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The Leader

New Student Issue 2020

A guide & introduction for your start at BYU–Hawaii Pg. 27

Pg. 56

Pg. 158

Food Fest brings community members and students together

Changes at the helm of the university

Experiencing an unforgettable General Conference


ADVISOR LeeAnn Lambert

CO-EDITORS Noah Shoaf Haeley van der Werf

COPY EDITORS Dani Castro Eli Hadley Michael Kraft Bruno Maynez


MULTIMEDIA JOURNALISTS Madi Berry Leiani Brown Kimo Burgess Anel Canto Killian Canto Emily Cassler Carlene Coombs Brooke Guryn Olivia Hixson Hailey Huhane Serena Dugar Ioane Taffie Kwok Will Krueger Marvin Latchumanan

Esther Insigne


NEWS CENTER Box 1920 BYUH Laie, HI 96762

PRINTER Print Services Editorial, photo submissions & distribution inquries: kealakai@byuh.edu To view additional articles, go to kealakai.byuh.edu


Chad Hsieh Ho Yin Li Keyu Xiao

Email: kealakai@byuh.edu Phone: (808) 675-3694 Fax: (808) 675-3491 Office: BYU–Hawaii Aloha Center 134



Cody Bruce Barney Lilinoe Gomez

Actors dance in a scene from “West Side Story” on performed in late Februrary and early March before the pandemic. It was shown in the McKay Auditorium on campus. Photo by Chad Hsieh


ART & GRAPHICS Brad Carbine Hannah Manalang Sadie Scadden

ABOUT US 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. It 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 20 students works to provide information for BYU–Hawaii’s campus ohana and Laie’s community. © 2020 Ke Alaka‘i BYU–Hawaii All Rights Reserved



The entrance to the campus and the McKay complex. Photo by Chad Hsieh

BYU–Hawaii to continue remote learning Fall Semester 2020 BY LAURA TEVAGA

Brigham Young University–Hawaii has been working diligently to evaluate the current conditions created by COVID-19, especially as they relate to the unique circumstances of Laie, Hawaii. This evaluation has focused primarily on the safety of our students, our staff, and our local community. Considerations have included travel restrictions, quarantine requirements, governmental orders, and housing limitations due to new physical distancing guidelines. Accordingly, university leadership has determined that all classes will be taught remotely during the Fall 2020 Semester. We recognize that this news may be disappointing to those who have anticipated joining us on campus this fall. The administration, staff, and faculty of BYU–Hawaii share that disappointment and look forward to the day when we can safely gather face-to-face. The decision to invite students back to campus will be made very

carefully and as soon as it becomes clear that departure from homelands, travel to Hawaii, and facilities are sufficiently safe and able to accommodate the majority of our diverse student population. In the meantime, all continuing and new students are encouraged to register for classes and work diligently to make the fall semester productive and successful. BYU–Hawaii is committed to doing the same. Please note that this announcement applies only to BYU–Hawaii and may differ from plans at other Church Educational System (CES) institutions that operate in different locations and under different circumstances. Additional specifics and details regarding housing, tuition, and academics as well as some frequently asked questions can be found on the Fall 2020 Semester webpage. The page will be updated with more details as needed.





Pg. 56 - Changes at the helm Above: BYUH President John S.K. Kauwe III speaks at the annoucement of his becoming the new leader of the university. Photo courtesy of the Church

Turning obstacles into opportunities Adjunct professor Jennifer Kajiyama Tinkham shares how she overcame a nearly debilitating medical condition with the help of Heavenly Father.

Peaceful protesters Oahu residents protest the building of eight new windmills in Kahuku, saying local voices were ignored during the planning and approval process.

Lighting the path The Laie community gathers for a special temple walk and devotional to celebrate to 100th anniversary of the Laie, Hawaii Temple.




Campus Life 8

Inclusion through differences 38

Mutually beneficial forms of medicine 10

Campus resources for mothers 40

Saying ‘No More’ to domestic violence 12

Campus construction history and updates 44

Learning a little differently 16

On and off stage with “West Side Story” 46

All-in-one app for school 20

Supporting BYU–Hawaii students: APCC 48

“Gingerbread”: A musical with a deeper meaning 22

Coming from the same branch to BYU–Hawaii 50

Career tips with Cody Baldwin 24

More than Bollywood 52

Melting pot: Food Fest 2019 26

Graduating from home 54

From diapers to college textbooks 30

Changes at the helm of BYUH 56

The unseen members of the theater 34

Where to find the Ke Alaka’i on campus 58

Voyages of light

Feature Alumnus Carlos Speranza 64

God is always there 86

Hurdling over adversity 66

Alumna Jen Dean 88

Alumna is Seasider manager 70

Family-owned footwear for all 90

The one and only student from Palau 72

Finding her place 92

Globe-trotting alumni family 74

How boxing led me to my wife 94

Professor Rose Ram 76

Stories of change: Shan Arumugan 96

Chef Spencer Tan 78

Turning obstacles into opportunities 98

Blessed by adoption 80

Love and farewell 100

30 years of service: Iggy Santeco 82

Community Peaceful protesters 106

Keeping the ones you love alive 122

Giving Machines in Laie bring Christmas spirit 108

Teaching the Samoan language to local kids 126

More than skin deep 112

Plogging in Laie 130

Hands on prep with VR tech 114

Share your aloha 132

Epicenter empathy 116

Serving our ohana 134

Legacy of PCC & China relationship 118

Religion A century of aloha 140

Making time for the temple 150

Effective scripture study blesses students lives 142

David O. McKay mural 152

Storytelling through art 144

COVID-19 pandemic cancels church meetings 154

A temple of love 146

Bringing scriptures to life 156

Lighting the path 148

Experiencing an unforgettable conference 1585 NEW STUDENT ISSUE

Voyages of light


Mutually beneficial forms of medicine 10 Saying ‘No More’ to domestic violence 12 Learning a little differently 16 All-in-one app for school 20


Gingerbread: A deeper meaning 22 Career tips with Cody Baldwin 24 Melting pot: Food Fest 2019 26 From diapers to college textbooks 30 The unseen members of the theater 34 Inclusion through differences 38 Campus resources for mothers 40 Campus construction history and updates 44 On and off stage with “West Side Story” 46 Supporting BYU–Hawaii students: APCC 48 Coming from the same branch to BYU–Hawaii 50 More than Bollywood 52 Graduating from home 54 Changes at the helm of BYUH 56 Where to find the Ke Alaka’i on campus 58

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Campus Life



Voyages of Light Members of the Concert Choir sing during the 2019 tour to New Zealand and Tahiti. Photo by Monique Saenz

BYU-Hawaii Concert Choir travels to New Zealand and Tahiti to sing and spread messages of the gospel BY BRUNO MAYNEZ AND ANEL CANTO

Performing in both New Zealand and Tahiti on what was called the Voyages of Light Tour, the BYU-Hawaii Concert Choir, comprised of 45 students and with a tour staff of 10, said their lives were changed by sharing music, culture and the light of Christ. The choir performed at theaters, senior-care homes, museums, stake centers, a cathedral, a beach, and other historical venues while in New Zealand and Tahiti between May 29 and June 14. According to Anna Sheffield, a junior from Iowa majoring in vocal performance, the purpose of the trip was to share the light of Christ through testimony and song. She said, “The theme was Voyages of Light. We can carry our light to members and nonmembers. To let people know they can receive light through Christ.” “We sang every day, and it was fun meeting new audiences every night,” she said. “It was great to share testimonies again, like serving a mission and returning with honor again.” Will Strong, a sophomore choir member majoring in business and finance from Wisconsin, said, “I’ll never forget it. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve done in my life. Meeting so many faithful saints, working so hard to 8


perfect the songs, and really singing praises to God with all my heart. It was such a testimony builder and I will never forget the experience.” Strong added, “My favorite part of the tour was when we went to the audience after every performance, and you got to talk to everyone: the light in their eyes. Everyone left with such a big smile and looked happy. No one left sad or mad.You could just tell everyone enjoyed the concert and felt the spirit.” In a story written about the tour on mormonnewsroom.org.nz, the choir’s director, Michael Belnap, who is a professor of music and voice at BYUH, says of the tour, “I think it’s been a great tour. I think we’ve accomplished the best of everything we could do.” He said the choir members were willing to work hard and have the spirit with them. Belnap comments in the article that singing the hymn “How Great Thou Art” is always a spiritual experience for him and the choir members. He says during one concert, choir members were overcome with emotions while singing the hymn. “It's always such a spiritual song, and the way the kids sing it is very dynamic. From the very first concert we did in Kerikeri, I just felt

the spirit so strong. It was one of my favorite concerts. It was spiritually charging for us. It was exactly what we needed to get us on to the tour,” Belnap says. President Tanner John S. Tanner, president of BYUH, accompanied the choir delivering gospel messages at presentations and devotionals. According to Sheffield, “President Tanner supported the choir. He encouraged the choir to stay positive. He was our opener at events. He set the mood for us. Everyone loved what he had to say and he was a good example.” Strong said, “It was great to have his spirit leading us along. [President Tanner] legitimized our tour with his authority. I love seeing him coming on tours with us and carrying his calling.” Audience’s Reactions Audience members said they enjoyed the choir presentations from the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland to the Presidential Palace in French Polynesia. “I think it was beautiful. On this cold night, I felt a warm and peaceful feeling,” said Phillip Hadley, member of the Papakura Stake after the concert in Parnell, Auckland. In New Zealand, local families hosted members of the choir in their homes. They shared with the choir members their favorite chocolate, home-bottled fruit, family traditions and national history. “The locals were hospitable,” Sheffield said, “The Maori people seemed very spiritual.” She said the choir members were affected by their interactions with the people in New Zealand. “I have a personal connection with the Maori people. My grandfather is Matthew Cowley and he served his mission in New Zealand and translated the Book of Mormon to Maori. “My love for the Polynesian people grew immensely. They are so friendly and in tune with the spirit. My love for music grew. I’ve always loved music and performing. Doing that in a different country has broadened my horizons and motivated me to keep pursuing my major. This is an opportunity to be an example. People were always watching.”

Presidential Palace of French Polynesia The choir’s last two concerts took place at the Presidential Palace of French Polynesia. Government officials welcomed the choir and thanked the Church and the university for bringing light to the country through their voices. They also acknowledge the visit of President Russell M. Nelson to the country just weeks before. Despite the language barriers, Tahitians “where some of the most willing to talk and get to know us after the show,” shared choir member Michael Potter, a senior majoring in biology from California. Kaikohe Kura educational exchange At the Maori-language immersion school of Kakiage, the choir sang “Kua Rongo Mai Koe” during the Powhiri or Maori welcome. According to Noelle Oldham, an alumna from Florida, the song is inviting and welcoming. “We sang it to Maori people at the schools and welcoming ceremonies to show our respect and love that we had for them for welcoming us to their land and county.” President Tanner congratulated the students from Kaikohe for loving their culture and invited them to keep their traditions alive. The choir thanked the crew who prepared the lunch by singing “Bogoroditse Devo,” a Russian song about Christ and the Virgin Mary. Afterward, choir members taught workshops about singing basics, hula, ukulele and Spanish to the students. “This was especially moving,” added Sheffield, “Both high school and BYUH choirs performed for each other [and] introduced each other’s culture. We personally became friends with the high school students and we still communicate through Instagram. We really connected with the high school kids.” “It was an amazing opportunity for our students to learn that it is not only important to learn about their language and their culture, but also about other cultures,” shared Shirey Hogg, a teacher at Kaikohe from Mangamu. Lagoon at Moorea In Moorea, the choir visited the Belvedere Lookout, swam at a crystal-clear beach, tried the local “poisson cru,” or raw fish similar

to poke, with coconut milk, and then sang Hawaiian and Tahitian songs standing by the waters of the beach. Mihiani Tapea, a student from Tahiti majoring in elementary education, said, “It was nice to see people from a different country come to Tahiti to sing our songs. A lot of my friends went to watch the concert and told me how they enjoy the blend of the different voices.” Tribute to Uncle Tommy Taurima A more personal meeting took place at a chapel in Hamilton, New Zealand, when the choir meet with Uncle Tommy Taurima, a Moari composer who served at the Polynesian Cultural Center as a creative director and the Maoritanga cultural expert. On the 50th anniversary of the PCC, Taurima received the award of “Living Treasure.” Taurima and members of his extended family, laughed and wept together as they met with the choir members. “It is beautiful. I could see the faces of many of my friends as I see your faces,” said Taurima in a voice choked with emotion after hearing a piece from the choir. •

Dr. Michael Belnap leads the choir at one of the venues students were able to perform at during the tour. Photo by Monique Saenz. Graphics by Brad Carbine NEW STUDENT ISSUE


Mutually beneficial forms of medicine BYU-Hawaii students and a professor say students should be open to both modern and traditional forms of medicine, but should also research carefully BY ELIJAH HADLEY

CO UGH SYRUP Maximum Strength Cough+Che st C onge stion Relief. 24 hour R elief Ac tive Ingredient. T herapeutic su bstance in pr oduc t; amoun t o f ac tive ingredient per uni t. S ym ptoms or dis ea ses the pr oduc t will treat or p revent. Wa rnings. W hen no t t o u se the pr oduc t; c onditions tha t m ay require advic e from a doc tor b efore t aking the pr oduc t; po ssible interactions or side ef fects; when to stop t aking the pr oduc t and when t o c ontact a doc tor; i f you ar e pr egnan t or b reastf eeding, se ek guidanc e from a h ea lth c are professiona l; keep pr oduc t out o f childr en’s reach.

Graphics by Lynne Hardy

In a constantly globalized world, there are many different methods of treating illnesses, both old and new. One might use home remedies to cure a headache, or might get a flu shot to guard against the flu. In the United States, children are required to be vaccinated to attend most public schools, although there have been anti-vaccination groups opting for more traditional methods to be used. BYUH students and a professor of biology said traditional and modern medicines had both pros and cons, but that one was not objectively “better” than the other. Medicines typically referred to as ‘’modern medicine’’ include antibiotics, antiseptics, and 10


vaccines. According to Medical News Today, these types of medicine came as part of several scientific breakthroughs, including germ theory. According to MNT, ‘’The 19th and 20th centuries saw breakthroughs occurring in infection control. At the end of the 19th century, 30 percent of deaths were due to infection, that number dropped to 4 percent by the end of the 20th century.” According to the World Health Organization, traditional medicine refers to “the knowledge, skills and practices based on the theories, beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures, used in the maintenance of health and in the prevention, diagnosis,

improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness. One third of the population lacks access to essential medicines and the provision of safe and effective traditional and alternative remedies could become an important way of increasing access to health care services.” Cindy Lin, a sophomore majoring in ___ from Taiwan said she preferred using traditional Taiwanese medicine, but still recognized the usefulness of western methods. “When I cramp during my period, I usually have a medicine called si wu tang. Whether or not I use traditional medicine depends on the situation. For me, the effects of traditional medicine are slower, but I feel they are a better long-term solution.

“I also believe in food as a traditional form of medicine. If people would just eat healthy, a lot of the problems they face would go away.” According to a link Lin provided from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, “Food offers more than mere energy to get us through work and daily activities. What we take into our bodies has the power to heal and even regain yin-yang balance within. Westerners are familiar with food’s ancient role as sustenance and energy. But these other roles play an even greater part in the overall homeostasis of our bodies. “Nutrition may be directly applied to achieving overall health. Food serves to provide a source of balance and equilibrium for the flow of life energy (qi); an imbalance in yin and yang energy manifests itself into a number of forms, including pain, sleeplessness, tumors, and blood loss. The application of traditional Chinese medicinal herbs to foods can help prevent illness, thwart pain, and achieve longevity and overall health in the body.” Lin said “I want to enjoy the food too, but I would like to eat healthy at the same time. I'm not saying things like ice cream are bad, but I prefer a healthier option. For me, taking western medicine is sometimes only able to cure just the symptoms, not the disease. “Based on general conception, traditional Chinese treatment is more focused on patients' holistic physical condition, which gradually works up to getting the whole body in balance.” Joanna Chibota, a freshman student from Zimbabwe majoring in biomedical science said she was a strong supporter of western practices like vaccines and pills, because “while yes vaccines don’t stop all the diseases, they prevent a good deal of them. By not vaccinating your children, you are increasing the risk for the entire population to get the disease, and for the disease to mutate and become worse. Diseases are extremely important to control. “As for western medicine as a whole, yes there are issues but there have been massive improvements compared to what it was before. Right now, there have been so many advancements. People are curing cancer, and that can’t be done with traditional medicine. Traditional methods can only go so far. Sometimes it doesn’t even do or cure anything. I believe it is an excellent supplement

“Be open to new things, but always research reputable sources.” to modern/western medicine when used together. Traditional medicine can help some things, but for serious illnesses, I’d say stick with western medicine.” Colby Weeks, a professor of biology had a more even approach, praising aspects of both forms of medicine. “It really depends on what’s happening. There’s no home remedy for whooping cough and other diseases. “It’s tough with the whole anti-vaccination campaign going on, where some people are using their culture as a reason not to vaccinate themselves or their kids. I was recently reading a talk by one of the brethren, which talked about how culture teaches both good things, and some problematic things. When someone joins the Church, they should leave the bad behind, which wasn’t necessarily defined in the talk. “I never want to say traditional medicine isn’t useful,” he explained, “but it cannot cure everything. There’s no fighting polio without a vaccine.” “In some of my projects with the students, we’ll look at these books full of Hawaiian lore and traditional Hawaiian medicine. What we’ll do is find the plant and then test it in the way they do it, and more often than not, there’s zero effect against the disease they say the remedy is for “But once in a while, we’ll find activity in plants which actually does defend against some infections. So there’s not really a clear line where one form of medicine is better than the others. Just because one plant is effective against one form of the disease, he said, doesn’t mean it protects against all diseases. The medicine men in tribes learned how to make medicine through observation, just like our western scientists do. Be open to new things, but always research reputable sources.” •

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Graphics by Lynne Hardy NEW STUDENT ISSUE


Saying 'No More' to domestic violence Domestic violence is more complicated than physical abuse, experts say, and harder to escape than just leaving BY HAELEY VAN DER WERF 12


Each year during the month of October, people all around the United States come together to mourn those who died due to domestic violence, celebrate those who survived and connect those who work to end violence. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) reports 20 people are abused per minute in the United States, totaling over 10 million men and women every year. Despite these seemingly statistics, Title IX coordinator Debbie Hippolite Wright said everyone should do their part to put an end to domestic violence. At BYU–Hawaii, “We don’t tolerate [abuse],” explained Hippolite Wright. “We want to be able to give those families and relationships the support they need to change.” According to the Break the Cycle website, “Domestic violence affects millions, both women and men, of every race, religion, culture, and status. It’s not just punches and black eyes – it’s yelling, humiliation, stalking, manipulation, coercion, threats and isolation. “It’s stealing a paycheck, keeping tabs online, non-stop texting, constant use of the silent treatment or calling someone stupid so often they believe it.” Domestic Violence Awareness Month was first observed on Oct. 1987, which is the same year the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline was initiated, says the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence website. Two years later, the United States Congress passed a law designating October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month each year. Why they can’t ‘just leave’ Hippolite Wright said she has read it takes four times for a person to leave an abusive relationship permanently. “Why? You’ve loved this person. You may have children with them. Sometimes it might be economical or something else playing into it too.” She said, “If the abused person doesn’t have their own money, if they don’t have a job and the other person is the source of income,” that can make it hard to leave. “There might be visa issues. The more reliant the victim is, the more difficult it is to get out.”

The NCADV website says leaving an abusive partner may be the most dangerous thing the victim does. Abusers can go to extremes to keep their partner in the relationship, threatening harm to the victim or their family members, they will ruin them financially, they will take custody of their children or a variety of other things. Getting out is more complicated than just leaving the person, Hippolite Wright said. “You have to develop a safety plan, which is anything from putting away a little money to knowing where you are getting an extra ID so you can move quickly.” Beyond that, leaving doesn’t necessarily guarantee the person’s safety. “People are killed even after they’ve left the relationship. How do you find safety? That’s where the safety plan comes in. Having a good network that is supportive and believes you and what’s going on and is not judgmental in terms of what your decisions are,” explained Hippolite Wright. Resources The No More movement is dedicated to unifying people from all over the world to end domestic violence. According to its website, “NO MORE is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault by increasing awareness, inspiring action and fueling culture change. “NO MORE is a groundbreaking, global initiative comprised of the largest coalition of non-profits, corporations, government agencies, media, schools and individuals addressing domestic violence and sexual assault. “We work to amplify and grow the movement to stop and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault, in homes, schools, workplaces and communities around the world by creating innovative campaigns, partnerships and tools that leverage the power of the media, entertainment, sports, technology and collective action.” Hippolite Wright said Title IX has seen all kinds of violence and developed a clear line of help to those in need. “We have problems like the rest of the world, but thankfully we’ve got a modified path of how to seek help, whether it is through a bishop, Relief Society

president, the Counseling Center or Title IX by just clicking the Report a Concern button” found on the BYUH website. “If somebody is in immediate danger, they need to call the police. Sometimes we are a little bit scared to do that because what will our neighbors and friends think? But if you are in danger you need to call the police immediately.” BYUH also has two trauma trained counselors and emergency shelter for students who are victims of violence, Hippolite Wright shared. “We also have a telemental health counselor. If students don’t want to go into the health center, they can have a session in private with their headphones on. “No one knows who it is that person is talking to. People can access it on their phones. We are trying to reach more people to suit them. If a person is being violated, they can connect with the Counseling Center and have the session in their home when the person is out of the home.” Even those who are not trained professionals can help those in an abusive situation, she explained. “We can all help. The way to do that is to believe what is going on, not be judgmental. Kind of direct the person to get help, whether it is police, at the Counseling Center, or making a report on Report a Concern, which can be anonymous. “Don’t put yourself in danger, but do something. Don’t justify it away. Several years ago, we had two different incidents. In one, bystanders did something. In the other, bystanders did not [help] until later. Something needed to be done immediately … We want students to be involved in [stopping] violence and sexual assault.” If you are in danger, call 911 or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1­-800799-7233 or TTY 1­-800-787-3224. Domestic violence help websites, such as https://www. thehotline.org/, https://nomore.org/ and https://ncadv.org/, have safety exits built-in to protect you from being caught looking for help by an abuser. •

Graphics by Lynne Hardy



The Domestic Violence Hotline lists the following as reasons someone might not be able to easily exit an abusive relationship: The Domestic Violence Hotline lists the following as reasons someone might not be able to easily exit an abusive relationship:



Fear of Being Outed:

A person may be afraid of what will happen if they decide to leave the relationship.

If someone is in an LGBTQ relationship and has not yet come out to everyone, their partner may threaten to reveal this secret.

Believing Abuse is Normal:

Low Self-Esteem:

A person may not know what a healthy relationship looks like, perhaps from growing up in an environment where abuse was common, and they may not recognize that their relationship is unhealthy.

When an abusive partner constantly puts someone down and blames them for the abuse, it can be easy for the victim to believe those statements and think that the abuse is their fault.


Love: So often, the victim feels love for their abusive partner. They may have children with them and want to maintain their family. Abusive people can often be charming, especially at the beginning of a relationship, and the victim may hope that their partner will go back to being that person. They may only want the violence to stop, not for the relationship to end entirely.

Cultural/ Religious Reasons: Traditional gender roles supported by someone’s culture or religion may influence them to stay rather than end the relationship for fear of bringing shame upon their family.

Graphics by Lynne Hardy

Embarrassment or Shame: It is often difficult for someone to admit that they have been abused. They may feel they have done something wrong by becoming involved with an abusive partner. They may also worry that their friends and family will judge them.

Language Barriers/ Immigration Status: If a person is undocumented, they may fear that reporting the abuse will affect their immigration status. Also, if their first language is not English, it can be difficult to express the depth of their situation to others.

Disability: When someone is physically dependent on their abusive partner, they can feel that their well-being is connected to the relationship. This dependency could heavily influence their decision to stay in an abusive relationship.

Lack of Money/ Resources: Financial abuse is common, and a victim may be financially dependent on their abusive partner. Without money, access to resources or even a place to go, it can seem impossible for them to leave the relationship. This feeling of helplessness can be especially strong if the person lives with their abusive partner. NEW STUDENT ISSUE


Learning a little differently BYU–Hawaii faculty and a student share their opinions on the importance of special education BY ELIJAH HADLEY Special education carries connotations when spoken, according to understood. org. According to the website, “You might picture children with disabilities spending the day tucked away in a different kind of classroom, separated from most of the kids their age.” Federal law has changed to where children who have disabilities are required to learn in a classroom with general education students. BYU–Hawaii faculty and students with experience in special education were asked their opinion on its importance. Dr. Barbara Hong, Special Assistant to AVP on AIDE/504 Coordinator, said she prepares teachers how to work with children with special needs. “From mild to moderate disabilities. These include conditions such as autism, Down syndrome, attention deficit, and dyslexia.” According to Hong, “People with intellectual disabilities like Down syndrome or autism may seem different from each of us, but they go on to do great things.” Hong added the importance of putting the individual before their condition. 16


“In special ed, we never say ‘disabled child,’ or ‘autistic child,’ We say ‘child with disabilities,’ or ‘child with autism.’ It’s wrong and dehumanizing to refer to someone by their disability. Everyone has a disability whether they know it or not.” She believes the difficulties of special education come from instructors. “The problem is not the kids being incapable of learning. It’s the teachers who are not prepared for teaching special needs. Those children end up being classified as ‘disabled.’ There has been a trend in the special ed world, saying ‘there is more of a teaching disability than a learning disability.’” Hong believes children can help others who are different. “Kids don’t necessarily see disabilities clear as day. They don’t look at a kid with one leg and immediately exclude him or her. Kids love working together. They will tell me how happy they are to have a child with special needs in their group. What some people might see as a weakness becomes a strength.

“I would pose the question ‘what can we embrace by having people who are different, and how can we use it to grow our society?’ They are all up there, they are visible. If you are not learning to interact and work and socialize with people who have disabilities, you are being shortchanged.” Hong graduated from BYUH with her bachelor’s degree in special education. She earned her Ph.D from Columbia University in the same field. She said, “As a program coordinator I feel sometimes special educators don’t think our job plays a huge role, but the effectiveness of a program is dependent on the structure of that program. The job helps me as a special educator to help discover my passion and what it is I might not consider about others. “Essentially I teach teachers how to teach kids with disabilities. We work with children with special needs, not specifically severe disabilities. Mild-moderate disability means something more like attention deficit, behavioral problems, and

Dr. Barbara Hong prepares teachers to work with children with special needs. Photo by Ke Alaka‘i staff

autism. Particularly my area is on learning disabilities like dyslexia.” Hong said educators and staff do not prepare teachers very well and send them out to teach unprepared. She continued, “My job is … to improve the quality of the teaching. The goal is to have fewer kids out of the classroom and more being included with their classmates.” In 1975, the United States Congress enacted the Education For All Handicapped Children Act. It introduced inclusion to the public school system, requiring schools to provide equal access to education for students with physical and mental disabilities. According to Hong, “When [the Act] was first introduced into public schools, parents were worried teachers would not have time to work with their children if they had to teach children with disabilities. There was a lot of argument and controversy, which is rightly so, because the teachers were not prepared.” Although 1975 was almost 45 years ago, Hong felt special education still had room for improvement. “Looking back at 1975 to now,” she explained, “I still see teachers who are not prepared. In every classroom these days, there is no such

thing as a pure classroom. You will always find someone who is advanced, someone who is behind, somebody who cannot pay attention, or someone who comes with emotional issues. It’s almost difficult to teach a class like that. “If special ed kids were excluded, it would be like the 1950s all over again. As Brown v. Board of Education proved, separate is not equal. We want to to go beyond our normal mandate and teach the teachers how to teach a diverse classroom.” “There are many studies now in the business sector about hiring people with autism and dyslexia. They have all the skills they need,” Hong said. “Many people in the business sector have OCD or another learning disability. If we try to fit everybody into a structure they do not excel. But if we give them a better environment, they can excel. So why is it education is the last group to recognize this? If we allow them to innovate and be themselves, I think we’ll all be surprised what we can see in these kids.” Tavia Thompson, Hong’s teaching assistant and a senior from Texas majoring in elementary education, shared her personal connection with special educa-

tion. Thompson has worked with Hong for almost three years. She said, “One thing that has become especially personal to me is seeing how individuals in this program are able to help people in our community. I have helped organize two annual events with a program founded by Dr. Hong called PACE (Parents as Advocates for Children in Education). “Students from her classes are able to volunteer and familiarize themselves with how members of our community can be benefitted by teachers who are knowledgeable and determined to find ways to best educate students with disabilities. Seeing the different problems that come up on the education of a child with disabilities can be frustrating, but opportunities like this have allowed me and other students to be aware of what we can do with our knowledge and experiences.” Just like Hong, Thompson said she had no intention of being apart of the special education program when she came to BYUH. “But I was inspired by the passion and determination of Dr. Hong to continue taking classes and become qualified. “I have an older sister with autism, so special education has always been a part NEW STUDENT ISSUE


of my life. Growing up I was able to see how teachers who sacrificed their time and efforts to helping her in every way they could were able to assist in her educational progression. This helped me in my decision to learn more about the profession of special educators.” Caryn Houghton, a special instructor in art, explained how well-known artists created even with disabilities. She said, “Studying the lives of artists in history gives one a deeper appreciation of individual artists–their abilities, struggles, and their strengths and weaknesses. Many artists like Vincent Van Gogh and Michelangelo, while extremely gifted, struggled socially. Other artists like Chuck Close and Frida Kahlo didn’t let physical challenges stand in the way of their art.” When asked how art played a role in the lives of students with special needs, Houghton explained how her daughter, who has high functioning autism, needed support. “I have appreciated the instructors that have been supportive of her artistic abilities. She loves to draw and is passionate about certain topics. When she was a child, her counselor at Laie Elementary, Michelle Lamone, encouraged her artistic skills. “She would provide clay and they would sculpt horses together. Later on,



Mrs. Lamone gave my daughter a wonderful colorful drawing of a mermaid she had created. It is still one of my daughter’s favorite possessions because I know she feels her counselor’s love and support when she looks at it.” Houghton said each person learns differently, regardless if they have a disability or not. “Some of my students are more visual, while others are more auditory. I try to create lessons that help all learners. My students sketch various images in my class. I think this helps those that like hands-on learning. I use plenty of images to keep my visual learners engaged. “We all have special needs. Some students suffer from anxiety, some have visa problems here at BYUH, some have financial difficulties. Working with people, all people, increases my faith and testimony as we seek the Lord’s guidance in knowing how to work with them. In the Book of Mormon, we read that “blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me” (3 Nephi 12:3). “Working with people can be challenging but as we come unto the Lord in our worries, concerns, and issues, we can receive answers to how to help those we teach and work with.” •


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All-in-one app for school Student developers create campus mobile app to make online tools more accessible BY TAFFIE KWOK Self-motivated student developers said they created a prototype school app to make returning and new students’ life easier by making BYUH tools easy to access by including one-touch links and an interactive map of campus to navigate. The team won second place in the Pre-Revenue category for Great Ideas on Nov. 7. While not an official BYUH app, the developers encourage feedback. People who are trying the app said it helps them quickly and easily find their classes and know what’s on the cafeteria menu. Alger Aranda, a senior from the Philippines majoring in information systems and technology, praised the BYU–Hawaii Student mobile app because it provides easier access to the most frequently used tools than on the university’s official website. “With the app, you don’t have to worry about memorizing the tools’ URL,” he said. “It provides you the most used tools with the click of a button.”

The developing team shared how the app fulfills the vision they originally had, which was to create a medium to easily access BYUH tools. One of the key developers and student programmers, Ray Xu, a junior from China majoring in computer science, said, “It takes longer time 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.” Xu said he wanted to create an “All-InOne” app to benefit students. The app includes access to the following: 1. The cafeteria menus updated daily. 2. A detailed map using location, if allowed, to pinpoint where you are to help find key buildings around campus. 3. A “Tool Kit” containing various BYUH tools chosen for a student’s convenience, such as: Workday, Student Center, Canvas, student mapper, courses, and campus events.

Students can log in with their username and password. Xu said the team has been working on the app for two months so students can use it as early as possible. He said he is excited for new students to benefit from it, especially when they have a hard time figuring out their classrooms and different locations around campus. Having returned to BYUH after taking a break, Max Orgill, a senior from Colorado majoring in biology, said he uses the app now since the General Classroom Building is closed. “Since we don’t have the GCB anymore, a lot of classes have been changed and put into different places.” Orgill said the app is useful because it helps him to locate the new classrooms he has never been to before. “As a biology major, I have class not only in the McKay building but also in different places [around campus] such as the Cannon Activities Center and the Old

Graphics by Lynne Hardy 20


Gym. The app has a search option. Just put in the room number and it will locate it for you. It helps me save time.” The BYUH Student mobile app was launched on Sept. 28, and it has accumulated more than 150 users in two months. Advice and suggestions are wanted According to the development team, the app is still being reworked. Xu encouraged students to give the developers any feedback or suggest any features that are needed and would be helpful for everyday student use. Xu said, “We need the student’s voice. Please let us know what are you looking for in the BYUH [Student] app.” Director of Communication and Marketing Laura Tevaga, said, “Ray and his team are off to a great start. The initial feedback has been good. We are interested to see what features students want as the university explores developing an official app.” Future possibility Aranda said he was looking forward to seeing if there was a possibility of BYUH having its own official app someday. “As of now, only Provo and Idaho are among the Church Education System schools who have their own school app,” he said. Xu said the school is still in the process of recognizing its team and the app still needs improvements made to meet the standard of a real production app. However, they believe the work they have done so far will help the school in hastening to catch up with the technology flow in this century. How to download The developing team said unfortunately, the app is only for iOS users at the moment. The app is now optimized for iOS 13. To download the app, go to the App Store and download BYUH Student. •



“Gingerbread” cast members sing one of the original songs written by Dr. Melissa Glenn, who wrote the musical with Dr. John Bell. Photo by Lilinoe Gomez

‘Gingerbread’: A deeper meaning The behind-the-scenes people of workshop musical “Gingerbread” discuss the show’s messages about human trafficking and more BY ELI HADLEY & CODY BRUCE BARNEY

The latest BYUH original musical may have seemed like a simple story about parents trying to get their children back, but beyond the music and lighting design, there existed an intent by the creators to comment on real-life issues. The writers and lyricists of “Gingerbread,” as well as one of the production crew, commented on these themes, and where the inspiration for the messages came from for the musical. For example, the following scene portrays dialogue on the kidnapping of a child and the pain of the child’s mother. “What if it was your

daughter on that side of the gate and I was the one who controlled her fate?” Nalani Matthias sings, playing the character Kandaja, whose child was taken from her, and she cannot search outside her village in the city because she does not have a city ID. She is barred by a tall grey wall. “Is it not enough [pain]?” The gatekeepers, played by Sarah Knight, Taylor Schlutsmeyer, Jimmy Westergard, and Rachel Howden, who guard the wall and gate out of the village, responded, “We must protect our own.”

