Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng to be featured speaker at commencement

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: May 5, 2010

Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, education specialist at the East-West Center and the sister of President Obama, will be the featured speaker at two University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Spring 2010 Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 15, at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The undergraduate ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. (student procession begins at 8:30 a.m.), and will end at noon. More than 1,600 students are eligible to receive bachelor’s degrees at the undergraduate ceremony.
Later in the day, from 3-5 p.m., master’s and doctor’s degrees and post-baccalaureate certificates in secondary education will be awarded to nearly 800 graduate degree candidates.
An estimated 2,400 students will receive degrees and certificates for the Spring semester and 2010 summer session. Students completing their degree requirements during the summer are eligible to participate in this month’s ceremonies, since the August Commencement is no longer on the academic calendar.
The UH Board of Regents will present an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Patti Lyons, family and children’s advocate.
Elinor Lutu-McMoore, candidate for a BS in meteorology through the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, will be student speaker. A graduate of Samoana High School and American Samoa Community College, Lutu-McMoore graduated with an associate degree in liberal arts and went on to attend the University of San Diego, obtaining her bachelor of business administration with an emphasis on finance and real estate. Not only is Lutu-McMoore a full-time student, but the mother of three who works as a meteorological technician at the National Weather Service (NOAA-NWS).
Undergraduate Honors Program candidates are Elizabeth Abe, Neal Kazuhiro Akatsuka, Randall Zain Allison, Shae Deven Chang, Megan Mi Ping Chock, Midori Kristina Hirai, Naomi Miyoko Kusachi, Fawn D. Liebengood, Borjana Lubura-Winchester, Nada Rose McClellan, Adam Miyamoto, Carena Montany, Steven Douglas Phillips, Joseph Ryan, Kyle Shimoda, Katherine Atsuko Sakado, Jordyn Suet Ha Toba, That Nam Tran S. Ton, Blake K. Ushijima and Chantrelle Ann Melenani Wai‘alae.
Also receiving recognition during the ceremony will be Regents’ Scholars Neal Kazuhiro Akatsuka, Megan Mei Ping Chock, Jay Chow Jr., Jennifer Fumiko Janena Fukagawa, Lessa Furusho, Kimberly Heu, Katherine Grace Hepualaha‘ole Hoppe, Tiffany Tsz Wing Lau, Evan Alan Mosier, Corinne Virginia Powell, Arlyn Visaya Ramos, Primrose Bumanglag Raquel, Kiara A.S. Sakamoto, Mari Takemoto-Chock, Nam Tran “Sonny” Ton, Sylvia Trinh, Ting-Cheng Wen and Joy Sakiko Yanazaki.
Presidential Scholar graduates are Elizabeth Kazuko Kulia Abe, Joanne Del Rosario Allagonez, Heather Bach, Richard Forster and Mercedes Elissandra Tappe.
The Board of Regents established the Regents’ and Presidential Scholarships in 1987 as the University’s first full scholarships based solely on academic excellence and reserved for Hawai‘i’s best high school and community college students.
Soetoro-Ng, selected as Commencement speaker for both morning and afternoon ceremonies, has a background in global and multicultural education.  She earned a master’s degree in secondary education from New York University, and a PhD in educational foundations from UH Mānoa.
Soetoro-Ng has taught and developed humanities curriculum for alternative public and private schools in New York City and Honolulu. She has also mentored teachers and conducted teacher training workshops in the U.S. and Indonesia.  From 2000-06, Soetoro-Ng was a lecturer with the UH Mānoa College of Education. 
Her children’s picture book, titled “Ladder to the Moon,” is currently being illustrated. She is completing a young adult novel, which will be published in 2011, and is also writing a book on peace education, one of her lifelong commitments.
Doors to the Stan Sheriff Center will open at 8 a.m. for the undergraduate ceremony and at 2 p.m. for the advanced degree ceremony. Both events are free and open to the public. No tickets are issued, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Balloons and strollers are not allowed inside the Stan Sheriff Center.
Free parking will be available in the lower campus parking structure, which will open at 6 a.m. Friends and family members may greet graduates following the ceremony on the football practice field (surnames A-L), the soccer practice field (M-T), and at the softball stadium (U-Z). Authorized lei vendors will be located in the area.
There will be a live webcast of the ceremony. See the website at http://manoa.hawaii.edu/commencement.