Lord And The Law Associate Professor and Director of Religious Education, Aaron Shumway, said as an English major, there is beauty in the written and spoken word. While attending BYUH, he said he decided to go to law school when he was attending a devotional at BYU in Provo by President Rex Lee, the Solicitor General of the UnitedShumwayStates.said President Lee said he admired the law so much he had his wife read him Supreme Court cases when he was sick and in the hospital. President Lee, he shared, was friends with his father and had asked him what he planned to do after graduating from college. Shumway said he attended Washington University of Law in Virginia and shared how studying at BYUH helped prepare him to study law. Law school requires a lot of reading and writing, he shared. “Being an English major helped me learn how to think, how to organize, how to structure, how to prioritize arguments.” He shared he became a transactional, business and real estate lawyer responsible for drafting contracts and sales agreements. “If there’s one thing I love more than the law and practicing the law, it’s teaching the gospel,” said Shumway. He said he didn’t know there wasn’t any education required to become a seminary teacher. He was offered a position teaching seminary and taught for nine years before teaching at BYUH. He said having an English degree helps instill thinking, reading and writing while studying the scriptures. “Where I am now is way better than [where] I thought I’d be.”

Shumway advised students to put their trust in the Lord and prioritize God in all they do. The Lord understands the strengths, capabilities and personality of each person and will magnify those characteristics, he said.

Stephanie Robertson, an assistant professor and outreach librarian at the Joseph F. Smith Library, said her goals included starting a family and working towards a job related to an EnglishShemajor.knew her goals but was unsure how she could pursue them, she shared. “I just would always prefer to put one foot in front of the other and take the next step.”

Robertson shared how majoring in English equipped her to run a program for children with developmental disabilities. Her responsibilities included reporting on mental health and progress, she added, which required having good writing skills and using specific language skills. She said the Department of Health felt confident in her ability to execute these duties.

Pro’s And Con’s Of Publishing

Scott Springer, associate professor in the Faculty of Business & Government, shared various pros and cons of the publishing industry.

• Publishing is needed everywhere no matter where you are.

• There are lots of freelance positions available.



• A social media assistant posts content for social media channels.

• A production editor oversees the entire production process at a publishing company.

• A copy editor checks for grammar errors and edits content in a body of text.

• Publishing is a business with the focus of sharing knowledge, words and information.

• Major publishing companies are based in major cities and it could be expensive to live in those cities.

• Copy editing is being outsourced and full-time jobs are difficult to find.

• It is difficult to make money as a freelancer, as one is responsible for creating their own paycheck.

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Pro’s And Con’s Of Publishing shared by Scott Springer, associate professor in the Faculty of Business & Government Shakespeare

• One of these positions may receive thousands of applicants as most would be qualified and it could be difficult to be spotted or noticed. He said applicants with publishing experience will benefit their chances of getting the job.

• Publishing is a business and requires one to be knowledgeable of how a business functions. He recommended students to minor in business to help gain that understanding. CONS

• There are lots of entry level positions such as an editorial assistant, production editor, copy editor or social media assistant.


• An editorial assistant coordinates tasks dealing with books and manuscripts.

NEW STUDENT 2022 33 Graphics by Marlee Palmer.



During Food Fest each participating club is represented as they prepare and present their cultural dish to students for purchase. Food Fest is an opportunity for each club to raise funds for their needs, supplies and activities in the ongoing and upcoming semesters. The ultimate goal of Food Fest is simply described in the 2021 event’s description on the Student Leadership & Service website, “Food Fest is a special event aimed to unite people from diverse countries, ethnic backgrounds and cultures through food.”

Top: Students working at one of the club booths hold up some of the Food Fest tickets people by to pay for their food. Above: Dishing up a plate of food from the Latin American Club. Photos by Christal Lee T he Student Leadership & Service website states that Food Fest is, “a leadership development opportunity, fundraiser for the clubs, and an opportunity to broaden international understanding and celebrate our BYUH Ohana and the local community.”


Students across all majors have the opportunity to enter the competition in teams or individually to present their ideas and possibly be granted cash prizes to help fund their businesses. There are four main categories in which the young entrepreneurs can compete. All of the information regarding the competition can be found on Willes Center for International Entrepreneurship website.

This competition is sponsored by the Willes Center for International Entrepreneurship. Great Ideas focuses on innovation. It can be innovation on an idea or on an existing business.

According to BYU-Hawaii’s website, the Great Ideas Competition is described as “a business idea competition as put on by the Willes Center for International Entrepreneurship. First, second, and third place winners are chosen from each of the four categories of the competition.”

Photos by Sugarmaa Bataa


Winners of the Great Ideas compeition are pictured with their prize money checks.

A presenter at an Undergraduate Research Conference. Photo by Chad Hsieh A cademic Vice President Isaiah Walker said of BYU–Hawaii’s Undergraduate Research Conference, “It is really a day where we flipped the power dynamic of classroom instruction [switching the role of the students and professors].”

During this conference, the university cancels all classes for students to have the opportunity to learn from their peers’ and mentors’ undergraduate research projects. Over the course of a day, students have the opportunity to share with others the research they have participated in during their time at the university. The event also hosts a keynote speaker, who is often a faculty member. Walker said the conference was empowering for all who attend, both students and the campus community. He expressed the university’s hope for expanding the conference in the coming years.

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Above: A student makes a short video explaing his business. Photos by Yui Leung


BYU–Hawaii’s Willes Center for International Entrepreneurship website refers to the Empower Your Dreams competitions as “The Biggest Entrepreneurial Competition of the Year.” The Willes Center sponsors the competitions in which “empowers students to build confidence, have experiences, network, expand opportunities, and have a positive impact.” It is about taking your ideas and creating ways to execute them.

Students participating in the competition have the potential to receive a portion of the $36,000 awarded to students for their entrepreneurial projects. The projects are separated and judged within four categories: Young Entrepreneurs, Social Impact, Pre-Revenue and Revenue. Within each category there were first, second and third place winners.

Spencer Taggart, an entrepreneurship professor in the Faculty of Business & Government said the Empower Your Dreams competition is “all about looking to the future. He said this competition has inspired several students throughout the years they’ve competeted.

NOVEMBER 2021 39

Top: One of the projects students set up to explain demonstrate and explain their business idea.

40 KE ALAKA‘I 2021 NIGHTCULTURE Students performing Tahitian, Japanese, by Yichi Lu, and Munkhbayar

NOVEMBER 2021 41

T he Student Leadership & Service website explains BYU–Hawaii’s Culture Night as “an annual tradition at BYU–Hawaii. It is a student development and engagement opportunity that celebrates the university’s mission, cultural diversity, and promotes peace internationally.”


During the winter semester, both cultural and non-cultural clubs come together to showcase cultural dances or entertaining presentations that represent their home country or club.

Cultural Night takes place over two nights and is held in the Cannon Activities Center. In preparation for these evenings, clubs meet together to practice carefully choreographed dances and songs. The purpose of this event is to help to educate and admire the cultures that are presented by both participants and audiences alike. Videos of past performances can be seen on BYUH’s YouTube channel.

performing at the 2022 Culture Night from the Japanese, Latin American and Fiji clubs. Photos Munkhbayar Magvandorj

Jarek Buss, a BYUH alumnus and foreign service officer in the United States Department of State currently serving in North Macedonia, said BYUH did everything for his international career and offered him fantastic opportunities for overseas and international experience.



“Especially as countries become more and more integrated economically and socially, that [international experience] becomes a real, valuable skill. BYUH students have an advantage going into any kind of international work.”

D r. Rand Blimes, associate professor in the Faculty of Business & Government, said the international experience students get at BYU–Hawaii is what sets them apart on the job market.

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Blimes said he has been pushing for international relations and international development to become minors since he started teaching at BYUH 10 years ago because when he first got here, it was not a specific minor or major. “I thought it was a little weird, given how international the school is.”

Buss explained he chose BYUH over BYU in Provo because he realized BYUH is where he would be immersed in an international environment. “I had to think about which classes in the political science program I could take to map together a major with an international focus. But now, the new minors can actually provide a structure and a plan so students who are interested in that know what they can do.”

BYUH professor says new minors in political science give students an understanding of how they fit into world events

“There’s a lot of things [people] can do, and [they] get what [they] put in.”

Blimes explained sometimes it is difficult to jump in, read the newspapers and immediately understand how and why the world works the way it does. Common questions such as “Why did this country do this?” or “Why is this happening?” are discussed in the new minor. “[Students] learn to think about life from a different perspective. To me, it’s super fascinating. I can’t imagine anybody who doesn’t want to understand how the world works.”

Recognizing the gap When first starting out as a professor, Blimes shared he had the opportunity to visit Tonga, Vanuatu and Fiji. While visiting those countries, he asked BYUH alumni, specifically those who had studied political science, what they wished they had learned but didn’t.

A photo collage including Sakiusa Tukana, Lehonti Ovalle, Michael Kraft, Bruno Miyabe, Levi Fuaga, Xyron Levi Corpuz and Connor Hansen. Photo illustration by Emarie Majors.

Qudaela Taleni, a sophomore from Samoa majoring in political science, said her goal is to give back to her community by addressing human rights and poverty in her home country. She said political science gives her the tools she needs to realize her goal.

Buss said he loves his job as a diplomat because he can live in different countries, learn new cultures and languages and be in meetings with world leaders. Then other times, he said his job can lead him to places he didn’t think he would go. For example, in 2020 he said he was put onto a COVID-19 task force with the State Department that focused on helping evacuate a cruise ship in Japan.

between the “two biggest economies that ever existed,” China and the United States. “That’s an interesting position to say the least,” he added.

A support system of professors Buss said the new minors could draw in people who thought about studying international relations or international development and draw attention to the real strengths of BYUH.

“The minors really line up with the goals BYUH has in terms of helping build leaders internationally. There are an awful lot of students at BYUH where, when you sit down and talk to [them] about what they want to do in the future, it’s not something they can accomplish without thinking about how countries interact with each other.”

Studying those relations and how Kiribati, the Cook Islands or Fiji are impacted by it is something the new minor focuses on, explained Blimes. “There’s a real sense [people’s] well-being in, [for example], Fiji, is not just determined by [them]. It’s determined by other actors and how they treat each other.”


“The classes in those two minors really help me gain a better understanding of global issues, the effects of establishing relations with other countries and some of the resolutions that can be made to solve international conflict.” She added the classes have also taught her how she can contribute to addressing issues in her country such as poverty.

He explained people should want to understand what is happening and what their place is no matter where they are from. “The best thing is to study it in an organized fashion, which we do in political science. We try to make sense out of all the kind of crazy that is going on.”

Buss explained all the hands-on experience BYUH has provided has been incredibly helpful in his life because other universities with larger student bodies don’t give the same chances.

“Almost every person I talked to brought up issues related to eco nomic development. So, I realized there was kind of a gap there.” From there, Blimes explained he started to advocate for the creation of in ternational relations and international development minors by gradually adding classes to the political science curriculum.

Blimes shared it is great to see Pacific Island students come to BYUH and gain knowledge and tools to take back to their home countries. He added students who are from the Pacific are sandwiched

“That’s the amazing thing about BYUH.There are a lot of opportunities, and when [people] put in the effort, [they] can do a lot,” he said.

Working as a diplomat, Buss explained he still considers his professors some of his greatest friends and mentors and still asks them questions about their opinions on different parts of foreign policy relations.

There are a lot of different directions one can take with international relations or international development, Buss explained. Whether it be working in a Non-Governmental Organization, as a diplomat, implementing projects or running projects their self, there are a lot of options, he explained.

The international relations minor Blimes said it is important for everyone to understand how countries interact and what is going on behind the scenes, even if they are not thinking about working in international trade or becoming a diplomat. International relations is a broad subject and takes in a lot of different topics, he shared, and for some students that’s a great fit. Students can easily pair their international relations minor with their major, even though it might not look like that at first sight, explained Blimes.For example, in the field of public health and preventing viral outbreaks, he said the international relations minor can help students understand other components. “You may be studying science so you understand the virus side, but then backing it up with an [international relations] minor, to understand more about how countries can cooper ate on issues like this, or understand how international law works, could be really valuable.”

Blimes explained being surrounded by Pacific Island students impacted his own process as an international relations scholar, as he now thinks more about how smaller states interact with larger economies.

“They’re just really, really good people who really care about their students, and it made a huge difference in my life. The political science department really does have some of the best professors I have ever met.”

The international development minor For students who are more interested in countries’ problems that stem from poverty, the international development minor allows them to focus on developing countries specifically, explained Blimes. Many BYUH students come from developing countries, he said, emphasizing how his goal is to try to help students to work through effective ways to help their countries. He said this minor is even helpful for those who are in good po sitions because they can think about how they can help those who are less fortunate. “Having good intentions is great, but it’s not enough. [People need] to have enough knowledge [they] can turn [their] good intentions into actual useful policies.”

He said the class will help marketing majors and minors hone their skills and take them “10 steps ahead of [their] competition.”


Ann Springer of the Faculty of Business & Government said she worked for several years to bring a marketing agency class to BYU–Hawaii where students gain real world experience, and she is thrilled to see it start. In the class, called “b digital,” students apply what they learn in other core marketing classes to real world experiences, she shared. “They know how to run a campaign. They know how to develop social media presence. They know the theories and the vocabulary. They just need a place to fly the plane.” That place to fly, Springer said, is the b-digital class. How it works Springer said students in the class divide and conquer the work, collaborating in teams to perform tasks for their clients. Each team has a student leader, so as students work their way through the marketing agency from semester to semester, they gain valuable leadership experience. Springer said, “This [class] is intended to be student led.”

Sydney Sears, a junior from China studying business management-marketing, said the class is “basically functioning like a real digital marketing agency.” During her second semester taking the class, she was given more leadership roles, she said. This helped her “be more involved with … deliverables and clients,” Sears said. “I wish this class was offered years ago because I would have loved to take it for three or more semesters.”

The class has benefitted him, Yamamoto shared, because he has been able to “shift from being a college student to being a marketer.”

Clients request certain marketing skills, Springer said, and students work together to fulfill the requests. Doing so helps students become proficient in current market demands. She said the class is important because it allows students to complete real projects, which offers them a new perspective as they overcome inevitable complications then work together as a team to create a cohesive plan.

Sophie Richmond, a BYUH alumna from San Diego who is Springer’s intern, said as part of b digital, students do branding and re-branding, promotions, sales, social media, Instagram monetizing, advertising and create web Jasoncontent.Yamamoto, a senior from Hawaii studying marketing, said at the beginning of the semester, students could choose which of the four teams they wanted to be a part of. The teams were “social media management, sales and promotion, branding and web development.” He said the teams “are all intertwined” and work together to “make a masterpiece.”

A new marketing agency class, b digital, allows students to gain real-world experience by working for real companies ELLE LARSON & ABBIE PUTNAM


Springer said the work students do in the class varies by semester because they are always working to keep the class current.

She said it has shown her she is “capable of doing [her] dream job.” Yamamoto said the most valuable project for him has been working with the Ho‘okele Department “to bring more students, faculty and employers to the Asia-Pacific Career Conference,” he shared. “As the sales and promotion team, I have had the opportunity to discuss and plan events with my classmates I would never have thought of initiating. They are always new ideas and initiative being taken and I absolutely love it.”

