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University of Hawaii at Manoa

March 2009 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

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'Ohana Update
A Newsletter for UH Mānoa Families

A Message from Chancellor Virginia S. Hinshaw

Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw


As 2009 unfolds, our top priority continues to be ensuring that UH Mânoa provides a great learning experience for your children. As a "destination of choice" for Hawaii's students, we take pride in our many value-added programs and services that help our graduates carve out better futures.

In this issue:

  • Smoothing the Way for Our Kids: Columnist Diane Chang reflects on the joys and angst of having a child attend UH Mânoa. In this issue, Chang comments on the STAR online system and the improved housing application.
  • Center for Career Development and Student Employment (CDSE): If your child is wondering about life after college, check out CDSE. It offers programs and services that allow students to explore a variety of potential career options.
  • CDSE Internships: Learn about the different internships available to interested students.
  • College and Career Planning Tips: Read these tips on how your child can prepare for a smoother transition from college to the workforce.
  • Student Profile: Meet Kale Kingsbury, who discovered the joys of Library and Information Science with the help of CDSE.
  • Alumni Profile: Meet Janson Aono, who gained real world experience and employment immediately upon graduation, thanks to CDSE.
  • Faculty Profile: Meet Maenette Kape`ahiokalani Padeken Ah Nee-Benham, EdD, the inaugural dean of the Hawai'inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge.


Smoothing the Way for Our Kids

Diane ChangBy Diane Chang

While walking to my office on the University of Hawai`i at Mânoa campus one morning, I saw a tall, strapping young man confidently striding to class, while wearing a tiny backpack adorned with Teen-age Mutant Ninja Turtles. 

The contrast in images brought a smile.  As the mom of a UH Mânoa senior, it was another reminder that—no matter how old our kids get—their youthful appreciation of life inevitably makes a surprise appearance.  That’s why it’s comforting when any process is streamlined to make their lives easier, even if they may not notice since they seem to be constantly text-messaging.

Of particular note are two major high-tech improvements this semester when it comes to getting scholarships and on-campus housing. 

First, a new online web application called "Smart Scholarship Search" is helping match up students with available scholarships through the UH Foundation.  All UH Mânoa enrollees, like my daughter, got an email at the end of January with a prompt to the Smart Scholarship Search Website, and a reminder of the deadline applications for fall 2009 and spring 2010 academic year. 

Now she can log on, and the search engine will help look for scholarships specifically geared for her, based on interests, major, GPA, gender, etc.  She can even inquire about a specific scholarship, see how many students received it last year and how much was provided.  Boy, would I have appreciated that kind of money-searching ease at UH in the 1970s!

Similarly, student housing on the Mânoa campus has gone tech to the max, to the delight of today’s computer-savvy students.  Starting this semester, there’s a new and improved housing application form for dorms and residence halls, which may be filled out and submitted electronically online at http://www.housing.hawaii.edu/apply/.  No more faxing in applications!  Even repair requests may be submitted online at http://resnet.hawaii.edu/pilikia/.

When my daughter first moved into a dorm, I was worried while trying not to show it.  Would she like it?  Would she make the adjustment?  But she quickly adapted to her new digs—or crib, as they say today—just as most residents in student housing adapt.  And on-campus housing is creating a definite buzz because, by fall 2010, half of all bed spaces will be in buildings that have been renovated or are practically brand-new, with more improvements to come. 

A shining example of this rebirth and regeneration of campus housing is Frear Hall, a $70 million award-winning, ecologically friendly building.  Plus, it offers Residential Learning Programs, which link in-class learning or shared interests with the residential experience.  They range from one on the Japanese culture and language, to another called GET FIT, for those considering a career in teaching.

As parents, we have much to fret about when our "kids" leave home for college and aren’t under a constant, watchful eye. But these kinds of convenient, student-focused innovations at UH Mânoa can bring a reassuring sense of comfort:  that someone is watching out for their welfare and helping to smooth the way. 

From one parent to another, aloha!