They continue to barrage her to calm down. A heartbroken Kandaja responds, “Is it not enough? Who ... are you to tell me not to care?” The commentary of ‘Gingerbread’ The play is called “Gingerbread,” but it is not a Christmas story, nor is it related to the game Candyland. It is not a comedy. It is a social commentary of a dystopian future that hits topics close to home. It has “a lot of political themes pressing on a lot of modern-day issues,” said Alexia Kaley, a Graphics by Lynne Hardy



sophomore history major who was the lighting designer and a stagehand coordinator for the play. “The political theme the play mainly deals with is the issue of child trafficking, but also the themes of border security and the exploitation of vulnerable persons.” According to Dr. Melissa Glenn, a voice professor who wrote the music and lyrics, the theme of human trafficking is prevalent in the scene in which the character Silo, played by Logan Sprouse, offers Hansel and Gretel a high-paying job of being in a movie. “Typically, the way trafficking happens, is there’s an offer way too good to be true. And a lot of times, that comes from the entertainment industry or offers to be a nanny somewhere else. “I will say there’s also a commentary about immigration,” Glenn continued. “I wouldn’t say so much that I’m taking a political stance, because immigration is a complicated and nuanced topic for each country, but what I did want to do was put ourselves in the place of someone who doesn’t have a situation that would allow them to flourish or prosper, by no fault of their own.” Her favorite song she wrote for the show was “Grant Us Peace,” which was written seven years ago, and not originally intended for “Gingerbread.” Glenn wrote the song after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. “I feel like a lot of times, my songs don’t come easily, but that was a song where I had the verse and chorus come to me by inspiration, as I was trying to process through being a new mother at the time, and process through the school shooting.” Glenn added how she wanted the audience to have compassion for people who were born into circumstances that were less desirable.

Glenn said she always “thought ‘Hansel and Gretel’ was a flawed story.” It did not feel right to her that a parent would tell their children to go into the woods alone. As she wondered about the play, she said, it never sat well with her. She realized it was “because the real danger to children in poverty isn’t a fictional character in the woods.” She said the real danger to children in poverty now, to a large extent, is human trafficking. Human trafficking The Oxford Dictionary defines human trafficking as “the action or practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another, typically for the purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation.” Dr. John Bell, the vice president for Academics and the writer of the play, explained he hopes this play “will lead to a desire to take action to help eliminate this widespread, but often hidden, problem. “Issues like child trafficking affects the entire world, and while it is a relevant topic on any campus, our international focus here at BYUH provides a venue for the conversation on a much broader scale.” An actor playing John Laurens, a founding father of the United States who abhorred slavery and was featured in the critically acclaimed play “Hamilton” (2015), sang “We’ll never be free until we end slavery.” Child trafficking and slavery can be found throughout the world. Operation Underground Railroad, a nonprofit that works with law enforcement to take down child trafficking rings, has statistics on human trafficking. It states says there are 40.3 million modern-day slaves. One in four are children, it says, and 71 percent are girls and women. “The United States was listed as the most common destination for

victims,” says Operation Underground Railroad information. Though “Gingerbread” is a musical drama, its stories of families broken apart and children abused and enslaved mirror real life. How can people help? After watching the musical, J. Eston Dunn, a conservation biology senior from Tennessee, said for him it was difficult “to walk away with any actionable plan. And again, maybe the point of the play is not necessarily to tell you what to do. Maybe that’s for you to decide as an audience member.” He said he was concerned other people may want to help but not know where or how to start. Glenn said the U.S. Department of State has information about how people can help fight human trafficking. The site lists some indicators of trafficking: Living with employer; poor living conditions; multiple people in cramped space; inability to speak to individual alone; answers appear to be scripted and rehearsed; employer is holding identity documents; signs of physical abuse; submissive or fearful; and unpaid or paid very little. “Everyone has the potential to discover a human trafficking situation,” the site says. “Knowing indicators of human trafficking and some follow up questions will help you act on your gut feeling that something is wrong and report it.” The site says if people see something suspicious and the situation is urgent, they should call 911. They can also the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. It is a nationwide 24-hour, toll-free, multilingual anti-trafficking hotline. •

The musical’s creators say they hope to raise awareness about this issue that is often a hidden problem. Photos by Lilinoe Gomez



Cody Baldwin, an assistant professor and program lead in the Faculty of Business and Government, said newly graduated students often struggle when looking for their first jobs. He said, “Trying to find a job can be a stressful experience. It is emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausting- especially if it is taking longer than you planned.” Jana Osburne, a recent BYUH graduate from Washington, said it is “hard to find a job coming straight out of school with a bachelor’s degree.” She said she plans to attend graduate school to help her find jobs in the future. Baldwin said students like Osburne who struggle to find jobs after graduation, inspired him to create 10 tips for getting that first job or an internship ranging from networking and learning new software to staying in shape. 1. Pray for help, study the scriptures and attend the temple According to Baldwin, this is the most important step. He said because searching for a job can be stressful, it is important to attend the temple regularly to recharge. Baldwin said, “Although you may be busy, don’t neglect your personal prayer and scripture study. Doing this does not mean your job search will be quick or easy, but it will go much smoother.”

Cody Baldwin encourages students to "trust in God" because it "all works out." Photo by Chad Hsieh

Career tips with Cody Baldwin 10 tips for getting your first job or internship 24



2. Start networking and talk to everyone Baldwin, said networking is one of the most important aspects of the job search. “Most jobs come through referrals from people within your network.” Baldwin said it is crucial to talk to as many people as possible. “Connect with them on LinkedIn. See if they can introduce you to others who work in your chosen profession.”

When asked how networking has helped him, Phillip Hansen, a sophomore from Virginia majoring in accounting, said, “At the end of the day, it’s the people who hire you. So the more positive interactions and relationships you have with the right people, the better off you’ll be.”

He said an elevator pitch is “a 30-second statement that quickly and clearly explains why you are the best fit for the position.” Baldwin said to master your elevator pitch it is important to practice it out loud and it should be crisp and have an impact.

the company. Hansen said, “Honestly I like reading about business, so it’s easy for me to keep up with the news. But it’s super important because then you show them you actually know something that doesn’t just come from the classroom.”

6. Learn to use software popular in your chosen profession An easy way to learn about what software is being used, according to Baldwin, is to review job postings and identify the software tools requested. “[Then] select one or more to learn and spend a weekend using them.” Software companies often offer free trials. Baldwin said if students apply this skill, they can have experience with those tools on their resumes. He said, “Obviously you wouldn’t say you’re an expert, but that you feel comfortable using them.”

9. Strengthen your Microsoft Excel skills A former student of Baldwin’s, Sara Zacher, a sophomore from Canada majoring in education, said, “I’m so glad I learned Excel, just cause it’s so useful. I use it at my job at the bookstore, and even at home to make budgets and to plan. It’s so useful.” Baldwin said, “[Excel] is needed for almost every business related job. If you want to be competitive, you need to continue to improve your skills.” Baldwin provides students with a free one-hour training course for Excel here: rebrand.ly/byuhexcel. Baldwin said after completing the course students can update their resumes to show they have experience with Excel.

3. Ask Career Services to review your resume and take your photo Baldwin said, “Your resume is one of the most important documents you will ever create.You should maintain it throughout your career. It has to be excellent, and Career Services can help.” Located in the Aloha Center, Career Services offers assistance to students by reviewing their resumes and giving feedback on how to improve them. Career Services also provides free professional portraits. 4. Review lots of job posting and identify skills you need Baldwin said students often come to him and ask about experience. Baldwin recommended using indeed.com and searching for entry level jobs. “As you find jobs, start writing down the skills companies need that you do not currently have. Start learning as many of those skills as possible over the next 30 days and update your resume to reflect that.”

7. Seek advice from your professors Baldwin said professors have worked in the fields students hope to enter and students can seek their advice on how to make themselves marketable. Baldwin said in some cases professors can also write letters of recommendation or act as a reference. He said, “However, it’s hard to do that if you never come to speak with us. Our office hours are for you. We can help.”

5. Master your elevator pitch “Having a great resume and a referral doesn’t get you a job, they get you an interview. If you want the job you need to ensure the interview goes smoothly.” He said you can do this by creating an “elevator pitch.”

8. Read and write articles related to your chosen profession By keeping up with the current news in your chosen profession, Baldwin said, it gives students something to talk about as they network and interview. It shows students have knowledge and can be a valuable addition to

10. Exercise, get enough sleep and eat healthy Looking for a job or internship can take an emotional, physical and mental toll on people, said Baldwin. He said to keep from breaking down emotionally, remember to exercise often, get enough sleep, and eat healthy. Baldwin said it’s important to remember to have fun. “Plan something special after each interview. It will give you something to look forward to, which may make the interview go smoother.” In closing, Baldwin said, “Be patient and don't give up.” He said to remember what President Gordon B. Hinckley taught, “It all works out. Don’t worry... put your trust in God and move forward with faith and confidence in the future.” •

Graphics by Lynne Hardy NEW STUDENT ISSUE


The annual Food Fest where campus cultural and other clubs make and sell food, was held in the Little Circle on Nov. 9. Photo by Ho Yin Li

Melting Pot Clubs unify the school with Bubble Waffles, Empanadas and Happy Soda at Food Fest, said participants BY OLIVIA HIXSON & CARLENE COOMBS Cultural pride was seen in the BYU–Hawaii Flag Circle on Nov. 9, as student club members shared foods from their home countries, ranging from jambalaya to Fijian curry. Students and community members said Food Fest represents a unique fusion of culture and identity mixed with scents and flavors. Beyond authentic food from around the world, clubs members had games at their booths with free food as a prize and dressed in matching outfits to attract customers. Also, cultural clubs were not the only clubs that prepared food. The Gamers Club also had a booth at Food Fest. John Bazar, a junior from the Philippines majoring in business management, was a



volunteer from the Service Center helping with the festivities. He shared, “It is important to unite all the people. [Food Fest] helps us to learn more about the countries that are a part of the school.” Food Fest attendees purchased tickets to use at the booths and ticket sales went to fund the clubs participating in the event. MeLisa Oaks, a freshman from Utah studying graphic design, said, “[Food Fest] gives people the opportunity to experience a little bit of someone else’s culture.” Similarly, Jessica Johnson, a BYUH alumna, said Food Fest is a great avenue to see familiar faces and to learn more about people as they share their culture through food at the event.

“It’s cool to see students I know from campus come out of their shell and get to show everyone else a taste of their culture,” said Johnson. Nothing like Kung Pao chicken The Hong Kong Club served bubble waffles with ice cream in the middle, topped with Nutella. Austin Forte, a freshman from Hong Kong majoring in supply chain, said, “Bubble waffles are a staple for Hong Kong. “Usually, there are different styles of bubble waffles with plenty of stuffing inside and toppings on the outside. It’s a common dessert for people from Hong Kong to snack on and share with a friend.”

Left to right, The bubble waffles made by the Hong Kong Club, Mongolian Club barbecue kebabs, and Thailand Club cooks with a wok. Photos by Ho Yin Li

Growing up in Hong Kong, Forte said he was able to experience a combination of cultures as Hong Kong was a British colony for more than 100 years. He said these bubble waffles show a unique fusion of two different cultures. “It’s not your traditional waffle, but it’s nothing like Kung Pao chicken. It’s a sign of two cultures coming together to create something that everybody will love. That’s why we want to show it here because we want everybody’s culture to love ours.” Additionally, the club members served fried ice cream. Sunny Wong, a junior from Malaysia studying human resources, was actively involved in making the fried ice cream. He said he served his mission in Hong Kong and has a special appreciation for the people. When explaining their choice of fried ice cream, Wong said, “We want something new and fresh, so we tried fried ice cream. Imagine something that is hot on the outside and cold on the inside.” Mongolian BBQ Over at the Mongolia Club’s booth, it featured Mongolian barbecue kebabs. The club members served pork vegetable and sausage potato options, which were steamed and smothered in sauce. Otgontuya (Lily) Tumursukh, a junior from Mongolia studying TESOL, shared that Mongolian barbecue is traditionally a choice

between beef or pork. They decided to use pork. “We make it a little Americanized, but we’re still keeping the Mongolian tradition,” said Tumursukh. At the club’s booth, they were also having attendees play a traditional Mongolian game played at celebrations called Shagai. “[The playing pieces] are an ankle bone of a sheep or goat. Each side of the pieces represent four different animals.” The players then roll the brightly-colored bone pieces in hopes of getting the lucky roll. “To get the lucky roll, you have to get one horse, one camel, one goat, and one sheep,” said Tumursukh. Those who got the lucky roll won free Mongolian barbecue. The line was far into the flag circle, with attendees wanting a chance to attempt the lucky roll. Full of flavor and love The Latin America Club members shared their love for their culture through empanadas, which are small and crispy turnovers typically filled with meat and vegetables. Brandon Thomas, a freshman from Nevada studying marine biology and Latin America Club president, was dishing out empanadas for customers. He shared, “What’s best about empanadas is that you can put almost anything you want in them, so it’s really to your liking.” Thomas said empanadas are a traditional

food from Latin America, starting in Spain in the 1500s. “Each country has its own specific kind of empanada.” He said their version was stuffed with beef, potatoes, bell peppers and onions. “We’ve kind of got a good Colombian, Argentinian combo going.” Maddie Thomas, a sophomore from California studying math education, said empanadas were a must for her at Food Fest. “They were so good. Empanadas were one of the things that when we came, we knew we had to get. They totally met expectations.” The happiest soda on Earth The Indonesia Club featured a pink, bubbly drink it called Happy Soda. The members of the club were all dressed in pink tie-dye shirts. They used a particular machine to froth up the water for the drinks. Dhika Naraputraka, a junior from Indonesia studying marketing, said, “[Happy soda] contains coconut syrup from Indonesia … with condensed milk, and we have a soda machine to make carbonated water.” They also featured spider web crepes, which were a light crepe designed like a spider web. “It’s like an Indonesian snack,” said Naraputraka. He said they wanted something quick and easy to serve their customers, and thought spider webs and happy soda was a perfect combination. NEW STUDENT ISSUE


Clockwise from top left: Serving drinks at Food Fest, Filipino Club members serve food, Gamer’s Club member advertises for the club, and Singapore and Malaysia makes satay. Photos by Ho Yin Li

He said serving at Food Fest and learning the tricks of food preparation helped him grow his knowledge of the food industry, providing him with customer and sales experience, which connects to his major. Expressing his excitement for getting involved in the club, he said, “I’m just so happy to represent my country.” Flavors of the islands The Hawaiian Club was selling fluffy Krispy Kreme doughnuts, fresh that morning from Maui. Jonnay Iokia, a senior from Waianae studying hospitality and tourism management, shared, “It was just a last-minute thing. [Krispy Kreme] has a deal where they can fundraise with other students or companies, and we got a good deal.” For her last Food Fest, Melita Matanatabu, a senior from Fiji studying social work and president of the Fiji Club, said her club served chicken curry, chutney with rice and naan bread. Matanatabu explained they chose Fijian curry because it is a staple food in Fiji that brings comfort. “Every Food Fest, we sell curry. Everyone here seems to love curry, especially Fijian curry.”



With loud and fun music in the background, Matanatabu shared Fijian curry is a real crowd-pleaser at Food Fest. “Most people in Fiji eat curry. It’s special to them.” Madeline Russell, a senior from Nebraska majoring in human resources, said she is friends with one of the Fiji Club members who would make Fijian curry for her often. “I used to work with her, and she used to make it all the time.” She added the dish brings back happy memories. •

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Left to right: Faryn Taotafa, Yin Kim and Kawika Brubaker say they are all TVA30 babies KE who ALAKhave A ’I returned as BYU–Hawaii students and their families remain connected to the Laie community. Photo by Chad Hsieh

From diapers to college textbooks TVA babies return to campus as BYU–Hawaii students BY WILL KRUEGER From being a Temple View Apartments (TVA) baby to being current students of BYU–Hawaii, students who were at the school as babies said coming back to the school feels like they are continuing on a legacy their parents began. “It’s cool being here at school now knowing my parents were [here too]. This was where it started for them. This was kind of their gateway to pursuing their dreams,” shared Yin Kim, a freshman from Washington State majoring in biology. TVA babies to current students Kim explained his parents came to BYUH from Korea with one child. Kim’s older sister was born here, and he and his twin brother were also born when his family was living at TVA. “I was here for three months before my parents graduated and moved to Ohio. My parents had four kids while being in TVA. “I see someone with just one kid in TVA, and I’m thinking that’s gotta be so hard. I can’t imagine what my parents experienced having four kids as students in TVA. I have a lot of respect for them.” Faryn Taotafa, a senior from California majoring in social work, said both of her parents came from New Zealand to Hawaii for school. “They met here, got married in 1995 and then had me while they were living in TVA in 1997. We were in H Building of TVA for two years before moving to Utah. “My parents loved it here and had a great experience. This was where they started their family. They have many fond memories here and some of their best friends they met here at BYUH.” Taotafa said when she tells people she is a TVA baby, they make a big deal out of it. “It’s kind of funny. People make [being a TVA baby] a big deal sometimes. People make it seem like it’s some kind of status to be a TVA baby.” Kim explained, “There’s almost a label attached to being a TVA baby. When people find out, they are always like, ‘Oh, you’re a TVA Baby!?’ People always seem to get excited for some reason.”   Community connections Kim shared his parents are still connected with people from Hawaii. He said one of the professors on campus, PJ Rogers, was friends with his mom and actually helped her go out on a mission. Kawika Brubaker, a junior majoring in marketing from Arizona, was also a TVA baby. He said, “I’ve met so many people here who



knew my parents. It really is such a tightknit community. After so many years, they still remember and talk to each other.” Taotafa shared her TVA connections continued throughout her life as her family stayed in touch with other TVA families. “A lot of the families who were in TVA at the same time my family was in TVA also moved to Utah. Our families were able to stay connected. We kind of grew up together. It was like a TVA network.” According to Taotafa, some of the TVA babies who were at TVA at the same time as her are at school now, and they remained friends growing up through their parents’ connections. “I am close friends with people who were also at TVA the same time I was as a kid. “It’s cool to be back here where it started. My parents are happy I am friends with students here who are the babies of their friends from their TVA days. It’s a fun feeling to know I am here at school with others who were living at TVA when I was. Our families all started here, and now after all these years, we are here.” Continuing legacy According to the three students, they were greatly influenced by their parents attending BYUH. Taotafa said she was “most definitely” influenced by her parents.

Left photos: Brubaker as a child with his parents at TVA. Photos provided by Brubaker.



Kawika Brubaker says living in TVA with his wife, he is experiencing similar things his own parents did when they were students at BYUH.

“BYUH is a special place for my parents. I think they have always wanted their kids to go here, especially me, because this was where it all started.” She said it is fun meeting professors on campus who knew her parents, and said she has also run into people in the temple who saw her last name and said they knew her parents. Growing up hearing stories of his parents at BYUH and the things they accomplished here, motivated Kim to come to BYUH. “My parents coming here definitely grew my interest in me coming to school here. My family has a history here. I was born here, and that influenced me in wanting to come here too.” Brubaker said, “I was born here while my parents lived here, but I grew up on the mainland. My mother is part Hawaiian, so I always had a desire to come back to Laie to connect with my culture.” Brubaker shared he loves being a part of the married-student community at BYUH. It’s fun to know he and his wife are going through a lot of the same stuff his parents went through when they were here. “I think it’s so cool to be back after having been born here, and it’s great to continue the legacy my family has here in Laie.” •

Top photos: Taotafa as a child playing outside their building in TVA. Right photo: Kim and his siblings during their parents’ graduation. Photos provided by Kim and Taotafa.

Faryn Taotafa says her parents were living in TVA Building H when she was born. She has run into people on campus and even at the temple who knew her parents.



Left to right: Lucy Torres, Alexia Kaley and Miha Mortensen work behind the scenes in the McKay Auditorium and say they love helping performers shine but need to think on their feet when technical things go wrong.

Auditorium employees describe stagehand work as challenging but exciting BY HAELEY VAN DER WERF



Photos by Chad Hsieh Graphics by Brad Carbine

The unseen members of the theater

Behind every performance in the McKay Auditorium is a dedicated crew of stagehands, several of whom explained how while they need to be adaptable and think quickly, they do it because they love the theater, and they want to share the talent of BYU–Hawaii students. Alexia Kaley, a junior from Texas majoring in secondary education for history, said, “I think people should know while we like to mess around, we take our jobs seriously. We love theater so much, and we love getting to share the talent on this campus with everyone. “It’s important everyone acknowledges we exist. This isn’t something we volunteer for. We put in 19 hours a week, and sometimes even more just to make sure we get to share this with everyone.” Stephen Crowell, McKay Auditorium manager, shared how people don’t see [the stagehands] most times. “That’s how it should be. Everyone’s attention should be on the performance. We are not supposed to be the individuals who get seen or get acknowledged. For the general audience, if I see them smile, applaud or receive joy in some way, then I know I have accomplished my part of that production.” What stagehands do Lucy Torres, a junior from California majoring in elementary education, explained their official title is stagehand. “We do all the setup and striking as well as the technical side. We make sure all the shows run smoothly.” Describing how being a stagehand at BYUH is different from most places, Kaley said, “A theater tech basically does a bit of everything. In most theater departments you would specialize in something.You would be a light tech or a sound tech, but for us, we program lights for shows… and we work the sound. “We also coordinate with people. If there is a group that wants to perform in the auditorium, they have to talk to us and give us their dates, a description of equipment, and we do basic maintenance. We are mopping. We’re building sets. We’re grinding rust off of things. It’s everything.” The specific job responsibilities, according to Crowell, change with each show. “Every performance is different, so we have to learn what their needs are and prepare for whatever it is.”

One unique experience they recently had, Crowell explained, was when they did sound for the show ‘Da Green Lady of Wahiawa.’ “We’ve never done a show on the road before, so that was a whole new experience for the stagehands.” In order to be successful, Hannah Johnson, a sophomore from Idaho majoring in intercultural peacebuilding, said, “You have to be able to multitask, and you have to be adaptable. There are a lot of times where we focus on one job. I focus on sound, but there are times where I have to run lighting. Every now and then, I have to do a lot of different things I wasn’t necessarily trained in. While it’s not necessary, Kaley explained, “it is helpful to be physically fit. While half the time we’re sitting around pushing buttons, the other half we are lifting things that are between 20 and 70 pounds.” Depending on the show, the stagehands said they sometimes get nervous. The sound system is what typically makes them the most anxious, Johnson explained, “because [the sound] can be a little bit ‘iffy’ here and there. Our sound system tends to have a lot of problems. With musicals especially, like Gingerbread, we have a lot going on with sound, and it’s hard to keep track of everyone. We have to be really careful about everything.” According to Kaley, “A performer’s worry is if they will do well. For us, we’re worrying if we’ll do well, but we’re also worrying if everything will work. We know technology can be very temperamental and sometimes doesn’t work for no reason at all. That happens to us sometimes. “We get nervous for a mic to randomly blow out in the middle of a show or to lose lighting in the middle of a performance. We get nervous, just like performers, but in different ways.” Rehearsal schedule Torres shared how on-stage rehearsal starts for them before the performers arrive and ends after they go home. “We get there at least an hour before everyone else does to get everything opened and set anything we need set. We’ll start getting general guidelines for everything. If they tell us they want certain colors or lighting for certain songs, we’ll get that set beforehand, so it’s easier during their

The ones behind the magic

Alexia Kaley

Lucy Torres

Miha Mortensen



that set beforehand so it’s easier during their rehearsal. We’re not as busy, so we’re open to changing things.” Depending on the show, Johnson described how sometimes they don’t start rehearsing with the performers until later in the process. “With musicals and plays, we usually get to arrive later to the whole rehearsal process. They usually are rehearsing a lot longer than we are rehearsing with them. Other than that, we tend to get there earlier than the performers would because we have to set things up and make sure things are ready for them.” The rehearsal process, according to Kaley, is “different for each show. Some are very simple. We have preset shows we will go to. If we have a normal choir concert, we know to pull

up this file that has the choir show. During the rehearsal, we’ll make sure each of them has a good amount of light and we’re done. “If there is a big show, like Broadway Revue, we will usually prepare weeks in advance. Each night we will add a little bit until we are able to have the exact right lights we want for each moment they are performing.” When things go wrong Johnson explained how things go wrong all the time. How they deal with it, she said, “depends on what happens and whether or not it’s during a rehearsal. If it’s during a rehearsal, we can just go up immediately and fix it. If it’s during a performance, we have to wait until they’re offstage, or we can’t do anything about it and just let it happen.

“Recently, during Broadway Revue we had a lot of mics having issues. At one point, a performer’s mic was off. We had to run backstage after he got off the stage and turn it back on. A few of them had noise quality issues, and we can’t really do anything about those.” Kaley shared how when things go wrong, “We try to identify the problem. There is a lot of hushed whispering, trying to frantically figure out what is wrong. In simple cases, we can figure out what’s wrong. “Thankfully, we always make sure there are at least two, but we try to have three of us there. That way, we can have one person run backstage and fix it if it’s a problem backstage. If it’s something we can’t immediately fix, like a light, we try to deal with it or find an alternative solution.” •

Left to right: Alexia Kaley, Lucy Torres, and Miha Mortensen say they work on lighting and sound for events in the McKay Auditorium but also whatever needs to be done for shows or maintenance.

36 KE ALAK A ’I Photo by Chad Hsieh



Inclusion through differences Nonmember female students discuss the accepting campus environment and Honor Code during their time at BYU–Hawaii

G ra S ad phics i e S by ca d den



BY CARLENE COOMBS For BYU–Hawaii students who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a welcoming campus and student body have made them feel accepted through religious differences. While they seldom felt excluded, nonmembers said campus elements like the Honor Code and constant church invitations were an adjustment. “When I came, all I felt was love. That’s the general feeling of the campus. It was just a bunch of kind spirits. No one knew I wasn’t a member until it came up in conversation, and even in those times, I didn’t feel left out or anything,” said Lina Legorreta, a sophomore from Jordan majoring in information systems. Panninee U-thaiwan, a junior from Thailand majoring in marketing, said even though she was Buddhist, she never felt judged by her peers. “I don’t really feel different in this school. People are the same. They treat me nicely, and they don’t judge.” Leilah Mouna, a junior from Canada majoring in political science, said she chose to come to BYUH because of her desire to travel and get out of her comfort zone, as well as the small class sizes. “BYUH was the choice over the University of Hawaii because it was a smaller school than what I was used to. It was a chance to get to know professors and get to know a different dynamic than what I was used to.” Mouna said she is thankful to be able to go to BYUH and for the experiences she has had so far. “I’m grateful to study here. There are really great opportunities here, like the trips I

get to go on this semester, the jobs I’ve had, the professors I’ve been able to network with. I feel really lucky.” She said she gets to go on two trips this semester with the Political Science Department: one to Thailand and another to Chicago. Mouna shared how the Honor Code, specifically the dress standards, was an adjustment for her when starting classes. “I think that the dress [code] was the most difficult for me. I remember the first Sunday I wanted to go to church, to see what it was like, and I wore this long dress, super modest in my opinion, but my shoulders weren’t covered and I wasn’t allowed to eat in the Caf. I was really upset, but I realized that wasn’t necessarily the Church. It was more the Honor Code.” She said although she has never been dress coded around campus, she has seen male students have to leave class during an exam because of small amounts of facial hair, or girls whose hemline was just above their knees being told to change. “People are here to learn for the most part, so those types of things hurt people and make them not feel great about themselves rather than continuing the uplifting spirit that BYUH wants to be.” Mouna said though she never felt excluded, sometimes the constant invitations to church and ward activities could be a bit overwhelming. “I do get a lot of Facebook messages saying ‘Hey come to church’ or ‘Hey come to FHE,’ and I feel that the pressure is a little much sometimes. I’ve even gotten notes on my door or mail. And that’s not exclusion, but over-persistence. I’ve never really felt

excluded.” U-thaiwan said while others pressured her to meet with the missionaries, most people were respectful when she declined. “Some really pushed me to take the lessons, but most of them aren’t really like that. They just kind of accept my decision.” Legorreta said when she first started school, she often would avoid church invitations by coming up with excuses not to attend. “My friend… would always invite me [to church], and I would always make excuses not to go. One time I went because my friend was speaking in church and I actually really enjoyed it. It was such a good experience.” Legorreta later joined the Church after spending time at BYUH, and said the examples of those on campus and taking the Book of Mormon class are what led her to become baptized. “I got to know what the gospel was all about. For me, I wasn’t going to go investigate for myself, but the Book of Mormon helped, and people’s examples were just so amazing. People were so kind. It touched me.” •



Campus resources for mothers Student mothers share gratitude for nurses and new-mom kits while suggesting a daycare and TVA policy updates

School resources like TVA missionary nurses provide necessary care and relieve stress, said BYU–Hawaii student mothers. Also, efforts from the BYUH Women’s Organization to give student mothers new-mom kits made being a mother in school less challenging, they said. Alyssa Orrego, a recent alumna who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English, said she is happy the school is mindful of mothers and families. “BYUH has so many young families, and all the resources they provide for us show BYUH is a family-friendly school, and it values education no matter what situation you are in.” Suvd-Erdene Boldbaatar, a senior from Mongolia majoring in human resources, said “We can’t raise children while studying and working at the same time anywhere else. But BYUH provides this opportunity for us. I just can’t thank the school and nurses enough for this wonderful opportunity.”

Nurturing nurses Boldbaatar said she received help from three different TVA missionary nurses. “First, Sister Black, [a previous missionary nurse] drove me to the hospital when I gave birth to my first son. Then, Sister Edgar replaced Sister Black. “Sister Edgar taught me many useful skills to care for my newborn, such as how to shower. Now, Sister Bulkley is helping me with my second son. She is a very nice and helpful person. She checks my blood pressure and checks if I am having postpartum depression or not. Her care makes me feel that I am loved and cared for.” The current missionary nurse is Sister Judi Bulkley, who came in September 2019. It is her fourth mission, she said. She served in 40


Photo by Serena Dugar Ioane


“I was about to give birth, but I didn’t have anyone to help. I called Sister Edgar, and she helped me to go to the hospital. She also stayed with me in the hospital...” - Suvd-Erdene Boldbaatar Connecticut with her husband. Then, she served in the Marshall Islands and Washington, D.C. as a missionary nurse. Bulkley works with the BYUH Health Center and is assigned to work with TVA mothers and babies. She visits mothers before they give birth to educate them about pregnancy. After they give birth, she visits them at least three times to inform them about postpartum depression, immunization, and caring for newborns. She also conducts “Keiki Corner,” a weekly activity, where mothers discuss motherhood issues and exchange information, and children can come and play with toys. Orrego added her experience with missionary nurses. “Sister Edgar helped me with my first son. It was very helpful since I was an inexpe-

Sister Bulkley helps student mother, Suvd-Erdene Boldbaatar, care for her newborn son in TVA.

rienced new mom. Now, Sister Bulkley helps with my second son. I know most of the things but still have some questions. . . Everybody needs that extra help.” Student spouse and mother of two Cathy Elisan said, “My first daughter has Ohtahara syndrome, which is a neurological disorder that causes seizures. Even though she is 3 years old, she is like an infant. Sister Edgar helped me and comforted me many times when I was alone and far from home.” Jislene Tevi, a mother of three from Vanuatu, was alone when she gave birth to her second child, because her husband was in New York on a Career Connect trip making connections with professionals. “I was about to give birth, but I didn’t have anyone to help. I called Sister Edgar, and she helped me to go to the hospital. She also stayed with me in the hospital. Now, Sister Bulkley is helping me with my third son. She helps me with my postpartum depression and gave me the new-mom kit.”

New-mom kits Nancy Eastwood, president of the BYUH Women’s Organization, said, “Initially, it was Sister Edgar’s [the previous missionary nurse] idea. She approached us, and we supported the idea. Many of the new student mothers are far from home and need help. It was one small thing we can do for them.” The organization contacts bishops and Relief Society presidencies to know who needs the kits and distributes the kits through the missionary nurses. Eastwood said they have distributed more than 80 kits. New-mom kits have diapers, wipes, baby clothes, baby hygiene products and breast care products for mothers. Trempty Akau, a sophomore from the Solomon Islands majoring in social work, gave

birth to her third son recently and said she was happy to receive the new-momkit. She said, “We bought the big stuff like a crib, stroller, but didn’t buy the small things yet. But our son came out four weeks early, and we were not ready. However, the new-mom kit had almost everything I needed, and we are very grateful for this gift.” The Women’s Organization raises funds for scholarships for students who need financial help through luncheons and bake sales.They provide $300 scholarships for more than 20 students every year in May.The scholarships are available for every BYUH student, and according to Eastwood, over the years many of the recipients have been student mothers.

“BYUH has so many young families, and all the resources they provide for us show that BYUH is a family-friendly school, and it values education no matter what situation you are in.” - Alyssa Orrego

The organization also runs the “Sub for Santa” charity project for married students every December. The women work with bishops to find out what their ward members need. Eastwood said the Laie community helps the organization by donating toys, gift cards, clothes and other useful things.

What’s inside a new-mom kit? Breast care products

Blankets and baby clothes Toys

Baby hygeine products Bottles and diapers

Graphics by Hannah Manalang



Sister Bulkley giving a mother’s kit to Trempty Akau and her husband, Job Akau. Included in the picture are their three sons as well. Photo by Serena Dugar Ioane

Suggestions from mothers Despite missionary nurses and mother-kits, student mothers said the school could provide more resources for them by building more playgrounds and mothers’ rooms, establishing campus day care and extending visitors’ stay periods for mothers who give birth. TVA has two playgrounds, one for older children and one for younger children. Some mothers suggested there should be more playgrounds for children under age 3. “My children are too young to play on the bigger playground, and the small one is always overcrowded,” noted Tevi. “So, we definitely need another playground for children under age 3.” Akau shared the swings of the big playground are missing and need a replacement. Mothers also suggested since BYUH has many student mothers, every major campus building should have mothers’ rooms. Bold-



baatar said she is hoping for the General Classroom Building, which is under construction, to have a mothers’ room. Elisan said it would be a great blessing if BYUH were to establish a day-care service for students’ children. “When parents have overlapping classes and work, it is a real problem to find babysitters.” Student mothers mentioned it is hard to have babies while studying and working at the same time, so they need their family members to help after they give birth. However, the TVA guest stay policy is only for two weeks, and they said they felt it is not long enough. Mothers said if the BYUH Housing Department extends the guest stay period to 2-6 months for mothers who are having a baby, it will alleviate many problems. •

Graphics by Hannah Manalang



Campus construction history and updates Nearly every wall of campus will be touched in the next five years, says campus construction director BY SERENA DUGAR IOANE

An early look at campus

Former welcome sign for the Church College of

Some were injured while they served 44


Labor missionaries working hard to build the school

The original name of the university was the Church College of Hawaii Source of photos: BYUH Archives

With its prophetic beginning in 1955, the North Shore’s sole university now plans to roll out $500 million of projects over the course of five years. When a snail grows, the shell expands as well. Just like that, the campus needs more housing to accommodate the growing student body of BYU–Hawaii. Cory Higgins, vice president of Operations at BYUH, explained how to meet the housing demand, the university is planning to build the following: • Three new hales • Eight new faculty housing duplexes • Six new TVA buildings • A new cafeteria • New Science and Mathematics building Campus construction history Brooks Haderlie, the university archivist, said when the decision was made to build the school in 1955, the Church did not have enough funds, so labor missionaries provided free labor. Two batches of labor missionaries built the BYUH campus, Polynesian Cultural Center and parts of the Laie temple and the Temple Visitors’ Center under the supervision of a few construction engineers from the U.S. mainland. The first batch of missionaries built the McKay Building, cafeteria, original wing of the library and Hales 1 and 2 from 1955 to 1958. The second group of labor missionaries built PCC, chapels around Hawaii, and parts of the temple between 1960 and 1963. Most of the labor missionaries went back to their home countries, but some of them stayed and married local women, Haderlie said. Other buildings on campus were added over the years. [See more details from the infographic on Pages 48-49.]