She said this is a great opportunity, especially for female students who want to continue in the workforce and make money without working a full-time job.

Referring to the name and branding of the class, he said, “B daring. B successful. B digital.”

Springer said BYUH’s new professor, Tserennyam Sukhbaatar of the Faculty of Business & Government, alternates with her to teach the Sukhbaatarclass.said he plans to share his global connections and experience while teaching. “I’m taking some notes on how to deliver the best outcome for the students,” he said. “I would like to share lots of really practical experiences and knowledge with the students.” • Graphics by Katie Mower.

Diverse clients

In addition, she said, the class helps build student’s portfolios and resumes because telling a potential employer they can do something doesn’t matter. What matters, she explained, is being able to show employers what they have done.

Because BYUH is a global university, Springer said, clients can come from anywhere in the world. “A lot of people have reached out. The agency is definitely successful and people are hearing about [it].” She said the class is booked with possible clients for several semesters. She explained there are unique markets in different countries, from secluded Mongolia to booming Hong Kong. She said there have been and will continue to be opportunities for students to work with accomplished BYUHMariahalumni.Jones, a junior from Salt Lake City, Utah, majoring in business marketing, said the class has been valuable to her because she has been able to “bounce ideas off 10 brains and experience what working in a marketing agency will be like.”

She said students who took the class in its first semester also worked together to develop the branding of the class and pitched it to companies to develop a pool of clients. This was valuable because it showed the students “how much work goes into launching a new brand,” said Springer. Sears, who took the class during that time, said, “Building b digital from the ground up has taught me the inner workings of a digital marketing agency and how much work is necessary to really succeed.”

Moving forward, Springer said, students will have a say in everything, including clients, services and company growth. Sears encouraged students to take advantage of the class. “If this opportunity is available, take it. [Students] can take a bunch of marketing classes, but there’s no better experience than actual hands-on experience.”

Springer said students with that kind of experience are more likely to be hired for a management position. “A student with leadership experience on top of that level of return on investment is super powerful in the workplace. … For the rest of their career, they’re going to make more money.” Digital marketing is an easy field for students to get into and start themselves, Springer said. “Anybody with a laptop or a cell phone and great internet can make a lot of money.”

Building from the ground up Springer said the students who took the class during its first semester developed the name together. The name they chose, b digital, was inspired by President Gordon B. Hinckley’s “be’s”: be grateful, be smart, be clean, be true, be humble and be prayerful. In addition, she said, the name represents how a lot of companies “need to take the digitization step” and “take advantage of Generation Z and their creative power.”

Inspiration While she was envisioning the b digital class, Springer said, she was impressed with the digital marketing agency classes at both BYU–Idaho and BYU in Provo because they work with real clients, have budgets of thousands of dollars and create impressive resumes for the students involved. She spoke of one student in the BYU in Provo class that started a $10,000 account for a client and turned it into $100,000 in revenue. “She put that on her LinkedIn,” Springer said, “and had multiple job offers coming out of the pandemic before she graduated.”

Springer said the projects allow students to “see the success … in real time.”

Brown, a training supervisor at the Polynesian Cultural Center, said he would buy Chunky cookies in bulk during their sales on The freshly baked cookies boxed and ready for sale.

Photo by Yui Leung.

Tyrone Brown, a BYUH alumnus from Laie, Hawaii, said Chunky cookies were everything he imagined them to be: crispy and chunky with gooey chocolate. In high school, he said his friends would call him “The Cookie Monster” because he always sought out the best chocolate chip cookie. Hearing about the Moes’ business was exciting to him because trying new cookies is one of his favorite things.

An expert with 35 years, Maples said he appreciated too that the couple was open to tough feedback. Hali’a Moe said they began selling cookies under a pop-up tent in October 2019 but officially started as a business in January 2020. She said due to the pandemic, their business opened and closed based on state shutdowns.

Trial and error Sterling Moe said at first, his wife would bake multiple batches of cookies for family members to get their feedback. Although her cookies tasted good, he said it wasn’t different from what they’ve tasted before, and they wanted to make their cookies different from everyone else’s.

Hali’a Moe, a 2018 BYUH alumna from Laie, Hawaii, said she and her husband grew up using semi-sweet chocolate chips and had never heard of using milk chocolate chips for baking cookies. After hearing this, she began looking for different chocolate chips and tried to recreate similar tastes she had experienced before.

Sterling Moe said through support from the community, they were able to thrive through the pandemic. “The students weren’t on campus yet. It was just the community that kept us Polynesiansafloat.” don’t just buy for themselves, he added, and buyers would purchase their cookies for families to share, ministering purposes, birthdays or church events. He said Chunky cookies appeal to people because it’s different from other snacks such as chocolate macadamia nuts. Upon seeing their success, Sterling Moe shared he wanted to start selling cookies as a full-time business. He realized he needed to quit his job at CLIMB Works to fully commit to running their business. Quitting his full-time job during a pandemic was a “leap of faith” and a blessing because they are both able to work from home, he said.


Hali’a Moe said one of their challenges was finding a consistent amount of ingredients to bake their cookies. Initially, they started with one brand of chocolate before it went out of stock, she said, and had to search for a new one. In seeking out their ingredients, she shared, they had to find something that was both affordable and available in bulk.

Christina Akanoa is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Business & Government and one of the relatives who taste tested for the Moes. According to Akanoa, Hali’a Moe enjoyed baking from a young age and her mother and sisters baked as well. Living across from Sterling and Hali’a Moe, Akanoa said she was often asked to try out their cookies to see how they tasted.

Another challenge, Sterling Moe shared, was living in Laie. It hasn’t gotten easier since they still have to go to town to get their ingredients, he said. However, he added, they have more space to store their ingredients than their first year of business and don’t have to commute as much. Sweet and salty After much trial and error, Sterling Moe said his wife added salt to their chocolate chip cookies. Initially, he and others weren’t too sure about having salt on cookies, but said it tasted good upon trying it for the first time.

What started as a class project propelled a young Laie couple into a thriving local business

Hali’a Moe said the salt helps balance the sweetness from the dark chocolate chunks placed on their cookies. “I think it’s just my taste buds too. I really like salty and sweet. So, I really tried to make that balance with all of our cookies.”

BY LEVI FUAGA In 2017, Hali’a Moe said she and her husband, Sterling Moe, visited Utah and tasted cookies from Crumbl and Chip. Intrigued by the taste, Moe said she wanted to figure out why these cookies tasted like nothing she ever had before. “So I was like, ‘I want to try to recreate that,’” she said. After talking to her husband, she said they proposed their idea of selling cookies in a food and beverage class. Today, five years later, thanks to the support of the people around them and a great deal of trials and errors, their idea has grown into a thriving business, called Chunky cookies, shared Moe. An early support system Sterling Moe, a 2018 BYU–Hawaii alumnus from Laie, Hawaii, said in the food and beverage class, taught by Instructor Greg Maples, their assignment was to create a prototype for a restaurant or food truck that could open up on this side of the island. He said Maples supported their idea from the beginning and was confident it would do well amongst collegeMaples,students.anadjunct instructor in the Faculty of Business & Government, said Sterling and Hali’a Moe were passionate and enthusiastic about doing something on their own. “I fell in love with them and their concept and just thought they [did] and continue to do a really great job.”

Akanoa said they order cookies from the couple during their sales. Her son, she added, enjoys the cookies and would call Fridays “Cookie Friday.” She said, “We do it to support. We love the cookies, but at the same time, we want to help them out by supporting [their] business.”

It is important for people to follow their passion, said Maples, and to find joy in doing what they love. Having grown up in Laie, Sterling and Hali’a Moe didn’t ride on the “coattails of their families” or take up jobs at the PCC or BYUH, he added. “They went into something completely different and did it on their own. “I would say anybody can bake a cookie. Not everybody can sell a cookie that’s

As the vice president of Culinary Services at Polynesian Cultural Center, Maples said he offered to buy their cookies and sell them at Pounders Restaurant. He said he made that decision because he believed in their product and in them as people. “These are successful people [who] just so happen [to] have a passion for making a really great bunch of cookies. And they’re using their talent to do that.”

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Above: Hali’a and Sterling Moe showing off a box of their cookies at a Chunky cookie sale. Right: BYUH student buying a box of the locally made cookies.

Akanoa said Sterling Moe enjoys football and has trained her sons, without asking for anything in return, because he loves doing it. He and his wife, she added, have genuinely good hearts and serve without asking for anything in return. Mark of an owner One time, Maples said he had ordered 300 cookies for a church activity. He said Sterling and Hali’a Moe delivered the cookies neatly in boxes, undamaged and provided napkins. “You felt like you were really being taken care of, and that’s a mark of an owner who really wants to make a difference, who loves their business.”

Photos by Yui Leung.

Wednesdays and Fridays. He said the pandemic opened his eyes to supporting local business es, and he respects Sterling and Hali’a Moe for working with what they have and making the best of it. “If you’re looking to support local, this is one of the ways you can do that. It’s kind of hard for natives or locals to stay in Hawaii.”

going to be around for a long time. You have to have passion for whatever you’re doing in order to do that.”

The future of Chunky cookies Sterling Moe said they eventually want to work on a food truck to drive around and sell their products across the North Shore. He said they’re selling at Pounders and BYUH and have been approached by Seven Brothers. Hali’a Moe added they want to have a storefront to sell from but aren’t able to at the moment with their current space. She said she and her husband are extremely grateful for the support from students and community members. Sterling Moe said students can continue to support other small businesses alongside theirs. To learn more about Chunky cookies and stay up to date about the newest cookie, follow @chunky_co on Instagram. Cookies are sold every Wednesday and Friday from 1 p.m. until the last cookie is gone. The tent can be found at 55-421 Naniloa Loop, Laie, Hawaii. You can also find the cookies on campus at the C-Store whenever there is a new supply of them.

Brown described Sterling and Hali’a Moe as people with “golden hearts,” who bless other people through their talents. Supporting people like the Moes, he added, will allow them to continue serving and giving back to the community.Brown,who grew up with Sterling Moe, said he is a service-oriented person. On one occasion, Sterling Moe started a barbecue fundraiser to raise money for an athlete from Laie who was injured playing football on the mainland, he added. He said in Laie, it is nor mal for community members to support each other in times of need. Despite challenges they’ve faced, Sterling and Hali’a Moe are very hardworking people, said Akanoa. She added she admires the Moes’ perseverance. As a young couple with four children, she said they have managed to support themselves financially and still spend quality time together. “They’re a great example of ‘no pain, no gain.’ You’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t work for it.”

50 KE ALAKA‘I 2022 learningthe Information from the Collections of Waikiki website. Graphics by Marlee Palmer.

used when greeting someone and saying goodbye used to express gratitude; turn it into "Mahalo nui loa" to add emphasis from the word "the kind" and used as a substitution word for all scenarios meaning child a slang word used as "okay" or an acknowledgement food or a meal; must be spelled with a 'z' hand gesture meant as a greeting, farewell or sign of approval meaning chatting and reminiscing with friends and acquaintances



photo by YukimiKishi

Hawaii Marine Animal Response (HMAR) says beach visitors should stay at least 50 feet away from monk seals, and 150 feet away if the monk seal is a mother with a pup. If HMAR or NOAA-sanctioned personnel are present, follow their instructions, as harassing a monk seal is illegal under the Endangered Species Act and can cost thousands of dollars in fines.

The American Oceans site states if the Hawaiian monk seal were to go extinct, the Hawaiian ecosystem would be devastated. Monk seals are apex predators and have an important role in the food chain keeping crustacean, fish and squid populations under control. According to a National Geographic profile on monk seals, they live between 25 to 30 years and can weigh up to 600 pounds. From nose to back flipper, they grow to be about 7 feet long. The Oceana website states monk seals are usually solitary when they’re not breeding or raising pups. They can dive up to 1,800 feet in the water, and their main predator is the tiger shark.

Marine Mammal Center translates as “dog that runs in rough water.” They are found only in Hawaii, making them an endemic species, according to the Marine Mammal Center. six main breeding populations, they said: Kure Atoll, Midway Islands, Pearl and Hermes Reef, Lisianski Island, Laysan Island and the French Frigate Monument,Shoals.the mostly unpopulated northwestern islands in the Hawaiian archipelago. The Center for Biological Diversity said on its website more and more monk seals are moving to the main islands, such as Oahu, where pups have a better survival rate.

Another less natural threat to the monk seal is a protozoal disease called toxoplasmosis. NOAA has documented at least 11 monk seal deaths to toxoplasmosis since 2011. Toxoplasmosis is spread through the droppings of cats infected with the disease, meaning that Hawaii’s large population of feral cats has become an indirect threat to the endangered monk seal, according to NOAA.

For 60 years, their population has been declining, and their current population level is only one-third the amount it once was.

The Hawaiian monk seal, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is one of the world’s most endangered species of seal. For 60 years, their population has been declining, and their current population level is only one-third the amount it once was. According to the Marine Mammal Center, the current population count is 1,400. However, NOAA stated on their website the population is rising. They credit this to their recovery efforts, such as habitat protection and vaccinating wild seals against viruses.


MONK Seals

In the late 1970s, May became known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, or AAPI, which commemorates the success of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander figures, the History website says. According to the website, New York representative Frank Horton and Hawaii’s Senator Daniel Inouye, the namesake for Honolulu’s airport, tried passing laws to dedicate the first ten days of May towards recognizing Asian and Pacific American Heritage. The laws weren’t passed until Horton reintroduced another resolution the following year, which was passed. Eventually, under George W. Bush’s administration, the weeklong celebration was expanded to a month and renamed AAPI Heritage Month. Terrell Wu, a senior communications major from Malaysia, said although he is Malaysian, he looks up to Asian Americans. He said Asian Americans tend to have an identity crisis about whether they’re truly Asian or American.

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“It shows respect to put effort into learning about the culture of the people around you and the place in which you live, both from books and from living people.”-Prof Eve Koller

Samoans are known for going into the military, Reid shared, because that was one way to leave the island and explore the world. She said with second, third and proceeding generations living outside of Samoa, there needs to be a link back to the culture.

To see videos on student and faculty AAPI inspirations, scan the QR code below:

Representation is important because in America, Wu explained, Asians are underrepresented and subject to stereotypes. Asians are depicted as being good at math or martial arts, being geeky, weak and defenseless. He said recent films such as “Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings” and Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon” portray Asians against such stereotypes. “More than most of these films are not only making a lot of money because of actual depiction, but, they’re telling real stories, real culture and real traditions instead of the made up ones that we see on TV.”

Rowena Reid, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Sciences, said there are many Samoans who live in the mainland and some in New Zealand and Australia. She said Samoa wouldn’t have enough room for all the Samoans now to live in, thus, the population is scattered. Because of this, she added, there needs to be more representation, to have their voice represented.


AAPI IslandersPacificAsianAmerican

40 countries are included in Asian American Pacific Islanders. 7% of Asian American Pacific Islanders in the United States. 50 ethnic groups are represented in Asian American Pacific Islanders.

Kalani Jensen, a sophomore from Huntington Beach, California, majoring in hospitality and tourism management, said malama i ka ‘aina means “not only to care for but to respect the land that your ancestors made and built up for you.”