This is the first of what will be an ongoing column for the UH Mânoa Ohana by Diane Chang, director of communications in the Chancellor’s Office and mom to a UH Mânoa senior.  Contact her at (808) 956-0391 or dianec@hawaii.edu.

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Exploring the Possibilities with the Center for Career Development and Student Employment (CDSE)

Whether students are entering their first year on campus or are graduating shortly, CDSE can help them explore life’s possibilities. The center offers:

Career Counseling

CDSE counselors work with students to:

  • Discuss career options.
  • Identify and assess strengths, interests and values.
  • Develop job search strategies.
  • Assist with resume and cover letter reviews, interviewing skills, the evaluation of job offers, networking, business dining etiquette and professional attire tips.
  • Create personal action plans for the career search and/or graduate school options.

Career Experiential Activities & Resources

Comprehensive resources and career experiential activities available at the center include:

  • Career Library - Obtain information on possible majors and career options, and conduct industry research, with this library.
  • Career Fairs and Employer Informational Insights – Meet and network with professionals and learn about career possibilities and opportunities.
  • Online Job Database – View a job database, created specifically for University of Hawai‘i at Mânoa students, that contains more than 400 vacancies ranging from entry-level to skilled positions from 600 active employers.

Work-Based Programs

Linking academics and the workplace, CDSE work-based programs include:

  • University Student Employment – Earn while you learn through part-time work on campus (average 10-12 hours/week at $9/hr).
  • Federal Work Study – This financial-aid based program offers part-time employment at campus and community service locations.
  • Cooperative Education (Co-op) / Internships – Provides practical, real world experience before graduation through a wide range of projects and assignments in business, engineering, economics, health care, humanities, research and science industries. (Average 12-15 hours/week at $12/hr.)
  • Non-University Employment – From small businesses to international corporations, CDSE connects students to employers offering a variety of career options. (Part-time and full-time available.)

For more information, visit the Center for Career Development and Student Employment

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CDSE Internships

UH Mânoa’s CDSE offers a variety of internships where students can observe, shadow and experience a potential career. A few exciting local and national internship opportunities include:

National Internships

Walt Disney World (WDW) College Program is a national internship employer that CDSE has partnered with for the last 10 years. The majority of internships experiences are in the hospitality, retail, entertainment and marketing fields housed in various areas of the organization. Other national internship programs include the FBI Summer Honors Program, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA).

Arts & Sciences Internships

Internships range from graphic design, research, environmental issues and economics. In addition, undergraduate student internships are available in Washington, D.C.,  at either the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars or The Smithsonian Institution. Students remain enrolled at UH Mânoa and put together programs with their major advisers that allow them to receive up to 12 academic credits while interning in Washington, D.C.

Capstone Internships

Students in this capstone course learn to develop their own learning objectives and plans, to apply their academic knowledge in the real world, and to become professionals in their fields. Past internships have included the Waikiki Aquarium, the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, University Health Services, St. Timothy’s Summer Riding Program (Maryland), the Honolulu Zoo, Representative Kyle Yamashita’s office, and local veterinary clinics and pig farms.

For more information, visit the Center for Career Development and Student Employment

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College and Career Planning Tips

Here are a few tips to help your child prepare for a smoother transition from college to the workforce.

1st year

  • Meet with a career counselor to: assess career plans, interests, values, abilities and preferences; determine the best timeframe to pursue Co-ops and internships; register with CDSE; and find out what student services are available.
  • Connect with the campus community through student organizations, University Student Employment, Federal Work Study opportunities and leadership development activities.
  • Take advantage of advising and orientation programs. For graduate or professional school planning (i.e., medicine, law, and health careers), connect with an academic advisor regarding appropriate pre-requisite coursework.