Percy TeHira, an 86-year-old labor missionary from New Zealand who lives in Laie, said he started his labor mission in 1952 in New Zealand and came to Hawaii in 1960. He worked for three years and helped to build the Little Theater, hales and parts of the temple. He said labor missionaries were sustained by their ward and stake members. They used to work eight to 15 hours per day. TeHira said although it was hard labor, it was a spiritual experience strengthening his testimony. “We always remembered we were doing the Lord’s work, and this mission blessed my life tremendously.” While he was a labor missionary, he said he found the love of his life, married her, and stayed in Laie. Later he was hired as a carpenter and construction worker at BYUH Facilities Management and retired from BYUH. Updates and renovations Higgins said the school is planning to increase the total students up to 3,500 and needs more housing. Currently, 75 percent of the students of BYUH are living on-campus. They are aiming to provide on-campus housing for 95 percent of the students, he explained. Director of Planning and Construction, James Brown, said three new hales will be built behind the existing hales. Construction work for eight faculty housing duplexes is in process now. Higgins said the Temple View Apartments will be renovated in four phases. First, three new buildings will be added. Building A1 will be built next to the Z building, building D2 behind the Stake Center, and building D3 next to the X building. New roads will be built to provide entry for the new buildings. Phase two will be tearing down buildings A to F and building new buildings in their place. Future phases

will replace most of the older buildings in TVA. Brown said the General Classroom Building (GCB) will be replaced by a three-story Science and Mathematics building. The old GCB used to routinely flood, so the new one will be elevated as high as the HGB, he explained. The construction work will be done in two years. He also shared when the building is done, the science and mathematics classes and offices will be moved into it, and major remodeling of the McKay complex will start. Regarding placing mother’s rooms into any buildings, Higgins explained, “Details of adding mother’s rooms to any new buildings or major renovations will be considered as we get into design. Currently, we are still in early planning.” A new two-story cafeteria already begin construction and will be done in 18 months, Higgins said. Also in the planning stages is a major remodeling of the Lorenzo Snow Building. Current plans include PCC offices located in the LSB being moved onto PCC property, and BYUH student services moved to different locations. The plan is to connect the LSB’s separate sections into one big building. Brown said new solar arrays will be built over parking lots in many areas of campus to provide renewable solar energy for the school. The BYUH Health Center will be moved into the School of Education Building, Higgins shared. He further explained how “there is a desire to move the Faculty of Education closer to the core academic areas of campus. This is likely to be in or around the [McKay Building] but planning is not yet complete. The Health Center on the periphery of campus and closer to the student families in TVA is a good reuse of the current education building.” •

Construction on the new cafeteria. Photo by Chad Hsieh NEW STUDENT ISSUE


On and off stage with “West Side Story” Ensemble members share how they give meaning to their roles and audience members praise the overall presentation of the classic musical BY EMILY CASSLER



“West Side Story,” a production heavy with dance numbers, brawls and demanding vocals, allows the personal story of each character to shine through, said students. According to the actors, doing behind-the-scenes work, even if their respective roles do not have any lines, their characters are vital for the emotive plot of battle and romance to come to life. Austyn Eugenio, a future BYUH student from Laie, noted how Aaron Densley, the show’s director, always says just because someone is background does not mean they are background. “We are part of a bigger picture, and I really like that. I know people get disappointed when they don’t get lead roles, but it honestly has been very fun. I feel like I am important even though I don’t say anything.” Eugenio added, “The story is about a Puerto Rican gang called the Sharks and a predominantly white gang called the Jets. The Jets are very low class, so they are in the same boat as the Puerto Ricans – immigrants from the '50s. Around that time, both groups weren’t

treated that great.” The Jets and the Sharks are all from the same street, explained Eugenio, which is very important to each of them. The whole story is about them battling it out for this one street, while a “Romeo and Juliet” type of story is happening between Tony, a Jet, and Maria, a Shark. Eugenio plays a shark called Nibbles. “He is an ensemble character, but he is a very loyal Shark member. He is all about the blade knuckle fights and standing up for his boys. He doesn’t say much, but he is one heck of a fighter.” Alongside Eugenio, Jonathan Torio, a junior from the Philippines studying vocal performance, plays a Shark named Pepe who is second in command to the leader Bernardo. Torio agreed as a part of the ensemble, it is not only about performing, but also delivering the inner message of each character. “It’s not all about acting and singing. It’s about what you want to give to the audience about the character you are playing. What is your purpose as an actor? It is all about how

you will give life to the character for the audience.” Lazarus Shettell, a freshman from Utah with an undecided major, plays a Jet named A-Rab. He said he implements the lessons Densley teaches while directing the cast. “I was never an actor before ‘West Side Story.’ I learned there is a lot of decision making on your end. “You need to come in with decisions made and go all out so people can see it. I didn’t realize how little movement I was doing compared to other people.” Eugenio added, “There has been a lot of work put into this by the people who set up the stage and the orchestra.” Audience reception Community members, staff and students gathered at the McKay Auditorium to watch the production of “West Side Story” put on by BYU–Hawaii at in February and March. According to Aaron Densley, the director of the show, the orchestra pit opened for the first time in 10 years because the school hired a live orchestra for the show. Students shared how the voices of Ralph Mallapre and Nalani Matthias, who play the leads of Tony and Maria, blew them away when they started to sing, and how the enthusiasm within the ensemble characters brought the musical to life.

Anna Rogers, a freshman from Utah studying business marketing, said, “Nalani, who plays Maria, is unbelievable, and Bridget, who plays Big Deal is so fun to watch on stage. [She] was so animated and in character. I loved it.” Marla Chinbold was seen with glassy eyes after the production’s conclusion. “The characters were so engaging and well presented. It makes me feel like I am a part of their life. I really love the Tony and Maria love story. It made me cry, and it was very touching,” shared the junior from Mongolia who is studying business management. Community member Malele Fonoimoana from Laie, expressed his love for “West Side Story,” the Broadway production, as well as the iconic 1961 movie. “The people who performed in the original ‘West Side Story’ were iconic Broadway performers. I love that our very humble program is able to produce something at this level.” There was also praise for the live orchestra, an element of the production those in attendance said made the performance lively. Brec Jorgensen, a sophomore from Utah studying music, commented on how the live orchestra was a character in its own right. “I really enjoyed the live orchestra. I thought they did a good job. The enthusiasm was high, and the energy was hot. I thought the cast enjoyed the show, and I enjoyed watching them.”

Rogers agreed, “They all have such amazing voices, and they worked well together as a cast to make a really good sound.” Densley noted in the program the many elements that helped make the show a success. “With the hire of an incredibly talented choreographer, we hope you are transported to a world of intense emotions, where fear, hate, ownership and love drive the narrative.” Densley also addressed the audience in his note there would be no cuts or edits made to the original production, “Due to the nature of the production and our contractual obligations, you will be viewing this project in its entirety. “The students have put in hours and hours of work to bring this story to life, to tell of how love can always transcend hate.” •

Photos by Chad Hsieh

“The characters were so engaging and well presented. It makes me feel like I am a part of their life. I really love the Tony and Maria love story. It made me cry, and it was very touching.” - Maria Chinbold



Supporting BYU–Hawaii students from APCC employers share desire to recruit on campus to promote IWORK program and student success


BY BROOKE GURYN International employers from New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, Samoa, and American Samoa shared they accepted the invitation to attend the Asia-Pacific Career Conference to continue the mission of IWORK and create opportunities for Pacific Islander and Asian students to succeed. Many of the employers were BYU–Hawaii alumni, and they shared how they believe students from BYUH are impressive and wellrounded in the way they manage work, school, and social life. “They are definitely [well-prepared]. Some of them are already supervising 20-to30 people at work,” shared Sharon Prasad, a representative from Punja & Sons Ltd in Fiji. She said students balance their lives so well adding, “I don’t know how they get the energy to do it.” Kenneth Kuaea, vice president from Klaod Solutions in American Samoa, described how, “There’s a wholesomeness about the students here. I value that.” Kuaea graduated from BYU in Provo, and his wife attended BYUH. He wanted to come to BYUH to recruit because of the caliber of students and the values they share, he said. Merehani Parker, representing Tahiti Travel from Tahiti, noted, “BYUH students stand out to the world...I have seen enough mediocre people. We need people who stand out.” Pursuing the mission of IWORK According to the BYUH website, “The IWORK (International Work Opportunity Return-ability Kuleana) program is to assist students from the Pacific Rim (South Pacific &



Alumni said they returned to BYUH for APCC due to a belief in the mission of IWORK. Photo by Keyu Xiao

Employers said they were impressed with how BYUH students appear to be well-rounded. Photo by Keyu Xiao

East Asia) in obtaining a quality education at BYUH and help students become self-reliant.” The site adds the goal of the IWORK program is to provide necessary financial assistance to worthy members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dennis Williams, head of Business Solutions in Samoa, said he came to support the mission of IWORK. He said he was an IWORK student when he attended BYUH, commenting, “I believe attending here gave me the opportunity to be successful... “There’s a focus here on Pacific Islanders at this college, and we operate in the Caribbean, South America, and the Pacific Islands. My goal here is to look at opportunities for the Pacific Islanders who are here.” He shared it wasn’t hard to get a job after graduation because he and his wife took the challenge to return home. “We took on the David O. McKay promise that we will be blessed when we return home. I can say we have been blessed,” said Williams. Kuaea said, “We give students the opportunity for those who want to come to American Samoa… Our goal is [to] get the IWORK students from Samoa to come back to work.” Faleni Leauanae, representing Utah-based Workfront, said he could give back and share his story

about being the first person in his family to go to college with students in hopes it will motivate them to move forward in their careers. He said, “I believe it was proposed for me to come to [APCC] because of my story. I look at a lot of the students who are Polynesian and come from different backgrounds. They are first-generation college students. I’m a first-generation college student. “When I came here, I was thinking about how I can help these students move faster than I did. I felt I could help in the area of mentoring students. I have gone through the experience of understanding what it took to go to school and coming from a background of low income.” Mare Haimona-Riki graduated from BYUH last year and is now a video journalist at Maori Television in New Zealand. He said, “As alumni, I wanted to be involved...I saw students I was in classes with, and they shared how it was inspiring that I was here [now].” He shared how throughout his life, he was preparing to be a journalist. There are photos of him using a hose as a microphone, and while at school, he was shooting videos for people. He shared a quote by motivational speaker Les Brown, “It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than have an opportunity and not be prepared.” Haimona-Riki counseled students to prepare continuously, and “as soon as you know what you want to do, you can start.” •



Four students say they came to Laie to be around more members of Church

Coming from the same branch to BYU–Hawaii BY CARLENE COOMBS Four friends from Myanmar said a childhood dream and being around others of the same faith were some of the motivators that led them to BYUH. They also shared facts about their food and culture from their home country. Ei Ei Phyu, a sophomore from Myanmar studying finance, said going to Hawaii was always her dream. “When I was young, I watched a movie. I remembered the place [in the movie] was so pretty, and I asked my auntie ‘Where is that place?” and she said it might be Hawaii. I said I would go to Hawaii one day. When we were young, we were so poor, and she just laughed and said, ‘Okay, you can go there.’ “I always had in mind that Hawaii is the place I’m going to go to. Now, I’m living my dream.” Phyu shared she is the first in her family to pursue a college degree and was encouraged by her family to come to BYUH. “Because my parents don’t have the education, they want [my siblings and I] to have a good education and encourage us to study.” Sa Myat Yadanar Shin, a freshman from Myanmar studying biology, said getting to be around those who share the same religious beliefs is what drew her to BYUH. “In my country, the main religion is Buddhism. Throughout high school, I was the only Christian. Not even just the only Mormon ... .So it’s really hard. I felt lonely.”

Three of the four Myanmar students note how they love BYUH because of the Honor Code and its welcoming atmosphere. Photos by Keyu Xiao 50


All four students knew each other before coming to BYUH because they attended the only Church branch in Myanmar together. “I was the first sister who came out from Myanmar. Everybody after they served their missions, knew about BYUH, so they wanted to come and study here to enhance their education,” said Phyu. Eh Htoo Shee, a freshman from Myanmar studying social work, said the Honor Code and welcoming atmosphere is what she enjoys about BYUH. “Everybody is like a brother or a sister. Unlike other schools, we don’t have bullying. I also like the Honor Code, so everybody has the same standards. That’s why I feel like it’s safe being here.”

“I miss the food. If we want to have Asian food [in Hawaii], it’s expensive, and the taste is different,” said Shin. Lwin said the typical meal in Myanmar contains rice, fish or meat, vegetables and soup, which is very spicy and sour. Salad is also something they eat, added Shin. “We make salad with onion, garlic, chili, cilantro, a lot of chili. [Our food] is kind of similar to Thai, but honestly, I don’t like the taste [of Thai]. Thai is sweet and spicy. For us, it’s just spicy.” Shee shared while she enjoys Hawaii and the culture at BYUH, some things were different and surprised her.

“One main thing, especially islanders, when they talk or laugh, it’s so loud. It shocked me. Even when they greet each other, they shout. “It’s not annoying, but it shocked me. We don’t do this in my country. If we do this, my parents or older people will say ‘No, don’t do that.’” Shee added she likes how Hawaiians embrace their culture and share it with others. “I like how [Hawaiians] keep their culture. At the Polynesian Cultural Center, I see that they still keep their culture like their dress, their food, the songs. I admire that.” •

Myanmar culture and food and adjusting to Hawaii Yin Lwin, a sophomore from Myanmar majoring in social work, said the people in Myanmar are typically warm and kind. “We are friendly. We smile at everyone, and whenever someone comes to our house, we feed them.” Phyu shared another trait of Myanmar people is helping those around them. “Normally, people are more independent, and they do things by themselves. But when someone sees something that is needed, they just help.” Lwin added being respectful of adults and your elders is another part of their culture. “In my country, the culture is that we respect [our elders]. If someone is older than me, we say sister or brother. If we just say [their] name, it’s rude.” Shee said in Myanmar,“we have many languages there. The main language is Burmese, but we also have many ethnic groups, more than 100.” According to worldatlas.com, there are nearly 100 languages spoken in Myanmar, with Burmese being the official language. Lwin and Shin both shared how one thing they missed from their home country was the food.





India Club members work to share their culture while creating life-long memories and friends



BY CARLENE COOMBS Showing India is more than Bollywood and providing students with life-long memories are the primary goals the Indian Club presidency had in mind when putting together their performance for the 2020 Winter Semester Culture Night that was canceled because of the world-wide coronavirus pandemic. Through four individual dances, the club hoped the audience, as well as the performers, would gain a better understanding of Indian culture. “We wanted to show our culture and show even though people think of India as one thing, we are from one of the most diverse countries in the world. We have 22 official languages, over 1,500 dialects, and every state has their own dance and their own... attire,” said vice president of the India Club Vidya Irene Purushottam, a junior from India majoring in TESOL. Purushottam said when deciding what to do for the performance, they wanted to showcase traditional Indian dances rather than exclusively Bollywood, which the country is known for internationally. “When people think of India, they think of Bollywood,” said Purushottam. “Bollywood is a huge part of India because it’s the cinema experience, but that’s not really our culture. Bollywood is inspired by the diverse culture we have in India. “We’re showcasing cultural dances from four corners of India. So, we have one classical

dance, two traditional dances, and one folk dance.” According to Purushottam, the performers were split into two groups, with each group performing two of the four dances. She also added they planned to have very colorful and traditional costumes. Shimran Sharma, a junior from Fiji studying biochemistry, said she was excited to learn the traditional dances and not just Bollywood dances. “I thought it was perfect because I have Indian blood. It’s nice to see where my [ancestors] come from and to actually learn what their culture is like.” Purushottam said she hopes the traditional dances will educate people, as well as club members, on what Indian culture is.

“Slowly, I think people are starting to gain a better perspective of what Indian culture is. We are more than curry and Bollywood.” - Vidya Irene Purushottam While the club focused on traditional Indian dances, it still included Bollywood elements in its performance, said Rajkumar Tamang, a junior from Nepal majoring in social work and president of the India club.

“We are doing the cultural dance, but it’s fused with Bollywood music. There is a Bollywood taste.” Tamang shared one of his favorite parts about putting together a Culture Night performance is seeing those performing learning and enjoying the dances. “If we see they are making memories, that’s [my favorite part]. I see this as the [students] coming and dancing and having fun.” Rosemae Maagad, a junior from the Philippines majoring in education, said she loves participating in clubs outside of her culture so she can learn about other countries, which is why she joined the India club. “It gives me the opportunity to experience a new [culture]. It’s a privilege to learn a new culture.” Purushottam shared she enjoys seeing others who are not from India participate in learning about Indian culture. “It makes me so happy people are so open and willing to participate and showcase your culture, and they have the same enthusiasm people [from India] have. For someone else who is not part of my country to be as excited, I think that’s something I’m really looking forward to.” • Below, Members of the Indian Club work on four different dances. The club vice president said India has 22 official languages and more than 1,50 0 dialects. Photos by Keyu Xiao



Graduating from home Seniors share how they celebrate graduation despite commencement being canceled BY KILLIAN CANTO

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, BYU–Hawaii and other Church Educational System schools announced the cancellation of all large gatherings, including graduation ceremonies. A few BYUH students held a small celebration on March 17, almost a month before the previously scheduled commencement. The graduates and their families shared how this wasn’t the graduation they expected, but it was a nice way to say goodbye to BYUH. Having attended BYUH off and on for the past five years, Brinley Shumway, a senior from Colorado studying musical theater, said she wanted a way to commemorate the years she, her husband and their friends spent working towards graduation. “I wanted to have a good way to celebrate the ending of all of it,” she explained. “I just thought doing a fake graduation would be fun.” Aaron Shumway, Brinley Shumway’s father-in-law and a BYUH alumnus, said it was a way to give the graduates the experience, even if it was unofficial. Playing “Pomp and Circumstance” with three chairs on either side of a middle aisle, each graduate was announced with their name, major and GPA. When presented with their “diploma,” which was Aaron and his wife May Shumway’s diplomas from when they attended BYUH, each graduate shared their favorite class and memory from their time in Laie. Six 54


students who said they have been friends since the beginning of their freshman years at BYUH shared four caps and gowns, and had their parents there either physically or via video chat. Kenner Shumway, Brinley Shumway’s husband and a senior from Laie studying applied mathematics, said he was looking forward to saying goodbye to college and the island. He said when the announcement canceling graduation came, he was shocked. He said, as with all canceled events because of the COVID-19 outbreak, it felt surreal.

“It was weird,” said Brinley Shumway. “Nobody ever thought this was going to happen.” Brinley and Kenner Shumway said they had a sense of peace through it all, despite the effects of the virus. Even though it was disappointing to lose their chance to walk on stage, May Shumway said the graduates had great attitudes. “It doesn’t really make up, but this kind of thing is a good alternative,” she shared after Aaron Shumway applauded the way she was able to decorate and organize the celebration in such a meaningful way. Looking forward to leis and celebration with family and friends, one of the six graduates, Davia Kaopua, a senior from Hawaii studying biology, said she was fine missing the two-hour-long commencement. Kaopua said she was grateful for the opportunity to at least show her gratitude for the people who helped her gain her diploma and her time at BYUH. “I definitely didn't do it on my own,” she pointed out. “I wouldn’t have gone through graduation without the people who were in that room with me.” When he heard about the idea, Caleb Menendez, a senior from Colorado studying information systems, said he was excited. “The Shumways are awesome, and I knew they’d put on Six students shared four caps and gowns for their own commencement. Photo provided by Brinley Shumway

“It was good feelings all around. It came together because all of us just appreciated each other so much. It was almost like a celebration of the bond between all of us as friends.” - Aaron Shumway The Shumways joined together with their friends who were also supposed to graduate this semester. Photos provided by Brinley Shumway

something that was very enjoyable.” Menendez said he was grateful. “I felt like we were really respected.” Sharing their favorite memories, those in the small group said, was one of the more memorable parts. Despite all six of them being such different people, they all have a strong bond. “All of [the] answers were so different, but they were all very sincere,” shared Kaopua. Menendez said he was grateful for the small group because each person sharing a memory helped their tight-knit group grow closer. Aaron Shumway said it was nice to hear his son’s favorite memory was meeting his wife, especially since it took place on Kenner and Brinley Shumway’s anniversary. Being silly and sentimental is what Brinley Shumway said was her favorite part, “We all danced to ‘We’re All in This Together’ from High School Musical. We were just being silly.” Menendez said the chance to commemorate their time without it being too emotional was one of his favorite parts. He said, “[We] were all happy and having fun rather than crying and being weird.” Distance was not an issue to allow the graduates’ families an opportunity to participate. Aaron Shumway said, “We FaceTimed as many of the parents in as we could.” He explained, due to short notice, they gathered what parents could come, video-called those on the mainland, and recorded the event for anyone else. There were good feelings all around, said Kenner Shumway. “It came together because

all of us just appreciated each other so much. It was almost like a celebration of the bond between all of us as friends.” He explained how even though it was not real, it was nice to celebrate with some of their favorite people. Although their commencement was canceled, their lives were not. Kenner Shumway said it was exciting in a way. He and Brinley Shumway are finishing their schooling in Colorado, and said it would be good if he could start his career before he graduated, “It's like starting the next chapter while you're wrapping up the previous chapter of life.” •

Aaron Shumway said they made efforts to gather family 55 NEW STUDENT members via Facetime during the event. ISSUE Photos provided by Brinley Shumway. Graphics by Esther Insigne

Changes at the helm BYUH ohana bids farewell to Tanners and welcomes 11th university president BY LEIANI BROWN

Susan Tanner shared she feels forever bonded to the BYUH community. Photo from The Church Newsroom

Five years after he was first announced president of BYU–Hawaii, John S. Tanner gave his words of farewell and welcomed his successor, John “Keoni” Kauwe, in a special devotional broadcast from Salt Lake City, Utah, on May 12. “These have been sweet years, wonderful years for us. We have come to love you and the university more and more with each passing year,” said President Tanner. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles announced the incoming president’s fourth great-grandfather was one of the first native Hawaiian members to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “‘To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.’ What a wonderful time and season we usher in today at BYU–Hawaii. “We wish both the Tanners and the Kauwes God’s speed in the next chapters of their respective lives,” said Holland. President Tanner shared how although he is not exactly sure what comes next in his journey, he is certain it will come with more opportunities to love and serve. “The most important journey we take is never traced by 56


the arc of our professional lives. The journey that matters most – no, that matters all – is the journey of discipleship.” Laura Hinze, a junior from Washington studying marine biology, said she was saddened by the news of the Tanners’ release, since she started as a freshman the same semester they were inaugurated. “At their [inauguration], they talked about how they were starting a new journey and were excited to go off onto this voyage of learning how to be a president. I resonated with what they were talking about because I had just started college. “They’ve been with me the entire time I’ve been here. It was kind of beautiful that we were both starting at the same time, so I emotionally connected and resonated with that.” President Tanner shared it was a “poignant moment” for him to be leaving behind his nearly 40 years of service as an educator and reflected on the “voyage” of the last five years. “Now, after all these years of trying to steer by the stars, I have come to my journey’s end as a president and professor. This is my last port of call as an educator. ‘Home is the sailor,

home from the sea,’” he said, quoting the famed poet and author Robert Louis Stevenson. “I leave confident that BYUH will sail on, ably guided by a new helmsman who takes the helm at a difficult time when the university is sailing in uncharted waters. Please be patient with him as he learns the ropes. He will prove to be a remarkable captain.” Susan Tanner recounted experiences of losing her father and mother while she and her husband served at BYUH. She explained the love and aloha she felt from her “Hawaiian ohana” gave her peace during those difficult times. “We have been touched and changed by you, the angels of BYUH, and Laie. Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude for the aloha you have showered upon us … We are sad to be leaving you, but feel comfort in the knowledge that we will meet again, and that we will be forever bonded.” Marilyn and Aaron White, parents of two BYUH alumni and a current student, said they were thankful the Tanners were a part of their children’s education. They explained their children are the first in their family to receive college degrees.

“[We are] a little sad to see [the Tanners] go but happy to know they will be on to other endeavors in their lives,” says the Whites in a email response. “They did a great job at BYUH, [especially] how they started the Holokai Program that allowed our children to attend BYUH and graduate with degrees.” Following the Tanners’ remarks, incoming university president, John Kauwe and his wife, Monica, introduced themselves and shared their thoughts and experiences with education. Monica Kauwe said she learned the importance of obtaining an education as a young child, after watching her father work hard and sacrifice money, time and sleep as he studied to become a nurse. She added that her education continued into her marriage as she worked toward an associate’s degree in chemistry and then worked for two years in the pharmaceutical industry before having her first child. “I loved my work in chemistry, but I strongly felt that it was time to begin a whole new phase of my education: motherhood. “Having five children has taught me that no two people are alike.” She said she has learned valuable life lessons gained through parenting their five children ages 2 to 13.

John Kauwe shared his commitment to the mission of BYUH in the blending of spiritual and secular knowledge. “BYUH gathers people across countries and kingdoms and creates unity in spiritual and secular education like no other institution on Earth. The mission of this university hinges on that education readying us to lead and build.” He shared he comes from Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, Maori and Northern European ancestry. He grew up between Utah and Hawaii and served in the Fukuoka Japan Mission. He said he has worked with and mentored people from around the world. “I have found that when people from different backgrounds unite in a single purpose, wonderful things happen. I believe that when we unite in a prophetic purpose, miracles happen. “Diversity and unity work together here at BYUH in remarkable ways. I am deeply committed to building on past efforts to prepare our students with knowledge and testimony sufficient to make them ‘men and women whose influence will be felt for good towards the establishment of peace internationally.’” •

Top: John Kauwe said uniting in a prophetic purpose brings miracles. Bottom: Monica Kauwe, right, shared she learned how no two people are the same from parenting her five children. Photos from The Church Newsroom



Where to find the Ke Alaka'i Graphics by Haeley van der Werf

Health Center Hale 1

McKay Gymnasium and Pool

Cannon Activities Center


Aloha Center Lorenzo Snow Administration Building



Hale 2

This guide shows you where to find around campus printed copies of BYU–Hawaii’s student-produced monthly magazine.

McKay Classroom Building

Joseph F. Smith Library

Heber J. Grant Building


Stake Center



located in the Academic Advisory Building across from Security


cademic 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 graduation, this process is made easier by seeking the assistance of the Academic Advisors on our campus. Please contact us by email, phone, or in person at our Academic Advising Center. We look forward to helping you.

Advising Manager

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NEW STUDENT ISSUE Updated by Curriculum 05/06/20


Alumnus Carlos Speranza


Hurdling over adversity


BYUH alumna becomes new Seasider manager


The one and only


Globe-trotting family


Professor Rose Ram


Chef Spencer Tan


Blessed by adoption


30 years of service: Iggy Santeco


God is always there


Alumna Jen Dean


Family-owned footwear for all


Finding her place


How boxing led me to my wife


Stories of change: Shan Arumugan


Turning obstacles into opportunities


Love and farewell







Genuine Gold

Carlos Speranza with his wife and children live in Costa Rica. The couple are alumni of BYUH. Photos provided by Carlos Speranza

SWATT co-founder Speranza tells how his class project is still saving money and reducing waste on campus BY SERENA DUGAR IOANE Carlos Speranza, an alumnus of BYU–Hawaii, said he is the director of Procurement and Logistics at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Costa Rica. According to Speranza, the experience he gained at SWATT and BYUH Facilities Management, helped him get the position. Speranza said, “Working at the SWATT (Sustainable World Action & Technology Team)



has undoubtedly been the best work experience I’ve ever had. I didn’t see it as a job, but rather as hanging out with friends. Our task was to help the school be more efficient and teach the right skills to provide better job opportunities to those students returning home anywhere.”

How did you find the idea to start SWATT? “I was in Professor Kevin Castle’s project manager class. Each student was given the challenge to find a project to plan and develop in this class. I identified the need for reducing BYUH’s multi-million dollar electricity bill. “I met with Brother Les Harper during one of the meetings and had a strong prompting that I should talk to him as soon as possible. Soon after, we started working

together on the recycling program and started SWATT. The SWATT program had great success that we didn’t imagine. “By the end of 2013, the SWATT program generated a profit of over $300,000 per year through several different projects [energy conservation, a tub grinder] and implementation of a new on-campus recycling center.

“The recycling center handled waste from BYUH, the Polynesian Cultural Center, Kahuku High School and Laie Elementary School. That project positively impacted over 8,000 people in the community. In the first year, the recycling center saved about $36,400, which used to pay a company to recycle BYUH wastes. The Give and Take saved BYUH students over $230,000 in 2013.”

How did this project help you? “This new project changed my life completely. Even though the class and the assignment was over, I decided to stay around the project and work for free to help [it] succeed. “Those jobs taught me to work hard, and it is possible to make a difference. It breaks my heart I’m far away now.”

“Over time, SWATT had many projects that helped the school save millions of dollars, but in my case, it changed my life, and my current job success is due to my mentors. I know I wasn’t the only student helped by this amazing program.”

What are some challenges in your life?

What does family mean to you? “My family is my biggest blessing. I married Yanancy Speranza, an alumna of BYUH who majored in accounting. She owns a photography business. We have two children, Alana, 4 years old, and Oliver, 1 year old. We have been married for six years, and those have been amazing years, full of learning and forgiveness, but also love and fun.”

“It was hard to leave a firstworld country and return to a nation with many issues like chaos, crime, unemployment, etc. While in Hawaii, I learned to identify problems and apply a solution to achieve a result.” “However, here [in Costa Rica], I feel overwhelmed by the culture of keeping the status quo instead of fighting for a better place. I am learning to take [a] step back, be patient and walk forward slower when trying to change the work culture around me.”

What are your future goals? “Currently I am studying for data analysis and programming through the BYU Pathway program. So, my shortterm goal is to finish my studies and sharpen my skills. Later, I want to become a professor at BYUH and support scholarship programs. I want to serve a mission with my wife in Hawaii.”

Graphics by Sadie Scadden

What would you advise current BYUH students? “If you are a student who wants to learn valuable skills that will change your perspective of how the real-world works, then please work for SWATT.” “Follow the Spirit’s guide and remember that important skills are also

learned with practice outside the classroom. It is impossible to know everything, so network and team up with people with high standards, keep a balanced life and enjoy the beauty of the island.”



Hurdling over adversity



Photo by Chad Hsieh

Errol Qaqa shares how rejection lead him to succeed in athletics and attend BYU–Hawaii


A life involved in athletics that included competing for the Fijian national track team, taught sophomore Errol Qaqa, to never give up, an attitude he said has stuck with him to help him overcome life’s challenges. Being rejected from both BYU–Hawaii and the national team did not stop him from eventually fulfilling his dreams to attend school and compete for his nation. “When I didn’t make the Fijian national [track] team, I had people telling me to reconsider what I was doing, and even my family told me that I should maybe [try] something else. This taught me to push through things and never give up,” said Qaqa, who is majoring in exercise and sports science from Fiji. Qaqa, who won medals and holds records for his country in hurdles, said his never-giveup attitude brought him to BYUH. “I applied here several times and was rejected. It wasn’t until my fourth attempt that I actually made it in. I knew how it felt to be rejected, but I learned through sports to never give up.” Knowing Qaqa since childhood, Elenoa Tupua, a senior social work major from Fiji, said, “We went to the same primary school and high school. [We] are from the same ward back home. I see him as a hardworking, goal-getter who always has a positive attitude in all he does. He is someone who believes in himself.” Making the Fijian national track team Coming from a family of 11 children, Qaqa said his family was always involved with sports. “My dad represented Fiji in rugby and my older brother went to BYU in Provo on a rugby scholarship. Sports was something I grew up doing. “My main sports were high jump and basketball, but after transferring to Liahona High School in Tonga, I picked up hurdles because hurdles was not available at the high school level in Fiji.” Upon completion of high school, Qaqa returned to Fiji and tried out for the Fiji national team. He said he tried out for the Fijian team the first time and did not make it, and then tried again years later and still did not make it. Qaqa recalled his experience of not making the team. He said, “Maybe there’s something holding me back? Maybe there’s something else

Above: Qaqa jumping a hurdle. Graphics by Brad Carbine

I should be doing? That something was serving a mission. I had been putting that on hold to pursue athletics, but after not making the team several times, I decided to go on my mission.” Despite not training for his entire mission, Qaqa remarked, “My mission taught me a lot

about life, to accept things, and it helped me to grow and return more mature. I came back a different person and I think that helped me a lot. It’s all about priorities. If you put the Lord first, he will help you and that’s what happened to me.” NEW STUDENT ISSUE


After returning from his two-year mission in the Philippines Quezon City North Mission, Qaqa said he tried out again for the Fiji national team and was able to get in. He said he was a part of the national team for four straight years before eventually coming to BYUH. Competing for his country As part of the Fiji national team, Qaqa qualified for the Commonwealth games and competed in the Melanesia games, the Oceania games, the Asian games and also the Asian indoor games. His competitions took him overseas to Turkmenistan, Malaysia and Australia and to several countries around the Pacific such as Tonga, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Qaqa said, “Sports has been great for me because it was able to take me out and see the world, which I don’t think I would have been able to do if I wasn’t involved with sports. As a Fijian, you don’t realize how little is known of the Pacific until you go out into the world. “People knew nothing about Fiji and some people even thought I was African. But it was


really good to represent my country and to act as an ambassador and exchange culture.” Preparing for competition and training with the Fijian national was very intense, Qaqa explained. Preparations included strict, yearround physical training and nutrition plans where he would only get a week off to spend with family and eat what he wanted. “Offseason training would consist of mostly volume work including long-distance running, lifting heavy weights in the gym and swimming in the pool to prepare for competition. “As competition time approached, we would get into speed work, drills, techniques, and focusing more on our events. We were training every day and three times a week we would train twice a day. I would focus on hurdles on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning with a recovery session in the evening. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday would be speed work.” During his athletic career, Qaqa won several medals and is the current Fijian record holder of indoor 60 metres hurdles. More recently, Qaqa took Spring Semester 2019 off

to compete in the Pacific games held in Samoa. Life after athletics After several years competing for Fiji, Qaqa decided it was time to go to school. His four older siblings all went to a BYU school and to Qaqa, he said it was a no-brainer to come here and follow his family’s tradition. However, Qaqa said he applied to BYUH and was denied three times before being admitted. “I learned through my experience of being rejected in athletics to continue to try and apply here after being denied to come to school. I’m so grateful I kept trying because I love being here at BYUH,” Qaqa explained. “The biggest blessing of being at BYUH is having the gospel connected in all aspects of life, in work and in school,” Qaqa said. “I always felt like this was the place for me, from the very first week of being here I’ve felt this place is special.” CJ Alonzo, a senior from Chicago majoring in business management, said he was a missionary in Fiji when met Qaqa. “I served in Errol’s area and spent a lot of time with him and his family in Fiji. He is a well-known guy in Fiji for his athletics. Over here, I see him in the gym daily, bringing that work ethic here, but he’s very humble about his background.” “The atmosphere here is great,” Qaqa added, “Knowing my older siblings came here helped me to feel like I belong here. Knowing I’m part of such a great legacy by working at the PCC and being here at BYUH is a big blessing for me.” Although he enjoys being at BYUH, Qaqa described how he feels withdrawals from athletics since coming here. “I knew coming here that my athletic career would fade out and sometimes I really miss training. I miss the track. It was my life for years. When I got the invitation to compete in the Pacific games last semester, I jumped at the opportunity. I had to go back and run one last time.” Qaqa said coming to BYUH will help him fulfill more of his dreams in life. “My biggest goal with coming to BYUH is to be able to return to Fiji. I want to help the communities in Fiji have healthier lifestyles and to help people learn how to take care of themselves physically. I feel like athletics has done so much for me, and I just want to give back to my community with everything I’ve gained in school and athletics.” •

KE ALAK A ’I Left: Qaqa smiling at the beach. Photo by Chad Hsieh


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Sept 04 OPENING SOCIAL Drive-by 9 p m - 12 a m ( T V A )

S e p t 18 D I V E I N M O V I E 7 p m - 11 p m ( M c k a y S w i m m i n g p o o l )

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October 30 HALLOWEEN DANCE 9 p m - 12 a m ( M c K a y G y m )

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Nov 29 CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS (McKay Auditorium)

Dec 04 CLOSING SOCIAL DANCE 9 p m - 12 a m ( C A C )

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D e c 18 C H R I S T M A S M O V I E N I G H T 7 p m - 11 p m ( B a l l r o o m )

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BYUH alumna becomes new Seasider manager

Graphics by Sadie Scadden 70


Seasider Manager Aline Ly says she puts employees first as she takes on new position BY MADI BERRY Coming back to the roots of her first job at BYU–Hawaii as a Seasider general helper, BYUH alumna Aline Ly returned as the new Seasider manager beginning Winter Semester 2020. Ly said the most important part of her new position is to put her employees first. She said she believes if they are taken care of, everything else will be too. Ly received her associate’s degree while attending culinary school at the College of Westchester in New York City. After serving a mission right after culinary school, she decided to apply to all of the CES schools. Once accepted to all three, she said she chose BYUH due to the diverse culture. Ly graduated from BYUH in June of 2019 with a degree in hospitality and tourism management. During her time here, began working as a Seasider general helper, then transitioned into the role of a supervisor. Ly commented, “I think the difference is when you’re a supervisor, you get to see the full picture, but when you become a manager, you see the little details in between that make the whole picture.” She continued, “The way I see things now has changed.” She shared the positive and negative challenges of working with college students as employees. She mentioned how because she is close in age, she understands what they are thinking and going through. However, she said she is also aware a line needs to be drawn between being an employee’s friend and being their boss first. Dominic Samora, an intercultural peacebuilding alumnus from Washington, had been working during the transition from the previous Seasider manager to Ly. He said it has been helpful to have many new hires among the staff since January. “I think this gave her a good chance to start fresh with new employees and create the environment she wants to.”