Kiana Serrao, a junior from Stansbury Park, Utah, majoring in biology, said malama i ka ‘aina means “taking care of the culture and the people who live there. It is being respectful to everyone who is here, not just the people, but the animals and the trees.”

A call to action While visiting the island when he was younger, Jensen said his dad would encourage him to pick up trash whenever they saw it. “When we would go surfing, we pick up at least five pieces of trash out in the water.” He said he feels this concept is something instilled in most Hawaiians.

“Right now I am trying to learn the Hawaiian culture for how to take care of the land.” Richter shared she has been vegan for a long time, but after moving to Hawaii, she decided to take a break from being vegan in an effort to be more fully immersed in the Hawaiian culture.


BY KYLEE DENISON The literal translation for malama i ka ‘aina, according to the Hawaiian Dictionary, is “caring for the land.” In fact, it is even the name of the science curriculum for K-12 students in Hawaii, according to the Malama I Ka ‘Aina website. But for BYU–Hawaii students with Hawaiian heritage, they said it means so much more than that.

A Hawaiian phrase, it means caring for the land and so much more, and students say they are embracing the call to respect the island

Although it might make for a good photo, Serrao said it is important to give wild animals space. “It is disrespectful to the locals and to the animals,” she explained.

In fact, “endangered, threatened and indigenous species, including humpback whales, false killer whales, Hawaiian monk seals, the yellow-bellied sea snake, numerous species of dolphins and all species of turtles are protected” under Hawaii state laws, says the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural ResourcesMadisonwebsite.Richter, a junior from Ohio majoring in intercultural peacebuilding, said she is trying to be more environmentally conscious about what she consumes.

Jensen said local Hawaiians “respect the kapu, or the sacred land. They try to push to keep that land sacred … they fight really hard for what they believe and they fight really hard for their land.”

“It is our responsibility, especially here in Hawaii as guests on this island, that we take care of everything. We don’t come in and disturb the ecosystem,” Serrao said, and students should be respectful of sacred lands.

Listening to the locals is also important, Jensen said. If locals do not go on certain a hike, don’t go, he explained. People educating themselves about the island and leaving a place cleaner than it was found, are examples of malama i ka ‘aina, he added. Being respectful Serrao said when visiting the island in 2016, she and her family were walking along Bikini Beach when they ran into a local woman carrying a bag she said she fills up with trash on her morning walk every single day. “Just the little things like that,” she added, are ways to take care of the land.

Richter said she is respecting the culture by incorporating more Hawaiian foods and by going out and being in nature.


“It is important for me to respect the culture by living it,” she continued.

Photos by Emarie Majors. Graphics by Emily Hendrickson.

Your friendly local chickens’ deepest secrets. Do you know these chicken fun facts? BY XYRON LEVI CORPUZ 1. Did you know there are more chickens on the earth than people? There are more than 20 billion chickens and only 8 billion humans. –3.chickensandmore.comDidyouknowchickens can see in full color? Don’t underestimate what chickens can do. – 2. Did you know chickens are the Tyrannosaurus Rex’s closest living relatives? If you don’t want to get hurt by its relatives, be careful around chickens. – 4. Did you know chickens dream while they sleep? Chickens are more like humans than you think. –






Capturing a wild chicken in its natural habitat on the grounds of Kualoa Beach Park. Photo by Emarie Majors. Did you know the chickens’ earlobes determine the color of an eggshell? – Did you know on Christmas Eve in Japan, people often eat fried chicken? – Did you know hens communicate to their unhatched eggs through clucks and humming? – Did you know chickens can learn the sound of their names as well as the names of the other chickens in their flock? – Did you know chickens can’t taste sweet flavors but can taste salty ones? – Did you know chickens can remember and recognize faces? –



Ingley explained why he believes it is the responsibility of people to preserve the Earth’s resources. “I think [people] have a divine mandate to care for natural resources.

A combination of harvesting and coastal erosion continues to deplete the world of its second most used natural resource: sand

Bye-bye, beach

He said as the world grows more urban, the Earth’s sand reserves grow smaller, and just behind water, sand is the most-used commodity in the world. “Sand does seem like a limitless resource, but it’s not,” Ingley said. He said there is a high demand for sand to create products used every day, from glass and silicon microchips to concrete. Using up the sand In a Business Insider article, Rob Ludacer says most of the sand the world consumes is used to make concrete, which is made of 75 percent sand. This means the more cities built with concrete, the more “marine sand” is taken from the bottom of rivers, lakes and oceans, he explains.InhisCNBC article, Sam Meredith writes although it is difficult to measure the amount of sand used every year, scientists estimate 4.1 billion tons of cement is produced annually worldwide. This means the world uses 40 to 50 billion tons of sand annually, explains Meredith. Ingley said, “As the human population has grown exponentially, so has our demand for sand. We’re living bigger and more complex lives than ever before, and this is putting a huge strain on all of our natural resources, including the oft-forgotten sand.”

Honolulu built with Maui’s sand Adriane Corwin says in her Maui News article that sand mining is a big deal in Maui, where the island has a unique Pu’u One (hill of sand) dune system. She explains the sand from Maui’s dunes was sought after in the 1980s because it produces high-quality concrete. By 2006, she says 70 percent of Maui’s dune sand was shipped to Oahu, making up 2.5 million tons of sand to build the urban metropolis of Honolulu. A Khon2 article states in 2018, Maui county Mayor Alan Arakawa, called for a sixmonth ban on sand mining in Maui. However, the Maui sand dune debate continues today with no permanent action taken by the government, the article says.

Ingley said beach erosion is partly driven by a rising sea level and more frequent and stronger storms. “Storm surge erodes the coastline quickly, causing our beaches to retreat. Because we’ve built along so much of the coastline, there isn’t anywhere for the beach to retreat to,” he said. On the Hawaii News Now website, Samie Solina explains this year, the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Waikiki Beach Special Improvement District teamed up to restore 24,000 cubic yards of sand to the Waikiki beach. Solina explains the team does this by dredging up sand from the bottom of the seashore and pumping it onto the beach. Ludacer acknowledges the problems associated with this solution. He says dredging up sand disturbs habitats of ocean floor micro organisms. In addition, the sand dredged up is quickly replaced again with sand from the seashoreIngleyanyway.saida shortage of sand affects Laie the same way it does the rest of the world. Ocean levels erode the coast, so he said beaches like Hukilau will lose their sand, much like Waikiki and other beaches in Hawaii. As the sand depletes, the supply of building materials made with sand will decrease, driving their prices up, he explained. Save the sand Ingley gives students this advice to help save the sand, “The best thing [people] can do is avoid trampling coastal vegetation and get involved in local restoration projects that might help bolster the health and strength of [the] coastlines.” He discouraged panicking about the shortage, but said, “We should definitely be concerned about this issue and do what we can to help. First and foremost, we should consume less. The more we consume, the more natural resources we use.”

BY ELLE LARSON It’s hard to imagine the world running out of the little white particles making up Hawaii’s beaches, but it’s true, said Dr. Spencer Ingley, assistant professor in the Faculty of Sciences. “A lot of shore is lost along the coastline due to erosion,” said Ingley. “Sand is also mined from all over the place for use in construction projects. … Sand is moving quite a lot, both with the help of humans and naturally.”

... There is a lot we can do as individuals, as a church, and as a whole population to de crease use of natural resources and foster the recovery of resources through the appropriate restoration projects.” • Graphics by Marlee Palmer.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports, “Waikiki beach has shrunk by about 30 cm a year over the past five decades.”

The change may be difficult for some students. Amelia Meli, a junior from Kaimuki double majoring in biology and Hawaiian Studies, said she takes the bus fairly often but isn’t sure if she’ll get a HOLO card. “I’ll miss the one-day pass. It was useful.” She said she feels as though TheBus is primarily making this change to squeeze extra money out of card-less passengers who need to make transfers.

If your card is lost or stolen, you can cancel it online and get a free replacement card at Foodland. Register your new card and use the website to transfer the stored balance from your canceled card onto the new card. You can’t do this if you didn’t register your first card at a account. Be aware, TheBus does not guarantee getting and replacing HOLO cards will always be free. TheBus’s FAQ says once initial distribution is over, a fee may be introduced. TheBus currently does not have any public information on when this may occur.

To use the HOLO card, simply tap the card against the card reader at the entrance of the bus and wait for the shaka sign or the ukulele tone. On your way off the bus, you don’t need to tap again. If you’re running low on funds, the reader will flash yellow to remind you to reload the card. While you can keep your HOLO card in your wallet, take it out before tapping the reader. According to TheBus’s Frequently Asked Questions on its website this is important so the reader is able to detect the microchip on your HOLO card only, not your other cards. The reader will not take payment from the same card more than once within two minutes, so don’t worry about accidentally double-charging. Thus, you cannot pay for other people. Each passenger needs their own HOLO card.

If you qualify for reduced bus fares due to disability, are on Medicare, or are under 17 or over 65, you cannot get a HOLO card at Foodland. Disability and Medicare cards must be retrieved from TheBus Pass Office on Middle Street in Honolulu. Senior and Youth cards can now be retrieved from certain city halls, Foodland, Times Market and 7/11. If you prefer to purchase a HOLO card via mail, it can take up to 10 business days for it to be delivered. At this time, only Adult HOLO cards are available for purchase by mail.


2. Then, go to the Laie Village Shopping Center Foodland customer service counter and ask for an Adult HOLO card. They will activate your card and give it to you for free. At this stage, however, you can’t use it to ride the bus. The card still has to be loaded and registered.

4. Return to your account and select “Add HOLO card.” Input the card number and security code, then press the “Add card” button. From there, you can load the card, as well as check how much money is left on it if you’re not using a monthly pass.

Customer service representatives representatives could not comment on if student discounts will become available in the future. •

According to Hawaii Public Radio, the HOLO card will be usable at rail stations when they open. Further information is not available at this time, as the fare cost for the rail has not been officially decided yet

How to use TheBus’s Holo card to pay for transportation BY ANNA STEPHENSON

J ust as landline phones, iPods and printed-out assignments are fading into the past, so are paper bus passes on Oahu. Starting July 1, 2021, the Honolulu-based transit company TheBus no longer offered paper passes, including monthly and day passes. If you intend to ride the bus more than one round trip a day, you will need a HOLO card. However, getting a HOLO card is easy. With the lack of paper passes, you must pay individually for every route in the transfer. The funds on the HOLO card never expire. 1.Go to and make an account with an email address and password. (You technically do not have to do this, but it’ll protect you in case of theft or losing the card.)

Left: TheBus and an example of a HOLO card. Photos by Mark Daeson Tabbilos.

3. Register and load the card online using a credit or debit card. You can load the card with as much money as you want. (You can also load the card at Foodland. Just register it online and bring it back to the customer service counter, where you’ll need to pay cash to load it. Local 7/11 stores also can load cards.)

If you have friends or family coming to visit Oahu and they intend to take the bus, you could advise them to get a HOLO card. The card itself is free and there are locations near the Honolulu Airport where they can pick one up.

5. The website also gives you an option to auto-bill your bank account or credit card every month. TheBus website says monthly passes cost $80 and can be purchased after the 19th of every month to be valid for the following month. Also you can earn a monthly pass by simply using your Holo card. Once you reach the $80 amount on your card, you can ride the rest of the month for free, says the Holo website. Additionally, using a HOLO card and paying fare for two trips automatically grants you a daily pass with free transfers within two and one-half hours of riding. Individual trips are still $3 each. If you do not have a HOLO card, each bus trip, including transfers, will cost $3 in cash, exact change only. TheBus will no longer be handing out paper day passes, so you must pay each way.

Pla n your perfect Plan your perfectNor t h S horeDa y

Head to Keiki’s Beach to lay out and catch some Somesun. fresh fruit from a nearby fruit stand. Hike the Sunset Pillbox for sunset, then grab dinner at the Kahuku Mill. Pack a picnic and hike the Kawela Bay Pillbox. Watch the sunset while enjoying your dinner.

Need plans for today?

Watch sunrise? Go out for breakfast? Beach day? Refuel with... Day in Dessert?Dinner?Haleiwa? Watch the sunset? Hike Crouching Lion for sunrise. Watch the sunrise from Bikini Beach or Laie Point. Get Loco Moco at Ted’s Bakery.

Get a Seven Brother’s burger at Shark’s Cove for dinner. Banzai Bowls or Matsumoto’s shave ice for a snack. Grab Foodland sushi and catch the sunset from Sunset Beach.Go paddleboarding down the Anahulu Stream and see the sea turtles.

Get real fruit ice cream at Sweet As. Go to Angel’s and get milkshakes or shave ice. Visit all the shops in Downtown Haleiwa and jump off the Rainbow Bridge. Lay out at Pipeline and watch the surfers.

Get Mac Nut Banana Pancakes at Papa Ole’s. Go on a morning walk down theBikeMalaekahanaPath.Write in your journal. Make an acai bowl or fruit smoothie. Makewithpancakesfriends. Here are someMakeoptions.Sleepin?yourownbreakfast?

A beginner’s guide to respecting Laie and bridging the gap between the community and school BY KYLEE DENISON

Terry Moea’i added this mindset “is really a roadblock and an obstacle” keeping the community and BYUH students from having the unity they need to have. He said an intersection between the two groups must happen to keep the conflict narrative from controlling the relationship. Kerry Moea’i, who is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Education & Social Work, said people should not wonder whether or not this healing can happen, they should simply be determined to make it happen. Gratitude is the key Emarie Majors, a junior from Hamilton, Montana, majoring in art and political science, said, “I feel very welcomed and respected by the Laie community within the little interactions I have had with them.” She offered her thoughts on how to bridge the gap. Majors encouraged students to get to know the locals, and the locals can also get to know the students. “An openness from both sides needs to be exercised,” she shared. Majors said the Laie community has been much more welcoming than the university she attended previously. She shared an experience when a friendly man she didn’t know waved and smiled at her. “ That really struck me,” she said. “I found myself saying, ‘Hi,’ to more strangers that day just because that guy was so friendly to me.”

The Hawaiian Club presidency got together and spelled out basic guidelines for anyone who is unsure or wants to under stand how to respect Laie and surrounding communities, Yamamoto said. The guidelines included a list of dos and don’ts and came down to three words, “malama,” “kuleana” and “aloha.”According to the wehewehe website’s Hawaiian dictionary, malama means “to take care of,” kuleana means “to be responsible” and aloha means more than a greeting, it is “respect,” “love,” “compassion” and “family.”

Don’t think you know everything

However, he said, conflict between BYUH students and the community is still happening and has been happening for a long time. For Native Hawaiians, there has been a “constant and repetitious state of taking” due to historical conflicts between the Native Hawaiian people and newcomers, including American settlers and the Church, he explained.

Majors said students need to be cautious not to “get so caught up in what [they] are doing” they don’t recognize the hospitality and kindness of the locals. It is more the student’s responsibil ity, Majors said, to express gratitude for living in the local communities, especially because “in general, with any student popula tion anywhere, [they] are often consuming and not really putting back into the community. [They] are taking more than [they] are giving back.”

NEW STUDENT 2022 67 Graphics by Emily Hendrickson.

