The Manoa Sophomore Experience held its first “Achievement Ceremony for First- and Second-Year Students” on Wednesday, April 30th. The event, which took place from 2:30-4:30PM in the Campus Center Ballroom, featured a quick program with guest appearances by some very important individuals of the UHM community.
Upon checking in, attendees were presented with a packet containing an Achievement Ceremony program, event evaluation and an informational flyer about MSE, as well as name cards. Attendees and their guests were then directed to find seats at the festively decorated tables.
The ballroom tables were configured in two long rows, and volunteers worked really hard to lay out red and white tablecloths, mason jar centerpieces and balloons. Each mason jar was filled with red mints, red lollipops and inspirational quotes in the shapes of stars and circles.
Around 3PM, the attendees and guests had a chance to fill their plates with food from Aloha Gourmet (located at Paradise Palms). Aloha Gourmet brought an amazing buffet of food, including fruit salad, cold noodles, Thai chicken wraps, mochiko chicken, special plantation iced tea and our favorite, chocolate covered strawberries! There was enough delicious food for everyone to help themselves to multiple servings, and there wasn’t a hungry tummy in the room by the conclusion of the program.
The program was emceed by Richard Mizusawa, president of the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii. He opened by talking about the Manoa Sophomore Experience before handing the mic to special guest speaker, Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, Assistant Professor from the Institute for Teacher Education. Dr. Soetoro-Ng spoke candidly about her experience as a college student, and her honesty, insight and perspective made her speech highlight of the ceremony.
Dr. Ron Cambra, Assistant Vice Chancellor in the Office of Undergraduate Education, spoke next about the importance of persevering before he, Dr. Soetoro-Ng and President Mizusawa called students up to be recognized for finishing their first or second year of college. MSE and Outreach College scholarship winners were also recognized.
Following the student recognition portion, Dr. Cambra led the attendees in a rousing student pledge to stay in college and finish their education at UHM. His enthusiasm and willingness to lead the charge surely energized students for finals week.
The end of the program was topped off by a centerpiece giveaway before students were directed back to the check in desk to pick up their certificates of recognition. The program ended early, which means the students had a chance to take extra time to study for finals (or celebrate their achievements).
Post-event evaluations indicate that it was a successful event that accomplished what it was intended for. Here are a few of the comments we received from the evaluations:
What did you like about this event?
- “Food and the decorations. Also enjoyed the speaker’s speeches.”
- “It was well decorated and catered. I was surprised by the professional setup.”
- “The guest speaker was great and gave me hope. I loved the food and meeting undergrads like me.”
- “It was small and cute. Great speeches. Really valuable knowledge from people who have been there before.”
- ” 🙂 “
- “This is a good event!”
- “Loved it! Nice getting recognized.”
The Manoa Sophomore Experience would like to thank a bunch of individuals and organizations that helped make this event a success: Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, Dr. Ronald Cambra, Richard Mizusawa, Aloha Gourmet, The Associated Students of the University of Hawaii (ASUH), and Outreach College. Also, a big mahalo to the entire MSE committee for their hard work and dedication, as well as all of the volunteers who came to support the Achievement Ceremony.
[Note for students who would like to pick up their certificates: Please come to the Honors Program Office, located in Sinclair Library, to retrieve your certificate(s). If you have trouble finding the Honors Program, please ask the front desk of the library.]
Although the Achievement Ceremony was the last MSE event of the semester, there’s still plenty more to come in Fall 2014! Look out for the second edition of our popular “Fraps & Sweets” and “Happy Hour” events in October and November, as well as our new “Sundaes and Student Panel” event in September! “Like” our Facebook page for the latest on those and additional opportunities.