Sofia Fischio, a junior from Utah majoring in art education, shared her feelings on the transition of having a new manager. “The transition has been really easy. It helps that she has been here before.” Fischio continued, “I think because she knew us already, she knew how the Seasider functioned, and she was not coming in blind.” After working as a Seasider supervisor, Ly accepted an internship with BYUH Food Services, and after graduating, she continued to work at Food Services by overseeing the C-Store and Micro Market. Ly shared she enjoys working in “Food Services because it is very giving, and you get a lot back.” She further explained, “It is also a very ‘go, go, go’ environment. I think coming from New York, that is something I enjoy a lot. The fast pace is what I enjoy.” When asked what contributing factors Ly brought to the Seasider, Fischio responded, “She brings a lot of new ideas. I think she is thinking a lot about what the students want and ways to incorporate [those wants] to try and make the Seasider a better place.” It was not long after overseeing the C-Store and Micro Market that Ly received the

opportunity to work for Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel. She said she was valued for her input, as she was able to bring a younger and refreshing perspective to the staff. Ly shared the example of her speaking Spanish from her mission. with her being bilingual, she was able to help the hotel since she was the only one who spoke Spanish. This allowed for her to be able to book and accommodate the Spanish-speaking guests who came. It was after working at the hotel Ly said she was contacted by BYUH Food Services Director David Keala to be the new Seasider manager. Ly said, “I think the experience from the outside and then coming back was able to give me a breather but was also an eye-opening moment of seeing what is important and what can be changed.” She shared she was humbled to know the staff found great value in the younger perspective and the cultural perspective she was able to offer at the hotel. Ly added she was able to connect with families from different cultures because of her experience at BYUH. All of this background helped her have a successful experience.

Ly continued to share the insights she gained from working at the hotel. She shared, “One of the things I grasped was realistically learning how to email people, answering the phone, and acknowledging customers in a proper way.” To provide examples of how Ly is incorporating various wants of other people to make the Seasider a better place, Fischio commented, “I think that she is changing the atmosphere around here. She is trying to make it more of a hang-out environment, which I think is drawing more students in.” Having various experiences at the hotel helped her to know what she wanted to change here at the Seasider, commented Ly. “I think one of the things I noticed with working at the hotel was the seminars they would provide. [I learned] if your foundation is not strong enough, it will not make sense at all.” She continued, “Coming into Food Services, one of the things I want to do is go back to my basics and to my foundation.” Ly shared she wants to give to students a different perspective about the Seasider so they feel comfortable and want to spend time there with their friends. •

She said she wants to give students a different perspective about the Seasider so they can feel comfortable spending time there with their friends.

Ly said being close in age to her employees requires her to find a balance between being a friend and a boss. Photos by Keyu Xiao NEW STUDENT ISSUE


BYU–Hawaii's only student from Palau says he's happy to represent his country Known as the world’s best diving and snorkeling location, the island country of Palau is located in the western Pacific Ocean and is home to approximately 22,000 residents, according to the World Factbook. Kaytano Edeyaoch, a junior majoring in business management, is the only student at BYU– Hawaii from Palau and said he feels proud to represent his country. “I feel so small being here. Especially seeing the flag out there in the circle, knowing that it’s literally representing only me. It’s an honor to be here at BYUH and represent Palau,” Edeyaoch said. “People usually think Palau is in the Philippines or they have no idea at all. I rarely come across anyone who has even heard of Palau. Not much is known to outsiders about Palau except for the diving, but we are a great island.” Ellie Hadley, a sophomore majoring in computer science from Pohnpei and fiancé of Edeyaoch, said, “He won't admit it, but it can

be lonely to not have any other Palauans here. I wish more people knew about Palau. It’s such a beautiful place and the people are great.” Hadley explained he talks about home a lot and feels a sense of pride when he sees his flag at the Flag Circle. “Even though people don’t know where Palau is, he won’t hide the fact that he’s from there. “He often takes out his phone and shows people where it is on a map, and shows the flag. He’ll do whatever he can to show he’s Palauan.” Life in Palau According to Edeyaoch, Palau is a small island where everybody knows each other. “It’s the typical island life. “Everyone and their large families live in the same house. In mine, we had me, my grandparents, my parents, several uncles and an aunt. “I spent a lot of time growing up going out fishing in the reef on a bamboo raft, farming the taro patches and building summer houses

BY WILL KRUEGER from our own hands and trees we cut down ourselves.” Edeyaoch explained this was normal life in Palau. “We would use trees from the jungle and trees from the mangrove to make houses and then buy tin for the roof. Our family would just build our houses out of natural materials and this is very common on my island. “Many people on the island fish for their own food. We would go out and fish on our bamboo rafts with our handmade fishing rods and catch fish, usually rabbit fish or in the reef we would get clam and oyster.” From Palau to Hawaii After getting an associate’s degree in Palau in the automotive field, Edeyaoch said coming to BYUH was something that he always wanted to do ever since he was a boy. “There are several BYUH alumni in Palau and the majority of the Church leaders in Palau came to school here. They had a big influence on me coming here. Photo by Chad Hsieh



“I feel so small being here. Especially seeing the flag out there in the circle, knowing that it’s literally representing only me. It’s an honor to be here at BYUH and represent Palau” “It was always graduate high school, go on a mission then go to BYUH.” Since arriving to BYUH, Edeyaoch said he has made the most of his stay and is keeping busy studying, working at the Cafeteria and thinking of a business idea. Along with some of his friends, Edeyaoch tested his hand in a mechanical business as part of the Great Ideas Competition. Their idea was to supply students with a cheap and convenient way to have their cars serviced and fixed. Edeyaoch said, “As soon as we started and people were finding out, we were getting a lot of interest. Because of timing and scheduling, we couldn’t go through with the business at the time, but it was interesting to test it out and learn.” Preparing for his next steps Preparing for marriage in December, Edeyaoch said he felt fortunate to be able to meet and soon marry someone from Micronesia adding the closeness of their cultures has made the dating experience much smoother. “I think because our cultures are very similar, that already brought down so many barriers. Pohnpei, where she is from, is literally the closest thing to home. We never felt too different… being Micronesian and understanding those values helps us to have natural bonds.” Hadley said being with [Edeyaoch] makes her feel like she’s at home. “I’m grateful because there’s no cultural barrier and no spiritual barrier either. We share the same beliefs, goals and have a closely related culture. He can be crazy, but he is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. He’s straightforward, honest and a simple guy.”

Kaytano Edeyaoch stands next to his fiancé Ellie Hadley by the Federated States of Micronesia flag since the Palau flag wasn’t flying that day in the Little Circle. Photos by Chad Hsieh

Having met as missionaries in the South Africa Johannesburg Mission, Ronald Sipiri, a junior majoring in accounting from Papua New Guinea, said of Edeyaoch, “He was my district leader and he gets along with everyone and has a great sense of humor. He is a really charitable guy and is willing to help in any way possible. He is still the same up until today.”

Edeyaoch plans to return to Palau when he graduates with his future wife and encouraged young Palauans and Micronesians to take every opportunity that comes their way. “We can succeed and go far. No matter how small my country is, it won't stop me from being the best I can be.” •



Photos, provided by Jonathan Scalese, show his family in various places around the world.

Globe-trotting family BYUH alumni Jonathan and Alyssa Scalese say their desire to gain meaning inspired them to travel the world with their three children @fullheartedtravelers

BY ELI HADLEY After feeling as if they were accumulating too many physical possessions and not enough memories, Jonathan Scalese and his wife, Alyssa, both BYUH alumni from Maryland, said they decided to sell their house and cars to travel the world. The couple took their three young children on a year-long journey. Only seven weeks into their travels across the world, the couple and their children said selling everything and traveling was the most rewarding thing they could do. Jonathan Scalese, a BYUH 2015 business graduate, said, “We have always dreamt of traveling but couldn’t justify leaving behind a car payment, house payment, bills, etc. So, we sold everything. Our cars, beds, clothes, and 74


Graphics by Brad Carbine

we also rented out our house. On the trip, we took only five or six outfits each and two pairs of shoes. “One major reason we decided to leave everything for travel was feeling like we were accumulating so much stuff in life and not enough memories. We were spending our money on things that didn’t bring us joy. We also wanted to be together as a family and have an adventure. Traveling has always helped us feel closer and more united as a family as we meet new people and explore new places.” In six weeks, the Scalese family visited six countries, including England, Italy and Croatia. “We will be traveling to 26 countries over this entire journey,” Scalese explained. “The whole family finds value and joy in spreading good

throughout the world and we’re doing service projects along the way.” With a self-running pest control business he built up over the last year, Jonathan Scalese said his family will not need to worry about finances very much as they travel. Alyssa Scalese, an alumna of BYUH who graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s in exercise physiology, commented on how she and her husband’s spirit of adventure came from their marriage. “The first time we traveled together was to move to BYUH two weeks after we got married. Since then, we have traveled a lot and love the closeness it brings to us as a family, and the opportunity to experience new things together. Adventure brings us so much happiness, and that’s the point, right?”

Jonathan Scalese explained their children are still young, ages 3, 4, and 9 months old. “They love it now and are great travelers. The kids chose a few small toys they could carry in their backpacks.” All the Scalese family’s possessions are now able to fit into one checked bag and two carry-ons. “We have been infinitely happy being surrounded by each other than when we were surrounded by all of our things. Every day is not a vacation for us, but we do make time for an adventure every single day,” Jonathan Scalese continued. “People everywhere could do this regardless if they are traveling or not. The years are too short to let the days of our lives pass us by without an adventure. We still keep somewhat of a schedule for the kids as we would before, but now we have three to six hours a day where we explore our new city or go on an adventure together. It’s been a life-changing experience.” Four-year-old, LJ Scalese, the couple’s oldest child, excitedly said his favorite place the family had visited so far was “the London Eye,” while Kaden, age 3, exclaimed, “The beach!” LJ Scalese added one of his favorite experiences so far was going on speed boats. While 9-monthold Bella was too young to share her favorite place, her parents said theirs was the island of Brac in Croatia, which, according to Alyssa Scalese, was an “incredible place with incredible people, culture, and food.” Jonathan Scalese added, “Part of the fun is we don’t tell family, friends or Instagram until we arrive at our new cities, so you’ll have to stay tuned to find out.” The Scalese family posts updates about their journeys on their Instagram page @fullheartedtravelers. As to the future of their journeys as a family, Alyssa Scalese said, “We will never fully stop traveling. Our oldest, LJ, starts school next year, and so we will have to cut down to one or two trips a month, and then we will still travel all summer.” When asked how the travels around the globe would set his family apart from others, Jonathan Scalese responded, “Every family is inherently different, and that’s how it’s supposed to be. For us, this has helped our family grow closer and learn to be happy with less, which was really important for us.” •

Photos provided by Jonathan Scalese NEW STUDENT ISSUE


Genuine Gold

How to truly appreciate BYU–Hawaii, according to Rose Ram BY OLIVIA HIXSON The Associate Academic Vice President of Curriculum & Assessment, Rose Ram, said she started her journey here at BYUH in 1982 as a student after leaving her home and family in Guam. After serving her mission in Los Angeles and graduating from BYUH in 1988, Ram worked at various positions and was the lead of many projects throughout the 30 years she has been a part of BYUH’s ohana. Here, she shares her beloved stories and advice she has gained along the way. Rose KE Ram saidAshe 76 ALAK ’I stayed at BYUH for 30 years because she felt a responsibility to help the ‘Lord’s University.’ Photos by Keyu Xiao and provided by Rose Ram

What have been some of your favorite memories or experiences over the years at BYU–Hawaii? “As a BYUH employee, I have to say my favorite memories and experience come from watching, working and learning from others… They teach me to be humble and to be aloha with whoever we come in contact with. I have a huge degree of respect for them...

“I remember one time… we [had a quilt given to us, and Brother Mo’o from Physical Plant was able to help us hang it]. Every time I saw the quilt, I thought of the many hands that helped to create and hang it. It was just a reminder of aloha, just the love that emanates from this place when

What has been the main reason you have stayed with BYUH for 30 years? “I can’t believe I’ve been here for 30 years. I would say the main reason I stayed at BYUH is because I love BYUH and its mission. The idea I get to help prepare students to be leaders in their families, community and country is simply an amazing opportunity. The more we do for others, the more it gives us a great

How have you been able to gain a better sense of gratitude and hospitality in your life by working here? “I remember learning a lesson from Noa Au on both Hawaiian hospitality and gratitude. She said to me, ‘Rosie, when we show others aloha, it goes a long way.’ “Noa is now on the other side of the veil, but she could tell that as a young faculty member I had a lot to learn. She took the time to teach me that to have a sense of gratitude one must be humble and know where all blessings come from. Hospitality comes from loving and treating others the way you would like others to love and treat you.”

feeling inside. As a student, I would often hear how we were handpicked to be here at BYUH. As a faculty member, I feel my responsibility was to help those who come here recognize and see how God loves them... I do know, if you teach with love, your students will feel it and they will want to learn.”

What is your favorite project or position you have had here? “Most people do not know that I am an oral historian of over 20 years. My focus was on Pacific Island women. That resulted in a book, a couple chapters in another book and numerous conference presentations. Other projects included helping the institution with accreditation-related meetings, reports and reaffirmation… All in all, the projects were wonderful because of the people I was able to work alongside with. It really was the experience that made it rich and memorable… These projects have truly been successful because God’s influence was right there. [God] loves BYUH.”

we live the law of consecration and when people are selfless and serve each other with love. “I think, to me, that is the greatest memory, that I will walk away from this institution one day knowing I labored with so many great people who truly live aloha.”

What has made BYUH so special to you over the years? “It has just been so awesome to see God’s hand at His university. I remember distinctly how there was a period of time, maybe in the ‘90s or early 2000s, where BYU [in] Provo and BYU–Idaho were going through so much growth and construction. [This made] some people on campus say, ‘What about us?’ I always had in my mind it just was not our time and our time would come, and it has. I just think He has always been mindful of us, and God always knows what our needs are. “I’ve also learned about things that are special… Like the people. It’s these relationships, and honestly, it’s all about the relationships. Those are important. When you stay at a place long enough, you want to make sure you take care of people. “I think that was something my mom taught me growing up in Guam and being Chamorro. She taught us an overarching Chamorro principle, ‘Fan inafa’maolek yan fan aayuda.’ It means to take care of each other and to help each other.”

What do you want students of BYUH to know about the goals of this university? shy away from hard things. I’ve learned to be humble. I’ve learned to have God’s help and to ask for God’s help. “It’s amazing, both the secular and spiritual elements here. Both the academic and co-curricular can help build a student

so they can make a huge difference in this world and really live out that prophecy... It is in the little things, and we just need to be mindful of the little things because it’s the little things that decide whether or not we are going to be genuine gold.” NEW STUDENT ISSUE


Graphics by Sadie Scadden

“I love the mission of this university and the prophecy from David O. McKay. This idea that as we learn and grow in this BYUH living laboratory, we are actually being built to become genuine, genuine gold… I’ve learned about integrity. I’ve learned not to



CHEF SPENCER TAN BY OLIVIA HIXSON Chef Spencer Tan has been the executive chef of The Club and Food Services at BYUH since 2007. He has a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management from BYU–Hawaii. Tan is from Malaysia and said he has been cooking since he was 17. Chef Spencer Tan said he likes to learn about other student's cultures by learning how to cook their food. Photo by Keyu Xiao

What made you decide to become a chef? “I had a goal when I was a kid. I told my mom I wanted to see the world. To see the world, you need to have a skill that can be used in any way in the world. Everyone in the world needs to eat, so I decided to be a chef to travel around the world. Even in Europe, you need a chef to cook your specialty, and even in Asia, you need a chef to cook Asian food. “The desire is there, and I did have a goal when I was younger that I wanted to be the best chef in the world, knowing there is no such thing as the best chef in the world. I know that when I aim high and fall, I am still good.”

What are some of your responsibilities as executive chef? “The director, manager and I put our heads together to come up with events like Fijian Club or Fiji Culture Night, for example. We plan the whole thing – the food and the decorations. We get the club involved. “In January of next year, I’ll be doing the Chinese New Year, which is a big thing because a KE ALAKhave A ’I a Chinese New Year. lot 78 of countries

Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and Malaysia all have [a Chinese New Year]. . . We try to get the clubs involved. We can’t do it all by ourselves. And [the clubs] are proud too because they sometimes see their flag up in the cafeteria, and when they see their flag, they feel proud of it.”

Why do you feel appreciation for trying new foods helps people become more experienced and tolerant in the world? “The cook gets to learn a new recipe and understand the culture of other countries. For students, it’s good to know that BYU–Hawaii is a melting pot. You see the [flag] circle there? There’s all those flags. Here [on campus] can be the first time they try something like taro leaves with coconut milk. They would probably never have that in normal life. “It’s a cross-culture melting pot to learn about other cultures. People tend to adapt and try new foods and find out they like it. . . So, not only do people get to eat, they get to learn. Learning through food is very important. When [the cook] works hard, [the student] learns.”

How has being a chef blessed your life, and what have you learned the most from it? “I would thank God that I can make good food to eat. When I prep something, I can taste it first. When the President comes, I make sure to taste it a few times. I know I take it for granted, but when I see people eating poor meals, I think about how blessed I am.”

What is your goal or hope for students here when you are putting together menus and recipes? “Honestly, it is their health I am worried about. When I first came here, I changed the oil to zero trans fat oil. Before, they used trans fat oil. In most cooking, there is a lot of oil, but now we use virgin oil while cooking stir fry. It is healthier than sunflower oil or canola oil. “Our selection is different every day. We try to make it healthier, but of course, I cannot get rid of bacon. Some people love bacon and ham. So, we give them a healthy choice, like spinach every day and kale. We offer yogurt every day so people can get their probiotic. . . We want to keep them healthy so that they can go on missions.”


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adoption Adopted students and adoptive parents testify of joys of the gospel and life they learned from adoption

According to adopted students at BYU–Hawaii, there is a stigma to being adopted. They said people ask them about their biological family and their relationship to their adopted families. BYUH faculty member Tom Court shared his experience with adoption after he and his wife adopted their three sons from China. He said the decision came from a push from the Spirit and it was worth every effort. Adopting from China Court, an assistant professor of TESOL, said they adopted three children from China, all over the age of 12. He said he and his wife always had a positive opinion about adoption. However, he said they did not feel strong 80


enough to handle the emotional aspects of foster parenting, which is the most common road to adoption in the United States. International adoption was the only other option, he said, but the finances involved with international adoption seemed insurmountable to Court. When his wife saw their first son’s face on a website dedicated to helping older special needs children find families, he said, “We felt the Spirit pushing, not prompting, pushing us to move forward.” The adoption process took between 12 and 18 months per child. Each had unique challenges, said Court. According to him, finances were the biggest problem with the first child. During the second adoption, time was the problem they

faced. Court said he and his wife had to get everything done before their second son turned 14 because at age 14, children are no longer eligible for adoption. Court said luckily they were able to finalize the adoption one month before his 14th birthday. Their third adoption was much closer, he said, as they finalized everything four days before his 14th birthday. Along with time constraints, with their third son, they dealt with health issues and he spent his first three weeks in the United States in a hospital for kidney failure, heart failure, anemia, and severe anorexia. Court said he is grateful for his sons. “[I] don’t want to imagine life without them. We’re very inspired by their strength of character and

Image provided by Pixabay Graphics by Brad Carbine


determination to overcome challenges.” Overcoming the linguistic and cultural challenges coming from adopting an adolescent from China is a work in progress, said Court. “Some days we definitely manage it better than others.” Court and his wife are both English language teachers and said their combined experiences have been an asset with overcoming the initial linguistic challenges. The couple lived in Japan for four years, and he said this helps them relate to their sons in their efforts to navigate a foreign culture. According to Court, life in an orphanage is dreary. “All three of our sons had very grim prospects for the future growing up in these institutions.” From this experience, Court said children belong in families not in institutions, and encouraged people to adopt as well. Adopted students’ stories Marisa Firth, a junior from Utah majoring in TESOL, was born in China and was adopted when she was 18 months old. She expressed her gratitude for Heavenly Father and His plan for families. She explained her mother’s original plan was to adopt from Russia. However, the Spirit told her, “Your child is in China.” Firth said she does not know what life would be like if she was not adopted, but said her life now is better because of it. She said, “The gospel taught me I wasn’t missing anything.” Thomas Nebeker, a sophomore from New Mexico majoring in biology, is also adopted. He explained had he not been adopted, his life would be incredibly different. Nebeker said he would not have the gospel in his life, served a mission, or attended BYU– Hawaii. He said, “Because of those blessings, I’m eternally grateful.” Fighting the stigma of being adopted Firth shared she had always known she was adopted. She said it was not because her mother is Caucasian and she is Asian, but it was because her mother was open with her about it. “I love my mom. We are very close, and there is so much love,” said Firth. Firth attributes her positive feelings of adoption to their closeness and openness. She also credits her knowledge of the gospel for her positive outlook. Firth said people often think of adoption as a struggle and something to overcome. She said

this stems from the assumption “just because they didn’t birth you, they aren’t your real parents.” However, Firth said she does not see it that way. “It’s not weird, and it doesn’t have to be something to be weird about. Why make it a problem when it can be an addition?” There is a grey area with adoption, according to Nebeker. He said, “Most people are unsure how to approach a dialogue about adoption and may stumble over their words.” He said he does not correct people when they ask about his “real parents” when referencing his biological parents. Nebeker said, “I just call my biological parents my birth parents and my adoptive parents my real parents. I make it as clear as I

can so everyone is comfortable and doesn’t feel weird.” Nebeker shared recently he was contacted by his birth family. He said although he is still trying to wrap his head around everything, “it was exciting to know more about where I came from. “It was weird to see a picture of my birth father and see someone who looks so much like me, to the point I could say, ‘That’s my dad. That’s my biological father.’” Nebeker said although it is surreal to have his birth family reach out to him, it has also made him more grateful for his “real family.” He said this is because now he knows exactly what his life would have been like. He said, “This one is better.” •

"The gospel taught me I wasn't missing anything." - Marisa Firth

Photos provided by Marisa Firth

Photos provided by Thomas Nebeker

"Because of those blessings, I'm eternally grateful." - Thomas Nebeker NEW STUDENT ISSUE


Graphics by Brad Carbine

Iggy Santeco



Iggy Santeco, working at Print Services, retired after more than 30 years of being an employee at BYU–Hawaii. Photo By Chad Hsieh

BY LEIANI BROWN It was at a small campus print shop, among the bleating of machines and smell of fresh prints, that 63-year-old Ignacio “Iggy” Santeco first met the love of his life and learned the trade that would help sustain him through a lifetime of sacrifice and dedication, said his family. And now, after more than 30 years of working for BYU–Hawaii Print Services, Iggy Santeco said he is retiring from his job as print shop supervisor. “His work ethic and his dedication to take care of his family—I think I hold that closest to my heart, knowing he really put our family before himself,” said Iggy Santeco’s daughter Marisa Santeco, a BYUH alumna who currently works as the university brand manager. “It makes sense why he did what he did working at Print Services for [as long as he did],” said Marisa Santeco. “He didn’t really care about progressing in his career. His main goal was to help us all obtain an education.”

He began as a service station worker at a gas station during the week and a part-time printer and photographer for a newspaper company on the weekends. During his time in Samoa, Iggy Santeco said he grew to deeply love the people and experiences he had there. An office relationship Iggy Santeco’s wife, Didi Santeco, was a young student from Thailand and not a member of the Church, when she began working as a copy operator at BYUH Print Services in 1988. When Iggy Santeco returned to BYUH Print Services from Samoa, the two met and eventually married.

“We met at work, and he was the type of person who likes to entertain other people. I thought he was funny. He always made me smile,” said Didi Santeco who now works as a BYUH systems analyst. According to Didi Santeco, she made the first move “by asking Iggy to a school ball on a cruise ship.” She was failing her Book of Mormon class, and Iggy, a returned missionary and lifelong member, was soon enlisted to help. Despite his tutoring, Didi Santeco explained with a laugh, that was the only class she failed. Iggy Santeco said he was a little reluctant when he met his wife because of past failed re

Getting an education According to Marisa Santeco, an education was what brought Iggy to Hawaii. “I look at him as a pioneer of coming to America and getting an education.” She explained Iggy was the only one of his five older brothers who came to America from the Philippines and stayed. “As a parent, he really hopes the best for us, even more than what he has done.” Iggy Santeco began work as a cook on campus when he started as a student in 1980, but said after receiving too many burns, he said he decided to look for something different. In those days, he explained, BYUH Print Services, then called Press Services, was located at the library. “I rode my bike right up to the window, and asked if there were any jobs for me,” said Iggy Santeco, who was hired right away. “That’s the trade I wanted to do because I’m good with my hands.” He worked there for the rest of his time as a student at BYUH, and after graduation was given the opportunity to go to Samoa for work.He said he felt very welcomed in Samoa from the moment he stepped off the plane. NEW STUDENT ISSUE


Photos provided by Iggy Santeco

Print shop supervisor leaves legacy of putting family first

lationships, and tried to keep it casual, but Didi Santeco said she wanted none of that. “I told her, ‘I just want to make sure I find the right person,’” said Iggy Santeco, smiling as he remembered. “And she said, ‘I know I’m the right person.You need to figure out if you are.’” They kept their relationship private, and it was not until he began printing and handing out wedding invitations at work their co-workers and boss first found out the two were dating, while both worked for the Print Services.

His impact on students Over the course of his life, Iggy Santeco said he worked many different jobs—from a service station worker in Samoa to a nursery maintenance worker to the owner of a local print shop in Kahuku and many more—all of which he said gave him a greater appreciation for all people, no matter the trade.



Photos provided by Iggy Santeco

Raising a family Because BYUH offered half tuition for students with parents who worked fulltime at the school, Marisa Santeco said she and her siblings each had the opportunity to obtain an education here. “They are very hard workers together. My dad is the provider, but my mom is also a supporter in providing for all of my siblings and me,” said Marisa Santeco. “They have the same goal in mind. They love working for BYUH because it’s where they graduated and because of its mission. They knew it was a place where my siblings and I could learn and grow.” When Didi Santeco got sick, Marisa Santeco said she witnessed her father care for his wife and family, undeterred by the stresses of a diminished income. “My dad became one of the main sources of income, but it didn’t discourage him,” said Marisa Santeco. “We were faithful as a family that it would be fine. Luckily, it was just the beginning stages of the cancer. My dad was very good at being emotionally strong for our whole family, still working, and providing enough for our family.” Marisa Santeco added, “He just loved my mom and always hugged her, especially during the times when it was really hard and painful for her.”

Iggy said he was shocked to discover how some people treated or spoke about groundskeepers and other blue collar workers, and said he learned “anything that you can do good, the Lord appreciates so much.” “It didn’t really matter to him,” said Marisa Santeco in regards to her father’s decision to not advance to another job. “He just found joy in meeting [and] working with student workers from different countries and helping our community too.” One such student worker is Alger Aranda, a senior from the Philippines studying information systems, who first met Iggy Santeco when his bike got a flat tire and Iggy stepped in to help out. Aranda, who worked with Iggy Santeco at Print Services, said he enjoyed the atmosphere Iggy created with the students. “He loves listening to music while working. Sometimes he pretends that he knows the entire lyrics of a modern song he really likes, and he would sing it using his right hand as his microphone just to [help us] de-stress.” Iggy Santeco said the thing he will miss the most, in addition to the people, are his machines. “He treated the equipment with respect,” said Anela Naluai, a junior graphic design major from Draper, Utah, who used to work with Iggy. “His saying was– ‘If you treat it well, it works.’” Didi Santeco said her husband has always been a handyman and seemed to have a natural knack for printing. She explained with no service man on the island who could repair the machines, Iggy was frequently figuring out how to fix the machines himself when they broke down. “He knows what he does,” said Didi Santeco. “He’s very precise about the quality of his work. Little things most people don’t see on a blank piece of paper, he can see them.” Iggy Santeco’s student workers, Aranda and Naluai, both said Iggy always shared life experiences and tips, and said they are grateful for the opportunity to learn from him. “Uncle Iggy taught me to hold on to the gospel when life gets difficult,” said Aranda. “He has shared with me some personal and sensitive experiences in his life, and he allowed himself to be vulnerable to me. He said that if it wasn’t for the gospel of Jesus Christ, he would not

have met his eternal companion who he loves, and he would not have enjoyed [the] family he has right now.” •

“His work ethic and his dedication to take care of his family—I think I hold that closest to my heart, knowing that he really put our family before himself.”

Graphics by Brad Carbine Photo provided by Iggy Santeco

- Marisa Santeco



God is always there “No matter how difficult the situation is that you are in, no matter how hopeless, how miserable you are, God is always there. God will never give up on you. God never forgets you.”



Being imprisoned unjustly helped Cheng Hao Leung’s faith become stronger

BY CARLENE COOMBS After being arrested for a crime he did not commit, Cheng Hao “Nelson” Leung said his few days in an Egyptian prison strengthened his faith in the gospel and led him to serve a full-time mission in Canada. Through this experience, Leung said he was able to find the courage to tell his family he was a member of the Church, a fact he had been hiding from them for years. “No matter how difficult the situation is that you are in, no matter how hopeless, how miserable you are, God is always there. God will never give up on you. God never forgets you,” said Leung, a freshman from Singapore majoring in hospitality and tourism management. Before Leung was a missionary or a student at BYU–Hawaii, he worked as a tour escort in Egypt and frequently traveled there from Singapore. Leung shared while going back and forth, he often transported luggage for a friend and always checked the contents because airport security regularly checked passengers’ baggage before they entered Egypt. “On my seventh tour to Egypt, I just trusted [my colleague] and checked in without double-checking the luggage. On my arrival at Egypt’s Alexandria International Airport, a customs officer asked for my passport and wanted to inspect my luggage. “I was so confident and claimed there was nothing to be worried about. Once the customs officer opened it, I was arrested. Seven kilograms of drugs and several USBs were found.” Leung said he was taken to a dirty prison, where he spent the next four days. He said prayer helped him get through the hardship. “What I did was pray and find help. I think these two things were key. With prayer, I could receive comfort from God and knew I would be okay. I found friends to help me find a lawyer, and luckily I got a very, very good lawyer to help me out.” Though being found guilty of drug trafficking carries the death penalty in Egypt, Leung said he never felt scared and somehow knew things would work out.

“I knew I was innocent. I knew God was with me.” Leung said it was because of his experience in the prison he decided to tell his family he was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and he would be going on a two-year mission. Before his experience in Egypt, Leung said he had a desire to go on a mission, but he was afraid of telling his family. “This story taught me a lot of things. It strengthened my testimony. It was the story I would share every time I met people on my mission because it strengthened me. I want it to strengthen others as well. This experience made me want to go on a mission because I made a deal with God. That’s changed my whole life.” Leung said he started attending church when he was 13 years old. He described how he had been walking down the street with a plunger when the missionaries asked him what the Cantonese word was for plunger. “That was how I started my association with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because of those two missionaries, I found the answers to questions I had been wondering about all these years.” He commented, “Who knew a plunger would completely change my life?” Knowing his family would not approve, Leung said he never told them about his church attendance and was 18 when he got baptized. “It’s kind of lying,” he explained, “But also I told my family I was going to meet friends, so it’s kind of the truth. I just didn’t tell them I was going to church [with friends]. But luckily, my parents didn’t find out about going to church, especially my father. “It was after I got back from Egypt that I told them. They were shocked, especially my father. My father wasn’t very happy about it.” Though his father did not approve of him going on a mission, he told Leung the decision was up to him, and he didn’t want Leung to regret not going later on in his life. “My father’s response was totally unexpected to me. He said, ‘I’ll let you do what

you want. This is your life. I don’t want to be the guy who you blame in the future for not giving you permission to do what you want. If you are happy after your mission, I am happy for you. If not, you suffer for it.’ “I am so grateful Heavenly Father gave me such a great dad. I spent all those years afraid of telling my family. Who knew it turned out so simple?” Au’ahi Aiu, a freshman from Kahuku, Hawaii majoring in biochemistry, said he sees Leung’s love of the gospel through his interactions at BYUH. “He talks with people and tries to be their friend and share the light of the gospel. He makes sure he goes to church every week and is going to his ward.” Kou Sasaki, a sophomore from Japan studying accounting, said when struggling with a personal problem, Leung was always there to help and give advice. “He’s the only one who I can trust from the bottom of my heart ... At the time, I felt he was really spiritual and had a strong faith in Jesus Christ. He helped me using scriptures from the Book of Mormon.” •

Nelson expressed gratitude for his lawyer, Hesham, who helped him to freedom. Photos provided by Nelson.

Graphics by Sadie Scadden. NEW STUDENT ISSUE


Genuine Gold

BYU–Hawaii alumna fulfills dream to serve refugee community with International Rescue Committee BY HAELEY VAN DER WERF Ever since she left BYU–Hawaii in 2009, Jen Dean has been working to foster change in her community. Originally from France, Dean now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, and works for the International Rescue Committee helping resettle refugees. Sometimes her biggest lessons learned, she shared, are the individual impacts each person can make and how she can make connections with everyone she meets. Political Science Department trip to Washington D.C. Jen Dean is the second person from the left on the top row. Photo provided by Troy Smith 88


What is the International Rescue Committee? “The International Rescue Committee is an international organization that serves people who are in crisis zones and war zones to help them rebuild their lives. We are in 40 different countries in places where they have refugee camps. There, we do things like health classes, crisis management, or whatever the needs may be. Specifically, in the United States, we are a resettlement agency. Any refugees who have been approved are resettled in the United States. We will be assigned to a city in

“I started in 2004, and I graduated in 2009. I studied political science. I am from France.”