A beginner’s guide to respecting Laie President of the Hawaiian Club Kamaua Yamamoto, a senior studying marketing from North Kohala, Big Island, said students need to find the balance of making the local com munities their home while also realizing they are guests. “No matter if [people] stay here for a week or a semester, there is an impact [they] will leave. Even if [they] think [they] are just doing [their] own thing, it is going to affect someone who lives here,” explained Yamamoto. Yamamoto said the best way for students to respect this community is by living the honor code and getting to know the people within this community. Kerry Moea’i added it is important to recognize there are cultural barriers everywhere, which is why it’s important to be educated about them. Because of this, he said he makes a special effort to address the divide between BYUH and the community in the social workHedepartment.saidhismission is a phrase in Hawaiian, “E kulia i ka nu’u,” which translates to “strive to reach the highest summit.” Terry Moea’i clarified the summit is a place where “the needs of both the students and the community” are honored. He said one example of this gap was the party on Laie Point in September 2021 that violated COVID-19 guidelines and the honor code.

Laie local and senior manager in the Student Leadership & Service Department, Terry Moea’i said he and his brother, Kerry Moea’i, have a vision to bridge the gap between BYU–Hawaii and the community. Terry Moea’i said because he and his brother were raised in Laie, they have relationships “on both sides of the wall”–with both students and community members–and would like that to be the case for more people. Those walls, Kerry Moea’i explained, are the ones in front of the school. He said the community is divided. “Everybody knows where Temple View Apartments are. Every one knows where faculty housing is. When [people] drive up Moana Street, there is ‘Haole Mo Street,’ then there is ‘Mo Street.’ All the professors live on ‘Haole Mo Street.’”

Terry Moea’i said the gap can be bridged by creating a “space where dialogue can hap pen, where I can say to the students in a loving and Christlike way that what [they] are doing is hurting [the community]. There could be this opportunity where truth, mercy, justice and peace can happen. I believe we can collaborate in so many ways.”

Respectful ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’ts’

The following list created by the Hawaiian Club presidency outlines key ways for students to better respect the community: Malama Pick up after yourself Treat this like it is your home Don’t walk barefoot Don’t bring dirt inside Respect the land, do not litter Kuleana Learn about Hawaiian culture and history, from the right sources Know our limits and nature safety Don’t turn your back to the waves, when in doubt, don’t go out Wear honor code Don’t walk in the middle of the road Don’t speed through Laie Don’t blast music, especially late at night Don’t make this your vacation Aloha Make local friends Say hi to people, shaka back! Treat this like your home, you are a guest Listen to our kapuna (ancestors) Have a sense of humor

Two local brothers, Terry and Kerry Moea’i stand with students on the streets of Laie. Photo by Mark Daeson Tabbilos

Photos by Mark Daeson Tabbilos

BYUH Assistant Professor and Outreach Librarian Stephanie Robertson reads a copy of the Ke Alaka’i while she eats at the Banyan Tree Dining Hall.



New dining hall’s name was suggested by a student in a naming contest and symbolizes unity in Hawaii, says Big Island student BY ALEXANDRA CLENDENNING AND LAUREN GOODWIN

Rayudu explained how having the new dining hall named after the banyan tree made her happy because in her culture it symbolizes diversity and the name would be a representation of people coming together under the expansive tree.

72 KE ALAKA‘I 2022

Alyssa Wilson, a sophomore from Oregon studying intercultural peacebuilding, said having a new dining facility is great way to meet new people, enhance her BYUH experience and enjoy new food and cultures. “I’m excited to have an even bigger space to eat meals that is a little friendlier than the old cafeteria,” she shared. “I really love we’re going to have a place to eat outside! I don’t know much about the new menus, but I’m sure they’ll be great.”

he new Banyan Dining Hall is open on campus and the name of the dining hall was selected from nearly 1,000 student submissions in a “naming contest” put on by BYU–Hawaii Food Services. Katai Mariteragi’s idea to call it the Banyan Dining Hall was chosen by the department.

New and improved Keala shared the new cafeteria will have different food stations including smoothies, pizza, grilled items, a salad bar and a local dish station.Along with the new serving stations, there will be an estimated 600 seats in the new dining hall, which will include both indoor and outdoor dining. The outdoor dining will be located where the old cafeteria, Club Dining, is located.TheBanyan Dining Hall has lots of windows and open spaces, he said, to make the dining experience more enjoyable.

Mahinalani Pulotu, a senior from Kailua Kona on the Big Island, majoring in social work, said the banyan tree, or “paniana” in Hawaiian, is a symbol of unity. It was seen as a symbol of unity, she shared, because it was given as a gift from Indian royalty to Hawaii.

The banyan tree has many different symbols in different cultures, including unity and aDavidrefuge.Keala, director of Food Services at BYU–Hawaii, explained the staff at the Banyan Dining Hall are happy to take suggestions and cook food the students love and miss from home. Students can send in recipes to Keala’s email, which is


Keala said the dining hall will be filled with plenty of selections for all students to enjoy, including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. “Food is essential and it helps people connect to one another and the cultures at BYUH,” he shared. “That’s why the facility is so important. We hope to get people connected to each other.”

Student interpretations of the name Anisha Rayudu, a freshman from India majoring in computer science, said in India, the banyan tree “has immense medical properties and is associated with longevity.” She said the tree is often used as an herb to treat illnesses or diseases. In addition, the tree provides shelter for many animals, which she added is symbolic of the different races and religions of the people of India. “With its seemingly unending expansion, the banyan tree symbolizes eternal life,” said Rayudu. The Sanskrit word for the banyan tree in Hindu culture is called, “kalpavriksha,” which she said means “a divine tree that fulfills wishes,” and is considered very sacred. She said banyan trees can be found throughout India, act as a “shield” from the hot sun and are the reason the tree is planted near homes, temples, and roadsides. She said the “banyan tree is considered the focal point of the Panchayats and the gathering place for village councils and meetings.”

The first banyan tree was given to Sheriff William Owen Smith from Maui in 1873 by missionaries from India, Pulotu shared. According to, this banyan tree was planted by the sheriff to “commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Protestant mission in Lahaina.”

In Hilo, shared Pulotu, there is a “Banyan Tree Drive,” constructed in 1934, where historical figures like President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Richard Nixon and Louis Armstrong came and planted banyan trees. Planting these trees became known as the “Hilo Walk of Fame” and a tradition for celebrities when they would visit Hilo, she explained.


Everyone is welcome Marilou Lee, a BYUH Food Service manager and almuna, shared the cafeteria is planning on inviting all students back this Fall Semester. “We will be needing a lot more workers to help us run the stations and to help accommodate for the large number of students,” Lee added. “There will definitely be more full-time positions open, as well as parttime positions for students.” She emphasized how the dining facilities will also be open to the community, and the staff are excited to start welcoming and serving them. “We want our community to come and enjoy the new cafeteria.” Lee said she welcomes everyone to be part of the campus ohana.

Students and staff eat at the Banyan Dining Hall will have seating both indoors and outdoors, said Food Services Director David Keala, but the outdoor seating will be where the old cafeteria is now. Photos by Mark Daeson Tabbilos “The banyan tree is considered the focal point of the Panchayats and the gathering place for village councils and meetings.”

74 KE ALAKA‘I 2021 SEASIDER TURF FIELD’S GRAND OPENING Students can play soccer, rugby, flag football, ultimate Frisbee and other university activities on the Seasider Turf Field BY ELLE LARSON

who attended the event, said he played intramural soccer, ultimate Frisbee and other sports on the old turf field as a student. “It was really grassy, and any time it rained, it got super muddy. The back part wasn’t much of a field, which made the end zone scary,” Earnshaw described. Despite the bumpy, slippery field, Earnshaw said nobody ever really hurt anything but their pride. He recalled, “Lots of sliding, lots of tripping, but it was super fun.”

Magalei said he thinks the new field is something students didn’t know they need until they had it. “Kind of like when the pavilion opened by the hales,” he said. “We didn’t realize we needed it until it was there. Now everyone uses those basketball courts all the time.


nder the hot summer sun, Laie community members and BYU–Hawaii students celebrated the grand opening of a new Seasider Turf Field on campus July 1, 2021. Athletes played a jumble of games, including rugby, soccer and spike ball, while spectators enjoyed pizza and ice cream bars on the sidelines. Not a frown could be found among the excited group. said Brandyn Akana, head of Sports and Sea sider Activities. “[The new field] helps us as we plan and organize events for the students.

Akana said two basketball courts with lights near the turf field where finished this summer and people can also play pickleball on that same court. The Seasider Turf Field held its grand opening right before the Fall 2021 Semester.

“The President’s Council has always wanted to get a good field,” Akana said. “Because of the departure of athletics, they wanted to put more focus on the students and the intramural program. …We were lacking a good field with good lighting. Something that, if it rains, we can use no matter what. After showing great numbers of students participating in events, they said, ‘Let’s do a field.’”

Photos by Mark Daeson Tabbilos

“[Playing on the new Seasider Turf Field] feels like you’re a professional athlete, playing in front of thousands of people,” Earnshaw said. “It makes it way more fun. Now you can play way harder and feel better about it.” Earnshaw said in comparison to the games he played as a student on the old fields, “this will make playing intramurals something people actually go to and watch because they can come and sit and watch the field.”

He added the Seasider Turf Field is made with the latest technology using coconut husk and sand, which helps the field stay cool in the sun.

Outside the field, spectators can sit on benches among beds of plants or stroll on paved pathways that wrap around trees. The field is overlooked by giant light poles, allowing people to play all night.

“Same with this. We didn’t really think we needed it, but now that it’s here, it’s going to be so nice for student life.”

Ethan Magalei, a sophomore from Hawaii studying business management–marketing, works in promotions for Seasider Activities. He said he expects the field will mostly be used for rugby and soccer, but they are planning a lot of events to take place on the new field, such as archery, dances, water activities and more. Akana said students can look forward to playing intramural sports, such as rugby, soccer, flag football and ultimate Frisbee, on the field.

Students can register for an intramural team on BYUH’s Engage site:,analumnusofBYUH

NOVEMBER 2021 75

“In our department,” Akana said, “our whole goal is to keep students engaged. We want them to relieve stress, have fun and make friends. This turf field opens up a lot of different opportunities to do that.”

Elder Neil Andersen and his wife, Kathy, stand along side BYUH President John S. K. Kauwe III and his wife, Monica, outside of the new Science Building. Photo by Mark Daeson Tabbilos


Confidence is

NEW BUILDING key in the expansion of BYUH, says Elder Neil L. Andersen at the Building dedication BY LEVI FUAGA


Using the words of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland from his 2021 presidential inauguration, Kauwe shared this building represents “one more conspicuous step in the fulfillment of prophecy that is inextricably linked with this particular campus.”

78 KE ALAKA‘I 2022 Elder Neil L. Andersen, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, offered a dedicatory prayer for the newly built Science Build ing, the first three-story building on campus on Jan. 15. He said he hopes the new building can inspire people to progress forward in confidence in fulfilling President David O. McKay’s vision for BYU–Hawaii.

Andersen reminded the audience of a principle taught by President Nelson recently in General Conference. “There really is such a thing as right or wrong. There really is absolute truth – eternal truth.”

Momentum to further the mission Kauwe conducted and spoke at the ceremony. He said the building represents the love and sacrifice of every member of the Church and acknowledged the faith and trust they have that makes it possible to live in Laie and learn at BYUH. The building also represents the expectation members of the BYUH ohana will honor their covenants and commitments and strive to love others and live worthy of the Lord’s blessings. He said those expectations include using the blessing of being at BYUH “to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, to serve families, communities, people of [their] homelands and the kingdom of God.”

Elder Neil Andersen speaks at the dedication of the new Science Building. Photo by Monique Saenz. Interior shots of the building are by Yui Leung.

Kathryn Palmer, a member of the Ho’olokahi Chamber Choir who sang at the ceremony, said singing in front of an apostle was really special. “It always feels good when [I] can use [my] gifts or something that [I’m] good at to benefit somebody else.”

Confidence in a BYUH learning experience

Secondly, he shared students must be confident in themselves, so if they return to their homelands and leave a significant mark on their home countries. He added he prays people can be prayerful about this and be lifted by the building “to have the confidence they need to prepare for these sacred moments in the future.”

The dedication featured speeches from former BYUH President John Tanner and Vice President of Academics Isaiah Walker, as well as a musical number entitled, “All Things Denote There Is a God,” in reference to the inscription on the face of the new building. The song was composed for the occasion by Erica Glenn, a visiting assistant professor of choral activities and voice in the Faculty of Culture, Language & Performing Arts.

The physical construction of the Science Building, Andersen shared, is symbolic of the growth and knowledge students can experience while attending BYUH because the standards of what students should have at the University were raised. He compared BYUH student’s learning experience with how the ceilings are designed to be opened. He said he prays students “are not just confined to learn what their professor knows,” but they will learn things even their professors never knew. He added students must be confident there is no conflict between religion and science. “Everything is known [by] God, and if there’s anything unknown, it’s only a matter of time until [people] know it. And if it seems to conflict, it’s only because [people] don’t understand the principles behind it.” Whether knowledge comes from revelation or secular learning, both types of learning are compatible, said BYUH President John S. K. Kauwe III, during his remarks at the dedication of the new Science Building. He quoted President Russel M. Nelson’s dedication of the Life Sciences building at BYU in Provo in 2014. Kauwe said, “All truth is part of the everlasting gospel. … There is no conflict between science and religion. Conflict arises only from an incomplete knowledge of either science or religion or both.”

Palmer, a junior from Arizona majoring in business, agreed confidence was emphasized during the ceremony. To her, confidence is what she is able to accomplish despite the smaller size of her University. She emphasized confidence means understanding students here “are just as meaningful” and able to impact others.


80 KE ALAKA‘I 2022

Above: The Science Building includes a quote from Alma 30:44 that says, “all things denote there is a God.” Right: The ceiling inside the Science Building. Photos by Yui Leung.

“All truth is part of the everlasting gospel. … There is no conflict between science and religion. Conflict arises only from an incomplete knowledge of either science or religion or both.”

He shared Andersen emphasized the importance of confidence in many aspects of life. He said there must be confidence in science and faith working together to resolve any discord. ‘All things denote there is a God’ Walker shared his awe for the building’s interactive space and indoor and outdoor learning facilities. “These characteristics importantly reflect and invite this spirit of inquiry, study and interaction.”

Elise Mitchell, a social media manager at University Communications and a 2020 graduate of BYUH, said she enjoyed the talks because they all centered on the student learning experience. “Whether it was Isaiah Walker or [President] Kauwe, they all were able to connect the building’s significance with student learning, how it’s going to help further the students’ education and how it’s really for the students.”

Another Hawaiian concept Tanner shared he loves is malama ‘aina, or responsibility for the earth. “I hope people ... will feel not only a love [for the earth], not only an understanding of it, but also a desire to take care of it. … That’s a Zion responsibility.”

While serving as president, Tanner said he described BYUH as a “Hawaiian Zion,” sharing the connection of the campus mission to several Hawaiian terms. For example, he discussed the Hawaiian word kuleana, which means having a responsibility to care for the land.