2nd year

  • Meet with a career counselor to: reassess career plans; develop a resume; engage in informational interviews; and gather resources about the career market.
  • Explore possible majors and careers by: conducting informational interviews at the fall and spring career fairs; take advantage of career shadowing opportunities; talk with instructors and a counselor for more in depth information.
  • Develop good work ethics and transferable skills through: University Student Employment, internships and Co-op work experiences; and participation in activities and involvement in organizations.
  • For a career in law, attend a Law Schools Professions Fair to gather information and requirements from over 30 law school admissions representatives.
  • Sign up with CDSE’s CAREERS listserv to receive announcements about jobs or events related to career and educational goals.
  • Develop a strong network of support (e.g., advisors, counselors, and faculty).

3rd year

  • Acquire career-related skills and professional competence through short-term internships or long-term Cooperative Education experiences.
  • Meet with a career counselor to reassess interests, values, abilities and preferences as they pertain to future career plans and choices.
  • Begin a career-job search readiness program (e.g., mock interviews, resume reviews, personal statement/cover letter reviews).
  • Attend career fairs and talk to employers and find out about their companies.
  • Attend Employer Informational Insights events to research the job market, job availability, realistic salary expectations and qualifications desired by employers.
  • Participate in career sessions including: featured careers; networking; professional attire tips; resume writing; and interview strategies.

4th & 5th years

  • Hone in on professional endeavors by researching full-time professional options.
  • Meet with a career counselor to reevaluate accomplishments in school, work experiences, and leadership development that can be offered to employers.
  • Research the job market (e.g., availability, realistic salary expectations, qualifications), and begin to share your post-graduation plans with your "network" of friends, family, professors, counselors and professional contacts.
  • Actively attend and refine your resume and interviewing skills at career fairs and employer information sessions.
  • Participate in career sessions including: how to evaluate salary offers; interview strategies; and business dining etiquette.
  • Take graduate exams, gather letters of recommendations, and apply for graduate schools.

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Student Profile: Kale Kingsbury

Kale KingsburyWhen he entered the University of Hawai‘i at Mânoa in the fall of 2000, Kalekona (Kale) Kingsbury had no idea that librarianship was a field or that Library and Information Science (LIS), a graduate program at UH Mânoa, even existed. Little did he know then, but upon graduating with his BA in U.S. History in the fall of 2005, Kingsbury was determined that librarianship was a profession that he would pursue. "The field matched my personality, my love of books and history, and my interest in assisting others with information retrieval," said Kingsbury, who applied for the LIS program soon after obtaining his undergraduate degree.

Kingsbury credits the Center for Career Development and Student Employment (CDSE) for playing a big role in his deciding to select LIS as a field of study. "It was through my first job at Sinclair Library that I was effectively set on the path toward my future career," he said. Through CDSE, Kingsbury obtained and held several positions at the UH Mânoa Libraries, including staff positions and an internship at the Reference Desk at Hamilton Library.

Kingsbury’s tasks range from checking out and reshelving books and audiovisual items, to scanning items onto Electronic Reserves so students can access their course readings online, to training new student employees in library work. 

Kingsbury was rewarded for his commitment and passion for his jobs. In 2005, he was selected a recipient of the Student Employee of the Year Award, among the more than 3,000 student workers at UH Mânoa. He was employed as a student-in-charge in the print reserves unit of Sinclair Library at the time. His supervisor, Carla Brum, who nominated Kingsbury for the award, shares, "Kalekona had the maturity to understand what a job meant and the responsibility that came with it. He was eager and willing to grasp every aspect of his job. Sinclair Library was very lucky to have had him in our employment."

"The practical experience I have gained from working in a university library has been invaluable," Kingsbury said. He stressed three important points of holding a job at the college level. "First, there’s a sense of independence and responsibility that comes with earning and managing your own money. There is also the opportunity to establish connections with employers and professionals. Finally, it’s a great way to make friends."

Kingsbury adds, "CDSE posts a variety of on-campus and off-campus positions. Even if someone isn’t looking for a job, stopping by CDSE is still worthwhile. It has quite a selection of employment-related resources on hand, and these can be useful in helping students to pick a major, select certain courses to take and otherwise begin planning for life after college."