How was your journey from BYUH to the International Rescue Committee? “I moved to Washington, D.C. I worked for a nonprofit there that served the homeless. We moved to Utah five years ago for my husband’s work. I quit my job in D.C. and we moved here. I stayed home with my son for a little bit. This past March, I wanted to go back to work. They had a job opening at the IRC doing stuff I did when I worked in D.C.”

will work with a case worker for about four to six months, but in Utah, the state has put additional funding to provide case management for two years to ensure people become selfsufficient and have acclimated and can really rebuild their lives. In Utah, that is specifically what we do. A lot of programs are for refugees who have been authorized to be resettled. People who are being resettled, which is a last resort, will eventually become American citizens.”

What do you love about the International Rescue Committee? “What the IRC works for and the people they serve is a community I always wanted to be involved with. I can use my French, and I feel like I’m really helping someone.Yes, I’m doing things on a computer, and there are parts of my job that don’t involve face-to-face contact with people, but there are a lot of parts that do, whether it is with a refugee client, a volunteer, or a community partner. Getting to be engaged together to serve a cause and to make someone’s life better and strengthen it really brings me joy. It is why I do what I do. I really enjoy that part. I can’t share specific details of stories, but I think the biggest thing out of all the stories is there is always something in someone’s story that, even if their story is very different from your own, you can always relate to something in some way or another. It really shows me how connected we are. “[One day] I spent the whole day with someone who arrived [the night before], and

there were things about their stories that are really difficult, and that I will probably never fully understand because I didn’t go through it. But there are things that in a small way I can relate to and understand some of their pain and their dreams and aspirations. I think human connectedness to them makes everything worth it and reminds me that in one small way, I can do something to uplift someone. That’s why I choose to work in this kind of environment. “Every day is humbling. Every day is a reminder that there is always one small thing you can do that will ... really impact someone. To show up for someone else and show them you can make time for them makes a huge difference, even though you might not think so. There are so many stories, whether I was working with the homeless in D.C. or in Salt Lake with the refugees, where you can truly build friendships and relationships filled with love, compassion, and understanding.”

What did you learn at BYU–Hawaii that you have taken with you? “Something I have retained from BYU– Hawaii is the fact that every single one of us can do something. We can find a cause that matters to us, whatever it may be, and get involved and help change things and help uplift someone. I think people should get involved with the International Rescue Committee. There are plenty of places people can do that. There are also so many worthy organizations people can get involved with. “If people can reflect on what matters to them and find a way to make an impact there, if there is anything we are taught at BYUH, it is we are of worth and we can show people

they have worth as well. We can guide them and remind them they have worth as well, no matter what they have been through or what their story is. Everyone has worth. That is something I was always reminded of at BYUH because of the relationships I built there and all the different cultures there remind us of how rich the world is. “Every single one of us has something to bring. It is important to be able to remind other people of that, to be able to look in their eyes and see they are worth it and see there is something special. The richness of BYU–Hawaii and the diversity of the people,

all the cultures, are some things you can’t go without after you graduate. In some way or another, all of us in our different jobs look for that richness. “I found it in working in the nonprofit world in being able to be exposed to so many different stories and cultures in a way that reminds me of being in a classroom with 15 students who have a completely different story than me. With different opinions, at the heart of it we all have things we can share. That’s what I get out of working at IRC, is being able to have human connection at a deeper level no matter what.” NEW STUDENT ISSUE


Graphics by Sadie Scadden

When did you attend BYUH?

the U.S. and work with an agency there that has the authorization to resettle them. In Utah, there are only two agencies that can resettle. Those are the International Rescue Committee and Catholic Community Services. Any refugees who are being resettled will come and be assigned to one of the agencies and we take them from there. “We pick them up from the airport. They will work with a case worker for about two years. In most cities in the United States, they

Family-owned footwear for all BYU–Hawaii alumna says time at BYUH as student and faculty member led her to start brand J-Slips BY CARLENE COOMBS

Graphics by Hannah Manalang

Inspired by business majors to start her own company, Martha Christensen, a previous academic advisor for the Faculty of Business & Government, began her journey towards creating her company J-Slips. Presently, J-slips offers students business internships as the company continues to spread across Polynesia. She said these student interns have brought great ideas and connections to the J-Slips family. According to Christensen, a BYUH alumna, J-Slips is a family-owned footwear shop located in Laie, which sells Hawaiianstyle sandals around the world. In addition to running her business, she also provides students with on-campus internships through BYUH. 90


“I was an academic advisor in the Business Department for 10 years. All these students would come in with their ideas, but I had never done a business myself. I just majored in business and was around people who did business,” said Christensen. She said watching these students come in with their business dreams is what made her want to start her own company, and after her children had gotten older, she decided to do just that. “My kids had gotten older, and I kind of wanted to start something, but I didn’t know what to start. The only thing I could think of was jewelry ... You can make a lot of money

off of it, but it’s hard because there’s so much competition.” After attempting to sell jewelry and even Hawaiian food on Amazon, Christensen said she realized there was a high demand for Hawaiianstyle sandals, often referred to as jandals. “My son went to Utah … and he came back and said, ‘Mom, everyone is wearing these sandals in Utah, in the winter, with socks. Maybe we should sell some of those.’” After selling for another company, Christensen decided to begin her own brand, J-Slips. She currently sells on Amazon and to distributors on the mainland and throughout Polynesia.

Martha Christensen walks with her pair of J-Slips on the beach. Photos by Keyu Xiao.

As her shop has grown, Christensen said she agreed to work with BYUH to offer oncampus internships by providing students with real-life experience and assist with the thriving business. Jake Billings, a California sophomore studying business management, is a part of the team of five students interning for J-Slips this semester. Billings said something cool about Christensen is her desire to help students. He said she hopes to improve their knowledge and their talents from wherever they are coming from.

Christensen said her team of students has been able to bring fresh ideas as well as new connections into J-slips. “I think it’s a really good experience for [students], and it’s super helpful for me. They have tons of good ideas. One served his mission in Fiji. We’ve haven’t really shipped to Fiji. We do Tonga and Samoa. I don’t have connections [in Fiji], but he does.” Ian Seiuli, a senior from Samoa majoring in information technology, said as part of their internship they help with promoting the business on social media and work towards increasing revenue for J-Slips.

He added he believes bringing in students will have a positive impact on the business in the future. “Martha is doing an awesome job with the internship and partnering with the school. There are so many kids here with a lot of ideas. “We might just have a tiny impact on her business for now, but in the long run … consistently doing [internships] and involving [students] in her business … can help improve things which need to be improved. J-Slips has a big future ahead of them.” •

“I was an academic advisor in the Business Department for 10 years. All these students would come in with their ideas, but I had never done a business myself. I just majored in business and was around people who did business.” - Martha Christensen NEW STUDENT ISSUE



First-generation college student shares friendships and professors at BYU–Hawaii have helped her navigate college

Alexis Jimenez, a senior from California majoring in psychology, shared how the experiences she has had at BYU–Hawaii have helped her learn about more cultures, create friendships that felt like family, and figure out what path she wants to take for her future. Jimenez shared some of her most profound experiences she had while attending BYUH were “being able to meet people who are from vastly different places of the world than I am really showed me what kind of bubble I am in. 92


“I grew up in Southern California, and it is very diverse. I grew up with people from all different cultures, so I am definitely used to diversity. “I think moving here allowed me to realize just how big the world is and realize how many people from different backgrounds there are.” Jimenez commented on the friendships she has created. “I have met really amazing people, friends I know I will have for a very long time. [My friends and I] used to be called ‘the family’ because that’s what it was for me.”

Mia Boice, a senior from Georgia majoring in psychology, explained why Jimenez has been a good friend to her throughout their time together at BYUH. “I feel like Lexi is so dependable and consistent as a friend. “She is the person who is always there, and she is literally one of the most thoughtful people I have ever met. She is always thinking of other people and how she can support them.” Jimenez shared how she was able to decide on the major she is receiving her degree in. When she came to BYUH, she said

she followed her initial interest in the field of communications and graphic design, but she later figured out what she wanted was different. She explained, “I jumped around majors for a bit. It was not until I came here that through taking my graphic design classes and communication classes I ... ultimately [figured out] where my place was. “I had to really think about my place in those majors. I did not completely feel like I should be there, which ultimately pushed me toward psychology, which has made all of the difference for me. It has allowed me to figure out what I want to do in the future.” Hailey Huhane, a junior from Utah majoring in communications, shared how her realtionship with Jimenez has been special. She commented, “Lexi and I have gone through so much together. I consider her more of a sister than a friend. “Lexi is the type of person I can call in the middle of the night and know she will be there for me. “She has helped me through some of the most difficult times in my life and still chooses to love me through them. I consider myself

blessed to call Lexi a best friend and know my life is forever changed for good because of her.” Boice shared what she will miss after Jimenez graduates. She said, “The first things I think of are the little things, like going to McDonald’s and the movies. Even though these are small things, it is a lot of what built up a friendship, giving time to one another. “I’m going to miss everything about her. I think most importantly the unconditional support and love I will really miss.” Jimenez shared what her plans are for the future after graduating. “The plan right now is I want to be a clinical psychologist. I have gotten accepted into two graduate schools for my master’s in clinical psychology, so I am looking forward to it. Afterwards, I plan to get my Ph.D. and then get licensed.” Huhane went on to share what she is going to miss after Jimenez graduates. She said, “I think the better question is what am I not going to miss about her? “Lexi is wonderfully charming and quirky. I’m going to miss our movie nights and our long discussions about ‘Harry Potter’ and Timothée Chalamet.

“I grew up with people from all different cultures, so I am definitely used to diversity. I think moving here allowed me to realize just how big the world is, and realize how many people from “I’m going to miss our inside jokes, and I’m going to miss her constant encouragement. “Lexi is always one to help me feel loved, confident, and supported. I am so lucky to have a friend like Lexi and will miss absolutely everything about her.” Jimenez commented on the individuals who have helped her along her path toward graduation. She recognized her psychology professors as being these individuals. She said, “I am a first-generation [student] and I have had to figure everything out on my own, and they have been a lot of help in guiding me.” •

“I am a first generation [student,] and I have had to figure everything out on my own, and they have been a lot of help in guiding me with what I should do and what the process all looks like and being very encouraging.”

Jimenez adds color to people’s lives through her personality, according to her friends. Photos provided by Alexis Jimenez NEW STUDENT ISSUE


How boxing led me to my wife Golden Gloves winner, Hirini Wikaira, said boxing became the bridge to eternal marriage BY MARVIN LATCHUMANAN Reminiscing about his boxing career and how it led to temple marriage, Hirini Piikau Wikaira, a senior majoring in Pacific Island Studies from New Zealand, kept a recording of when he won against Auckland, New Zealand champion Andrew Lueii. Listening to the final words from the commentator, “Wikaira dishes out powerful uppercuts and long right hands, which snap Lueii’s head back often. Wikaira seems to have all the skills to go far, and although Lueii is still firing in the third, he is clearly outgunned and is being clubbed by right hands.” The commentator concluded saying, “In an eventful fight, Hirini Wikaira impresses enough to win a unanimous decision.” Meeting his eternal companion Wikaira recalled how the sport led him to marry his wife, Abish Wikaira, a junior from New Zealand majoring in TESOL education. He said being married to her is the most precious blessing, and she is someone he will fight for forever. He said everything fell into place after he served a full-time mission in Brisbane, Australia. He was reunited with his former boxing coach, Herewini Jones, to resume training. Hirini Wikaira also said he found he had feelings for a girl he said he never liked before. 94


Hirini Wikaira shared he was inspired to act on his impressions about his coach’s daughter, Abish. “Whilst being there, I became close to his daughter and felt impressed that she was my eternal companion. “After spending time together, I could tell we got along very well, and my feelings weren’t just mine but ours. I remember telling her saying, ‘I think you’re my eternal companion.’ It just came out. She replied, ‘I know.’” Abish Wikaira said after receiving inspiration, they decided to get married a week later week (on the second night of October 2016 General Conference), but he proposed properly the week after. Hirini Wikaira said, “We prayed for confirmation, and from that night, we were pretty much together. A week later I proposed to her at the Hamilton New Zealand Temple, and one day later I flew here to Hawaii. “We did long distance for one year. Then, when I returned for the holidays in summer break, we were sealed in the temple. Three years later, we are both here in Hawaii. Boxing helped me not only learn skills for life but also led me to my eternal companion.” Abish Wikaira said she was also convinced her husband’s boxing journey had led to their journey in marriage. She said, “The way we came together was a really special experience I wouldn’t trade for the world. We still learn

new things together every day, but with Heavenly Father as our guide, we keep our eyes forward and our heads up knowing everything’s going to be fine.” Wikaira’s boxing career Hirini Wikaira is from the Northland of New Zealand and said he started boxing when he was 13 years old. His father introduced him to the sport and encouraged him to “give it a try.” He said he had trouble finding matches because boxing was not popular where he lived. He moved to Hamilton, New Zealand, when he was 15 and joined a local association called The Nawton Boxing Club. With the move to Hamilton, it was easier for him to find boxing matches, and he said he would compete in tournaments at least once a month. Hirini Wikaira said, “I had coach Rusty Porter, second coach Merrill Percell, and third [coach] Herewini Jones. I also would train with my dad, Shane Wikaira.” He won the Waikato championship, qualifying him to go to the New Zealand Nationals in 2010. He placed second, and he said it made him determined to sharpen his skills in the sport. In 2011, he placed second again, and he said, “I became hungrier. In 2012, I trained harder and had assistance with Herewini Jones.

Above: Hirini Wikaira declared the winner of Golden Gloves in 2016. Left: The awards Wikaira have amassed throughout the years in his boxing career. Graphics by Esther Insigne and photos provided by Hirini Wikaira

“He taught me the important stuff of boxing. Timing will always beat power and speed. I remembered that and applied it to my training.” Hirini Wikaira said he was grateful for Jones as he played influential roles in his life. He said Jones was his boxing coach and his branch president in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who assisted him in preparation for serving a full-time mission for the Church. He won the New Zealand national tournament and was the New Zealand middleweight champion in 2012. Wikaira said that same year he had won the Golden Gloves in New Zealand. The “Golden Gloves” is a wellrespected tradition in the boxing world where the title is given to amateur boxers who would go on to fight and claim victory in the National Golden Gloves tournament. According to the Britannica.com, the history of the Golden Gloves can be traced back in the mid 1920s where the first competition was held between teams from Chicago and New York in 1927. The tournament’s symbolic award comes in a form of a small pair of gold boxing gloves and is awarded to the winner. In boxing history, many Golden Gloves champions would take boxing to a professional level and become World Champions.

Hirini Wikaira won two other titles which were the “Waikato Championship” and the “Central North Island Championship.” Winning approval from his coach On speaking about Coach Herewini Jones’ influence, he said, “He was a wise teacher. He taught me the old school way. ‘I’ll show, and you copy.’ Something I loved about him was he was fussy right down to the smallest detail. He was a good teacher and scary at the same time. “It was hard to tell him Abish was my eternal companion. I was scared, but I knew it was right. He cried and approved.” Hirini Wikaira further acknowledged his boxing journey prepared him to serve a mission. “It added focus and drive to whatever work I pursued. My parents helped me so much to prepare for it. I went to the Australia Brisbane Mission. It was a blessing in my life. “Just like my coach said timing is better than power and speed, I feel this is spiritual too ... The Lord’s timing is perfect.” One of Hirini Wikaira’s friends, Liam Greening from New Zealand, said, “The cool thing is that I met Hirini on my mission. He was the first missionary to come up and introduce himself to me. He was so cool and relaxed. I just thought he was the man. And it turns out that I wasn’t wrong.

“He was an amazing missionary, and he was loved by everyone who served around him. I remember in the gym watching him shadow box and hitting the bag. It was just so much fun. His hands were so quick, and the bag would be flying.” Greening said Hirini and Abish Wikaira are an amazing couple. “[They are] so dynamic with Hiri being the more outgoing jokester and Abish being reserved in most social settings but really opens up when she is comfortable and has a crack up laugh.” •

Hirini Wikaira with his wife, Abish. Photo provided by Wikaira. NEW STUDENT ISSUE


Stories of change: Shan Arumugam 96


Graphics by Hannah Manalang Photos provided by Shan Arumugan

Student from India does good and treats others equally after almost ending his own life BY BROOKE GURYN After feeling stuck in life and making bad choices that made him even more unhappy, Shan Arumugan said he attempted suicide in 2012. However, not long after, he said he met missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With his limited English, he said he asked the missionaries who they were. In response, they gave him an invitation to their English class, and his life was changed forever. “The Church saved my life. It came into my life and changed it,” shared Arumugam, a junior from India majoring in business management. Now, whenever he faces temptation or difficulty, Arumugam said he follows his motto “Do good, be good.” He said he lives his life being kind, loving others and treating everyone as equals. He said he has not lived an easy life because he and his family are ranked low on the Indian caste system. According to Prospect magazine, “The caste system is a hierarchy that is still used today, ranking the society from a social status of high class to lower class.” Arumugam said, “It’s tough. Even if you have everything, you cannot go up a level because that’s how society is set for us … and it goes from generation to generation. If my grandpa made slippers, my dad would have to, and so would I.” The limitations of the caste system made Arumugam want to leave his small town, and two missionaries came into his life when he needed it the most, he said. “The Church is not looking for rich people, but they always look for your heart. I am from a place that is based on a caste community system, but when it comes to the [gospel], there is no caste system,” he noted. Saved by the Church “In 2012, I realized I wasn’t happy, and I didn’t feel true happiness. I always felt sad ... I thought drinking and all these things [were] fun, but I was not happy. [I] thought, ‘This is not who I am.’” He said he started doing “all the bad things” at a young age. “I had a lot of freedom, and I was seeing other people doing drugs and

drinking alcohol. I was into it, and I always wanted to try those things.” But then in 2013, he said he went out of his way to speak to two young male missionaries who gave him a card for an English class they were teaching. He attended the course, and he said he was baptized three months later on Nov. 27, 2013. He said he stopped finding temporary happiness through substances and found joy in the gospel and following Christ. He said his desire to end his life completely left him and now abstains from drinking alcohol and doing drugs. A year after his baptism, he began his mission for the Church in India. Arumugam shared, “My mission president introduced ... me [to President Tanner] who was visiting my mission. We got to know each other a little bit, and then he told me I could apply for BYUH, and he offered me the IWORK scholarship. “I always wanted to pursue an education, and that was my dream ... India gave me the gospel life, but Hawaii taught me how to live the gospel life.” Sula Jayasekara, a senior from Sri Lanka majoring in information technology, said, “Shan is always ready to meet a challenge with the right attitude. “We all struggle in life, but my friend never gives up, no matter how hard things get in life. I have seen Shan overcome challenges through his faith. He always trusts in the Lord and believes that things will work out as long as he keeps the commandments.” Sharing the aloha spirit Margaret Krishnavelu, a former BYUH student from India, said she has known Arumugam for more than two years and has been impressed by the way he treats others. “He is friendly to everybody. He could make friends anywhere he goes. He’s very good at networking.” Arumugam said he recognizes people who do small jobs because they are just as valuable as people who do “higher up” jobs. In an Instagram post, Arumugam shared a photo with two people from the Custodial

Department at BYUH. The caption said, “Every time I see these two people, I say, ‘Hi,’ and [give a] huge Hawaiian kiss because I love them, genuinely.” He shared his desire to acknowledge those who do small jobs is because “as an Indian boy, I have done many low-level jobs. Not many people get treated properly, so I give back to the people around me.” He shared an experience of walking in downtown Honolulu with friends. He would stop, talk and shake the hands of those living on the street. He said his friends asked, “Are you okay? Those are drug addicts.” He said to them, “Those people who are drug addicts ... I was there in that situation. I used to sleep on the street. I know the feeling.” Arumugam said he is a firm believer in fighting loneliness and being a friend for others and showing love. “I just want to [serve] the lonely people, you know, with an emphasis on paying it forward.” Jayasekara said, “One thing that I admire about Shan is his aloha spirit. Everyone who comes across him or meets him will know that spirit he carries. No matter if he’s having a good or a bad day, Shan always has the aloha spirit and will gladly share it with others.” • This story is part of an ongoing series highlighting members of the Laie and BYU–Hawaii ohana with stories of positive change.



Turning obstacles into opportunities Jennifer Kajiyama Tinkham says she overcame medical adversity by trusting in God BY HAILEY HUHANE After years of suffering from a debilitating medical disorder that causes painful muscle spasms, Jennifer Kajiyama Tinkham said her testimony of God’s love and His divine plan helped her through the darkest moments of her life. “My life is so different now. I can chew. I can smile. I can talk ... [Don’t] let the chaos and the uncertainty and the fears of the world overcome the comfort that comes only from the Savior, Jesus Christ.” Although she has had an accomplished career, Tinkham, an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Business & Government, said she recognizes the limitations and difficulties this life often presents. “Everyone goes through their own unique challenges, but God is definitely in the details of our lives.” In 2012 Tinkham was diagnosed with a debilitating medical disorder called hemifacial muscle spasm. “It started off with a flutter in my eyelid. And for most people, it will go away, but mine got progressively worse,” she said. As time progressed, so did the disorder, explained Tinkham. “It started going down my face. From my eyelids to my nose, to my cheek, to my mouth, and then kind of by my chin and then down to my neck and shoulder.” These spasms led to severe migraines, pains to the right side of her face, and muscle distortion. Hemifacial muscle spasm is a disorder of the nervous system that causes the muscles on one side of the face to twitch involuntarily. In a 2018 BYU–Hawaii devotional Tinkham said, “Movement of my face or my mouth or stressful or high-energy situations would trigger my spasms, which would not let up for several hours. “Sometimes, the spasms would continue through the night while I was sleeping. Just imagine having your eyelids rapidly open and close all day and night.” Tinkham said the condition often left her face tired and in pain and she said simple things like smiling, looking people in the eye, and even teaching were all challenges. As a teacher, 98


Jennifer Tinkham says she is grateful to be able to smile again after recovering from hemifacial muscle spasms after surgery. Photo provided by Jennifer Tinkham

Tinkham said she was left standing every day for hours with “my face, my mouth, and my shoulder spasming.” Although Tinkham described herself as outgoing, she said, “I would wake up [every day], and I would pray to have [the] courage to teach and to look people in the eye.” Tinkham recalled one night in particular when her spasms became almost unbearable. She said, “I had been asked to give a talk in church. I was working on my talk, and I had a really bad muscle spasm attack on my face. I couldn’t sleep because it was just so painful.” The pressure of speaking the following day, paired with her inability to sleep, perpetuated the spasms. Tinkham recalled

saying, “Heavenly Father, why? I’m doing what you’re asking me to do.” The next day in Church, Tinkham prefaced her talk by explaining her condition to her fellow ward members. “Little did I know that when I shared my talk in my ward, there was a woman who had the exact same thing. She had hemifacial muscle spasms as well,” she said. Tinkham said, “She heard me talk about it in church, and then at a ward activity, she came up to me and talked to me about the surgery she had. She had gotten it a couple years before, and she was completely cured. “She told me about this doctor, and it was a surgeon I had been trying to get a hold of for a really long time. Every time I tried to make

Left: Tinkahm at her wedding. Right: Tinkham with her husband and children. Photos provided by Jennifer Tinkham

an appointment, something would happen. I just figured that doctor just wouldn’t ever be someone I’d get to see.” The woman from the ward called the surgeon’s office and told them of Tinkham’s condition. Tinkham said, “The surgery was scheduled [immediately], and I was able to get in to have the brain surgery. So even that alone was a miracle.” This chance meeting changed Tinkham’s life forever, she said. “When we are at the point when there is nothing we can do, that is when we can stand back, and we can feel God’s hand in our lives.” After reaching the point where she had done all she could do, Tinkham said God stepped in and took care of the rest. “I had no doubt in my mind that that was a miracle. God had answered all of my prayers by sending this angel into my life.” The healing process post-surgery was slow and difficult, but Tinkham said she felt as though she had been given a second chance. Even in her darkest moments, Tinkham testified God never left her side. Growing up in Laie, Tinkham eventually attended BYU–Hawaii, where she studied political science and Japanese. She went on to work in the U.S. Senate for the Secretary of the Senate, the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office,

the Hawaii State Supreme Court, and the Hawaii State House of Representatives all as an undergraduate. She served in the Japan Nagoya Mission for the Church. Upon her return, she attended the J. Reuben Clark Law School in Provo, Utah, where she studied international law and alternative dispute resolutions. While attending law school, Tinkham was editor-in-chief of BYU’s International Law and Management Review Journal. She then went on to complete a master’s of Public Administration from the Marriott School of Management. In addition to being a licensed attorney, Tinkham is also a certified court mediator, divorce mediator, and arbitrator. Tinkham is now the Legal Studies program director at BYU–Hawaii and is a Legal Studies professor. She is also serving as the Prelaw Society faculty advisor. Tinkham’s husband, Nick Tinkham, said he is grateful for his wife and her “tenacious love for the Lord, our family, and the community.” He said, “Whether spending time with our children, lending a hand to her parents ... or teaching BYUH students, she gives her whole heart and soul, and we know she loves us.” As a professor, Tinkham’s love and desire for her students to succeed is something she

says is a gift from God. “If I could tell my students anything, it would be to believe God.” Tinkham said she wants her students to know they are not alone. She said she felt alone as she was going through her trials with hemifacial spasm. “Little did I know that somebody just down the street from me would have the exact same condition.” She said to think of trials as opportunities instead of obstacles. “They are blessings because they refine us so that we can be better able to do what God needs us to do ... I always tell students we are going to start together, and we are going to finish together stronger and better.” Terrence Dela Peña, a senior majoring in political science from the Philippines, works closely with Tinkham as both her student and her teaching assistant. He said it has been a privilege to work with Tinkham. “Her bright personality radiates wherever she goes. Her willingness to help students succeed goes beyond the classroom.” Dela Peña said Tinkham made him and other students feel welcomed as a member of the BYUH ohana. “She inspires me to dream big, believe in myself, and work hard to achieve my goals. Professor [Tinkham] is a true disciple of Jesus Christ, and I am eternally grateful for her example.” • NEW STUDENT ISSUE


Susan Tanner shared they expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to serve in the university. Photo by Monique Saenz 100 KE ALAK A ’I

Love and farewell The Tanners express gratitude and say goodbye to students and BYUH ohana BY LEIANI BROWN For BYU–Hawaii President John Tanner, and his wife, Susan Tanner, the end of the Spring 2020 Semester closes five years of steering BYU– Hawaii towards Zion. The Tanners shared their love and gratitude for meaningful interactions with faculty and students, trips to Laie Point and connections to their ancestors and the Pacific. “People have said this must be a bittersweet time. It’s not bitter. This continues to be a sweet experience, but it is a poignant time for us because we love the university and we love the community. We’ve given our hearts to this assignment,” said John Tanner of his reaction to his release as university president. Susan Tanner added they prayed every day, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to serve at BYUH. “We feel like Heavenly Father has granted us the most special blessing in the world. “I’m not sure if you’re ever ready to give up something that you love so much.” Beginnings and endings President John Tanner has held several callings in the Church, including first counselor in the General Sunday School presidency and mission president of the Brazil São Paulo South Mission. Susan Tanner, originally Susan Winder from Granger, Utah, served as Young Women General President from 2002 to 2008. “Every Church assignment has a release built-in,” explained President Tanner. “We know that, and we believe and support that. But of course, we will miss this assignment and opportunity. And I have to say that being president hasn’t been all sweetness and light. We have had challenges, as every assignment does.” As she reflected on her time at BYUH, Susan Tanner said she loved watching the excitement and anticipation of new students each semester, as well as the confidence and accomplishment of graduating students. “I love beginnings, and I love endings ... As we’ve been

looking back now on our time here, it’s been fun to feel the university’s growth.” President Tanner added this ending has been difficult for him because the campus has been so empty due to the pandemic. He said one of his earliest memories at BYUH was waking up early one morning after his presidency had been announced before their first semester began. He said he remembered walking out and looking up Kulanui Street and Hale La’a, seeing the temple. “I felt this real, strong sense that this university needs to be connected to and worthy of the temple.” To end with the temple closed and activity level on campus at an all-time low, an area President Tanner said he has sought to improve during his time here, has made it difficult to say goodbye. He added he would just as soon slip out the back door without any fanfare, but he wants the BYUH and the wider Laie community to know he loves serving alongside them. “Our deepest desire is [for them] to know how much love and gratitude we have for everyone at this place. We have just been showered with aloha from day one,” said Susan Tanner. Steering through rough waters President Tanner said due to the pandemic, he worried about how to continue to remotely provide the interactive, intercultural learning experience that is consistent with the mission of BYUH. But this is just one of the challenges the Tanners said they have experienced during their time at BYUH. When things got tough, the Tanners explained, or they started to feel a little discouraged, they would go out and find students or faculty, invite them to dinner and hear what brought them to BYUH. “This is a place that’s mission-centered. People would often tell these remarkable stories of how the Lord brought them to

“Our deepest desire is [for them] to know how much love and gratitude we have for everyone at this place. We have just been showered with aloha from day one.” - Susan Tanner

Students and community members said their farewells to the Tanners during their drive-by aloha ‘oe event on May 27. Photos by Monique Saenz NEW STUDENT ISSUE 101

BYUH, and it would lift us, inspire us and give us a new shot in the arm when things got hard,” said President Tanner. “We have felt the university’s mission so strongly in our lives, and so to have that renewed in our mind is what would get us through difficult things or hard times,” Susan Tanner added. She reminisced about how her husband would often come home around 6 in the evening with all the worries of the university weighing on his shoulders. They would go out to Laie Point to let the wind blow through their hair and admire the beauty of the island. She explained how the physical beauty of the surrounding landscape renewed them as they felt the presence of God. President Tanner added he would even occasionally go out and boogie board, especially after hearing he would be released. Pacific connections The Tanners shared their ancestors translated the Book of Mormon into Hawaiian and Samoan languages and were deeply enmeshed into the Polynesian cultures. Susan Tanner explained she read anything she got her hands on about her ancestor, George Q. Cannon, to learn about his missions to the Hawaiian Islands.“I just hungered for connections to him.” She added she often looked at the portrait of George Q. Cannon in the Laie Hawaii Temple. “I would look into his eyes and think, ‘I want to be worthy to be your granddaughter. I want to give and sacrifice and love in the same ways that you have here.’ [That connection] has had an impact on me. I have felt his presence and his spirit.” She said she thought about the sacrifices her grandparents made to serve a mission in Hawaii as a young married couple, including giving birth to their first child away from family. President Tanner added it was sweet to have celebrated the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Laie Hawaii Temple during their time here, especially after discovering his wife’s grandparents were present for the original dedication in 1919. He said his connection to the Pacific is with Samoa, where his grandfather served three missions. His grandfather, who oversaw the translation of the Book of Mormon to Samoan while serving as a mission president when he 102 KE ALAK A ’I

was about 28 years old, stopped in Hawaii on his way home and spoke in sacrament meetings in Laie. President Tanner shared during their first visit to BYUH campus, years before being called president, he and his wife stood under the newly erected statue of George Q. Cannon and Jonathan Napela, and talked about their ancestral connections to Hawaii and Samoa. As they talked, he said he wondered if they would have any personal connection to the Pacific. “We raised that question, but

never thought that we’d be back to follow in the footsteps of some of those pioneers of the Pacific... So that’s given this a special, personal, family-history connection.” Zion as a goal In his inaugural address, President Tanner stated, “I see a university that is intended to be not only a ‘school in Zion’ but a Zion university,” and continued to refer to that idea throughout his time at BYUH. He further explained in his farewell devotional speech that

John and Susan Tanner and their entire family and grandchildren during Thanksgiving of 2019. Photo by Monique Saenz

he used “Zion” as a shorthand “not because I ever expected to dock in a harbor called Zion but because I believe we are better for steering toward it.” He further stressed it was not his directive, but rather a concentrated effort to echo and reanimate statements of past prophets in a way that would help the university strive to be better. “We’re better off for striving to be better with high aspirations, even when we fall short, than we are when we aim low. ... That vision

of a Zion university is something that has guided us, and I hope will continue to guide the university, whether the new president uses that phrase or not. I can tell already that he’s committed to the university’s prophetic vision and that’s the important thing.” Susan Tanner added she has long loved the idea of Zion and has appreciated the reiteration of it as a metaphor for what the university is seeking to be. “ We’re progressing on the road to Zion and a Zion university,” she said.

President Tanner added he deliberately used the word “savor” of Zion in speaking about Zion in his inauguration. “You experience something here that’s really special and makes you want to take that into the world and replicate it. “It doesn’t mean you’re perfect, or that you’ve arrived at Zion, but you’ve experienced something here that has a special flavor.” Susan Tanner added, “Hopefully that means we’ll take a little piece of Zion with us wherever we go.” • NEW STUDENT ISSUE 103

Peaceful protesters 106 Giving Machines in Laie bring Christmas spirit 108 More than skin deep 112 Hands on prep with VR tech 114 Epicenter empathy 116 Legacy of PCC & China relationship 118 Keeping the ones you love alive 122 Teaching the Samoan language to local kids 126 Plogging in Laie 130 Share your aloha 132 Serving our ohana 134

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Peaceful Protesters Oahu residents unite to protest the construction of more towering wind turbines in Kahuku BY KEVIN BROWN

Local opponents of the wind turbines in Kahuku gather in protest. Photo provided by Mark Lee 106 KE ALAK A ’I

Besides the existing 12 wind turbines, eight new 568-foot wind turbines are scheduled to tower over the community of Kahuku as the wind farm contractor AES Corp. continues its plans for delivery and construction despite island-wide opposition. The voices of community members in Kahuku have largely been disregarded, said opponents, as the State of Hawaii sees the project as necessary in order to fulfill its renewable energy future. David Beus, an associate professor at BYU–Hawaii, said the group Ku Kia’i Kahuku needs as many people possible to stand up for what is happening in Kahuku. “What I say to students is go see what is going on and talk to the kia’i. This is something real happening in our community.You don’t want to let it pass you by. It’s a great learning opportunity.” Protests around the island have been continuing over the past month, namely in Kalealoa by the ship yard and Kahuku at the entrance of the wind farm. According to Hawaii News Now, an hours-long operation of delivering turbine parts from Kalealoa near the west side of the island to the North Shore was delayed on Oct. 17 and 18 during the start of the equipment transport, leading to the arrest of 55 people. A utility pole was also cut down with a chainsaw on Kamehameha Highway near Turtle Bay blocking both sides of traffic and cutting power to hundreds of North Shore residents. Police reported, “The pole was intentionally brought down in an attempt to block the wind farm convoy from getting to its destination,” according to HNN. Representatives from Ku Kia’i Kahuku said they played no part in the planning or downing of the utility pole, as their presence has been largely peaceful. Honolulu Police Department Chief of Police Susan Ballard said of the incident during a press conference, “Unlike the protestors who peacefully demonstrated, this act of vandalism was dangerous, selfish and a total disregard of public safety.” On the night of Nov. 14, a total of 26 people were arrested in Kalaeloa for allegedly disobeying orders from police officers and remaining on the roadway, according to the Star Advertiser. “To date, more than 150 people have been arrested since protests against the project started in mid-October,” it reports.