During the construction of the building, Tanner, who returned for the dedication for the first time since the conclusion of his presidency, shared he wanted to engrave a scripture that would describe what the building would represent. Tanner said he and former Academic Vice President John Bell, chose Alma 30:44, which reads, “All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it.” The verse embodies what he said he hopes will happen within the Science Building and on the BYUH campus generally: that students will be taught with the Spirit and come away with strengthened testimonies.

Pono, or righteousness, Tanner shared, was also in the dedication of this land through the idea that it would be a land established in righteousness. “Certainly, that’s part of the University’s heritage, to be a Zion community, because we are embracing the idea of pono, or righteousness.”

He explained, “This building is going to allow for academic preparation, the exchange and discovery of knowledge, in ways that have simply not been possible on this campus before. … This new capacity is going to provide students with learning and experience that will prepare them to succeed in their future endeavors, even in an increasingly challenging and changing world.”

The building, he said, is conducive to the natural environment surrounding the campus. He shared his admiration for the Pacific Ocean, the sacred homeland for the families of Oceania and the sacred mountain tops and forests, which will soon provide for the community. “I love how this building is situated because to me, it’s an extension of, not a barrier, to the natural elements.” He shared he is excited to see students being able to study the natural beauty from a new building and perspective.Walkershared fond memories of studying and meeting his wife in the original General Classroom Building, which used to sit where the new Science Building is. “I’m happy to think about the many great memories that will be made in this beautiful place,” he added.

Jonah Gunter, a sophomore from Washington majoring in intercultural peacebuilding, said the event was uplifting and celebrated the growth of the campus. “It wasn’t just about the building, but it was about the direction that campus is taking and the momentum we have going forward to further the mission.”


Humanities major says she creates and sells her own abstract art to express herself and destress

Cox said she fears pursuing an art career would limit her creativity because she would have to paint for certain audiences and work within a time frame. “I don’t really want [selling my artwork] to become my job because I feel like that would ruin my hobby [because] … I wouldn’t be able to do it when I want to.”

A lex Mortenson said one night while she and Sierra Cox were talking about homework assignments, she told Cox, “When you do lots of homework, your brain begins to leak out of your ears.” That night, Mortensen said Cox painted a portrait of a person’s brain leaking out of their ears.

In addition, she said she enjoys making things that are different and have not been created before. “I used to draw and doodle on my homework, and I started painting and I really liked it,” Cox explained. She said she has experimented with linoleum, carving and ceramics in hopes of seeking an appealing style to claim. Through her exploration, Cox said she became interested in an abstract style of art using acrylic paints, which became her favorite medium. She said she enjoys creating her own original artwork instead of illustrating something from real life. “It’s hard to draw things exactly as they are. I prefer to make something up,” explained Cox, adding she prefers an expressionistic style of art.

Paint and gain Cox said she began selling her artwork in 2019 to help her pay for more art supplies. She explained she gained inspiration to do so from her friend in California who sold her artwork on Etsy. From there, Cox said she gained confidence in promoting her work with the support of her friends. “It’s still not huge … but it has definitely grown a lot since I first started.” She said her business is based out of her home in California and she does not sell her paintings on campus. However, she shared she uses a design app to input and edit her designs onto shirts and stickers, then manages the shipping and handling for her customers.

Illustrated friendships Although her business is based elsewhere, Cox’s reputation as an artist has been noticed at BYU–Hawaii by her friends Abbie Putnam, a senior from Utah majoring



Mortensen said she was amazed and responded, “That’s exactly what my brain feels like.”

Cox, a senior majoring in humanities from California, said she posts and sells her artwork through Instagram and Etsy, an online platform for selling handmade goods, @sluggyshug. Doing so allows her to manage her business from the comfort of her handheld device. She explained she channels her creativity through doodling and painting. “It helps me express myself better than I can in other ways. It’s definitely a hobby that’s good for when I’m stressed because I can relax when I do it. It calms me down,” she shared. Inspired through studies Cox said as a humanities major, she has learned about the history of various well-known art styles and artists, which prompted her to ponder how art can have an impact on others. “It made me more interested in how art affects people and how it [is expressed] in different ways for different people in different places.”

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After serving in the Australia Brisbane Mission together, Putnam said she and Cox then became roommates and close friends while attending school together. She shared while visiting her in California, she bought one of her T-shirts that has her illustration of someone pulling a chicken drumstick out of another person’s hair. Putnam said she then wore it during a weight-lifting class, which caught the attention of one of her classmates, who then went on to follow her Instagram page. Putnam said Cox isn’t afraid to express herself, loves to laugh and is a fun person to be around. Mortenson said Cox’s art style represents her vibrant personality. Cox said creating and selling her artwork has increased her confidence as an artist. She advised aspiring artists to draw inspiration from other creators with a similar art style and to not be afraid of what anyone thinks. “If you don’t try, you’ll never know,” she said. •

Examples of Sierra Cox’s artwork. Photos provided by Sierra Cox. in communications, and Mortensen, a sophomore from Utah majoring in hospitality and tourism management. Mortenson said, “It makes me feel proud of her, that she’s expressing herself in a way that a lot of people can’t and that she’s developing this talent God has given her.” She explained she learned of Cox’s talent while watching her doodle in her notebook during a devotional, which led to Cox showing her more artwork on her Instagram page. Cox’s roommate, Putnam, said, “It’s been fun to watch her create art in her free time. … I always like to tell people when I’m introducing her that she’s a talented artist because I think one of the most unique things about her is her artwork. She does a really good job.”

He said the man took the horse home and came back to meet the princess every night for years. One day, Yondonjamts said the man’s neighbor noticed the horse’s wings. “The neighbor was kind of a bad person, so he took the scissors and cut all the wings, and the horse died.”

Sometimes played to chase away potential evils, the morin khuur is found in almost every Mongolian home, says student musician Yoko Yondonjamts playing his morin khuur, or horsehead fiddle, a traditional Mongo lian instrument that embodies the legend of Namjil the Cuckoo. The story goes that Namjil carved the first morin khuur to memorialize his dead horse. Photos by Christal Lee.

According to the Mongolianz website, the man became known as Namjil the Cuckoo because he sang so beautifully. Yondonjamts explained Namjil and the girl, who happened to be the princess, met up with each other every night. “One day, his mission was completed, and he headed home.” Yondonjamts said the princess wanted to give Namjil a horse he could travel on to visit her. “But that horse was special,” he said. “It had wings so it could fly.”


According to the website Mongolianz, the morin khuur has been a part of Mongolian culture since the 13th century. Yondonjamts explained the lore behind the instrument, “There was a guy who went to military service, and during his service, he met a girl.”


Yondonjamts, a sophomore from Mongolia majoring in business management, said the morin khuur, or horsehead fiddle in English, is a traditional Mongolian instrument.

He explained Namjil mourned the loss of his pet, and he missed his girlfriend. Yondonjamts said to memorialize the horse, Namjil created a morin khuur by carving the horse’s bone into a small horse head to top the instrument and made the rest of the instrument out of the horse’s BY ELLE LARSON

The instrument has two strings made of horsehair and features a carved horse head on the top of the instrument’s neck. Yondonjamts said he holds the morin khuur in front of him while he plays it with a bow like a cello. He said he brought his small, guitar-sized morin khuur as his carry-on when he flew to Hawaii.

He added he might have the only morin khuur in all of Hawaii, and he is the only one who plays the instrument out of all the Mongolian students at BYU–Hawaii. The lore behind morin khuur

Yoko Yondonjamts said he can perform songs that sound like a horse galloping, cantering, running and trotting on his unique instrument, the morin khuur. He uses the tips of his fingers and the tops of his knuckles to play the instrument, swiftly changing hand positions to hit every note.

Yondonjamts said the morin khuur can be played alongside all different instruments, but most of the time, people perform solo. While he studied music in college in Mongolia, he said he was a part of a traditional Mongolian orchestra.Yondonjamts has taught several students in Mongolia to play the morin khuur but does not plan to spend too much time teaching until he has retired, he explained. skin and hair. He said every part of the morin khuur was made of parts of Namjil’s horse. He said people who can make the morin khuur “are like gods. I can’t do that.”

A plan to combine interests

Yondonjamts said he decided to study marketing because “In Mongolia, the musicians are not paid a lot. It’s not like other jobs. It takes a lot of time to learn. You spend your whole life, and it’s really risky. ... [Studying marketing is] a better choice for me.” He said he plans to use his talent in the future to help him with his career. He said he wants to start an event planning team where he and his team put together entertainment, decorations and food. He said doing this would combine all his interests: music, psychology and business, into a valuable service.•

He said he told his parents he wanted to learn, and they found a small school near his home where a man taught lessons. “I met the guy who was my teacher, and he tested me on my hearing.” His teacher hit some rhythms on a table and asked him to repeat them,Yondonjamts explained. He said he passed the test and the teacher told him he accepted him as a student.

The Mongolianz website says people still use the morin khuur to coax mother camels to care for their babies.Yondonjamts explained he has never attempted to tame any wild animals with his fiddle because he’s from the city, though he has heard of people playing to summon horses. He said the man who taught him to play could play his morin khuur while riding his horse. Yoko Yondonjamts rides a horse at Gunstock Ranch. He says the man who taught him how to play the morin khuur can play and ride at the same time. Photos by Christal Lee.

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Learning to play Yondonjamts said he started playing the morin khuur in middle school after watching a man play it on television. “One of the guys was playing it, and he made a horse sound with it, and I was impressed.”

Bolor Odgiiv, a sophomore majoring in social work from Mongolia, confirmed almost every home in Mongolia has a morin khuur. “It’s a symbolic tradition to have it. … Horses are very representative of Mongolia because [Mongolians] conquered the world on horse,” she explained. “The horse is very important to us. It’s very unique and treasured for us to have the morin khuur.”

Finding music in tradition Today, Yondonjamts said the morin khuur is Mongolia’s traditional instrument, and almost every home has one to display and revere, although most don’t know how to play it. “If your house has a morin khuur, it can protect the family.” Yondonjamts said when people move to a new house, they call a musician like him to come and play the morin khuur. “The sound chases all the bad things from your home,” he explained. He said the morin khuur is an essential part of Mongolian ceremonies, including weddings and celebrations.

Though he studies marketing now, Yondonjamts said music remains a big part of his life. Yondonjamts explained he was a member of SION Choir, which competed in Mongolia’s Got Talent in 2016. He said he also sings and raps on the Mongolian Especially for Youth (MEFY) YouTube channel. On the channel, he said he and other Mongolian church members create musical church videos in Mongolian.

Yondonjamts said he visited the school for private lessons a few times a week for three years, then went on to attend the Music and Dance College in Ulaanbaatar for another three years before serving his mission and studying business management at BYUH.

Flora Enkhbold, a senior from Mongolia majoring in business, said she can tell Yon donjamts loves his morin khuur. She said he started playing the instrument later than most musicians, “But he was passionate about it, [so] he learned it pretty fast.”

NEW STUDENT 2022 87 Meet your advisor! Karess Purcell Business Management, Entrepreneurship Hi'i Campbell Exercise and Sport Science, Computer Science, Information Systems, Information Technology, Social Work Danielle Kinikini Biochemistry, Biology, Psychology Julie Kunz Anthropology and Cultural Sustainability Elementary Education, Hawaiian Studies IHistory,ntercultural Peacebuilding, Music, Pacifi Island Studies, Integrated Humanities, Languages, Theatre, Mathematics Gail Kailee Tropia English, Visual Arts, Film, Communication, Media, and Culture Russell Runnels Hospitality and Tourism Management, Accounting, Political Science Hina Tonumaipea Business Management , Undeclared Marilee Ching EIL, TESOL, Secondary Education: Art Ed, Biology Ed, Business Ed, Chemistry Ed, English Ed, Exercise Science Ed, History Ed, Math Ed, Physical Science Ed, Physics Ed, Social Science Ed, TESOL Ed Advising Manager / Academic Advisement provides assistance in all areas of a student's academic life. The Academic Advisors at BYU Hawaii are here to provide support and guidance to students as they make short and long term academic decisions. Although the student is ultimately responsible for his or her own academic progress towards g raduation, this process is made easier by seeking the assistance of the Academic Advisors on our campus To contact us or to set up an appointment, please visit We look forward to helping you!

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Rafael Tzanis, a tour guide at the Polynesian Cultural Center, said he once guided a man through a VIP tour who was celebrating his wedding anniversary, but the man was alone. The guests’ wife passed away two years ago, but since it was always the couple’s dream to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary at the PCC, Tzanis said his guest decided to make the journey by himself on their anniversary. This experience taught him the impact he can have on the guests, shared Tzanis, a junior from Australia majoring in political science and intercultural peacebuilding. When they arrived in the Hawaiian Village during the tour, he said, they went into the Hale Mu’a and talked about the impact women had on their lives. “He stopped and started crying. I’m looking at him crying and I had to start crying. And he was like, ‘Raf, I can feel her with me right now.’ I started bawling,” Tzanis shared. “It is experiences like that where this becomes more than a job. You really see people as people and not just as guests. It elevates it to the next level.”

PCC tour guide says helping a widower celebrate his anniversary without his wife elevated his job to the next level.

Despite cultural differences, PCC tour guides said their experiences with their guests and co-workers create a sense of family and prepare them for their future careers. The Guest Services Department at the PCC has one of the most diverse teams because it represents countries from each continent and offers tours in six different languages, said Sia Lasa, a junior from New Zealand majoring in social work. “We all have different backgrounds. We may be different colors and from different countries, but at work, we are all the same,” shared Lasa. She explained rather than focusing on their different backgrounds, they focus on how they can serve the PCC guests betterLasatogether.saidthe pressure also binds the tour guides together. “We are all excited about our guests. We all think about our schedules,” she said. “At work, we are the same people because we struggle together.”

Tzanis said, “It’s such a dynamic job. So, to share this with your co-workers, bounce ideas around and help each other, I think it forces you into a relationship. It keeps you excited about having those things in common.”



Finding family Tzanis said when he first came to BYUH, he found his campus family at the Guest Services Department. “This is one of the few places where you have a family that is not determined by where you’re from. There is no clique. You all come from different places, and that connects you.”

Lasa said the job is a big part of her life because of the genuine empathy she has developed for her guests. She said the experience of taking a guest with down syndrome on a tour has stayed with her through the years. “At first I didn’t know how to react or what to do with her,” she shared. “Her parents told me, ‘Just do what you’ve planned’.”

• Rafael Tzanis and Faye Kioa below the Hukilau Marketplace sign in front of the PCC.

Photos by Emarie Majors.

Setting up talent shows, recreating the Olympic games, going ice skating together, recreating the Huki Show as tour guides and organizing scavenger hunts at night in the PCC has strengthened the relationships among the team, Neiufi explained. “You make lifelong friends. Alumni keep in contact on the Facebook page after decades. [Being a] tour guide is home.”

“[Being a] tour guide gave me the confidence to talk in front of a large group of people, to speak up and to step out of my comfort zone,” Neiufi added. Lasa explained the gravity of the skills she developed as a guide. “I have three main skills I learned as a guide, which are customer service skills, being able to talk to anybody–which also includes building relationships with strangers in a very short amount of time–and being able to work under pressure.”