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Alumni Profile: Janson Aono

Janson AonoGrowing up as a child, Radford High School graduate (’98) Janson Aono was always curious about how things worked, whether it was in life sciences, mechanics or a puzzle. Finally one day Aono asked his dad, "Who designs all the cars and planes?" When his dad replied, "An engineer," Aono vowed to become one.

He stuck to his word and, in Fall 2002, Aono graduated from the mechanical engineering program in the College of Engineering at UH Mânoa. In college, he sought assistance from the Center for Career Development and Student Employment (CDSE) for part-time employment opportunities in the engineering field. He applied and was accepted for a Cooperative Education program with the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard where he was able to gain practical real world experience as a Co-op engineer.

"CDSE was really helpful as I went through the application process," said Aono. "I met with a counselor who told me about the commitments and requirements of the job, and she informed me about other career-building opportunities like resume workshops and job interview preparations."

On the job, Aono was exposed to working in an office/industrial area – an environment that was alien to him before coming on board. He shares, "You’ll be at your computer writing out a job in the morning and then down at the submarine watching the work taking place in the afternoon. It was very fast-paced and not one where you’re sitting in front of the computer crunching numbers day in and day out." Aono was assigned a "mentor" engineer and shadowed him throughout the program. After learning the basics of the software applications in the shipyard, Aono began assisting with researching problems and helping troubleshoot.

Aono showed his commitment and stayed with the Co-op program for three years. Before graduating, he was thrilled at the news that he was offered a full-time position as an air conditioning and refrigeration/ventilation engineer. Aono is responsible for maintaining and repairing the systems that provide cooling and ventilation for habitability in a submarine. Last year, Aono was promoted to lead engineer in his area.

"It was an almost seamless transition to a full-time position," said Aono. "My experience with the Co-op program was very helpful, as many of the barriers that I would have encountered as a new worker had already been broken. I knew all my co-workers, the daily routines, job requirements and my expectations. The only real differences were my title, working hours, and let’s not forget the pay."

Aono says he is grateful for the services provided by CDSE and recommends it to other students who are looking for employment in their chosen fields. "Everyone should get a taste of these types of processes before going in for the real deal," said Aono. "It gives you an idea of what it’s like in the real world and gets you a foot in the door."

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Faculty Profile: Maenette Kape`ahiokalani Padeken Ah Nee-Benham, EdD

Benham"So, why do you want to study native issues? You’ll never become a star if you focus on that topic." Those were the words that a prominent educational scholar said to Maenette Kape`ahiokalani Padeken Ah Nee-Benham, EdD, when she moved to Michigan State University in 1992 and joined its faculty. But Benham felt a calling to promote, discover, transmit and preserve native/indigenous cultures and its peoples. Answering that call put her on a path to a leading role at the University of Hawai‘i at Mânoa.

Benham is the inaugural dean of the Hawai'inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, which was created last year by the merger of the Hawaiian studies and language programs. It is the largest school of indigenous studies in the nation and a major step toward the promotion of the study of the Hawaiian language and culture, and the preservation of Hawai‘i’s host culture.

As she looks forward to the next five years, Benham envisions a vibrant school where communities engage with Hawai'inuiākea in significant and sustained ways; where online master’s degrees in Hawaiian knowledge and doctorate degree programs are available; where a interactive database of Hawaiian knowledge is available to scholars, teachers, students and researchers. Most importantly, she envisions a future where the school creates research and teaching opportunities within the community.

Benham, an alumna of Kamehameha Schools, obtained her doctorate in educational administration at UH Mânoa. She is an author of numerous books and articles on the subjects of engaged educational leadership, the practice of social justice envisioned and enacted by educational leaders, and the effects of educational policy on native/indigenous people. She has also worked with a wide range of indigenous communities, including the American Indian Tribal Colleges and Universities, culture-based and immersion pre-K to 12 schools (Hawaiian, Alaskan Native, American Indian), the Wananga o Aotearoa (New Zealand), and the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium.

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