Pharmacy Ph.D awards to highlight spring commencement

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669
Dir, Media Rel, University Relations
Posted: May 2, 2016

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy marks a new historical milestone when it awards its first Pharmaceutical Sciences degrees to two students during spring commencement on Saturday, May 14 at 9 a.m. at Edith Kanaka’ole Stadium. 

Susanne R. Youngren-Ortiz and Mayuramas “Jan” Sang-ngern will be among 632 students who have petitioned for a total of 855 degrees and/or certificates from the colleges of Arts and Sciences (529), Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (37), Business and Economics (41), Pharmacy (172) and Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani College of Hawaiian Language (52), while 24 others are candidates for various post-graduate honors.

Charles R. "Chipper" Wichman, Jr., president and chief executive officer, National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG), will deliver the keynote address. 

Wichman has dedicated his entire adult life to preserving the natural and cultural resources of Hawai’i, where he was born and raised. His work with NTBG began in 1976 when he conducted botanical surveys of Kauai’s Limahuli Valley and the Na Pali coast, leading to his discovery of many new species of plants. He also helped pioneer methods of rappelling down cliffs to hand pollinate species threatened with extinction. 

Among his greatest accomplishments is the creation of the award-winning Limahuli Garden and Preserve in the early 1970s and 1980s. In 1994, Wichman and his wife Hau’oli donated the entire 1,000 acre Limahuli Valley to the NTBG in order to protect the area and create an ahupua’a-based management program that has been the foundation for their work in restoring native plant communities, cultural sites, traditional knowledges and practices and community resilience. 

Carrie Soo Hoo, a Marine Science, Psychology and Communication major, will represent the graduating class as student speaker. She is also set to receive certificates in Educational Studies and STEM Honors. 

While maintaining a 3.88 GPA, she has compiled a lengthy list of academic honors, was awarded with the NOAA Earnest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship, and the Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research and UH STEM Honors Research grants. 

Soo Hoo’s campus and community service includes numerous marine science-related activities, Kilohana Academic Success Center and New Student Programs tutor, and involvement with the UH Hilo Marine Mammal Club, UH Hilo Swing Club, and INT Dance Squad.