Broadening horizons Still, Neiufi said being a tour guide is not just about conducting tours or making friends. “You learn your own culture in a different way. I have newfound respect for my culture and my identity just from being here.” Lee explained everybody connects differently with their guests and language is not a priority. She said, “It’s like a puzzle. If we fit on one side, we can connect. We don’t have to fit perfectly.” Neiufi said being a tour guide has prepared her for her future career in speech therapy. The language and speaking skills she has developed while being a guide have given her the needed experience and trust in herself when going into interviews, she explained.

“Being a tour guide is home.”


Tzanis said tour guides work 19 hours a week, taking either VIP or ambassador tours of up to 20 people around the PCC. He said they must be flexible, because each day they have different guests with different expectations under different circumstances.

Lisa Agafili Neiufi, a recent BYUH alumna from New Zealand, said it is the way the working environment is set up for tour guides that brings everybody together and creates a sense of Notfamily.onlyare guides supportive of each other and genuinely congratulate each other on their tips, Neiufi said but also the leadership team in the department cares about each guide individually. She said, “We have been understaffed, and the canoe guys were working so hard. So the boss made huge ice creams for them. I think little things like that make us feel appreciated.”

She gave the little girl her pink water bottle, and it made the girl’s day, Lasa said with a smile.The girl wanted to carry it the whole day, and she said since the girl dropped the water bottle several times, it became all crooked. “It was fine to me,” Lasa laughed. “I just let her be. Just before I went home, the girl asked me to be her tour guide again. She was like, ‘Can I see you again?’ That stayed with me.” “Being a tour guide is home”

Hayeon Lee, a junior from South Korea majoring in hospitality and tourism management, said, “It’s stressful, but it’s worth it.” He said the opportunity to meet lots of people helps him make friends, but can also be overwhelming at times.

Marshall Islands ambassador reminds students they are important to their people during trip to United Nations Headquarters BY VIVIANA CHUAH

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Chaille Faye Kioa, BYU–Hawaii alumna from Tonga who majored in political science, was one of nine students selected to attend the field study at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in the first week of Spring Semester. She said, “The events at the United Nations Headquarters are undoubtedly done without a whim and no rest. A piece of advice that has resonated with me since this field study was from the ambassador of the Marshall Islands. [She said,] ‘Get your act together! You are important to your people.’”

Christina Akanoa, assistant professor in the Faculty of Business & Government and field study coordinator, said she was happy the trip to the United Nations contributed to building students’ confidence in professional settings coupled with the education they gained at BYUH. “I always tell my students, ‘Why can’t you be the next ambassador?’ You can’t say that only those people can make it. The only obstacle you have in this life is yourself. There are so many opportunities out there. You’re the one who gets out and makes it happen.”

Thanks to the relationship first created in 2013, political science students have easy access to finding internships and job opportunities, she said. Akanoa shared some of the students she took to the United Nations are now working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and several Pacific Island countries. She explained in the different missions and even on her recent trips, representatives offered help to find internships for her students.

Akanoa continued, “This experience allows students to realize they have the potential to do something about [an important Indigenous crisis], and they can be leaders in that capacity.”

Beneficial connections Akanoa said she started in 2013 this field trip to the U.N. Headquarters in New York. “When I sent out the courtesy letter to them, asking them if we could visit with them, [it was approved]. Each year since 2013, [excluding 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19] we’ve been visiting with the [Polynesian] missions. It was just like a common courtesy for us to go and give our regards to the missions.”

Akanoa said she believes any professor can do a little something to help students reach their great potential and expand their network for future career opportunities. She added, “It’s a two-week event, but we only go for the first week because … students can do a lot more networking. … The states and the governments are there to represent their view on the topics, so there are a lot of different networks.”


Indigenous issues are important because they help small countries like Palau in the process of becoming independent, along with other indigenous issues, Akanoa said. The Office of the Historian explained, “Palau was part of the United Nation Trust Territory of the Pacific, administered by the United States, following World War II. In 1978, Palau began the process of independence and gained it in 1994.”Akanoa added, “Any Pacific Island countries that have had issues of Indigenous people feeling like [their rights are being violated] and [property being confiscated], mostly land, attended the event [at U.N. Headquarters] to discuss the issue and seek for the assistance of any kind.” Among the Indigenous organizations present are West Papua, New Zealand (Maori), aboriginal people of Australia, Rapa Nui (or Easter Island) and Hawaii. Akanoa explained the United Nations has six main organs and five of them are based at U.N. Headquarters in New York. She said these five include the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the International Court of Justice and lastly, the Secretariat. •

Another part of the trip Akanoa remarked on was the effectiveness of the feedback given by the ambassadors after reading and looking through the students’ research papers. “It helped the students reorganize their ideas and new thoughts they might have,” she said. Solesia Lasa, a senior from New Zealand majoring in political science and one of the nine students who attended the trip, said it was an honor to be part of this important work which “brings Pacific issues to the international realm.”

Akanoa said her students said their visit with the ambassadors and their respective mis sions were fulfilling. “That was the highlight of the trip because [students] sat down and talked with their ambassadors. I mean, when do you ever have that chance? To sit down and have a face-to-face conversation with your ambassador or your deputy ambassador or permanent dep uty representatives. This is a rare opportunity!”

Before the trip, Akanoa’s students prepared by attending night classes, learning about diplomacy, choosing an issue relevant to this year’s theme and writing a 20-page research paper, said Akanoa. “We prepared a couple of weeks in advance because there are many things to cover. … This class is POSC 384, The United Nations and Intergovernmental Organizations, for juniors and seniors, but senior students get priority for this trip,” she added.

He added, “This [trip] has helped me to be more sensitive and made my perspective clearer. ... There is a place for everyone. You just need to find it!”

From left to right: Finau Tupou, Brian Vildam, Chaille Faye Kioa, Solesia Lasa, Nameha Rawalui, Kauihelani Lesa, Sivao Laurenson, Sakiusa Tukana and Tooa Moua stand in front of the U.N. Headquarters in New York City. Photo courtesy of Christina Akanoa.

Bringing Indigenous issues to an international realm

Sakiusa Tukana, field study attendee and senior from Fiji majoring in political science, said he recognized the crucial need for the United Nations to perform as a platform for Indigenous people to voice their concerns and fight for urgent issues. “I realized that the battle against climate change and globalization is 10 times harder and more severe for the in digenous people. Therefore, diplomacy is key!”

HONORING MAORI manaakitanga Spontaneous haka performed after convocation embodies English professor’s speech on Maori hospitality BY LEIANI BROWN

Another family connection included the student who gave the closing prayer, Ellie Magleby, a junior from Lehi, Utah studying hospitality and tourism manage ment. Magleby explained she is the fourth great-granddaughter to Ephraim Magleby, the missionary whose story Christiansen shared in her speech.

Maraea Tsing, adjunct faculty in the Faculty of Education & Social Work and one of Christiansen’s cousins, grew up in one of the areas belonging to the Ngati Hine, Pipiwai. She added her thoughts on manaakitanga during the panel discussion that followed convocation.

During the panel discussion that followed the convocation address, Alisi Langi, assistant professor in the Faculty of Religious Education and panel member, shared she felt empowered by both the speech and spontaneous haka that was presented. “I thought it was so empowering to see her [Christiansen] use her platform as an opportunity to introduce the University community to so much of the Maori culture and history. I felt like the fruition of that was seeing our Maori students … [present] the haka [as] an honor given back to her. I can only imagine how empowering it was for them to hear their history spoken from the pulpit.”

Kiessieh said because her roots are deep in the Middle East and Palestine, she could relate to how Christiansen was trying to pre serve her culture. “I thought it was extremely empowering … for her to talk about her his tory and her ancestors and to bring that into today. I feel like so many of us forget where we came from, our roots and what our ancestors did to put us in the spot we’re in today.”

“In manaakitanga Maori culture there is not really a word for ‘Thank you,’ because it is expected if you share or do something for somebody else, they would do it back.”

Branden McQueen-Bryers, a senior from New Zealand majoring in intercultural peacebuilding, said in a way, the students’ haka was manaakitanga in action. She explained the call and the haka were acts of giving thanks for the knowledge that was received. “It was an opportunity for the community here to thank Sister Christiansen for her family’s contribution as well as her contribution in giving this information to us.”

A Maori story, a story of saints In her speech, Christiansen shared the origin of the Ngati Hine people and how Hineamaru, a female ancestor on Christiansen’s maternal grandfather’s side, worked diligently to prove to her father the land she had found would be suitable for her people. “To be clear, this is a Maori story,” Christiansen said in her address. “It is also an American story. Lastly, this is a story that stretches across time.”

Manaakitanga: A reverence for humanity A convocation speech was given this semester in September by Dr. AnnaMarie Christiansen, an associate professor in the Faculty of Arts & Letters, who is of Maori descent, particularly the Ngati Hine tribe. In her speech, Christiansen used the Maori concept of manaakitanga as the framework for telling the story of her people and their interactions with a Church missionary named Ephraim Magleby in the latter end of the 1800s. Christiansen said manaakitanga loosely translates to the practice of hospitality but can be broken down into parts to get a deeper sense of its true meaning: “mana,” which refers to a person’s inner spiritual force or power, “aki,” which means “to encourage” and “tanga,” a word that describes a process. “Thus, manaakitanga is a process of protecting or encouraging the spiritual force of others. Manaakitanga emphasizes connection and care in life-affirming ways. It is an ethic of care and support, reverence for humanity,” stated Christiansen in her speech.

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As a sign of “tautoko,” Maori for respect or support, a handful of students of various Polynesian backgrounds per formed an impromptu haka in response to this year’s convocation address, explained Te Manu Matenga, a junior social work major from New Zealand.With the audience still paused in their plans to exit the building after a faculty member began chanting unannounced in Maori, seven students rushed to the floor of the Cannon Activities Center and started the haka. Immediately the room went silent. Lina Kiessieh, a senior from Jordan studying psychology, said she had goosebumps throughout the talk and started crying when the chanting began. “I thought about how these people are here, and they’re still carrying their culture with them. That’s who they are. If [they] lose [their] culture, [they] lose [their] sense of self.”

One of Christiansen’s current students, Nat Stewart, a junior from Utah studying English, said Christiansen has taught her about “the toll Christian missionaries can sometimes have on the people.” Stewart added with emotion that Christiansen’s speech showed her “a shining example of somebody [Ephraim Magleby] who was so willing to serve the people first and [put] religion second.”

• Pictures of a slide from Christiansen's presentation that depict two successful Ngati Hine leaders, Teruke Kawiti and his son Maihi Paraone, who are descendants of Christiansen's female ancestor, Hineamaru, who first found a land suitable for the Ngati Hine people. Photo by Emarie Majors.

Ancestor's wildest dreams

Although Stewart said she has only known Christiansen for a short time, she shared Christiansen has become a tremendous role model in her life. When asked in the panel discussion about how her project works within the framework of writing against the narratives of colonization, Christiansen stated, “I think these stories need to be told. And even if I do it badly, hopefully I won’t, then it still enables a conversation.”

Kim Makekau, adjunct faculty in the Fac ulty of Culture, Language & Performing Arts, director of the Maori village at the Polyne sian Cultural Center and panel member, said Christiansen’s discussion on manaakitanga led him to reexamine his own efforts in minister ing toDuringothers.the panel discussion, Makekau said, “We, by covenant, must ensure our manaakitanga carries on and is exemplified in our generation so the next one carries it on, and the next one, and so on.”

According to the convocation program, convocation is an academic tradition that, for BYUH, was first started in 1989 by then Academic Vice President R. Lanier Britsch. Organized by the Dean’s Council, convocations are held every Fall Semester with a selected faculty member presenting on a topic of their choice. Faculty in attendance dress in their caps, hoods and gowns with various colors to represent where each faculty member received their degrees. The program further explains the hoods and trim represent “the highest degree achieved by the wearer— bachelor's, master's or doctorate.”

Christiansen, during the panel discussion, explained she is part of the Maori diaspora as someone who was born in Australia but grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, away from the origin of her culture. “I think especially when I was young, I was kind of resentful that I had the genealogy, but I hadn’t had the experience. Now I’m old and I don’t care as much. I [have learned to] acknowledge there’s more than one way to be Maori.” She then advised students who want to preserve their own family’s stories to remember their genealogy, not let anybody else define them, and remember the name of a poem by Darius Simpson, which she referenced in her speech as well, “You are your ancestors' wildest dreams.”

Magleby shared she grew up hearing stories about Ephraim Magleby, but it wasn’t until she came to BYUH that she really felt his significance and saw it on a personal level. She explained she has had numerous encoun ters with people connected to her fourth great-grandfather, including her bishop, fellow students and someone who is named “Epi” after “Eparaima Makapi,” the Maori translitera tion of his name. “It’s been really special for me to see [his impact], and I feel kind of inadequate to be his descendant in a way because I was just born,” said Magleby. “But it’s helped to strengthen my testimony, especially with manaakitanga, be cause manaakitanga, or hospitality, is basically the essence of what Christ’s gospel is.”

No one is every truly alone, says June 2022 student Commencement speaker Vaughn Curioso



Navigating his way through life’s challenges and uncertainties, senior Vaughn Curioso said he didn’t do it alone. The graphic design major from Santa Maria in the Philippines said he got help spiritually from Heavenly Father, support from his family, and even a life-changing conversation with a refugee from the Congo he met on his mission in Utah. “I made it, but that is not from me alone. I can’t credit that achievement just from my own effort. It must have come from somewhere else, and so that’s my core message,” said Curioso. People may feel alone at times in their lives, but they are never truly alone, said Curioso, the student speaker for the June 2022 BYU-Hawaii Commencement. As part of his commencement speech, he said he will talk about how even though people may feel like they do not have the support, access or opportunities they need, spiritually they can find the help and direction they are looking for because God is always watching over them.

While he was staying in the Philippines with his mother, he shared his siblings were in faraway places studying, working, and living abroad in Singapore, Qatar, and Ohio.

At BYUH, he majored in graphic design because of his interest in art and culture including aesthetics, design, and studying symbols, but he said he also minored in anthropology, social work and psychology.

“[My family] has this joke that my other sister who is not married yet needs to marry someone from another continent because we’re basically connecting all nations,” said WhileCurioso.having family in different places can be exciting, he said, they “often felt alone.” Being unemployed and having no money and connections can make people feel like their situations are impossible or unfair. He said at one point, he started to lose hope and thought he could overcome it. But family and faith made all the difference for him, he said. Curioso shared his background includes a family of professional artists, architects and a product designer. Even as a young child, he said he experimented with different kinds of art.

That thought stuck with him for a long time, Curioso said, and he came to realize that man came all the way from the Congo to Salt Lake City to make an impact on his life. “I am sure that’s God trying to talk through [him],” he said, “and ever since, that’s how I choose my career.” He said working as a graphic artist has given him “first-hand experience with other cultures.”

You are never alone Growing up in a small town where his family did not have much and was trying to get by, Curioso explained his father worked in Saudi Arabia to provide for his family. But his dad passed away from illness when Curioso was 16.However, after his dad died, Curioso said he often felt he was still around him. He said when he is in the temple, he feels both his Heavenly Father and Earthy father in his life. He said this also applies to those who have lost loved ones, who are trying to do well in life and trying to make them proud.