Officials from AES said once the convoy gets on the road, it is impossible for the trucks to turn around due to the size of the equipment being brought up, and law enforcement is then needed to clear the roads. Fences have been placed near the entrance of the wind farm site to separate hundreds of protestors chanting, “Too big, too close,” and other phrases from the convoy transporting oversized loads of turbine parts. According to Isaiah Walker, a professor at BYUH who has been heavily involved with the protests, the protests are on-going and will continue every night that AES Corp. continues to bring equipment up to the North Shore. Kamalani Keliikuli, vice president of Ku Kia’i Kahuku, said of the protests, “Today is not the end. We’re still fighting. We just don’t want the turbines, and we want them to listen to us. We’re in it for the fight.” Inez Larson, one of the protestors at the site, said in an interview with HNN, “I just keep thinking to myself, the desecration of the land is enough, and you know, I don’t want anyone watching this to be crying or upset. We have to do this. The government has forced us to do this.” Larsen said the government has neglected to listen to the people’s concerns. Despite opposition, AES has stated that is has gone through all of the necessary guidelines and procedures to validate the project. AES Chief Operating Officer Mark Miller said, “We feel comfortable with the work that we’ve done with the comprehensive studies that we’ve done to ensure that we are building a project that is safe, secure, and is going to ultimately benefit the state and its long-term energy goals.” Those protesting the turbines said everyone is for clean energy, but no one wants it in their backyard. They said the avid supporters of the project live on the other side of the island and they don’t see the day-to-day impacts of the turbines. Jamaisha Farley, a local resident involved in the protests, said, “Being on the front line was one of the most humbling experiences I have ever experienced, just knowing that you are fighting for something that means so much to you and your culture. “If we have to do it again, we will. Standing up for what we believe in is actually more important than what these big companies have

Protestors say they will show up every night turbine parts are delivered in Kahuku. Photo by Mark Lee

to offer us.” Farley said those in the government should think about if it were their families living directly in front of the turbines. She said it would sway their decision and give them more of an understanding. “All we can do is peacefully protest for now,” she said. For many in Kahuku, the wind turbines are seen as a blemish on the community and a health risk for its residents. Kiana Lei Phillip, a local resident, said the overall goal of the protests is to protect the families, both the keikis and the kapunas. Phillip said she has attended the protests for her 2-year-old daughter, and she said the project will affect her future and people in the community. The wind farm in Kahuku, according to change.org, poses a threat to the Hawaiian hoary bat and other endangered species, will affect learning and sleeping due to the noise pollution and proximity to schools, and will destroy the country landscape and lead to an “estimated 10 to 25 percent reduction of Kahuku property values.” Given the negative impacts on the community, the project continues on and officials have said they plans to carry it through to completion. AES Corp. is scheduled to continue transporting wind turbine parts up to the North Shore Sunday nights through Thursday nights until Nov,. 26, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser. •


Students and community members take part in the "Light The World" campaign for the108 first KE timeALAK in Laie. A ’I Photo by Ho Yin Li

Giving Machines in Laie bring Christmas spirit Vending machines at the PCC help people better emulate the Savior, says Church specialist BY OLIVIA HIXSON Because of tourists, able volunteers and international influence, the directors of the “Light the World” campaign with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shared how Laie is the perfect place for a Giving Machine. The Giving Machine campaign comes with the hope a more accessible opportunity to donate will help “ignite a global flame of doing good.” Giving Machines are vending machines where individuals can donate to worldwide and local organizations. They are located at the Polynesian Cultural Center from Nov. 19 to Jan. 1 and provide tourists and locals an opportunity to donate specific items to charities during the holiday season. Laie is one of only 10 locations in the world with Giving Machines. Each machine is partnered with two global charities and four local charities, aiming to keep as many donations distributed throughout Hawaii. The nonprofits paired with the Laie Giving Machines are UNICEF, WaterAid, FamilyPromise, Catholic Charities Hawaii, Hawaii Food Bank, and DentalClinic. Karl Cheney is a mass media specialist of the missionary department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His department plans and executes the Giving Machine campaign. He shared their main goal is to get people involved in a new and innovative way to donate. Cheney said 100 percent of the profits derived from the Giving Machines go directly back to the charities. “Some may feel that their simple offering will make little difference. Not so. Each gift, regardless of the amount, lifts hearts and blesses lives in countless ways here in Hawaii. No one on the receiving end would ever feel

that your gift didn’t make a difference to them,” he said. “This is a unique campus and community. Even with relatively small populations, both offer a global reach. The marvelous students who study here come from all parts of the world, and Laie is a destination for hundreds of thousands of worldwide visitors. Cheney also said, “We hope what we’re doing here will be noticed in faraway lands and that this effort will help ignite a global flame of doing good.” Getting involved In preparation for the Giving Machines’ arrival, Sister Cheryl Young, a sister missionary

working with the PCC on the project, said the machines had been in the works since the end of September. “Most locations get from six months to a year to prepare for these machines to come, and we got word Sept. 23 we were getting two machines. This was exciting news, but we had much to do before their arrival, and a very short amount of time to do it.” Young shared the majority of the volunteers helping people use the machines are students, with 294 out of the whole 448 shifts being filled by BYU–Hawaii students. “I feel like the students were just incredible, and if it weren’t for [them], I don’t know how this would have been possible.”

PCC President Alfred Grace uses one of the Giving Machines at the PCC. Photos by Ho Yin Li NEW STUDENT ISSUE 109

Student volunteers go through a short training, she said, helping them get ready to share crucial information about the goals of the Giving Machine. They are encouraged to engage with anyone interested in while spreading love during the holidays. “This is not a proselyting opportunity. If patrons want to know more about the Church, volunteers can refer them to the local missionaries. This is strictly to bring awareness to giving and how giving one by one can affect people’s lives.” A volunteer for the Giving Machine, Nephi Sanchez, a junior from Arizona studying social work, shared he was excited when he heard about the Giving Machine in Laie and wanted to volunteer as soon as possible. “I just think it’s a brilliant idea to have a vending machine to give people things because it just makes it so easy and accessible for everybody.” One by one The Giving Machines have the theme, “One by One,” intended to cause deep

reflection on how to best serve people individually, according to Cheney. He said, “[The Savior] went about doing good, and He did it one by one—which happens to be the theme for this year’s ‘Light the World’ campaign—One by One. As I try to draw closer to the Savior, to become a little bit better disciple each day, I ask myself, ‘What can I do for someone?’ The Giving Machines are definitely an answer.” Likewise,Young added how relatively small things like donating at a vending machine help people emulate Christ better. “I want to thank all those students who have helped by signing up to serve and also ask that you continue to spread the word about how a simple and meaningful act of service can change a life… when we choose to serve the way Christ did, one by one.” Young expressed gratitude for the nonprofits they are partnered with and how much people need to understand their goals. “I think the biggest thing right now is to bring awareness to the nonprofits associated

110 KE ALAK A ’I Community members attend the unveiling of the Giving Machines on Nov. 19

with our Giving Machines and all the different needs around the world. It’s not always about helping our own [Church] members.” All over the world Cheney said as the machines’ success continues to grow exponentially, and more and more people are getting excited about a possible Giving Machine being in their area. Deciding where to place the Giving Machines year after year can be a challenge, Cheney said. He said they look at traffic, accessibility, member involvement, and many other factors when choosing their next locations. “I can’t say that next year we’ll go from 10 to 15, or whatever, locations. At this point, we simply don’t know. Our hope is that this initiative continues to grow as it provides a way for individual generosity to light the world.” The Church hired BonCom, a company focused mainly around advertising and innovative ways of getting information to people, to help with the development of the

“Some may feel that their simple offering will make little difference. Not so. Each gift, regardless of the amount, lifts hearts and blesses lives in countless ways here in Hawaii. No one on the receiving end would ever feel that your gift didn’t make a difference to them.”

Giving Machines. Brett Meldrum is a brand director at BonCom and shared his experience of making the Giving Machines easily accessible to the public. “We want to have people feel something during the holidays that you can only get from giving and following the example of Jesus Christ. We help to create, and we work with multiple vendors. This is really a collection of experts as far as building these machines and building the brand.” A change of heart Cheney emphasized the need to keep good deeds like this going throughout the year. He shared how the only way for this to truly be accomplished is through a real change of heart. “[A change of heart] takes time. It’s not something that happens as a result of a donation made through a vending machine or a single act of kindness, but as we make constant efforts to become a little more like the Savior each day, our hearts will change.” Cheney commented while these donations are relatively small and simple, the people involved need to keep the spirit of the Giving Machine prevalent in their lives throughout the year. “It’s easy to walk up to a Giving Machine, select an item or two, swipe a credit card, and walk away feeling like I’ve done my part. After all, I’ve just bought a couple of chickens for someone, somewhere. But if that’s the end of my service, then I’m not giving my heart a chance to really change. “Following the Savior’s example requires that we put ourselves in places each day – physically, mentally, spiritually – where the spirit can inspire us to act. Doing this will

Giving machines are intended to help others emulate Christ better, says officials. Photos by Ho Yin Li

invite a longer-lasting change of heart and more permanent Christ-centered discipleship.” He shared while all of the excitement surrounding the Giving Machines and the unique opportunities that arise from having them so close by is certainly well-earned, it is also important to keep service and giving back the main priority in life. “Giving Machines are just one way to help us think of others over ourselves. But it’s the spirit of them that invites me to be a little more gentle or kind or thoughtful to you, and then

for you to do the same for someone else. We hope all who participate will feel the Savior’s perfect love and to share that with another. “As a Church, and as individual disciples of Jesus Christ, we invite all people to come unto Christ. That’s our mission. And the Giving Machines are one simple way for people to draw closer to the Savior this Christmas season.” •



MORE THAN SKIN DEEP Cultural tattoos are more than just form of body art, according to students of Polynesia BY MADI BERRY BYU–Hawaii students from Polynesia shared the meaning, symbolism and story behind their cultural tattoos that can represent family, culture, faith and their personal identity. Each shared a unique reason and purpose for obtaining the tattoo they have, and they shared the pride of the representation of their culture and family they also carry with it as a result. Quincy Tahiata, a freshman from Australia double majoring in Pacific Island studies and social work, discussed his tattoos, which are on the top of his chest and on a portion of his upper back. Each side has a representation of his parents’ heritage with many other motifs and symbolism within. Tahiata shared, “On my front, it represents where my dad is from. It talks about a specific mountain where my dad is from in Tahiti. “There are arrow-pointing patterns that point toward the mountain. It shows how our family will always go back to where we are from.

“If you look at the tattoo as a whole, you can see both parts make one face. The face represents my mother.” - Quincy Tahiata 112 KE ALAK A ’I

“Other specific motifs talk about me, and the other ones talk about my family, specifically my siblings. Others also talk about strength, courage and good luck.”

Religion and culture Lisa Agafili, a senior from New Zealand double majoring in Pacific Island studies and TESOL, shared the cultural and familial significance of the decision to receive her tattoo. In her family, getting tattoos is customary. Upon becoming a member of the Church, Agafili’s tattoo affected her family dynamic.

She said, “I got my tattoo before I became a member. I was supposed to get a malu.” She said a malu is the tattoo women receive on their legs in Samoan culture. “I was supposed to have a soa [partner] to get it with, but because I am a member now, I didn’t get it. I was stuck between religion and culture. “It was hard for me to not do it, and my brother ended up not getting a tatau with anyone.” She said the tatau is the tattoo men receive on their legs. Tahiata went on to discuss the symbolism and cultural significance of the tattoo on his back. He commented, “On the back, it talks

about how the Maori side of my family is almost symmetrical. The reason being my grandparents are from the same tribe but different parts of it. One half represents my grandfather’s side and the motifs of the design inside talk about my grandfather’s side. “The other half of my back talks about my grandmother, and the patterns are the same, but it is reversed. “If you look at the tattoo as a whole, you can see both parts make one face. The face represents my mother.” A community member from Laie, Clayton O’Conner, has tattoos that are a blend of two

Graphics by Hannah Manalang

cultures. He explained what they represented and his decision to get them. He said, “It is a mix of Hawaiian and Samoan. I got it not really for mysel but mostly for my family. I’m really close with my family, and I got this as sort of a gift just for them.”

Identity O’Conner said, “I got this chest piece close to my heart that is symbolic of my parents. I have a flower pattern that is symbolic of my mom. The part surrounding it is like a shield for my dad.

“I have stuff on my arm going from oldest to youngest, representing my siblings.” He explained how all of the designs make up the shapes of various letters that make up the first initials of all of his siblings, including himself. He also talked about the designs on his arm. He said, “The designs tell the things I love, like surfing, fish and the ocean. I also have a club, which is for protection.” Agafili discussed how her tattoo was a part of her identity. “Growing up in New Zealand, your culture gets a bit lost. This was my way of keeping my identity.

“A lot of people think I’m Tongan, but when they take one look at it they immediately know I’m Samoan. “[My tattoos] tell a story. They talk about the water, the bowl used to mix the ava [kava].” Tahiata commented on how while all tattoos have their own respective meaning, Polynesian tattoos can carry more meaning than face value. He said, “This is not a new thing. This is hundreds and hundreds of years old.” According to pbs.org, the Samoan tradition of applying tattoo, or tatau, is a skill passed on from father to son and tools and techniques used have changed very little. • NEW STUDENT ISSUE


Graphic by Michael Kraft

Hands-on prep with virtual reality Dr. Jason Hughes uses virtual reality as tool to help educate students in Kahuku BY MICHAEL KRAFT

114 KE ALAK A ’I

Kahuku Medical Center’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jason Hughes said he has invested in a virtual reality system because it makes difficult concepts easier to understand for local students who come to learn at the hospital. He said they now use it in connection with Kahuku High School’s Healthcare Career Pathway program. “We’ve talked about it for a couple of years, how to use tech for education. Once we

turned it on, we realized it was more than what we had ever hoped and dreamed it would be,” Hughes said. Recalling the first time he used the system, Hughes described, “I probably spent an hour in it, just laughing and crying. It’s mind-blowing.” Hughes said he is excited to use VR technology in the medical field because it presents complex ideas in a way that is easy to understand. Erika Allred, a teacher at Kahuku High School who works with the Healthcare Careers Pathway program, said she would like to see VR used more in the classroom. VR is a fun way to test students’ knowledge, she explained. It makes people excited and want to learn more about their bodies. “Anything that helps people understand their body better is a positive thing,” remarked Allred. Hughes said, “It’s fun to think that this small North Shore hospital has this technolo-

gy… We’re not huge, but we can try and make a difference in the community.” Currently, Hughes shared, he has three applications he uses to help teach students. The first is a virtual reality video, which takes participants on a journey through the human body. He described it as being similar to Joanna Cole’s “The Magic School Bus.” The second application takes users inside of the human body. It allows them to explore different organs and systems inside the body. Andrew Whetten, a student in the Healthcare Career Pathway program, described the experience as strange but exciting. “It’s weird because you know it’s not real, but it looks so real.” The program not only allows users to look at the different organs and systems, but also to step inside them and see what they look like on the inside. Whetten said, “When you’re in it, the whole room looks like you’re in a heart.” Hughes described the final application as a textbook. It places the user in a classroom and allows them to look in detail at the human body. It allows users to take apart the body and look at individual bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and gives the user information about them and their functions.

Healthcare Careers Pathway program Allred said she loves the program because it shows students, “they can be a lot more than they think they can be ... I always try and drill that into them.” The Healthcare Careers Pathway program is a three-year program. Allred described how in the first year, students learn the basics about healthcare. In the second year, there is more hands-on learning, and finally, in the third year, students spend one hour a week at the hospital. During their final year, students rotate throughout each department of the hospital. Each student is placed in a different department and shadows an employee during their time there. Students do hands-on learning in each department and get to see if it could be a potential career for them, Allred explained.

After two weeks, students rotate and move to a new department. By the end of the year, every student has been to every department. The Healthcare Careers Pathway program prepares students for college along with giving them an opportunity to see if healthcare is what they want to do, said Allred. She then added, “I wish they had a program like this when I was in high school.” Kahuku Medical Center is fortunate to have this program, said Hughes. It allows them to inspire the students who will one day grow up to be healthcare professionals, he explained. “I’ve always looked to be a source of good for the next generation of doctors … If I can spark an interest [in students] to find something they are passionate about and make the world a better place, that’s my ultimate goal,” he said. •

“When you’re in it, the whole room looks like you’re in a heart.”



Graphic by Brad Carbine

- Andrew Whetten

Epicenter empathy Chinese students share concerns and hopes for their country amid coronavirus outbreak BY BROOKE GURYN

Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has caused travel suspension, sickness and deaths around the world, according to various news sources. Since China was the epicenter of the outbreak, Chinese students shared fears of judgment and encouraged people to reach out to their friends who may be concerned for family back in China. YuanYuan Lyn, a sophomore from China majoring in hospitality and tourism management, shared, “I am worried about my family. If my family happened to get sick, I would want to go home right away, but I am not allowed to. I [probably] wouldn’t be able to come back [if I did.]” Student concerns Lijuan Du, an exchange student in the Asian Executive Management Program from China, said her husband and daughter are in China at this time. She described her worry and concern, especially for her young daughter. she said they are confined at home until further notice. Du said she has “gratitude to all the people who have shown kindness and for the members of The Church of Jesus Christ who have prayed for the people who are suffering from the coronavirus.” According to Deseret News, the Church has sent medical supplies to China, like protective gear, masks, coveralls and goggles. “I am moved by the medical supplies donated by the Church,” said Du. She also said, “I am looking forward to the day when everyone can hold hands again and be one with another. We are all human beings and can conquer all difficulties together.” 116 KE ALAK A ’I

Lyn shared, “The problem is there are people thinking all Chinese people have coronavirus. People think it is not just a virus but a ‘Chinese virus.’ That is [generalizing] a whole country, not just a person.” Sunny Wong, a senior from Malaysia majoring in business management with an emphasis in human resources and organizational behavior, said he wants students to know “we are going against the virus, ... not [against] the Chinese people ... we are against the virus, not the person or race.” The concern, shared by students at first, was the shortage of masks in their countries. “Students are buying masks and sending them home,” said Wong. Suffering in silence Wong said, “I think on the outside [students] seem calm. But on the inside, they're panicking. Their families are at home and [the students] are safe, but their families are not. I feel like it would be stressful for them because they have to study, do exams and worry about home,” Another country being directly impacted by the coronavirus is Hong Kong. Government officials were denying suspending the border to and from mainland China. According to Time Magazine, “thousands of hospital staff joined an escalating strike aimed at pressuring the government into sealing the border with mainland China.” According to South China Morning Post, “On February 8, 2020, the Hong Kong government closed most of its land borders with the nearby Chinese mainland, and ordered anyone crossing those which remained open

to undergo two-week quarantines as part of an overall effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that first emerged in central China.” Wong, a former missionary in Hong Kong, has friends on campus but also in Hong Kong who she said are suffering. “It has been hectic for them. They had the protest and now the virus. It’s been a long and rough end of last year and [following] into this year.” According to the Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases map, created by Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, the amount of cases of the coronavirus in Hong Kong is increasing. As of March 19, there are 208 cases. Hope is not lost Students are being impacted directly by the effects of the virus, but they said hope is not lost. Zi Wei Wang, a sophomore from China majoring in computer science, said she had planned on going home to her family. She said her family has been her biggest supporters through this trial. “When I told my family, I may not be able to come, they were sad but understanding,” said Wang. She further explained how “I have found more peace because the Church sent medical supplies to China. That [reminds] me the Lord and the members of the Church do care about all people around the world.” Lyn shared, “People just need a friend to listen to them...Don’t judge the Chinese people because of the virus. We are human as well ... Just be nice to the people around you.”

“The problem is there are people thinking all Chinese people have coronavirus. People think it is not just a virus but a ‘Chinese virus.’ That is [generalizing] a whole country, not just a person.” -YuanYuan Lyn She also encouraged blessings from bishops regarding the matter and said it will bring peace to the students. Jaime Zhang, a freshman from China majoring in business management, also shared words of hope and encouragement. “My thoughts are ‘stay calm.’ ... [Our] friends and family will be okay. They will take care of themselves. Wear a mask and stay inside. Stay relaxed because when you’re scared, it can scare your family. When your family’s calm, everything will [be just fine.]” Thoughts outside the box Wong said he reads The Wall Street Journal, and he came across comments regarding the coronavirus. One particular comment was, “Why didn’t the people stay in their own country?” He explained how, “If you were in Wuhan, China, the virus is [spreading] and the government hadn’t locked the city, you would run for your life. “Once the citiy is locked down, you have a higher risk of getting the virus. “When you feel panic and you’re afraid of death, you are human.You will run away to different countries to possibly stay with family and friends in those countries.” “[For] me, you can’t really blame them. People may think they are selfish. But when it’s your turn and your family, what would you do?” •

Students said despite being scared, they find hope in their families. Photo by Anna Shvets.



40 years of building relationships

Leaders and students reflect on experiences with China in light of Shanghai Temple announcement BY LEIANI BROWN Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, paused and, voice wavering, finished the list of new temple announcements in the April 2020 General Conference with, “Shanghai, People’s Republic of China.” “I actually wept,” said ‘Uncle’ John Muaina, a retired vice president of the Polynesian Cultural Center, whose professional career and life experiences are closely linked to mainland China. Muaina now helps out at the PCC as a senior Human Resources adviser. “When President Nelson became the president of the Church, I said to myself, ‘If anyone’s going to be the one to usher in work there in China, it would be fitting that President Nelson be the one.’” Muaina further explained not only President Nelson’s relationship, but also the Church’s relationship with mainland China goes back to the early days of BYUH and the PCC. Bobby Akoi, the BYUH chaplain and former director of protocol at the PCC, said his excitement of the announcement of the Shanghai Temple also came in context with the university and PCC’s background with 118 KE ALAK A ’I mainland China.

“I think I cried for 10 minutes. I really had a hard time trying to calm myself down because we’ve seen what the Church, PCC and BYUH have done for the past years to get the Church into China and to develop our relationship. “Of course, I was grateful. I was so excited for our Chinese saints there right now who have the opportunity now to seal their families together. Some of them already did because they went to Hong Kong, but now they can have their own temple. For me, that’s what this life is all about. It’s getting all of our saints to the temple.”

The Asian Executive Management Program Part of Muaina’s job involves running the Asian Executive Management Program (AEM), a program that started with six Chinese interns who came to BYUH and the PCC in September 1981. “What happens is we assign each of them to different departments at the Polynesian Cultural Center,” explained Muaina. “We have them also attend their classes just like any regular student, and most people wouldn’t have ever known that they were from mainland China.”

ChiTi Chen, a student of the AEM program from Fall 2019 to Winter 2020, said she believes the announcement of a temple in Shanghai shows the Church has built a good relationship with China. “The AEM program is already 35 years old, and I think it’s a very important bridge to that [relationship]. Sometimes it’s hard to build an official relationship with the government, but it’s easier by the people.” Chen said she believes it’s less of an official relationship between the Church and the Chinese government that has made the difference, and more so, the individual relationships among the Chinese people and Church members. Chen, who said she is “not a member yet,” but attended Church meetings with her friends while in Hawaii, added she is happy for the Chinese people to have a temple in Shanghai. “I know that it’s a little bit hard for the Chinese people that they cannot go to the temple. Not only the LDS Church but also for many other religions, they don’t have so many chances to reach out… I believe [a temple in Shanghai] is very big progress for both the Church and the Chinese government.”

The AEM program today usually consists of about four to five interns from China and one from Taiwan. Chen said she found out about the AEM program in her homeland of Taiwan through an organization called the Alliance Cultural Foundation selecting applicants to come and attend classes at BYUH without declaring a major, as well as get an inside look at the PCC as a business model. “I really like the people [at BYUH and PCC]. I met a lot of managers from PCC… and it inspires me how they treat their employees. The PCC says, ‘One Ohana, Sharing Aloha,’ and it’s not just a slogan. They really do it. I totally felt like I was a part of the ohana when I was at BYU–Hawaii, and it made me feel so good. I know I will go back to that ohana one day.” Chen was not the only one to receive a lasting impression from her time at BYUH and the PCC. One of the first original six Chinese interns,Yiannan Wang, made a statement after her time spent at BYUH and the PCC in 1981, which Muaina said AEM still uses in describing the program today: “I loved Brigham Young University–Hawaii because it changed not only my mind, but it changed my heart.”

A history of Chinese dignitaries and divine meetings According to Muaina,Yiannan Wang would later tell her father, a Chinese government official, to visit the PCC if he ever had the chance. A little over two years later, Vice Premier Zhao Ziyang visited BYUH and the PCC, which he chose as his one cultural event during his whole tour of the entire United States, Muaina said. Muaina, who remembered this historic visit, said Vice Premier Zhao Ziyang arrived by helicopter, landing in the middle of the flag circle on BYUH campus, and upon stepping out to greet the crowd, shouted, “Aloha!” His would be the first of many visits from Chinese government officials over the years, including Vice Premier Li Lanqiang in July of 1994. This particular visit was significant, explained Muaina, because of the interaction between the vice premier and President Nelson, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at that time. According to the Church’s website, President Nelson’s personal history with mainland China involved teaching at Shandong School of Medicine in Jinan, visiting two other Chinese universities and performing a

The Asian Executive Management Program graduates pose for a photo several years ago. Photo provided by John Muaina

life-saving operation on one of China’s famous opera stars in 1984. Muaina said he remembered sitting in the conference room as Vice Premier Li Lanqiang recognized Elder Nelson as the heart surgeon who taught at his alma mater. “And at that point, Li Lanqiang put his hand on the arm of Elder Nelson, and said to all those there, ‘We know Elder Nelson. Elder Nelson is Chinese.’” “For a person like myself,” continued Muaina, “and many who were there, we were just so amazed the Lord could bring this together, knowing that Li Lanqiang and Elder Nelson were at the same university… At least for me, it was such an amazing comment that the Lord is very meticulous about how he brings things together.” Josie Luo, a senior from Guangdong, China studying TESOL education, who heard President Nelson’s announcement of a temple in Shanghai roughly 25 years later, said what amazes her is God’s timing. “I didn’t think we would get a temple so soon. I knew there would be one in my lifetime because my patriarchal blessing indicates that. So I knew it would happen one day, but I didn’t think [it would be] that soon. “When I heard it, I was super overwhelmed because I feel like I’m not ready. A lot of people are not ready for such a big message, but I am amazed how God used imperfect and not humble people to accomplish His work.” Luo compared it to job searching and how certain qualifications must be met, but added that she felt God had qualified them for this blessing even when they did not feel ready. “Mostly, I just felt overwhelmed by His mercy.”

Relations between China and the Church Of the Vice Premier Zhao Ziyang’s visit to Hawaii, Akoi said, “That was really the start of the Chinese governmental leaders coming to PCC. Since 1984, every year, someone has come from China from the Chinese government. “Several years later, in 1996, President Hinckley knew that we had good relationships with the government… So he asked us to make the arrangements. The person that was in charge was our senior vice president, John Muaina, and he is like our Chinese ambassador for the PCC. Everybody in the government knows John because he goes [to China] all the time. So, John made all the arrangements.” On May 28, 1996, President Gordon B. Hinckley became the first president of the Church to visit mainland China, which he did after dedicating the new Hong Kong Temple, according to the Church Newsroom.

Graphic by Bruno Maynez NEW STUDENT ISSUE 119

Muaina, who was also present for this historic occasion, said he remembers thousands of people lining the streets to meet them in Shenzhen before they went to a Chinese cultural park and nearby university patterned after the PCC and BYUH. It was here that one of President Hinckley’s interpreters pointed out a slight mistake, said Muaina, in the signs that read in Chinese: “We welcome President Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Polynesian Cultural Center,” who chuckled and said, “Well, technically that’s right.” Following this historic meeting, Akoi said he was involved in the First Presidency of the Church hosting the Chinese World Religious Research Center, a group of eight board members who traveled around the world, learning about different religions. The First Presidency, Akoi explained, hosted them in five cities throughout the United States in 1998, with Hawaii being their final stop. In addition to receiving a VIP tour of the PCC, Akoi said the Chinese religious research group also attended Church youth and family programs, where they learned how to make candy leis for graduation and enjoyed looking at Scouting merit badges. Akoi said he spent the car ride to the airport at the end of this experience talking with Elder Jia, a Church general authority who managed the Church’s presence in Asia at the time. Knowing these were the people who had the power to open China to the Church and missionary work, Akoi asked Elder Jia what he thought would happen next. “He said it would take some time, maybe years for anything to happen as far as the Church getting into China. ‘But I don’t think the Church is ready,’ he said … ‘If the Church were approved to go into China now, we would need 300 mission presidents. That’s how many we have right now.’”

The Church in China today Despite the country still being closed to missionary work, according to the Church’s website, “many individuals from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while living in other countries.” Ramona Zhang, a senior from Nanjing, China, studying communications, is one such individual. Zhang shared how she found the Church through friends while living in Singapore and was excited to hear about the new Shanghai Temple because of how much closer it will be to her than the Hong Kong Temple. She explained there is a small congregation in her city of about five to 10 members who meet in a small apartment unit for church meetings. “The temple in Shanghai means our Church has had a great improvement in China, and hopefully, one day missionaries will come to mainland China to teach the gospel.” Muaina shared remembering a call he received from a Church general authority in March of 2003 with news that the Chinese government recognized the Church and would then allow the Church to organize in mainland China. Abby Cen, a junior from Guangdong, China studying TESOL, said she lives in a city that is closer to the Hong Kong Temple, but is still excited for the changes a temple in Shanghai will bring. Cen joined the Church when she was 11 years old, and she had to take a two-hour bus ride to church because, at the time, her congregation was tiny. “To be honest, being a member in Guangdong was hard for me. I was afraid to tell others that I am a member because of the government. Sometimes, some strangers will come to the church, and ask what we are doing.”

“Before I came to BYUH, the government stopped us from having meetings on Sunday. We don’t have a church like here in Hawaii. We only rent a small house and have a meeting on Sunday. It is becoming better now. We found another place to have church meetings, and I believe it will become better in the future. The new temple will be the sign of opening to our church.” President Nelson explained in his announcement that the Shanghai Temple would be open only to Chinese members. The prophet also reminded members the Church does not send missionaries there and encourages members to honor and obey the law. “Expatriate and Chinese congregations will continue to meet separately. The Church’s legal status there remains unchanged. In an initial phase of facility use, entry will be by appointment only. The Shanghai Temple will not be a temple for tourists from other countries.” • Additional information is available at china. churchofjesuschrist.org.

Chi Ti Chen said she believes it’s less of an official relationship between the Church and the Chinese government that has made the difference, and more so, the individual relationships among the Chinese people and Church members.

Graphic by Bruno Maynez

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Keeping those you love alive BYU–Hawaii service missionary describes life with immunosuppressed child during COVID-19 crisis BY JASON BLISS I will never forget the first time a physician told us our child might not make it through the night. It wouldn’t be the last time a healthcare expert told us that. Preston is the second oldest of our five children. When he was young, he was diagnosed with a kidney disorder that required ongoing treatments. His frail, little body would often balloon in unusual shapes as he retained fluid, and a common cold could send us racing to the hospital.

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Even at a young age, Preston surpassed most adults in his capacity to show empathy toward those struggling. 122 KE ALAK A ’I

With faith comes unexpected blessings As Preston grew older, we often found ourselves in the hospital as his body and mighty spirit worked together to battle his medical condition. He knew the hospital room with its never-ending noise better than his own comfortable bed. Track marks, telling signs of yet another hard-fought battle, covered his arms from the regular IVs and blood draws. Even at a young age, Preston surpassed most adults in his capacity to show empathy toward those struggling. During his extended-stay visit, patients in his unit were discharged home. Preston could hear them excitedly packing up their items on the opposite side of the thin, blue hospital curtain dividing our cramped living space. The first few children to leave brought hope Preston would follow soon, but he didn’t. A day stretched into a week, and he sunk into a deep sadness. When Preston watched another roommate celebrate their departure, he eventually turned to me, with tears flooding his eyes, and said, “Daddy, can I please go home? Please, Daddy, let’s just go home. Please?” I held my son that day for what felt like hours and let the comfort of my arms provide the love my words couldn’t. His face, once so

optimistic, lost faith, and he no longer showed interest when the nurse entered the room to update us. We didn’t go home then, but eventually he improved enough to joyfully plan his return to our family. With obedience comes sacrifice Preston was determined to prove the doctors wrong about his limitations. As a family, we knew we needed to make lifestyle changes to protect him. These changes came with some sacrifices, as we were relatively healthy and comfortably social. We have friends. We are actively involved in our faith. We enjoy traveling. At the time, we even had plans to start our own company. However, in an effort to remain in control of our responsibilities and involved in our communities, we all make poor choices, especially when faced with a contagious illness. How many times have we found ourselves sick at church, work, a restaurant or on a flight for a much-needed vacation? How often did we send our children to school ill because keeping them home would disrupt our schedules? As a former executive in the healthcare field, I was charged with caring for the aging population in skilled nursing facilities and continuing care retirement communities. Eventually, I co-founded a large postacute, in-home medical company, providing home health, hospice, and private duty services in various states. Some of my friends and colleagues in the healthcare industry believe restrictions from the government in response to the novel coronavirus are an over-exaggeration of what is needed, pointing to other diseases that kill a proportionately higher number of patients. Others argue they don’t go far enough, and they feel frustrated at the lack of compliance they see or read about via media outlets.

Most agree our healthcare system is overwhelmed by COVID-19 and needs support. As we face a contagious disease of global proportions, the potential, lifealtering risks seem almost too great to fully comprehend. I understand. No one really wants to go into quarantine. Our family’s options were always limited, as our life revolved around a deep understanding of what it means to have an immunosuppressed child. With unselfish love comes reward This isn’t the first time our family had to self-isolate and practice social distancing. Spending five months with limited contact outside of our home was the longest stretch. It was so long, in fact, that our children named our property “the compound,” although that’s not really something you brag about to anyone outside of your family or close friends. We weren’t doomsday preppers. Instead, our focus was on the health of our family. And if that meant eating basic food from our storage or going without modern conveniences, we’d do it. It’s hard to change our habits or behavior unless we are compelled to do so. As we learned this, we realized we couldn’t force others to adopt the same vigilant practices we had implemented when they had no reference point. Preston was preparing for his mission leading up to the changes COVID-19 introduced. He knew immediately this would impact missionaries and likely stall the remaining requirements necessary for his pending missionary application.

