"Fast Track" to CTAHR Exposes High School Students to New Opportunities

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Marlene Hapai, (808) 956-6997
Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
Public Information Officer
Posted: Jun 25, 2002

The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has partnered with Na Pua Noʻeau, The Center for Gifted and Talented Native Hawaiian Children, to offer a two-week residential educational enrichment program for high school juniors and seniors from June 16-28, "The Fast Track: Career Pathways to the Food and Agricultural Sciences and Technology." An evening event to celebrate the program and feature the students‘ work will be held on Friday, June 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. at UH Mānoa. The event is free and open to the public.

This summer‘s program at the UH Mānoa campus has 15 high school juniors and seniors from Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Maui, and Hawaiʻi exploring watersheds, bioremediation sites, molecular biology, past and current taro cultivation and concerns, nutrition, and native Hawaiian costuming. Students start their day with cultural activities, then charge into a full day of lab, classroom and fieldwork, and end with cultural and technological nighttime events. A focus on Hawaiian culture and values, including the importance and involvement of ʻohana, and self-esteem, are interwoven into enhancing student talents — a model established by Na Pua Noʻeau and used with Native Hawaiian students on the high school level.

"The energy and enthusiasm generated by the faculty and students in this program is contagious. Teams of learners composed of high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, and college professors, all working together toward common goals and enjoying the pathways the experiences are leading them along are perfect examples of what educational experiences should be like," said Marlene Hapai, CTAHR‘s Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs and Principal Investigator of the USDA grant funding the program.

Seniors accepted into the program will receive scholarships this fall into CTAHR‘s new and revised programs in Natural Resources and Environmental Management, Bioengineering, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Plant and Environmental Biotechnology and Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences. They will also become part of CTAHR‘s freshmen learning community in the fall, which provides continued academic guidance and social support.

Students will present both the cultural and academic components of their program at the culminating event on Friday, June 28. Program presentations will include student work done together with CTAHR faculty mentors as follows: "The Magic of Molecules" with Dr. Dulal Borthakur, "What Does it Mean to be Healthy?" with Dr. Alan Titchenal, "Kalo — Its Past and Its Future" with Dr. Goro Uehara, "Using Nature to Nurture Nature" with Dr. Traci Sylva, "Culture, Community and Clothing" with Dr. Linda Arthur, and "Ahupua‘a Awareness: Caring for Hawaiian Watersheds" with Dr. Carl Evensen.

The program will be followed by a mini open house featuring some of the participating programs and refreshments. For more information about the program, contact Program Coordinator Teresa Wagoner at 956-6997.