Vaughn Curioso graduated in graphic design and was selected as the June student graduation speaker. Photos by Marwin Villegas But being an artist in the Philippines is not a popular choice, said Curioso. “You would be laughed at back home [because] it is not profitable, and people would just say it’s a passion.”

One of Curioso’s friends at BYUH, Haruya Muri, said Curioso “is a really aesthetic person. He has a philosophy about designing things, and he has really deep thoughts.” Muri is a senior majoring in graphic design from Okinawa, Japan, and has known Curioso for four years. They started school here together and they applied at the same for the graphic design major. Prioritizing family “My goal in life is to just have a simple, happy family. I wouldn’t ask for anything more,” said Curioso. He explained pursuing his family’s happiness is important to him. “You can achieve things in life, and you can’t do it alone. You will have to have that support,” he said.He shared while working at BYUH and being exposed to a culture that is “work, work, work, work,” and seeing people working 60 hours or more, helped him ponder what is healthy for families. “Maybe it is good to provide what you need, but in the long run, family is what is most important.” “You know, a little more money is good. But I would rather have a happy family than anything else because family is what got me through.” He said he wouldn’t be where he is today if his family hadn’t shouldered some of the weight, and pushed, trusted, and never doubted his Curiosoabilities.ismarried to a BYUH alumna Sashalei Curioso from Samoa who majored in Pacific Island Studies and works at the Polynesian Cultural Center. She said the first time she met her husband was at the PCC Gateway restaurant while they were both working as leads or supervisors. She said Curioso did well academically in primary and high school, and so she was not surprised when he was asked to give a speech at BYUH’s graduation.

Follow Your Heart Curioso said he met a man while serving on his mission in Salt Lake City, Utah, that inspired him to choose his career as a graphicWhileartist.on his mission, he was introduced by one of his ward mission leaders to a man who is a political refugee from the Congo in Africa. The refugee offered to give Curioso and his companion a ride, and while driving, he said this man asked what his plan was after his mission. When Curioso responded he was still figuring it out, the refugee told him to, “Follow your heart.”

Before coming to BYUH, he shared he studied architecture for two years but came to realize his brain hates math.

“I really wanted to do product design before, but I learned that it’s kind of the same story with architecture with all the math and stuff,” said Curioso. Living in an increasingly loud society filled with more and more competing voices, Curioso said people lose touch with symbols and focus on the stuff around them, leading them to lose sight of the meaning of theirForexistence.example, he said today religion is becoming less important and less popular. He explained the intersection of culture and art produces symbols. The symbols are the best tools for him to communicate when it is produced by culture, meaning people’s way of living and when their purpose here on Earth and art merge.


BY ELLE LARSON Dr. Isaiah Walker of the Faculty of Culture, Language & Performing Arts is the first Hawaiian appointed as academic vice president of BYU–Hawaii. His wife, Rebekah Walker, an adjunct member of the Faculty of Culture, Language & Performing Arts, said if there is anything that qualifies her husband for the job, it’s his aloha. “He loves this place. He loves the students and he loves the people. I think that [love] will be what guides him.” Rebekah Walker said Isaiah Walker’s upbringing in Keaukaha, Hilo, Hawaii, has prepared him to give back to the Hawaiian community. Isaiah Walker’s students said they recognize his aloha too. Malayah Thompson, an alumna from California who majored in history, said Walker is “definitely a great example of the aloha spirit. Even if you’ve just met him in passing, you can feel that energy from Sionehim.”Tu’ikolovatu, a junior from California majoring in Pacific Island Studies and hospitality and tourism management, said, “Brother Walker is the man. ... He’s super intelligent but so caring. He comes off like a true local, super friendly and nice.” Walker said he hopes students will be able to relate to him because of his experiences as a teacher and student. “I’m kind of still a student at heart.” He has a long board sitting outside his office he uses to skate to and from meetings. “A lot of students I will see at the beach or in the water [surfing], and will double-take and ask in shock, ‘Aren’t you the academic vice president?’”

Tu’ikolovatu said he thinks Walker’s Hawaiian roots will help him contribute to the school’s leadership in unique ways because he has “been a long-time member of this community. He was born and raised and lived in Hawaii his whole life, so he knows all the cultural protocols that will help BYUH be a place of refuge, not just for students here, but also for community members.”

The next wave Walker, a BYUH alumnus, said he was not looking to be vice president, but knows the Lord has a plan for him in the job. “To be honest, I feel like the Lord’s hand was in it. Not only in the Lord influencing the people considering me, but also the Lord convincing me to want to do [the job]. A lot of that had to do with my love for this school.” He said he thinks of his appointment as a kuleana, or a stewardship and responsibility. “I feel like this school has given me so much, not only as a professor but as a student.”

Walker said he attended BYUH right after graduating from high school and was totally responsible for paying for his college. BYUH supported him by offering an affordable education in a place he could work to support himself. He said he got a Seminary Scholarship, which paid for his tuition, and lived with his hanai, or blood relatives, in Laie.

Left & Above: Walker surfing and pictured with his loved ones and friends.. Photos provided by Isaiah Walker.


Walker said he thinks his experience as a teacher and student will help broaden his perspective and be a strength for him as academic vice president. He said it is exciting to tell students he remembers taking the classes they are in or took a class from a retiring professor they love.Rebekah Walker shared why her husband being the first BYUH alumnus appointed as academic vice president means so much to Hawaiian locals. “We have always had people

Isaiah Walker says he is following God’s plan to share his aloha in his new position as academic vice president

Surfing “A lot of people think of me as the surfing guy,” said Walker, but he said his research presents a deeper meaning behind the sport.

When she listened to the presentation, she said it was her first semester in college, and she was still deciding if she wanted to study history. “I remember getting the strongest impression that … remembering and honoring history is important. His vigor and enthusiasm for the topic motivated me to care about it.” She said the way Walker taught made his classes enjoyable and impactful. “You felt like you

Walker said he is glad he listened to the Spirit. “The Lord knows you. There are cool opportunities for blessings that maybe you don’t even envision for yourself.

McKay’s experience was a paradigm shift in how the Church saw itself in a global context instead of just an American context.”

Walker said from that point on, he fo cused on serving a mission. After his mission, he said his emphasis became education, even though he said he continued surfing. Walker said he consecrated his hopes of becoming a professional surfer to the Lord, and the Lord helped him live his dream in a more meaningful way. “In many ways, the Lord still granted me my wish, just in a very different way than I ever would have imagined when I was 17 years old,” he explained. “Today, surfing is my profession in a way. I travel around the world. I’m known as kind of ‘the surfing expert.’” Walker spoke of calls from the New York Times and emails from hundreds of people wanting to interview him about surfing, especially now when surfing is making its debut in the Summer Olympics. He said he works as a commentator at professional surfing competitions as well. “I’m still around professional surfing, just in a very different way, and it’s super cool. I think this version of my profession in surfing is way better than what it would’ve been,” Walker smiled. “I consecrated that dream that I had, but then [the Lord] ended up blessing me with a cooler one.”

98 KE ALAKA‘I 2022 come from the outside. To have people [in leadership] who feel and love this place is a big deal.” She said it helps local people feel seen. Being the first is not easy, she noted, explaining how Isaiah Walker and President John S.K. Kauwe III both carry the weight of peoples’ expectations as the first Hawaiian leaders at BYUH. She said she is excited for the school to be led by two highly qualified, local leaders. “The whole mission of this place has always resonated with me,” Isaiah Walker said. He described BYUH’s mission as a gathering place for people to come to gain an education and become leaders who establish peace. “To me, that story has meant a lot. I don’t think many people understand the impact the vision David O. McKay had on the entire Church.” He explained further, “David O. McKay sort of represents a shift in the vision and trajectory of the Church.” Walker explained the Church was very focused on building Zion in Utah before the prophet established Laie as a gathering place. “When McKay came to Laie in 1920,” Walker continued, “he saw the future of the Church. McKay saw a group of saints who represented what the Church would become. Instead of just gathering in a city, McKay saw a gathering across the world in the stakes of Zion. “Today we use the term ‘stakes of Zion.’ That sort of represents that shift in perspective, the idea of an international Church,” said Walker. “I believe David O.

Service Thompson said a few years ago, she listened to Isaiah Walker present a paper he wrote about surfing history that showed her he is a passionate educator. “I remember the vigor with which he presented, and it impacted me.”

Rebekah Walker said the ocean has always been a place of inspiration, peace and calmness for her husband. She said she loves that he shares his love for the ocean with their children. “When he is there with our children, they learn the ocean is a place for healing and peace and inspiration.”

Walker said when he was 15 years old, he won fifth place in the United States Amateur Surfing Championships. He competed against hundreds of surfers from the United States and came out on top. The teenage Walker dreamed of becoming a professional surfer, he said. When he joined the Church at 16, he planned to prioritize his surfing career over a mission. He said he thought, “Well, when I win a surf contest, maybe I’ll bear my testimony or something.”Walker explained, “When I was confirmed a member of the Church, I remember really clearly the person who was giving me that confirmation told me I was going on a mission. When he said it, the Spirit confirmed it in that moment, … It was cool because I was okay with it.”

Walker said he was not born and raised a member of the Church. His parents were divorced, and he said he spent most of his time living with his father who was not a member. “My religion was surfing as a competitive athlete,” Walker explained.



Thompson said people think of history as dates and events that don’t matter, but Walker “makes you care about it and makes you care that it happened.”


Motivated by Walker and other history professors who mentored her at BYUH, Thompson said she graduated with a bachelor’s in history and is applying for law school. Thompson said she believes Walker will excel in his new position, and added she thinks he embodies the University’s motto “Enter to learn, go forth to serve.” “We are blessed to have an amazing school in Hawaii and to have a Hawaiian [vice president] who really loves his job and loves what he does. I think it is the epitome of the school’s mission. Not only does he serve the students by teaching and fostering an enjoyable education, but also he’s serving the community around us,” Thompson said.

Rebekah Walker said their family does a lot to involve themselves in the Laie community to teach their children about their ancestry. “There are some things we just really believe in. We felt it was important that our kids be able to speak Hawaiian, that they could have access to their ancestors.” She explained their children have all gone through the Hawaiian immersion pro gram. “We too have taken every opportunity to support their education, which means we’ve been involved in working [with the school]. … I’m doing some volunteer cultur al research management.”

Thompson said Walker invited student discussion. She explained he garnered strong relationships with his students by talking with them instead of at them. “The way he teaches is so focused on the material, but he teaches in a way that makes you care.”

Below: Walker pictured with his wife, Rebekah, and Photosfamily. provided by Isaiah Walker.

Left: Walker with family and friends at Mauna Kea.

-Malayah Thompson

Thompson said she believes the Walkers serve because they have aloha. “They don’t do it for recognition or a paycheck. They do it because it’s the right thing to do.” She said Walker will go the extra mile in his new position because he is fueled by aloha. “Love of the community fuels you on a different level,” she explained.

NEW STUDENT 2022 99 were really learning about important things,” she elaborated.Intheclassroom,

President John S. K. Kauwe III was then inaugurated by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who stated, “In doing so, I confer upon you all the rights, responsibilities, authority and prerogatives necessary to act as the University's chief executive officer, its institutional spokesman and overseer of its assets. I also confer upon you the responsibility to be the University’s chief moral and spiritual officer, this being the most important and most demanding of all your duties as president of this University.”

President Kauwe's second cousin, Kiana Serrao, a junior from Utah majoring in biology, said after the ceremony, “Once Elder Holland officially inaugurated President Kauwe, I felt the Spirit change. It was so cool.”

After reviewing President Kauwe’s life, Elder Gilbert said, “Today, we inaugurate a bright, educated and administratively capable president, but above all, we inaugurate a president who wants to do what the Lord directs him to do.”

BY KYLEE DENISON Silence prevailed as President and Sister Kauwe, Elder and Sister Holland and Elder and Sister Christofferson, among others, walked into the Cannon Activities Center. Everyone was dressed in their Sunday best as President Kauwe was inaugurated as the 11th and youngest president of BYU–Hawaii on Oct. 19, 2021. Elder Clark G. Gilbert, a General Authority Seventy and commissioner of the Church Educational System, conducted the meeting. The event started off with a musical number, “From This School,” performed by the BYUH Concert Choir, composed and directed by Erica Glenn and accompanied by Stacy McCarrey on the piano.Greetings to the president were given by Cy M. Bridges, the community representative and grandfather in the community. He then chanted and spoke in Hawaiian.

“Unfortunately, blackberries don’t grow well in Laie,” President Kauwe explained. “They simply require [a] different climate. Knowing this, it would be a waste of time and resources to focus on growing blackberries in Hawaii,” he continued.

“Fortunately, there are many fruits from all over the world that can’t be grown in Utah, but they thrive here,” such as mangoes, said President Kauwe. Likewise, he said, “Students and programs that President Kauwe giving a speech at the inauguration ceremony on Oct. 19.

A NATIVE SON OF HAWAII inaugurated as president of BYU–Hawaii

Newly inaugurated President of BYUH, John S.K. Kauwe III, says “Together, we will continue this work”

The newly inaugurated President Kauwe then addressed students, faculty, his family and friends with a parable of blackberries. When living in Utah, he said he and his family grew blackberries. By working hard, they saw and enjoyed the fruit of their labors, he added.

Photo by Mark Daeson Tabbilos.

The faculty was represented by Tevita Ka’ili, dean of the Faculty of Culture, Language & Performing Arts. In his remarks, he said the faculty commits to “working collaboratively across campus and with students … to achieve a high caliber of academic excellence through [President Kauwe's] vision of sustainability.” He emphasized the faculty is committed to seeking “for unity, diversity, inclusion and equity” under President Kauwe's leadership.

The student representative was Savaira Veikoso, the student manager of clubs. She said she did not know “old men could skate” until she met the newly inaugurated president. She later referred to both President and Sister Kauwe as the parents of the BYUH family and thanked them for inviting the students into their home, keeping them safe from COVID-19 and allowing them to come back to campus.

The alumni representative Justine Tavana, who graduated from BYUH in 2003, stated, “The Kauwes’ love for [others] is evident in the way they serve.” She said the alumni place their full confidence in President Kauwe and know his “impact will be felt for good for many generations to come.”

Left top: Members of a local halau perform for the Kauwe's at the Flag Circle at the close of the parade around campus. Left bottom: Elder Jeffrey R. Holland saying goobye to President John S. K. Kauwe, his wife Monica Kauwe and their son after the ceremony.

Seth Thomsen, a senior studying business finance from Mililani, Hawaii, said the inauguration was “full of energy, especially when Elder Holland said he wanted us to have fun.”

Obtaining these outcomes will leave no doubt that every dollar and every ounce of effort spent on this University was well spent,” he explained, emphasizing how the mission of the University is to help people follow Jesus Christ. Throughout his speech, his repeated theme was, “Together, we will continue this work, and we will succeed.”

In his closing remarks, President Kauwe extended an invitation to all faculty, staff and students, urging them “to prayerfully ponder how [they] can fulfill [their] role in this important effort.”

“What we’ve done in the past has led us marvelously to this day, but in no way is it sufficient for the trajectory the Church and the University are now on.” He added the goal should be to serve more students in less time. His next words were, “Every now and then … school is supposed to just be fun. Now, most days you won't think that, but today is one of those. So I command all of you, I am in charge today.”