It’s hard to change our habits or behavior unless we are compelled to do so. As we learned this, we realized we couldn’t force others to adopt the same vigilant practices we had implemented when they had no reference point. This is not the first time the Bliss siblings have had to self isolate. Above, they demonstrate the NEW STUDENT some ISSUEof 123 activties they do when they quarantine. Photos provided by Jason Bliss

Preston Bliss was in and out of the hospital as he battled his medical condition. Photos provided by Jason Bliss

On day two of the state’s mandate to stay home, Preston approached his mom with the same look I remember from the hospital many years ago. “Mom,” he asked. “Can I die from this?” “No. Well, yes,” she stammered. “But we need to keep you healthy and positive. We’ve had a lot of practice with this, and we’ll be okay.” Is there really any other answer? I firmly believe that optimism overpowers realism. With courage comes growth In our home, we stand by the idea that positive affirmations can heal our minds and spirits first, with our bodies following. We also believe in times of crisis, good distractions and service prevail. And so, we did just that. We’ve spent our days giving back. We set up contests for family members and friends: Make a fort and win a prize. Sing a song or perform an original skit. Our phones have become tools for expressing love with regular texts and FaceTime with those who are alone. Our social media accounts are blanketed with hope and positivity to counter the dismal daily updates of those affected around the globe. Where appropriate, we have

In an effort to give back, Jason Bliss said they held contests for family and friends such as blanket fort making and performing original skits. Graphic based on a photo by thelittlesandme.com 124 KE ALAK A ’I

sent cash to help those in need or been a sounding board for jobless individuals trying to find employment. Board games, long buried, have resurfaced. Neglected projects are completed. Home schooling and telephonic music lessons with their instructors continue, as do in-home exercise programs. Days feel longer, and there are plenty of stir-crazed moments where you need time to regroup and laugh at the neverending GIFs showing working parents forced to be home. With optimism comes change Ultimately, we discovered we can create a positive difference in our home by how we respond to a profound life event we will always remember but can’t control. When our children look back on 2020 and the COVID-19 impact, how will they remember it? How will you remember it? Recently, our 10-year-old daughter overheard us discussing this topic and submitted a hand-written essay she prepared. A few of her comments illustrate how siblings of an immunosuppressed child see this pandemic: “I don’t want to catch the virus. I don't want to give it to others, especially my family. My brother Preston can’t get sick. He could die if he did. “We can’t go places anymore. Some families don't have a lot of food or money. We can’t get a lot of toilet paper. Now that’s a crappy problem. “If I had a magic wand, I would kill the virus and heal those who have it. The virus has got to go!” When I shared a portion of her thoughts to a larger audience via social media, the feedback was resoundingly positive: “How wonderful! She is what we need more of in the world.” Someone

else said, “Her example is a big part of the cure – mutual mindfulness.” With this understanding, think about someone you love more than anything else in this world. Visualize them holding your hand, giving you a hug, saying something encouraging or silly and listening to you in time of need. It is likely we all have that image in our minds from the past or present. Now ask yourself, “Would you do anything to keep that person you love alive?” It is times like this that our family expresses appreciation to all of you who willingly do your part to keep our son, your loved ones, and the loved ones of others, healthy. It begins by realizing we are interconnected and have the ability to overcome even the worst events in history, even if we don’t understand it. •

In our home, we stand by the idea that positive affirmations can heal our minds and spirits first, with our bodies following. We also believe in times of crisis, good distractions and service prevail.

The Bliss Family spending time together on the beach. Photos provided by Jason Bliss Graphic: Jason Bliss said phones allowed people to reach out to friends and family around the world. NEW STUDENT ISSUE 125 Graphics by Esther Insigne

Professor teams with nephew to teach Samoan language to local kids BY LEIANI BROWN It’s Saturday afternoon. Ceiling fans gently spin above about 100 children seated cross-legged on the La’ie Elementary Cafeteria floor. All heads face a single figure sitting just above them on the faded green steps, smiling as she softly prompts them to repeat after her. “‘Savalivali’ means go for a walk,” the children repeat in sing-song chant, squirming in their lavalavas and black t-shirts that display the name of their group, “Tava’esina.” Tava’esina is a Samoan bird, explained Tofamamao “Semi” Taulogo, the group’s creator, who said he chose the name because of the accompanying Samoan proverb. “E mamae le tava’e i ona fulu. It means the tava’e bird is proud of its feathers,” said Taulogo. “As Samoans, this is how we show our pride in our culture.” The birth of Tava’esina The woman teaching is Taulogo’s aunt, Rowena Reid, assistant professor in the Center for Learning & Teaching, Distance Learning, Faculty of Sciences and Faculty of Culture, Language & Performing Arts. She has taught Samoan at BYU–Hawaii for more than 20 years. “I’ve had a lot of requests from the community to teach Samoan for adults,” said Reid, who explained she could never find the time, despite a few tries here and there over the years. After attending her grandchildren’s Polynesian dance recital, Reid said her passion for perpetuating Samoan language and culture was renewed. “I thought, ‘What about Samoans? Come on.You’ve got to teach your own, your own language, your own dances.’” Reid said she knew her nephew already wanted to teach dances, so the two of them combined forces and created Tava’esina, a La‘ie-based group for children and youth ages to learn Samoan language, dance and culture. They began by creating a website, tavaesina.com, to see if there was an interest, 126 KE ALAK A ’I

explained Reid, who said she was floored by the number of people wanting to sign up. “We were worried because there are a lot of kids, but the kids are so busy.You know you’ve got school. Then, you’ve got games Saturday mornings, and now you’re going to ask them to come again at 1? And I thought, ‘Well, we’ll just wait and see,’” said Reid. Taulogo, the driving force behind Tava’esina, described how the idea first came into his mind and the vision he has for its future.

“I see this going on for a while. I see it building people and bringing everybody together, not only in culture but through the Lord and the gospel.” - Tofamamao Taulogo “It’s small right now, just one hour. But I know it will grow.” He also explained how the gospel played a considerable role in the inspiration behind Tava‘esina. Taulogo shared he wondered for years what he was supposed to do with his life, and when he started coming back to church and “striving to do the little things,” ideas formed in his head. “I see this going on for a while. I see it building people and bringing everybody together, not only in culture but through the Lord and the gospel.” “Everyone will probably see it as just a little dance group. If we do this how we’re supposed to and build it to where everyone is sharing their and talents with each other, then that will be wonderful.” A platform for families Taulogo explained his vision is for people from all over the community to share their knowledge and talents for everyone to benefit. “I’m just one person, but there are so many people in our community who teach and who don’t really have a platform, a place to

share themselves,” said Taulogo. Most of the children who attend are La’ie and Kahuku-based families with Samoan heritage. However, Taulogo said he was delighted a couple of women from Honolulu and Kaneohe also brought their children, adding all are welcome. Although the group has officially only met a few times so far, Reid shared how parents have already volunteered to help out, with one father stepping up to assist in teaching Samoan language to the youth. “I do notice some parents do strive to teach their kids,” said Taulogo. “But at the same time, I know sometimes they are just busy, and they don’t really have time to teach these kids. So, this is just to help bring everybody out and actually set a time slot aside to teach them.” Joy Dela Cruz drives from Kahuku to bring her six-year-old granddaughter, who is half Samoan and half Filipino-Caucasian, to Tava’esina every Saturday. “I love that she’s getting the exposure to that side of her culture,” said Dela Cruz. “She does get exposure, but this is more intentional teaching, as opposed to when [she’s] with [her] cousins [and] may not be as tuned in. But I think here she understands it’s a class, so her attentiveness to it is more than it might be in just a family setting.” Reid explained she received many phone calls from parents after the group’s initial opening social, expressing their gratitude and saying they have meant to teach their kids Samoan for years. Reid added her personal experience. Despite teaching Samoan on campus for more than 20 years, her children struggle to speak the language fully and have recently asked her to teach Samoan to her grandchildren. “For us coming from the islands for the first time in the mainland, you teach your kids English because that’s the language of the world,” explained Reid.

Rowena Reid shared parents have volunteered to help teach Samoan to the youth. Photo by Chad Hsieh. NEW STUDENT ISSUE 127

“You have to learn English to communicate in business and school. So, you just speak English, and then you speak Samoan to whoever can understand you, like your mom or your sister. Then, you turn around and realize your kids don’t know Samoan. It’s kind of sad.” A language of dance Reid shared how Tava’esina uses dance to show a love of learning Samoan language and culture. “It was never a written language.You just learn through singing. That’s how we tell our stories. We don’t write it. We sing it,” said Reid, who explained how she plans to teach the children the words, pronunciation and meaning behind any song Taulogo decides to incorporate in their dances. Dela Cruz said she believes groups like Tava’esina are crucial. “I’m a teacher myself, so I know the importance to me of perpetuating culture with my students. I think it’s equally important to me for my granddaughter to identify with the language, practices and food–every part of it.” She added her granddaughter loves it and looks forward to it every week because of the dancing and how Taulogo makes it fun for the kids. “Parents say, ‘Oh my child’s not a dancer,’” said Taulogo. “[But] everybody’s learning. I’m still learning. The teachers are still learning. Everybody’s learning at one time… just come.” Due to coronavirus concerns, all Tave’esina activities have been canceled at this time. Check with the website tavaesina.com for contact information. •

Although the group has officially only met a few times so far, Reid shared how parents have already volunteered to help out, with one father stepping up to assist in teaching Samoan language to the youth. Taulogo letting their students apply what they have learned from the class through songs and dances. Photos by Chad Hsieh. 128 KE ALAK A ’I


PLOGGING IN LAIE John and Rhonda Bell care for the environment by picking up trash wherever they go BY SERENA DUGAR IOANE Each morning for the last four years, John and Rhonda Bell have gone plogging, which is jogging through Laie, picking up trash they see along the way. They shared a desire to plog wherever they live. Inspired by the Bells’ love for the land, others have started to pick up trash as well. Love the land The Bells said four years ago they started walking to the bike trail every morning. Rhonda Bell said, “It is such a beautiful walk, but there were ugly [pieces of] trash, so we decided to pick them up.” First, they started picking up only big pieces of trash, and then they started to bring their own trash bags to pick up everything they saw, the Bells said. They walk from their home to the end of the bike path. The Bells said every morning they collect three to four bags, which is approximately three to four pounds of trash every day. Every year, they collect about 1,000 pounds of trash. They also separate them into recyclable and not recyclable and put the recyclable ones to their recycling trash bins. John Bell said it is hard for them to pass by litter without picking it up. The Bells said they noticed there was always more trash on the days the garbage truck picked up trash and windy days. They shared they think beaches collect ocean garbage, and the wind brings it to the bike path. 130 KE ALAK A ’I

Plogging soon became part of their morning routine. They do it every day, including holidays and Sundays. They said they only skip if they have other plans, such as travel or when they scuba dive in the morning. John Tanner, the President of BYUH, said God gave Adam and Eve a beautiful garden and commanded them to take care of it. “I don’t think that commandment has ever been rescinded. Today we live in a beautiful paradise, and we should take care of it and leave it cleaner and more beautiful.

“John and Rhonda are setting wonderful examples for every one of us. We should all stop and stoop and pick up trash and leave the world better than we found it." -Pres. John Tanner

“John and Rhonda are setting wonderful examples for every one of us. We should all stop and stoop and pick up trash and leave the world better than we found it. It disturbs me to see people throw away trash on our beautiful campus, so I pick up trash if I see it.”

Inspiring others Steven Tueller, vice president of administration at BYUH, said, “I always admire their plogging. They wanted to make Laie a better place and multitask while exercising. They have picked up so much trash for years and make our environment beautiful for us. “Even though I do not walk in the mornings, John and Rhonda inspire me to pick up trash as I notice it walking on campus and in the community.” John Bell said three to four people in the community have started plogging in the mornings since they started. He also shared one lady gave them a trash bag handles and a waste grabber as Christmas gifts. The Bells said those gifts help their plogging a lot. Rhonda Bell said sometimes she met people who already knew them from their early morning plogging. John Bell said a lot of people express their appreciation for them and honk their horns when they drive by. The Bells said when their children were young, they used to do trash cleaning service projects for their family home evening. This is to train their children to throw away garbage in trash cans. “Keeping the environment clean is everyone’s responsibility and effort,” explained Rhonda Bell. The Bells said when they were in Honduras, they cleaned the beach for a week, but just after a week trash came back because of the

Graphics by Bruno Maynez

tide. Rhonda Bell said, “We think Laie is a beautiful place, and we want it to be clean. Picking up trash doesn’t take much effort. It is an easy and beneficial act of kindness. If everyone does their part, it will make a big difference.” The Bells also volunteer for justserve. org, the service project website created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They volunteer for beach cleaning and other charity projects. More about the Bells Tueller shared, “I admire John so much because he is a renaissance man. He has so many interests and is so good at many different things. For example, he is a scientist and knows a lot about science and how the world works. He is also a musician. He plays bassoon, piano, and organ, and he led the choir and wrote a musical. “He also loves animals and potty trained an iguana. He takes care of birds outside of his office. He scuba dives and collects seashells. He spends his time very well developing himself to be better every day. He is so smart and has great judgment. I learned a lot from working alongside him.” The Bells have three sons and three grandsons. After their retirement, they are planning to move back to Utah to be close to their family. They are also planning to continue their morning plogging routine and clean wher-

Plogging is now the Bells' constant morning routine. Photo by Keyu Xiao

ever they live. The Bells shared their plogging helps them to improve their health, strengthen their marriage, and clean the environment. Rhonda Bell’s hobby is to crochet, knit, and do family history. She is a volunteer worker at the BYUH sewing center and a family history consultant of Laie Hawaii Stake. •

The Bells shared they collect up to four bags of trash every day when they go plogging. Photo by Keyu Xiao



Share your

Kekela “Aunty Kela” Miller recalls hula journey from performing at PCC to opening hālau BY HAILEY HUHANE Known around Laie as “Aunty Kela,” Kekela Miller has been dancing hula since she could walk. She looked back on her time performing in the first cast at the Polynesian Cultural Center, as well as her years competing in hula competitions and starting her own hula hālau. Members of the Laie community say, “If you play the music, Aunty Kela will come.” Miller admitted she is usually one of the first ones at the front dancing her hula at community events. She described how at a young age her mother told her, “When you hear good Hawaiian music, don’t waste it.” Miller shared, “The music is so sweet and so beautiful that you

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have to go and portray that. Go up and share your aloha.” Miller shared how, “Growing up in Laie allowed us many wonderful opportunities to dance.” Her earliest memories of performing was in 1940 when the chapel of the local congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints burned down in a tragic fire. She explained, “Because of the chapel burning down, they created what was called the Hukilau, and it was to raise enough money to build another chapel.” At age four, Miller performed at the historic Hukilau, which became a recurring luau feast where the people of Laie shared food, music and dance in hopes of raising funds to rebuild the chapel. Miller said, “Hula is a big part of Laie.” She remembered growing up and learning to dance from influential leaders and kupuna in the community. Her great grandmother, Tutu Luika Pele Kaio, was also an influential figure within the rich history of hula in Laie. Miller shared, “My great grandmother was one of the first to ever receive compensation for teaching hula.  People would bring her fish in exchange for her hula lessons.”  As a young girl, Miller trained in her family’s hula hālau, learning from her mother. She said, “In my early years I learned to listen. We weren’t allowed to ask

questions. But, I learned a lot from sitting and watching. I learned to be respectful. I learned to respect their knowledge, respect them when they spoke, respect their love for the Church and respect their love for their culture.” She said learning from her mother “made me realize that I was born to learn the hula. At the time, I never realized what was to be done in my future. That I would someday become a ‘kumu hula,’ a teacher.” When Miller was 19 years old, she became a dancer in the first cast at the Polynesian Cultural Center. She shared, “I remember dancing on the highway when the center first opened. We would go out there and dance hoping that the buses would stop and go in. It was fun. We had no idea we were getting paid.”   Working at the PCC grounded her as a dancer. “We learned to be more refined in our movements and to be more culturally correct.” Not only did she continue learning hula, but she also learned other Polynesian cultural dances, such as Maori, Tahitian, Samoan and Fijian. She explained, “All of the instructors we had were wonderful and real, and they knew their stuff.  We were fortunate to learn from such great leaders who taught us so well that we are now able to teach. Because of them, we know how the Maori hands are supposed to look. We know how to ‘pukana.’ We know the difference between Tahitian and Cook Islands drumming.”

Aunty Kela’s granddaughter said she learned from her grandmother to always love others like you love yourself. Miller smiles while performing. She said she performs for anyone who needs her service. Photo by --

Miller said when the idea for the PCC was born, those in the tourism industry laughed. She said, “Everybody said, ‘Who is going to come all the way out here to see people dance?’ But, they did come.”  Miller expressed gratitude to those who had insight to know the PCC was necessary and would have a tremendous impact on the community.  “They knew they needed something for the people that were to go to the church college.  They needed to help find the students a place to work. And I tell you, what a blessing it is today.”   The PCC had a lasting impact on Miller. She asserted, “I will always be there for the PCC. I will always be there to help because they have given me a lot.” Miller said she was fortunate to live among the kupuna who made a difference in the community of Laie. Inspired by their example, Miller started her own hula halau. At the age of 22, Miller began teaching. “I began teaching the May Day queens from Kahuku High School who didn’t know how to dance.” Miller wondered why these young girls were not learning

hula and realized there was not a place where people could learn hula without having to pay. She said, “Ever since then, I opened up my halau to everyone.  People need a place to come and learn, and so I don’t charge.” Miller’s hālau, Hālau Hula ‘O Kekela, was given its name by Cy Bridges, her former kumu hula known internationally as a Hawaiian cultural expert. Her halau has consisted of dancers ranging from age five to 90.  Her class practices hula at the local Courtyard Marriott every week. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, she planned to still teach through weekly Facebook meetings.  She said, “I’m going to start teaching hula on Facebook weekly from 9-10 until this is all over so not only my hālau can learn, but people from all over the world can learn too.” Miller said over the years her halau has become a group providing service to the communities of Koolauloa. From the beginning she said, “We are going to participate and go into the community. We’re going to go to funerals. We’re going to give our time to the Church, and when people need us

years, they have been invited to Tahiti, New Zealand and Rapanui to participate in the Taputapuatea Festival. In 2015, they began traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada to participate in the Kumukahi Ukulele and Hula festival where they placed first in the kupuna division in 2015 and first in the kupuna soloist division in 2019. With all of her success and achievements, she said her love for the Hawaiian culture is what drives her. “The reason we go is not to compete but to share. I teach what I know, and I teach from the heart. I tell my haumana (students) to dance from the heart, and that’s all I can expect of them.”   Miller’s granddaughter, Manaia Afalava, said most of her memories with her grandma involve hula. She acknowledged how fortunate she was to have Miller as her grandmother. Afalava said, “Not many grandkids have their grandmother as their kumu hula.”  Looking back at all she’s learned from her grandma, Afalava said, “She taught me to always love people no matter what. She always said to love others like you love yourself. That has stuck with me for a long time.”

“When you hear good Hawaiian music, don’t waste it. Go up and share your aloha.” to come and serve, we are there.” Throughout the years, Miller’s hālau has traveled the world for performances and competitions. For the last six

Photo by Mike Foley.

Amelia Faleta, a Laie local, said, “My memories of Aunty Kela are always seeing her serving our community and performing with her halau. I always see her dancing and singing everywhere.” •


Serving our ohana The Sustainability Center starts new projects aimed to serve the community during COVID-19 BY SERENA DUGAR IOANE

134 KE ALAK A ’I Besides bread, the Sustainability Center also provides fresh produce and eggs to students. Photos by Keyu Xiao

Graphics by Hannah Manalang

During the COVID-19 quarantine, the BYU– Hawaii Sustainability Center conducted projects to benefit the BYUH ohana, including creating sanitizers, giving away food and travel commodities and supplying materials to make face masks. The Sustainable World Action & Technology Team (SWATT) changed its name to the Sustainability Center two months ago per the Communications Department’s request, said Leslie Harper, the center’s manager. Harper said the Sustainability Center’s team wants to show care and interest in the BYUH community through projects during the quarantine, which is why team members give away freshly-baked loaves of bread each Sunday. Students can volunteer to help make the bread. Bayarjargal Davaakhuu, a junior from Mongolia majoring in information technology, shared how he has been served by the Sustainability Center. “The Sustainability Center proved they are always there to help us no matter what happens. I was amazed by how they are using their resources to serve the community, being inventive and solving problems. I love their fresh, warm bread, and [we] use it to do our sacrament every Sunday.” Sustainability Center employee Tomoyuki Akiyama, a senior from Japan majoring in marketing, said he works at the center’s bike shop where he fixed 10 bikes during quarantine. He added the bike shop is working by appointment for the students who need help with their bikes. The Sustainability Center also helped students who left the island with suitcases from Give and Take, Harper said.

Since the center has a considerable amount of canned foods and over-the-counter medicines for students who need it – donated by students who left the island – any students and faculty who need these items can contact the center. “Being prepared for unexpected situations can decrease the fear and panic,” Harper explained. He added raised planting beds in the garden are available for students who are interested in learning farming. Creating hand sanitizer The BYUH Emergency Action Committee (EAC) recognized the BYUH supply of hand sanitizers was running low, said Harper, so it asked the Sustainability Center to make hand sanitizers from scratch. Harper shared his team, working with Daniel M. Scott, an associate professor in the Faculty of Sciences, created a sanitizer formula. They made almost 200 bottles of sanitizer and gave it to the university’s Campus Distribution Center to give to departments who needed it. Harper said they bought the materials needed, such as alcohol, aloe vera, bottles and so on. The labels were made at BYUH Print Services, he added. He said they also used materials from the Give and Take to make face masks for Facility Management’s Safety Department. Other projects Sustainability Center employee Munkhzul Galbadrakh, a junior from Mongolia majoring in hospitality and tourism management, said the center has more than 80 chickens, and 20 of

them lay eggs. They get 20-to-30 eggs each day and give them away to students who come to the farm. Since the Polynesian Cultural Center is closed, Galbrakakh said they are struggling to provide food for their chickens. Before, the center used to feed chickens with food waste from the PCC, she said. Now, they are asking the BYUH ohana to donate their food waste for the chickens. Galbadrakh said, “We built two chicken coops during this quarantine and are trying our best to create a comfortable environment for our chickens. However, we need others’ help to sustain our chickens during this hard time.” The Sustainability Center also gives away bananas and other fresh produce. Harper said they harvest bananas frequently from their Temple View Learning Garden and put their bananas in several locations of TVA to distribute to students. “We post about it on social media, and students can come and get them.” Galbadrakh shared how she is learning useful skills from her student job at the center that have helped her, and she has seen the importance of self-sustainability during this pandemic. Nunia Ranama Ucunibaravi, a sophomore from Fiji and one of the employees of the center, said she usually works on hydroponic gardening and grows fresh produce, such as cabbage, lettuce and more. She said she has donated produce to single students by contacting their club presidents. Ucunibaravi added the skills she is learning from the center will benefit her for the rest of her life. •

NEW STUDENT ISSUE 135 The Sustainability Center made face masks and almost 20 0 bottles of sanitizer and they were distributed to departments on campus. Photos by Keyu Xiao

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A century of aloha 140 Effective scripture study blesses students lives 142 Storytelling through art 144 A temple of love 146 Lighting the path 148 Making time for the temple 150 David O. McKay mural 152 COVID-19 pandemic cancels church meetings 154 Bringing scriptures to life 156 Experiencing an unforgettable conference 158

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‘A Century of Aloha’ Author and Associate Professor Eric-Jon Marlowe shares insights about his new book, commemorating a century of the Laie Hawaii Temple BY ELIJAH HADLEY

Deseret Book published “The Laie Hawaii Temple: A Century of Aloha,” and it is written by Eric-Jon Keawe Marlowe, an associate professor of Religion at BYU–Hawaii. The book is on sale at the BYUH Bookstore. Marlowe said he spent three years researching, writing, and editing the history of the Laie Temple’s first century. On the book’s back cover, an introduction reads, “Built amid sugarcane fields on the island of Oahu and dedicated in 1919, the Laie Hawaii Temple was at the forefront of a Churchwide shift away from gathering to the Intermountain West. This temple was among the first brought to the people, and for decades it stood as the closest temple geographically to half the planet.” The book is a historical narrative that takes the reader to the arrival of the Church in Hawaii in 1850 during the Kamehameha Dynasty and on to the decision to build a temple in 1915. According to Marlowe, “The book … describes in detail the temple’s construction to dedication, and thereafter, takes the reader on a decade-by-decade odyssey of the temple’s history up to the present day.”

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Born in Hawaii, Marlowe said his research in Pacific Church history has taken him across Polynesia and into Micronesia. He is also a board member and former president of the Mormon Pacific Historical Society. Marlowe has been teaching at BYUH for nine years. Considering the book a stroke of good luck rather than inspiration, Marlowe said, the Hawaii Area Church Historian reached out to him to write the story. “I jumped at the opportunity—no inspiration needed. To this day, I consider the chance I’ve had to write the official temple history one of the great opportunities of my career. If you love researching Pacific Church History like I do, then it’s hard to imagine a better topic than the Pacific’s first temple.” Upon fulfilling existing obligations, Marlowe began researching for his book from December 2016 to January 2017. In late September 2018, he turned in a completed manuscript to his publishers. According to Marlowe, “I researched [and] synthesized thousands of documents and wrote the book.Yet it needs be clear that this project was supported by many people—the list of

acknowledgments in the book is extensive. A team lead by Clinton D. Christensen in the Church History Library [CHL] in Salt Lake City made an extensive review of documents in their archives, conducted numerous interviews, and provided many hours of support to this book. “Missionaries Dale and Linda Robertson spent countless hours scouring sources at the BYUH Library Archives. Professor Alohalani Housman helped with the Hawaiian diacritics, student intern Camron Stockford assisted in the research, and the list goes on and on.” When writing history, Marlowe cautioned, “Keep in mind you are writing about real people. Honor them whenever possible. History is often a tapestry of individual lives, not the feats of a few individuals. “This elongated narrative can be bumpy and suffer setback, yet miraculously, individuals and groups persevere, thus allowing the Lord to work wonders. In this real, and sometimes raw and unadorned extended narrative, I see the foundation laid upon which future generations stand. This kind of history moves me.” A former student of Marlowe’s Church history in the Pacific class, Jensen Dye, a junior

Graphic by Lynne Hardy

from Utah majoring in Hawaiian studies, said, “It’s important that the history of the temple is recorded. They reflect not only the spirit and the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but also reflect the faithfulness of the members of the Church who reside in those areas. “And in particular with the Laie Hawaii Temple, it is one of the only times I have seen tour groups from other countries such as China, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Samoa, and other countries visit besides Salt Lake back at home.” Pioneering temple In an excerpt from the book, Marlowe wrote, “For a century the Laie Hawaii Temple has endured the unevenness of history. Built at a time of local prosperity, it persevered for years in poverty. The temple directly experienced periods of fear and uncertainty during world war, yet it has also enjoyed rich freedom. It stood alone for decades as the nearest temple to a majority of the world’s population, and though its boundaries now cover only a fraction of what it once did, the temple continues to draw people from across the globe.

“Yet, it is this temple’s interwoven human story of faith and sacrifice that can invoke in us a deeper appreciation for temple worship and bolster our own faith and inspire us. And this is the ultimate hope in telling the story of the Laie Hawaii Temple.” Marlowe shared facts about the temple, but more can be found in his book. The Laie Hawaii Temple is the fifth latter-day temple to reach one hundred years of operation, and comparable to its pioneer predecessors, it was largely built by local members who consecrated their skill, time, and means to its construction Yet, the Laie Hawaii Temple is a pioneer in its own right: It was the first temple dedicated in an effort to bring temples to people beyond the main body of the Church in Utah, and it was the first temple to reach and accommodate significant numbers of diverse cultures and languages. Over the past century, likely more people have been introduced to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on the Laie Hawaii Temple grounds than at any other Church site except Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

In the next 100 years of both the temple and the Laie community as a whole, Marlowe said, “The first paragraph of the next hundred years will be written by us. What will we do with the blessing of a temple in our midst? I hope the opening paragraph to the book about the temple’s next hundred years includes our renewed commitment to frequent and sustained work within its walls. “The ultimate purpose and power of the Laie Hawaii Temple is not found in its history, its outward beauty, or on its grounds, but rather can be discovered only by those who worthily spend time within its walls.” According to Marlowe, in temples the story of life is simplified for the understanding of men. “Arguably nowhere is the Plan of Salvation—God’s design to help us grow, learn, and experience joy—taught in a more chronologically comprehensive manner than in the temple. In the temple, the plan is nearly complete in its linear portrayal of who we are, the purpose of this life, our endless nature, the centrality of family, and our eternal potential.” • Above left: The cover of the new book about the 10 0-year history of the Laie Hawaii Temple. Right: Eric-Jon Marlowe speaks about the temple at a luncheon in April. Photo by Ho Yin Li NEW STUDENT ISSUE


Graphic by Kimo Burgess

Effective scripture study blesses students lives Students say it helps them stay on the covenant path by feeling the spirit of peace and increasing their testimonies of Christ


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Feeling the spirit more in their lives, helping them not only spiritually but in all aspects of their lives, are reasons why BYU–Hawaii students said study the scriptures. Mahonri Eteru, a senior from Australia majoring in communications and psychology, said, “The most important thing is inviting the Spirit into your study sessions […] the Spirit will guide you toward what you need to study.” Studying and pondering the scriptures is a personal choice students said they make because they want to know more about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and learning how to do it more effectively is something they strive to do as well. Studying provides spiritual strength Eteru said, “I study the scriptures because it gives me full confidence in my success. I know that if I put the Lord first, I will be successful no matter what. [He] will lead me to where I need to be, and I can help others if I am in the right place.” Studying the scriptures, he said, has helped him spiritually. “It helps me strengthen my testimony in Jesus Christ and is the most important thing. And if there is anything that we need to learn [about] the gospel, it’s about our Savior Jesus Christ.” Zeph Mckee, a senior from California majoring in political science, shared why he focuses on scripture study. “I feel like it [the scriptures] is a constant in my life that I need. If I don’t have constant instructions, spiritual nourishment, then I feel like something is off, which is why I feel like I always have to study.

Stop procrastination and distractions Gideon Nabuti, a sophomore from Kiribati majoring in both political science and secondary education, said, “There are times that we get so busy with all of our school stuff, assignments and all that, but the main important thing is we always keep in mind the importance of scripture study. “I noticed that when I have been doing scripture study, I am more focused and do better on my studies.” Mckee said when he has a specific question, the scriptures will provide him an answer. “Other times the scriptures give me peace. I feel peace when I am reading, and I kind of feel like I can have a vision of what is going to happen in the future. And I feel that everything is going to be okay because I am somebody who stresses about the future.” He added the gospel brings the feeling of peace – a form of healing. Scripture study can be more than just a commandment, Mckee said, but a medicine that can help someone go through life’s challenges.

Graphics by Brad Carbine

“And that’s what motivates us a lot to overcome or prevent procrastination is the clear knowledge that scripture really helps us ease on things.” According to Gideon, midterms and projects can hinder one’s opportunity to study the scriptures. "It can be hard to prioritize what is important in life. Homework and assignments, working at your job, applying for scholarships can become burdensome when trying to put the Lord as a top priority." Eteru shared his method of overcoming procrastination and how to focus on studying the scriptures. He said, “I set a specific time. My goal is to have an hour every day dedicated to personal study. I can study a variety of things, but as long as I set an hour a day, that is my goal.” Paper versus electronic Eteru said he prefers to study from a paper copy of the scriptures. He said, “There’s too much distraction on the phone. Like you could be reading the scriptures, and all of a sudden, you get three notifications of people wanting to talk to you.” Kristian Aloja, a junior from the Philippines majoring in psychology and social work, said he prefers a hard copy. “A hard copy helps me study because on the electronic [version], you might go to social media.” Thomas Robertson, a junior from Nevada majoring in biology, said, “I prefer a paper copy because I get distracted by other apps. Using the paper copy helps me focus. I like to NEW• STUDENT ISSUE 143 underline with red pen.”

Graphic by Brooklyn Redd

Storytelling through art Community members explain how carvings, reliefs and sculptures at the Laie Hawaii Temple serve to tell history and stories BY MICHAEL KRAFT The Laie Hawaii Temple includes several pieces of art from the friezes near the top of the temple to the sculptures around it, members of the Laie community said this art tells a story. Kap Te’o Tafiti, a carver, sculptor, performer and senior cultural ambassador at the Polynesian Cultural Center, said all the art he creates has a purpose. He said in regards to art, its purpose is to tell a story. Tafiti said, “Carvings and art are a form of language. They are a way of recording language and events.” For example, he said the Laie Hawaii Temple features high-relief sculptures. According to Tafiti, high-relief sculpting is a form of sculpting featuring figures appearing to stand out further from the background. The Laie Hawaii Temple features four friezes,

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which are horizontal panels used for decorating according to Britannica, wrapping around the temple near the top. Each scene shows different scriptural periods. The north side shows the story of the Book of Mormon. The west side shows the people of the Old Testament, while the southern face shows New Testament stories. The east side shows the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith. Additionally, Tafiti said carving and art are important in Polynesian culture because it is a way to is a way to share history. He explained as Polynesian cultures from various islands came together through marriages and trade, the art from these islands also changed. Tafiti said, “Carvings, tattoos and tapa cloth are all tied together. All the art is

intertwined and has evolved over time.” Another carver and artist, Samuel Mangakahia, a senior from Australia majoring in graphic design, echoed Tafiti’s thoughts on the significance of carving and art in Polynesian culture. Mangakahia said his art helps him to stay connected to his ancestors and roots. “When you carve, you tell a narrative with symbols. [The symbols] are pretty ancient, and the fun part is taking them and making it your own.” He said using the symbols and designs in his own way to tell a narrative helps keep his art fresh. Mangakahia said similarly, all of the temple’s art and sculptures tell a story. Every time he carves, he said he also tells a story. He said whether it be his own or someone else’s

work, “Everyone’s story deserves to be told. Wisdom and life comes from stories.” Freelance writer and digital media specialist based in Laie, Mike Foley, said the art in and around the Laie Hawaii Temple represents the people who attend it. Foley was a member of the historical sub-committee for the Laie Hawaii Temple. He said one of the motifs used in the temple is the kukui tree, which has deep symbolism in Hawaiian culture. Foley said the kukui tree is called the candlenut tree in English, because the nuts of the tree are oily and were once used to make lanterns that lit up the darkness. He said in the gospel, light is very symbolic, and so the kukui nut is an excellent symbol for the temple because “it’s a source of light, as is the temple.” •

“Everyone’s story deserves to be told. Wisdom and life comes from stories.”

Graphics by Brooklyn Redd NEW STUDENT ISSUE 145

you change, you become more like Him… People are made better spiritually, and it’s all about preparing ourselves to be ready to be in His presence and to become as He is.”

The Hallstroms hope students and community members make extensive preparations before entering the temple.

A temple of love President and Sister Hallstrom discuss their hopes for students and the blesssings waiting at the temple BY OLIVIA HIXSON James E. Hallstrom and Sister Kathleen King Hallstrom, Laie Hawaii Temple president and temple matron for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared they want students at BYU–Hawaii to feel welcomed and loved when they enter the temple. Sister Hallstrom said a temple is a unique place where students can be guided and feel the Spirit. “It’s the place that our Father in Heaven can touch you in the things you really need in your life. “I would hope that each one of [the students here] has a future of temple, whether 146 KE ALAK A ’I

it’s temple work or temple attendance. I would hope that each one of them will accept the invitation of the Spirit to come. Our Father in Heaven loves us, and this temple is a symbol of love.” Having lived on Oahu for the majority of his life and calling Laie home, President Hallstrom stressed the importance of regular temple attendance and how attending the temple frequently can change worthy people for the better. “The temple transforms the inner soul. So, with frequency in being in the House of the Lord,

Temple in our countenance President Hallstrom said when students put in their best efforts into repentance and going to the temple regularly, Heavenly Father will take care of the rest. “I think as you consecrate yourself, focus on the temple, and you are willing to do whatever it takes, He makes up the difference.” Sister Hallstrom added serving in the temple and being there almost every day brings blessings into her life. “Because you are here most of the time, you always ask yourself, ‘Am I taking real advantage of where I am? Am I able to bring a worthy person here every day?’ “Those are questions that you try to keep at the forefront… Our emphasis and focus are to give an opportunity for the saints to come and be blessed by the Lord’s ordinances that are here.” With the holy ordinances and sacred covenants which take place in the temple, President Hallstrom said the teachings of the temple are centered around a higher level of spirituality and personal awareness. “You begin to embody the message, and it just becomes apart of you. Being in the House of the Lord clearly changes your perspective and your spirituality.” Mighty work to be done To better understand Heavenly Father and His plan, President Hallstrom shared extensive preparation for entering the temple is required. “As we come prepared to receive, then He reveals to us the doctrines and changes that we want… And until we are ready to receive, all we will do is come and have a wonderful day, but there won’t be an inspirational, revelatory experience until we are ready to have one.” President Hallstrom and Sister Hallstrom both expressed the blessings the temple can bring members of the Church and the need to have the temple in sight.