Elder Holland continued, “We have looked far and wide to find the best to lead out in this next chapter of the quest. We have found him, who will be the youngest president ever to serve here, and a true native son of these beautiful islands of his ancestors. ... For me, that may be the most significant indicator of the growth and maturity of this University of all the indicators that we are celebrating today.”

Maria Fonoimoana Latu, a longtime community member who works at the Academic Multimedia Lab, said after the ceremony, “It is an amazing day for our campus. … It is such an honor we have somebody that’s [Hawaii's] own [as president]. The Spirit there this morning was indescribable.”

The growth of BYUH will also be seen in new buildings and training for students, said President Kauwe. The University’s success will be measured “by faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility and diligence.

Right: President Kauwe embracing Elder D. Todd Christofferson after his official inauguration by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. Photos by Mark Daeson Tabbilos.

NEW STUDENT 2022 103 thrive here in Laie may not succeed so readily in Provo or Rexburg. ... Students and programs that are thriving in those places may not do so here in Laie.”

Amelia Meli, a senior majoring in biology from Kaimuki, Hawaii, described the inauguration as “historic” because of all of the cultures that come together at BYUH under a native Hawaiian president.

At the end of the inauguration ceremony, President Kauwe said he feels humbled because he and his family know they are meant to be serving at BYUH, and they feel support from both Church leaders and individual students.

Elder Holland then addressed the crowd. He emphasized the mission of BYUH and how its role within the CES schools is to focus on the “Pacific Asia oriented area of the Church.” The number of students accepted from the mainland must be monitored, he added.

OFREPRESENTATIONCULTURE Mangakahia says President Kauwe wanted a medallion design that reflected the purpose and culture of BYUH


The Japanese characters written on the top translate to “the 11th president” and represent President Kauwe’s mission to Japan, Mangaka hia

This pattern represents the rim of a well that people “all benefit from and contribute to,” he said. “For the well to be there, people have to dig the hole. For the well to be of any use, people have to take water out of it. So [there’s] give and take.”

She said the medallion also tells the story of who he is and has symbols that are special to him. Meanings behind the symbols Mangakahia said the outside pattern of the medallion represents malama, which means “to look after and care for.” He said to success fully malama, “one must give and take. ... The filled-in triangles, symbolize the ‘give’ and the empty triangles depict the ‘take.’”

Sam Mangakahia, the artist assigned to create the medallion for President John S. K. Kauwe III’s inauguration, said President Kauwe wanted him to design a medallion that incorporates meaningful symbols representing who President Kauwe is as a person and leader and the mission and culture of the University.

Meaningful materials Santeco said one way President Kauwe's medallion varies from previous presidential medallions is the material it was made with.

“[Former] President Tanner had a brass medal lion with an antique finish.”

Mangakahia said the middle design on one side of the medallion resembles a ti leaf and “is a pattern President Kauwe holds close to him. It’s a quilt pattern his great uncle designed and his grandmother stitched. The ti leaf has a pleasant fragrance and is used in many signifi cant ceremonies,” he said. The Hawaiian phrase at the bottom, E‘ Ōpu Ali‘i, means to “have the heart of a chief” and “to have kindness, generosity and even the temper of a chief,” Mangakahia said.

a 2020 alumni from Australia, said he and President Kauwe worked together hand-in-hand in the process. He explained he would create his design and show it to the president, who would adjust the design to his liking. They did this back and forth for six months until they got the right design, Manga kahiUniversityexplained.Brand Manager Marisa Santeco, who works for University Communications, said President Kauwe's medallion varies from previous presidential medallions because “Typ ically for these presidential medallions, ... the back side of the medallion usually has an image of the school. President Kauwe’s medallion was customized to reflect his individual traits he has to offer BYUH.”

The medallion's ribbon Santeco said, “My contribution is not as big as Sams. Initially, I just provided Sam with

104 KE ALAKA‘I 2022

According to an article called “Designing A Legacy” published by the University News, Mangakahia says they used three different types of wood for the medallion, including koa, milo and maple. He says koa was incorporated for “its strength and durability,” milo for its red color, and maple “to create a stark contrast.” He adds each wood “represents the depth and impor tance of President Kauwe and his mission.”

Theexplained.challenging part of the project, Mangakahia said, was getting the symbols, story and layout to fit on the limited amount of space. He said he had to “think about what's most important” and omit any designs that weren't needed because “There was no room for things that don't have a purpose.”

“He wants culture to be integrated into the school, into what is most important and what people see. I think this medallion is a symbol of the beginning of this movement,” Mangaka hia Mangakahia,explained.

BYUH’s logo and reviewed his work alongside President Kauwe and my director, Laura Tevaga.”

“I burned the edges of the ribbon to keep the thread from running and hand-sewed it together, all in hopes it would sit nicely on the president’s chest when he wore it at the inauguration,” she shared.

“I never thought I would have to sew or use a lighter in my office to do such a task, but it was a memorable one for sure,” she added. •

Close-up photos of President Kauwe's medallion. Photo provided by BYU–Hawaii.

In the last few days leading to the inauguration, she said she helped put the ribbon on the medallion because Mangakahia could not access the sewing lab that day because it was closed.

NEW STUDENT 2022 105

T he beat of drums welcomed Presi dent John S. K. Kauwe and his family as they walked through the Cannon Activities Center doors and were greeted by hundreds.Thefocus then shifted from the Kauwe’s entrance to the Aotearoa Club per forming the Maori “Tika tonu” haka. With war paint and fierce facial expressions, the haka started this historic parade, the first of its Followingkind.


The parade begins The Kauwes then boarded a Laie Tram Tour trolley led by members of the BYUH Hawaiian Club, as hundreds who lined the area outside the main entrance of the CAC cheered for them. Those who greeted the Kauwes during the parade included 32 various student-led clubs, different academic departments and Polynesian Cultural Center employees and performers, only a few of which will be highlighted in this Kealohimakamaestory.Aki, a senior majoring in social work from Hilo, Hawaii, said, “I am so happy and honored … to celebrate this monumental time in history as [President Kauwe] is the first native Hawaiian president of our University. I feel blessed as a Hawaiian myself.”

the parade that celebrated his official inauguration as the 11th and first native Hawaiian president of BYU–Hawaii, President John S. K. Kauwe III said, “I am overwhelmed with love and support, and just want to be equal to it. [I] want to lead in ways that warrant that kind of love and confidence.”

106 KE ALAKA‘I 2022

The tram then led the Kauwes around the Lorenzo Snow Building to the road between the CAC and the PCC. Drums from the Night Show were played along the road near Together, Laie and BYUH welcome the first native Hawaiian BYUH president through a cultural celebration and parade BY KYLEE DENISON

The parade brought together students, faculty, alumni, community members and Church leadership.TreBarber, a freshman majoring in ac counting from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, said he appreciated being part of the event because he could represent his culture, “on behalf of [my] people back home but also the school as well.”

NEW STUDENT 2022 107 the new turf field as dancers from the PCC performed.Whenrounding the turf field, the Latin America Club held up flags from the various countries they represent. Near the tennis courts, students from the Cambodia Club and Hip-Hop Club danced their unique styled dances. The next sound was from the BYUH Street Band playing jazz. At the corner of Hale 1 and the Little Theater, the band performed New-Orleansstyle street jazz, led by Daniel Henderson, assistant professor in the Faculty of Culture, Language & Performing Arts. Henderson explained they played many songs, including an original song by Henderson called “Street Band.”

Near the library, the trolley stopped and the Fijian Club performed a song and dance while presenting to President Kauwe a gift called the “i-wau,” a Fijian weapon.

According to Pita Taukei, a senior majoring in business management from Suva, Fiji, the weapon “signifies the power and authority President Kauwe has as president of BYUH and that we are placing our utmost trust in him as a chief, so to speak.”

Hawaiian Club President Kamaua Yamamoto, a senior studying marketing from North Kohala, Hawaii, said, “It is a proud day to be a Hawaiian. ... It is great to see everyone come together to support Hawaii.”

The grand finale Monica Kauwe said thanks to a combined effort from the Hawaiian Club, the Hawaiian Studies program, the Kauwe family and the Laie Association Committee, the final ceremony at the top of the Flag Circle left the Kauwes filled with gratitude for everyone’s love and Yamamotosupport.explained the Pū, or the conch shell, was blown and drummers played a lively rhythm to alert the crowd President Kauwe was coming. This was intentionally done, as with many other details from the final ceremo ny, all according to Hawaiian cultural protocol, he explained.

Henderson said, “It’s time to celebrate. It has been a difficult year for the whole world. Now, let’s dance out in the sunshine, today and into the future.”

Right right: Tainui Johnston and Tuiakana Toa perform the haka for the Kauwe family.

Left: Moments during the inauguration parade. Right left: President John S. K. Kauwe with Kevin Schlag.. Right middle: A BYUH student holds up a welcoming sign made by the Filipino Club for President Kauwe.

Photos by Mark Daeson Tabbilos.

Gift giving Following their performance, Jensen explained the Hawaiian class members each took off their ti leaf leis, or lāʻī, twisted them together, and gave them to President Kauwe as a symbol of their class’ offering of respect to President Kauwe.

108 KE ALAKA‘I 2022

Manoa said the class used lāʻī because of its cultural use as a form of protection, symbolizing protection for and best wishes to President Kauwe on his new journey.

Left page: The Kauwe family enjoying the beginning of the inauguration parade. Right: Snippets of moments during the inauguration Mark Daeson Tabbilos and Christal Lee.

Hoʻokupu, or offerings, were then given to President Kauwe. The gifts included kālo or taro plants, a map of Laie and various paintings. To close, everyone in attendance sang “Ha wai‘i Aloha” together, which is a song of Aloha ‘Aina, or expressing love for one’s birthplace and home. According to the Mana Mele web site, the song is very sacred to Hawaiians and represents unity. At the close of the ceremony, Miller said, “I feel so emotional because it has come to be.”

Next, students in the Hawaiian Studies class “Hawaiian Material and Literary Topics” performed a hula called “Ke Ao Nani,” com posed by Mary Kawena Pukui. Manoa explained this class teaches the importance of hula in preserving Hawaiian culture, history, stories and traditions. One of the Hawaiian performers, and the Pū blower, Kalani Jensen, a sophomore major ing in hospitality and tourism from Hunting ton Beach, California, said his grandfather was among the first graduating class of BYUH. “I could see [my ancestors] smiling from heaven.”

The Kauwe's extended family then sang “Pili Pili Mai,” a song that traces back to the Kauwes’ ancestor and early Hawaiian church convert, H.K. Kaleohano. A member of the Laie Association Committee, Kekela Mokuiki Miller, said she organized the hula performed by the aunties wearing white and yellow. The hula they performed was called “Nani Laie,” she said, and the song and dance were written and choreographed by Miller’s grandmother.Followingtheir performance, an ukulele class from the Hawaiian Studies Program performed an original song for President Kauwe.Kaipo Manoa, adjunct faculty in the Faculty of Culture, Language & Performing Arts, teaches the class and led the performance. She said, “Once we found out we were part of the celebration, we thought it would be nice to compose a song just for him.” The song is titled “Inaugural Celebration” and was composed by Manoa.

I am overwhelmed with love and support, and just want to be equal to it. [I] want to lead in ways that warrant that kind of love and PRESIDENTconfidence.”JOHNS.K.KAUWEIII “

Glenn, a visiting assistant professor in the Faculty of Culture, Lan guage & Performing Arts, explained she composed the song by unifying the words of David O. McKay at the original inauguration, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's introduction of President Kauwe as president of BYUH, and President Kauwe's first address to the BYUH community. Glenn said the spirit guided her through composing this song. “It's a miracle it all came together,” she said. At the beginning of the song, Glenn said she used the Hawaiian phrase, “Ka'a mau ke Akua e hana kamaha'o,” meaning God moves in mysterious ways. Glenn said she incorporated this to represent God working “to bring President Kauwe to this place at this time.”

Ryan Escabarte, a sophomore from the Philippines majoring in psy chology and a member of the Ho'olōkahi Choir, said the song has already impacted students' lives by helping them discover their purpose at BYUH.

Dr. Erica Glenn said she composed an original song called “From This Place,” that the BYU–Hawaii Ho'olōkahi Choir performed during President John S. K. Kauwe III's inauguration on Oct. 19. She said she began composing the song when the choir was invited to sing for the inauguration because the pieces the choir had prepared for other occasions were not right for the event.

Glenn said the song itself was a manifestation of God moving in mysterious ways because it brought students together from all around the world to express the mission of BYUH through music. “In the process of writing the piece, I received a powerful witness these students are here for a purpose, that purpose is remarkable and it's going to radiate to the outermost corners of the worldwide church.”

Becoming genuine GOLD

BYUH professor composes original song for inauguration to capture the purpose of the University BY NICHOLE WHITELEY

President of the Ho'olōkahi Choir, Julia Hernandez, a senior from Georgia majoring in psychology, said it was not the students in the choir that brought this enlightenment to the audience, but it was the Holy Ghost “testifying to them the words [the choir] sang were true.”

With tears in his eyes, Escabarte said his friend hugged him the day after the inauguration and said the song helped him “understand I should be staying here. I shouldn't be moving to another school because I belong and I matter.”

… [The choir exists] to be musical ambassadors of the mission of this school, and to build the kind of unity, understanding and leadership in classrooms that will then translate into anything these students do beyond [University] walls.”

Uyehara said the way each student is special is shown in the line of the song, “Noblemen and noblewomen who cannot be bought or sold, who scorn to violate truth, genuine gold." She said, "It shows how priceless students are at this University and how [they] are the genuine gold. That is what David O. McKay calls [them].”

Eden Uyehara, a senior from Laie, Hawaii, majoring in music and theatre, performed in the Ho'olōkahi Choir at the inauguration. She ex plained the message the Ho'olōkahi Choir wanted to share at President John Kauwe's inauguration was everyone in the BYUH community is here for a reason. She added BYUH students “are genuine gold. When [they] leave this place and are out in the world, [they] are supposed to shine the light BYUH has given to [them] out to everybody else.”

President Kauwe said he was joyful as he listened to the choir because “the song and the Spirit with which it was performed really highlighted the unique and prophetically defined mission of BYUH.”

Glenn said, “I wanted [the song] to be the mission song of our choir.

Escabarte said he has heard students say they do not belong at BYUH because they feel their accomplishments and character do not matter. He added he hopes students who heard the song can remember they “are a child of God ... and [they] matter.”

President Kauwe said, “I hope students hear [this song] and feel the power of the prophetic words associated with the University. I hope they realize they are integral in building and protecting this place.”

• The BYU–Hawaii Concert Choir performing the original song, "From This Place," composed by Dr. Erica Glenn at President Kauwe's inauguration on Oct. 19. Photo by Mark Daeson Tabbilos.

Hernandez said her favorite line of the song comes at a key moment where everyone is singing different things and there is chaos, until they all join in singing “Striving for unity, children of God.'” She said this represents the students going into the world, which is stressful and busy, but while they are at BYUH, they can strive for unity.

Hernandez said when she was learning the song, she realized it was written for the students at BYUH and how they can take part in the legacy of the University. She added by making an effort to reach out to others and make a difference in their lives, students can help fulfill David O. McKay's prophecy that BYUH would unite the world.

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