“Being in the house of the Lord clearly changes your perspective and your spirituality.”

The Hallstroms are pictured with their children and grandchildren. Photos provided by President James Hallstrom

“The temple always has to come first, and it always does… I think some of the incredible blessings are to be able to work in a wonderful, peaceful place with people that are just saints. It’s kind of like your happy place… It’s a wonderful place to be, and all you have to do is feel and radiate the Spirit that’s here,” President Hallstrom shared. Similarly, Sister Luker, a senior missionary serving in the Laie Temple Visitors’ Center, said she has been able to share the gospel with people from all over the world. “People come here because they sometimes don’t know why they’re here and think it’s going to be a tourist attraction, but really they’re being taught the gospel. They come from all over the world, and that’s really a fun part [of serving here].” With the close of the Laie Temple centennial, President Hallstrom shared he hopes students and community members will make special efforts to attend the temple more often and partake in the blessings waiting behind its doors. “The fact that we can come to the temple frequently really enlarges who we are and who we can become. So I would hope that in celebrating the temple, we can show our love by attending more and benefitting more.” •

The Laie Hawaii Temple presidency includes President and Sister Hallstrom, Hans and Theone Ta’ala, and Iraani and Cy Bridges and Recorder Max Purcell. NEW STUDENT ISSUE 147

Lighting the path The community honors the Laie temple on its 100th birthday with a temple walk and special fireside on Dec. 1 BY CODY BRUCE BARNEY AND OLIVIA HIXSON Temple walk on Nov. 28 Gathered on the darkened boulevard of Hale La’a, community members came together to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Laie Hawaii Temple through singing and listening to talks on Thanksgiving night, Nov. 28. Students and community members were sitting and standing on lawn chairs, fences, rooftops, and porches watching as the choirs and participants walked down the boulevard commemorating the temple’s anniversary. Participants were graced with the voices of multiple choirs, singing in different languages such as Tongan, Samoan, Fijian and Hawaiian. Andrea Doucette, a sophomore from Utah studying exercise and sports science, shared the different languages featured by the different choirs touched her as she was able to recognize the hymns while also enjoying them in an unconventional way. “I loved the musical aspect of it. I thought that was so incredible and unique, and it brought a special spirit to the event. Laie is like 148 KE ALAK A ’I

a gathering place, so all the different people coming together and celebrating the temple strengthened my testimony of the temple and why it is here.” Similarly, Abigail Smith, a freshman from Ohio studying computer science, said, “I really love choral music so that was one of the draws to it, and I love the temple too.” Kyle Mullins, a senior from Indiana studying psychology, shared the temple has a special place in his heart as his parents are converts who were able to be sealed in the temple just before he was born. He said the Laie Hawaii Temple is especially important because it symbolizes a culmination of cultures. “I know the Laie temple is very important. Among temples it is pretty significant because it was the first temple built outside of the continental United States… It’s a big cultural symbol to anyone outside of the United States, especially Polynesia and Asia.” At the end of the walk, people grew in anticipation of the lighting of the temple, which

did not have its lights turned on throughout the whole event. As the Hawaiian choir and audience joined together in singing “The Spirit of God,” the temple was finally lit. After the temple was lit and Temple President James Hallstrom gave the closing prayer, the crowds dispersed to the North Stake Center, where a luau was held. People were treated to performances and food to end the night. “[The temple walk] was a good unique way of celebrating,” remarked Abigail Peterson, a freshman from Utah studying psychology. She had been attending the firesides throughout the month, and said the walk was a fantastic way to culminate the centennial of the Laie temple. Temple fireside on Dec. 1 As the audience waited for the fireside to begin in the Cannon Activities Center on Dec. 1, a slideshow with pictures of the temple, Hawaiian ancestors, and even the Cardston temple flickered above the pulpit. A choir of community members and students opened the fireside. Graphics by Esther Insigne

Carolina Beristain, a sophomore from Mexico studying business, said she was most impressed with the choir. She said the choir brought the Spirit. She was also amazed at the dedication and sacrifice of the early Hawaiian Saints in building and maintaining the temple in the last 100 years. Speaking at the fireside, BYU–Hawaii Religion Professor Eric Marlowe said the power of the temple cannot be felt in the beautiful architecture but on the inside. “The next hundred years of temple history will be written by us.” Marlowe told stories of past Latter-day Saints who have contributed to the history of the temple. He explained how the Hawaiian Saints moved to Iosepa to be closer to the temple in Salt Lake City. He also shared the experience of apostle Reed Smoot. Smoot visited Hawaii with President Joseph F. Smith and said of the night the temple ground was dedicated, “I never saw a more perfect night in all my life. The surroundings were perfect.You, who have been to Laie, know the surroundings, all nature smiles. “We walked toward the meetinghouse. Nothing was said of what we were going for until we stood at the back of the meetinghouse, and President Smith then said, ‘Brethren I feel impressed to dedicate this ground for the erection of a temple to God, for a place where the peoples of the Pacific Isles can come and do their temple work.’ “I have heard President Smith pray hundreds of times. Never in all my life did I hear such a prayer. The very ground seemed to be

sacred, and he seemed as if he were talking face to face with the Father.” He also shared the story of when the temple was dedicated, President Heber J. Grant brought the children into the temple and asked them to sing his favorite song, “Who’s on the Lord’s Side.” Attending the temple Matron Sister Kathleen Hallstrom and President Hallstrom spoke about the importance of attending the temple the audience was celebrating. Referring to how the temple was dedicated on Thanksgiving of 1919, President Hallstrom said the temple was an act of thanksgiving. He said there were 39 “we thank thee” expressions in the dedicatory prayer. President Hallstrom quoted a play called “My Turn on Earth.” He said there is a girl who misses her heavenly home during a difficult time and comes to the conclusion, “I’ll try with my heart, I’ll try with my might, to make a heaven here.” Sister Hallstrom said she has tried to do the same. To her, the temple is a heavenly place and she hopes to bring more heaven there, as well as in her family. Revelation at the Temple Also speaking at the fireside was Elder Scott D. Whiting and his wife, Sister Jeri Whiting. She explained the temple is a place to receive revelation and said she received it in almost every room of the Laie temple. She emphasized President Nelson’s counsel to keep the end in mind and attend the

Above, Community members record the music performed by local choirs who sang in different languages. Photos by Michael Foley

temple. President Nelson emphasized this by having his first press conference in the temple. Elder Whiting recalled the recent revelation to have 11 year olds come to the temple and how some of these youths treaded water in the baptistery font. •

Photos by Shannon Crowley NEW STUDENT ISSUE 149

Making time for the temple Students share how going to the temple during the week blesses their lives BY OLIVIA HIXSON

With the Laie Hawaii Temple blocks away from campus, BYU–Hawaii students shared the importance of making the temple a priority in their busy lives because it makes them better students, reduces their stress, and helps them feel at peace. Some students said to prioritize temple worship, they pick one day a week where they go to the temple consistently. Carmela Bristain, a senior from the Philippines studying accounting, teaches the temple preparation class for the Laie YSA 15th Ward. She commented, “If you really have in mind that you need the temple, and it’s already a priority for you, it will be easier for you to know which day you should go. Think of it as a part of your lifestyle.” 150 KE ALAK A ’I

Kayli Whiting, a freshman from Utah studying psychology, said she set a goal at the start of the year to visit the temple weekly. “Make [the temple] important to you because it is only as important as you make it. If you set it as a priority at the beginning of the week, you are going to be thinking of what time you can go.” Marisa Firth, a junior from Utah studying TESOL education, shared when making time to go to the temple, there always seems to be enough time to finish everything else. “Even though it seems like you’re going to spend two hours doing something other than homework, the Lord adds in more time and makes it possible. I think He also makes it to where you work more efficiently. It’s not just

“When you go to the temple, I feel that’s when it all comes together.” like you have magical time given to you, but the temple makes you quicker and able.” Sister Ku, a sister missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving at the Laie Temple Visitors’ Center, said just making time to visit the temple grounds can make profound changes in a student’s life. “It is a blessing that the temple is so close to the school, so even if you walk around the temple, it’s okay. Just make your peace and think about why you are here.” Firth also said even if life is going well, the temple can always make life better.

Graphic by Lynne Hardy

Divine help Similarly, Bristain shared how going to the temple can help relieve stress and anxiety for students. “If you go to the temple, then you can find solace there.You will know that everything will be okay because there are so many blessings to receive at the temple.” She added the temple is a time where you can focus on yourself, your friends, your family and your future, and you can think about the Lord and aligning your will to His will. “If you’re too stressed with so many things, then think of the temple as a stress reliever for you.” John Taylor, a sophomore from Texas studying business finance, commented, “I went to the temple yesterday, and I felt like my

mindset changed a little bit. It made me want to [go to the temple] more. “Before I went, I didn’t want to [go] as much. So, the first step I would say is to go anyway, and then the desire will come because you will see what a value it brings to your life.” Everlasting blessings Whiting said going to the temple gives her a safe space. “In a way, it shows God that I am willing to go to His house. So, when I go to His house and show a willingness to serve Him, I can feel His love for me.” Firth said weekly time in the temple helps her remember what is truly important at school. “I am here to learn and [the temple] also helps me to value the school even more.”

Both Firth and Bristain expressed how the temple helps them feel closer to their families, both on the earth and on the other side of the veil. Bristain said since she has a temple recommend, she has a duty to do temple work for her ancestors. “They need me, and I need them.You just have to think that your ancestors are there for you and are going to help you every step of the way if you help them.” Firth also said she feels the temple is a place where the Spirit dwells in abundance. “I know Heavenly Father gives us feelings of comfort and peace, especially through those around us. When you go to the temple, I feel that’s when it all comes together.” •



The faith, effort and miracles of the David O. McKay mural Community member shares Heavenly Father’s guidance was essential to finish the flag-raising mural in just 10 days BY MADI BERRY

The mosaic mural found at the front of the David O. McKay Center on the BYUH campus holds a story of its own. Built in Italy, sent back to Laie in crates, and put together by community members, the now-famous mural required both workers and community members to come together and exercise great faith. Sharon Gray, the curator of the BYUH art collection and a Church-service missionary, shared, “The magic of the mosaic is its duration over time, it assures longevity, solidity, and everlastingness.” Community member John Lingwall shared the story of his grandfather, Harold Boe, and uncle, Arnold Boe, who were part of the group who placed the David O. McKay mural where it resides today. Lingwall spoke of

“The magic of the mosaic is its duration over time, it assures longevity, solidity, and everlastingness.”

- Sharon Gray

the process that went into putting it up, and also the challenges and miracles that accompanied the process.

The Building Lingwall and Gray explained the Church had a picture taken of the community in Laie and the mural depicts a recreation of David O. McKay

and the community at a local flag raising ceremony in 1921. Gray shared that artist, Edward T. Grigware, used the photo as inspiration for an oil painting he created. The painting was then sent overseas to Italy, placed under a projector, and cast down on a floor. The artists then came in and hand placed glass tiles on the open floor, which they cut into small tessera tiles and numbered them like puzzle pieces. Gray shared, “Mosaic is a technique of fragmentation.You break up the stone, tile glass or other material into even smaller bits until it becomes tessera, or, a smaller square piece. Then each tessera is reunited with all of the others to recreate the original design.”

152 KE ALAK A ’I A photo of a flag raising ceremony at the Laie school used to help create the McKay Foyer mural. Photo courtesy of BYUH Archives

The mural in its completed form. Photo courtesy of BYU–Hawaii

“They worked day and night, 24/7. The community would come to feed them [the workers]. Community members would bring their cars, drive up on the brim and their high beams would be used as their lighting source at night.”

- John Lingwall

Once the mural was finished, all of the pieces were gently stacked and shipped in wooden crates. The crates were then put on boats and it took months for them to arrive in Hawaii. It was during this point in the process that Lingwall shared, “There were so many challenges.”

The Challenges Gray said all of the crates that contained the pieces to the mural had arrived in Hawaii, except for one. This final crate included the instructions of how to put everything together. Because of this, those working on assembling the mural had to work by faith alone until the last crate arrived.

Working to put such a large amount of puzzle pieces together created the first challenge. Lingwall commented, “The artist who created the mural predicted it would take at least 30 days for the mural to be put together.” However, there was only one week until the center’s dedication. Once the mural was put together, Lingwall shared how his grandfather had measured the width of the mural, and he discovered it would not be able to fit in the available space. This required Lingwall’s grandfather to cut seven inches of the mural. Because the section was filled with current community members, it was necessary to care-

fully ensure none of the individuals were cut out. Lingwall commented, “To this day, there are only about a couple of people now who know exactly where the line is which was cut.” In reaction to these challenges, Lingwall said, “My grandfather had so much knowledge of this, he knew Heavenly Father was going to help with everything.” The Miracles Lingwall added how with the combined efforts of the community, the mural was put up in less than 10 days. “They worked day and night, 24/7. The community would come to feed [the workers]. Community members would bring their cars, drive up on the brim and their high beams would be used as their lighting source at night.” In an interview about the assembling of the mural, Lingwall’s uncle, Arnold Boe, said the process of knowing where exactly to cut the mural was inspiration from on high. He said, “It looks purely natural, but when you look at the photo, you can actually see there are two people who are supposed to be separated.” Boe commented on all that went into the project. He said it came together because of “community efforts, Heavenly Father’s time, and having faith in the project.” •


COVID-19 pandemic cancels Church meetings Church members say Come Follow Me program prepared them for this moment BY KILLIAN CANTO On the morning of March 12, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints received a notification suspending all member gatherings until further notice in light of circumstances surrounding COVID-19. With no church meetings being held the next Sunday, students and a stake president shared their reaction to and experience with at-home church as prepared them for this time. Taken aback, but also excited, was how Tyson Hunter, a senior studying business management from California, said he felt when he heard the announcement. He said he thought of Come, Follow Me, the at-home curriculum for Church members to incorporate into their Sunday worship. The curriculum was released at the start of 2019. Hunter said, “It was cool to see how, in such a short amount of time, something like [this] happened.” Having a similar reaction, Kylee Chamberlain, a sophomore from Nevada studying psychology, said, “I was kind of shocked.” However, she said as soon as she made the connection to the revelations given to members about home-centered church, she became excited. “[Come, Follow Me] was preparing us for this in a way. We could do [at-home church] better because we have already been able to incorporate it into our day-to-day lives.” Chamberlain said she had felt eager to do more gospel discussions with her roommates. It was not just students who were surprised. Laie Married Student Stake President Steve Tueller said he did not anticipate this cancelation, but he too realized

154 KE ALAK A ’I

Church members have been prepared for moments like this. He pointed out the divine role of the prophet and the twelve apostles. “They certainly saw a case where we needed to be more prepared.” Tueller said when he thought about what they have emphasized over the past few years, they have prepared members through teaching the observance of the Sabbath and introducing the Come, Follow Me curriculum. Yanique Hadley, a senior from Fiji studying hospitality and tourism management, said she was accepting of not physically going to church. She said she could feel the Spirit the same as when she attends normal Sunday services. Due to the unusual news of sacrament meeting being canceled, Tueller said members ought to look to their bishop for direction. He said bishops hold the keys to authorize the administration of the sacrament. Having received a message from his bishop authorizing him to prepare the sacrament, Hunter Blalack, a junior from Montana studying business management, said he administered it in a small group. After their meeting, he said they held a discussion and watched Book of Mormon videos together. During his small church meeting, Tueller said his son observed a historical tie to the early saints. In an email sent to those in his stake, “He observed that today, we were ‘gathered together’ in very small groups much like the early saints were when the Church was first organized.” Tueller said it was an opportunity to ponder and prepare for the April 2020 General Conference.

In Hunter’s ward, he said those who gave talks were told to post them on the ward’s Facebook group. He said it was a spiritual experience, but “it was definitely a little harder to focus at home.” He said the transition was going to be one of the hardest challenges. With time, Hunter said families will adjust with their priorities, which may lead to a “spiritual famine.” He explained as individuals “hunger for that spiritual nourishment” they will invite the Spirit to be with them, especially as they have been told to stop Church meetings. Tueller said, “It’s a sifting experience. It’s an opportunity for the wheat to get ‘wheatier’ and the tares to get ‘tarier.’” He said he fears

members might view this absence of meetings to be a vacation and it is up to members to allow themselves a faith-growing or faithshrinking experience. He said he hopes members will return to their meetings with a renewed enthusiasm for home-centered church. Finding enough people, especially priesthood holders, is one of the challenges both Chamberlain and Hadley shared they face with at-home church. Hadley said there was only one Melchizedek Priesthood holder who could bless and pass the sacrament during her small meeting.

There were students, Tueller said, who did not have access to a priesthood holder. He shared through talking to their bishop and getting in contact with ministering brothers and sisters, members can find a worthy priesthood holder to administer the ordinance. Chamberlain said despite having a few people attend, she and her friends were able to maintain the Spirit. “Just like when we go to regular church, we aren’t watching a bunch of movies or going to the beach. [We still kept] it the Sabbath Day.” With further direction from local Church leaders about social distancing, priesthood holders now only bless and pass the sacrament to those in their same home. What people put into their at-home church, Blalack said, is what they will get out of it. He explained how following the instructions given by bishops, like wearing your Sunday best to pass the sacrament in your living room, will aid in fostering the Spirit. Comparing sacrament meeting to a funeral, Blalack said, “I’m sure if you were going to a [funeral service], you wouldn’t be late, and you wouldn’t show up in your pajamas.” Hunter added to Blalack’s thoughts by referencing a talk by Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles where he made an analogy about missionaries. “[Missionaries] could probably teach a perfectly good lesson in flip-flops and board shorts, but when they dress up for the occasion, it says something about the message itself.” Hunter explained his hopes for people being able to recognize the sacred nature of their homes. “If you feel it stronger in a church building than you do in your own home, there’s probably something you need to change.” Tueller advised members to be intentional about planning for what they want to experience. By treating at-home church with the same respect as regular church, members will be able to take it seriously, he said. “In a way, it’s a gift,” he explained. “We have been given this trial to learn and get better.” •

Graphics by Sadie Scadden NEW STUDENT ISSUE 155

Sam Tobon said acting in the “Book of Mormon Videos” allowed him moments of complete gratitude for how amazing God is. Photograph taken from the “Book of Mormon Videos”

‘Book of Mormon Videos’ actors share humility and gratitude gained from filming


156 KE ALAK A ’I


Actors were told to portray what their emotions would be like after hearing a speech from King Benjamin. Photo provided by X Llewel Galapon Angala

After acting in the new “Book of Mormon Videos” series produced by the Church, students and alumni said it was an honor for them to bring something holy, such as the scriptures, to life. They said they felt the influence of the spirit on themselves and saw it guiding other actors and the crew as well as they worked to recreate the scripture stories. Sam Tobon, a junior from Colombia majoring in business management with an emphasis in human resources, shared his reaction after watching the published videos. “I was in the King Benjamin chapters, and they did not film the whole speech there. It was the part where you would see the crowd of people. My experience watching it was getting the rest of the puzzle because I only had part of it.” Tobon continued, “If you have seen the video, you see thousands of people. We would be in tents, and we would film the part where we all kneel in prayer. “Then they would tell us, ‘Okay, now go and find a new family,’ so we would all rotate, and they would angle the camera to make it look like it was thousands of people. When we watched the video, they added CGI to make it look crowded.” Mark Maslar, a sophomore from California majoring in theater education, shared what was done on the set to ensure the accuracy of what was being filmed. He said, “I remember meeting people who were simply there to be references for the scriptures,

to represent the Church and to make sure everything was accurate. “It touched me how they put so much care into it. Being able to watch it then put together in the way it was, was extraordinary because you felt the combined spirit of those who were involved.You were able to share in it because you were there, and you got to witness it and see all of the effort they put into it.” Tobon said the most impactful part for him during the filming process was when the film crew “would tell us, ‘He just finished his speech, and now you are reacting to it.’ It was a moment of complete gratitude for how amazing God is.” X Llewel Galapon Angala, an alumnus from the Philippines who graduated with a degree in hospitality and tourism management, shared his reaction to watching the final product. “When I watched the video, I felt so excited because I could finally see the final result and our hard work. I felt like I was there listening to King Benjamin, especially when we said we believe in his words. It was a very powerful experience,” he said. Tobon discussed what it was like bringing the scriptures to life. He shared how often, when individuals read the scriptures, each person sees what they imagine differently in their head. Because of this, he said, “It’s tricky. There is an adjustment.” Maslar commented on why the experience

was humbling for him, saying, “As an actor, it is humbling to bring something sacred to life. As we begin to understand, empathize and connect with the stories of the people we are trying to bring to life, there is a difference that comes to you. “I think it changes you. I think when we bring something spiritual or anything important to life, it can change you. And if you do it right, it will change you for the good.” Tobon shared the experience he had with the other actors in the videos. He said, “These men take their jobs seriously, and the results are evident from what was produced by the Church. “The people who were acting with [the actor who played] Christ in these videos said he would act the exact same on and off set, and he made people feel incredible. I could say similar things about the other actors, such as [those who played] Mosiah and King Benjamin. “We were in the van on the way to a shooting spot and I saw the King Benjamin actor deep in thought, and it was because he was about to deliver one of the best speeches we have in scripture.” Angala said it was an honor for him to have this opportunity “because I can be an instrument to help people strengthen their faith and testimony in Jesus Christ.” •

Producers added CGI to make scenes look more crowded. Photos provided by Mark Maslar


Experiencing an unforgettable conference Prophet counsels Church members, students and faculty react to one-of-a-kind confrence Above: President Nelson announced eight new temples. Photo by the Associated Press. Below: Logo provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints

BY LEIANI BROWN April’s semiannual General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – previously promised to be “different from any previous conference” by President Russell M. Nelson last October – brought a new symbol for the Church, a solemn assembly with a Hosanna Shout, a bicentennial proclamation and a call for another worldwide fast. The conference, broadcast from a nearly empty auditorium in Salt Lake City, Utah, commemorated the First Vision of the Church’s first president, Joseph Smith, which took place 200 years ago. “We pray that this conference will be memorable and unforgettable because of the messages you will hear, the unique announcements which will be made, and the experiences in which you will be invited to participate,” said Russell M. Nelson, president of the Church, in his opening statement during the Saturday Morning Session.

have to be six feet apart, not really being able to greet each other when that was something they’ve always done. “It makes me want everything to go back to normal and see everyone all together [again] … but I also really love the Church and Church leaders even more that they’re taking it seriously and showing that [they’re] doing this but still following regulations.” In accordance with these restrictions, music was prerecorded for all five sessions.

Saturday Evening Session: New symbol and worldwide fast The Saturday evening session, usually a time for either all male members of the Church or all female members to meet, was opened up President Nelson recapped the Church’s this year to all members ages 11 and up. efforts to focus on the full name of the Church. The session included two youth speakers, He added the purpose of this new symbol is to Laudy R. Kaouk and Enzo S. Petelo, teenagers further “help us remember Him and to identify from two different congregations in Utah. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Traditionally, talks are given by general as the Lord’s Church.” Conference amidst pandemic authorities church leadership. to Theinsymbol, Nelson explained, © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve,and Inc. All rights reserved. Version:According 1/20. PD60010469 000. Printed the United President States of America Because of restrictions due to the LDS Living, the last youth to speak in General includes the full name of the Church inside a coronavirus pandemic, only participants of Conference was Matthew S. Holland in April cornerstone – representing Christ’s centrality the session were allowed to attend, instead 1983, who was called as a general authority in in the doctrine of the Church – and a depiction of the usual mass gathering at the Church’s the Saturday Afternoon Session this year. of the Christus statue as the focal point of Conference Center, in efforts to “be good In this special bicentennial conference the symbol, positioned underneath an arch global citizens,” explained President Nelson. commemorating Joseph Smith, President representing the Savior emerging from the Isabella Reed, a sophomore from Mililani Nelson introduced a new symbol to be used tomb following his resurrection. studying history education, said it was hard for on all Church “literature, news and events.” He Aubriela Blair, a junior from Utah studying her to see the First Presidency sitting six feet added, “It is important to remember that while psychology, said she usually gets anxious around apart, but she said she admires their respect for we revere Joseph Smith as a prophet of God, General Conference, but after talking with a the situation. this is not the church of Joseph Smith. Nor is it friend who helped her identify some personal “They take the pandemic very seriously ... the church of Mormon. This is the Church of anxieties and deciding to take notes, she was I can’t even imagine what that’s like for them to Jesus Christ.” able to have a spiritually uplifting experience. 158 KE ALAK A ’I

“I love the new symbol,” said Blair. “It strengthens my testimony a lot because I love Christ. Sometimes, like everyone, I forget about Christ and how He’s my best friend, and He’s always there for me. To have this new symbol everywhere is going to be really helpful for a lot of members, including myself.” President Nelson added, “This symbol should feel familiar to many, as we have long identified the restored gospel with the living, resurrected Christ.” He continued, noting the Easter holiday. “As followers of Jesus Christ, living in a day when the COVID-19 pandemic has put the

whole world in commotion, let us not just talk of Christ, or preach of Christ, or employ a symbol representing Christ, let us put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ into action.” The president of the global church, which reported 16,565,036 members as of Dec. 31, 2019, then called for another worldwide fast to take place on Good Friday, a Christian holiday commemorating Christ’s death and crucifixion. Fasting, a practice with biblical roots where members abstain from food and water

for a period of two consecutive meals or 24 hours, was held previously on March 29 in search of relief from the global pandemic, explained President Nelson. Blair, who invited a friend of another faith to participate in the fast, said, “I’ve always believed in sacrifice and showing the world or showing God that we’re willing to sacrifice something to earn something.”

BYUH sophomore Isabella Reed says it was hard to see Church leaders sitting six feet apart at the conference due to social distancing for the coronavirus. Photo by the Associated Press


Hosanna Shout: a united plea for salvation One of the first announcements President Nelson made in his opening statement was for members of the Church to prepare for a Hosanna Shout and solemn assembly to occur during the Sunday Morning Session. Usually not morning people, Reed said she and her family made it a point this year to wake up early enough to watch each session live. She added she had never heard of or participated in a Hosanna Shout. She immediately began texting all her friends after it was announced, excited and hoping for everyone to have the opportunity to participate. The Hosanna Shout, according to the 15th President of the Church, Gordon B. Hinckley, is a “sacred salute to the Father and the Son.” It is usually done at temple dedications, according to Deseret News, and it involves the waving of a clean, white handkerchief while shouting in unison, “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna to God and the Lamb” three times, concluding with “Amen, Amen and Amen.” The shout also symbolizes Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, leading up to his crucifixion. According to the Church Newsroom, the shout was first experienced for Church members at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple in 1836. Reed said it was special knowing her mom participated in the Hosanna Shout for the Laie Hawaii Temple rededication as well as learning about the significance behind the word “hosanna.” “I knew from seminary that ‘hosanna’ meant ‘save me now,’ or that’s how I [understood it]. I just love the simple, but powerful words, saying it three times, ‘To God and the Lamb,’ and then closing it off with the ‘Amens,’” said Reed. “It was super special ... because I was thinking about it, and they do it at every dedication of a temple, but only a few select times will they do it worldwide. It was worldwide. Millions of people were doing it, and knowing that is really cool too, [knowing] we were all unified in doing it.” Matthew Bowen, assistant professor in the Faculty of Religious Education, further explained that “hosanna” is a Hebrew term

160 KE ALAK A ’I

The Hosanna shout, demonstrated by President Nelson, is a sacred salute to the Father and the Son, said President Gordon B. Hinckley. Photo by the Associated Press.

taken from Psalm 118, verse 25, as part of scripture that was important to the Passover in biblical times. “It’s a plea for salvation. That’s really what it boils down to.” Bowen also said the name “Jesus,” which means “Jehovah saves” or “Jehovah is salvation,” is etymologically related to “hosanna.” He added how it was appropriate the Hosanna Shout took place on Palm Sunday, the day the crowds shouted their hosannas as Christ entered Jerusalem at the beginning of the last week of His life. Bowen stressed that in this instance, the plea for many of them probably referred to their hope that Christ would deliver them from Roman rule, rather than the spiritual deliverance he would actually offer. “With the coinciding of the 200th anniversary of the First Vision and the COVID-19 pandemic, we can appreciate the levels on which that plea works,” said Bowen. “We’re pleading for both physical and spiritual deliverance, and those two things are ultimately entwined. “Jesus is the one who will save us both from physical death and spiritual death ... Ultimately, He will put all enemies under His feet, including death and including COVID-19 and every other problem that has beset humanity.” A solemn assembly for a bold proclamation According to Church Newsroom, solemn assemblies are sacred meetings, usually held when a new Church president is called but can be held for other holy purposes. As

announced by President Nelson, the purpose of this solemn assembly was the introduction of a new Church proclamation entitled, “The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World.” Bowen explained solemn assemblies were significant in ancient Israel, usually convened on the seventh day of Passover and eighth day of the celebration of the Feast of the Tabernacles, which typically occur around the same time of year as General Conference. In this dispensation, Bowen said there have only been five other official declarations and proclamations, two of which are accepted as canon, or official scripture. Bowen added his admiration for how the proclamation addresses the entire world and serves as a bold declaration of what the entire Church believes. “This is sort of a collective bearing of a testimony from the First Presidency and the Twelve … This is us as a church affirming and testifying of what we believe. “And in doing that, as we unite in our testimony and faith, it serves to strengthen our faith in a world where people increasingly tend to back away from statements of certainty and try to be politic and diplomatic in their language. This is the kind of statement that’s really needed right now.” The proclamation was immediately uploaded in full in 12 languages at ChurchofJesusChrist.org. •

THE RESTORATION OF THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST A B I C E N T E N N I A L P RO C L A M AT I O N T O T H E WO R L D The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the Western Hemisphere soon after His Resurrection.

dren in every nation of the world. God the

It teaches of life’s purpose and explains the doctrine of

Father has given us the divine birth, the incomparable

Christ, which is central to that purpose. As a compan-

life, and the infinite atoning sacrifice of His Beloved

ion scripture to the Bible, the Book of Mormon testifies

Son, Jesus Christ. By the power of the Father, Jesus

that all human beings are sons and daughters of a lov-

rose again and gained the victory over death. He is our

ing Father in Heaven, that He has a divine plan for our

Savior, our Exemplar, and our Redeemer.

lives, and that His Son, Jesus Christ, speaks today as

Two hundred years ago, on a beautiful spring morning

well as in days of old.

in 1820, young Joseph Smith, seeking to know which

We declare that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-

church to join, went into the woods to pray near his

day Saints, organized on April 6, 1830, is Christ’s New

home in upstate New York, USA. He had questions re-

Testament Church restored. This Church is anchored

garding the salvation of his soul and trusted that God

in the perfect life of its chief cornerstone, Jesus Christ,

would direct him.

and in His infinite Atonement and literal Resurrec-

In humility, we declare that in answer to his prayer,

tion. Jesus Christ has once again called Apostles and

God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph and inaugurated the “restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21) as foretold in the Bible. In this vision, he

has given them priesthood authority. He invites all of us to come unto Him and His Church, to receive the Holy Ghost, the ordinances of salvation, and to gain

learned that following the death of the original Apostles,

enduring joy.

Christ’s New Testament Church was lost from the earth.

Two hundred years have now elapsed since this Resto-

Joseph would be instrumental in its return.

ration was initiated by God the Father and His Beloved

We affirm that under the direction of the Father and the

Son, Jesus Christ. Millions throughout the world have

Son, heavenly messengers came to instruct Joseph and

embraced a knowledge of these prophesied events.

re-establish the Church of Jesus Christ. The resurrected

We gladly declare that the promised Restoration goes

John the Baptist restored the authority to baptize by

forward through continuing revelation. The earth will

immersion for the remission of sins. Three of the orig-

never again be the same, as God will “gather together in

inal twelve Apostles—Peter, James, and John—restored

one all things in Christ” (Ephesians 1:10).

the apostleship and keys of priesthood authority. Oth-

With reverence and gratitude, we as His Apostles in-

ers came as well, including Elijah, who restored the authority to join families together forever in eternal relationships that transcend death.

Document provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


e solemnly proclaim that God loves His chil-

vite all to know—as we do—that the heavens are open. We affirm that God is making known His will for His beloved sons and daughters. We testify that those who

We further witness that Joseph Smith was given the

prayerfully study the message of the Restoration and

gift and power of God to translate an ancient record:

act in faith will be blessed to gain their own witness of

the Book of Mormon—Another Testament of Jesus

its divinity and of its purpose to prepare the world for

Christ. Pages of this sacred text include an account of

the promised Second Coming of our Lord and Savior,

the personal ministry of Jesus Christ among people in

Jesus Christ.

This proclamation was read by President Russell M. Nelson as part of his message at the 190th Annual General Conference, April 5, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah. NEW STUDENT ISSUE





Total Enr

Student to and Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1 BYU–Hawaii seeks qualified students of various geographic, educational, cultural, ethnic, racial backgrounds and talents, who relate together in such a manner that they are “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19).

Applicant profile

Enrollment profile



Average Incoming GPA

Total Enrollment


Student to Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1

22 2902 2902 Total Enrollment



Average Incoming ACT Score

International Students

22 95+ %


Application Deadline

Sept – Dec 15 weeks International Deadine

December 1 of previous year

Final Deadine

February 1

Christmas Break Dec – Jan 2.5 weeks






Average Age: 23 Average Class Size: 20 Members LDS Church

Female to Male Ratio Female to Male Ratio

B Y U – H A W A I I A C A D E Average M I CClass C Size: A L20E N Average D A RAge: 23 FALL


Total23Enrollment Fe Average Age: Average Age

Student to Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1

Average Class 20 Student to Faculty Ratio: 16 toSize: 1






Jan – Apr 15 weeks

May – Jun 9 weeks

July 1

November 1

of previous year

of previous year

Summer Break July – Aug 9 weeks

admissions@byuh.edu • admissions.byuh.edu • (808) 675-3738 BYUH UC 04/27/2020



Female to Ma

Ho‘okele Department for Admissions, Career, & Alumni Services • BYUH #1973 • 55-220 Kulanui Street, Laie, HI 96762-1294

As required by law, BYU–Hawaii does not discriminate unlawfully on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, veteran status, or disability in any of its educational programs or activities. This extends to admission to and employment at BYU–Hawaii. Inquiries concerning the application of these provisions or complaints and grievances may be made to the Vice President for Student Development and Services, (808) 675–3211 or to the Human Resources Director, (808) 675–3713. 162 KE ALAK A ’I



Students perform in a scene from the musical “West Side Story,� which was put on in the McKay Auditorium just before the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Chad Hsieh

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New Student issue Fall 2020  

BYU-Hawaii new and returning student magazine for Fall Semester 2020. Alumni, faculty, staff and student features plus news of the universit...

New Student issue Fall 2020  

BYU-Hawaii new and returning student magazine for Fall Semester 2020. Alumni, faculty, staff and student features plus news of the universit...

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