“Fraps with Faculty”


Event: “Fraps with Faculty”

Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Event Details: An all-star panel of UH-Manoa faculty will talk about their experiences in college, and give advice for thriving at UHM and succeeding post-graduation. Starbucks Frappuccinos and a variety of baked goods will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Event Summary:

The Fall 2014 “Fraps with Faculty” event occurred on Wednesday, October 29 from 1:30-2:30PM in Campus Center 203A&B. It was the second in the Fall 2014 Panel Series, which aims to introduce and expose students to varied perspectives from noteworthy individuals.

The aim of “Fraps with Faculty” was to span the divide between students and UH-Manoa faculty, and give students perspective and advice about what to expect for the remainder of their undergraduate careers and beyond. This semester, the three panelists were Dr. Kiana Shiroma (Pre-Health & Pre-Law Advising Center), Dr. Steve Robinow (Associate Dean of Natural Sciences) and Dean Cost, Esq. (Professor of Business Law, Shidler College of Business).

We are pleased to announce that the event went very well! Attendees checked in with MSE committee members when they entered, then proceeded to pick up MSE promotional items and grab tasty cookies and bottled Starbucks Frappuccino drinks.

Each of the panelists spoke for 15 minutes about their background, their undergraduate experiences and gave advice for surviving and thriving at UHM. All three panelists were insightful, funny and honest, and emphasized that they are here to help each and every student. (You can read some of the advice they shared further down in this post.) After they finished speaking, the event ended with a brief Q&A session.

All in all, there were about 85 attendees, including students, committee members and the panelists!

Faculty Panelists:


Dr. Kiana Shiroma, Director of the Pre-Health Pre-Law Advising Center (PAC)

Kiana Yasuyo Shiroma was born and raised on Oʻahu. She grew up in Kailua and is presently living in Kaneohe. She earned a B.A. and M.A. in Communicology and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration, all from UHM. Last year, Kiana was awarded the Outstanding Advisor of the Year Award from the Council of Academic Advisors. She is presently the Director of the Pre-Health/Pre-Law Advising Center.


  • On major selection: Choose a major that interests you the most.
  • On seeking opportunities: Keep an open mind. See what’s out there and take advantage of things open to you.
  • On connecting with people: Even though you don’t know the relevancy, these are new connections you can make with people. You’ll discover the connection later.
  • On classes: Every class can teach you something.
  • More advice: Interact on-campus and join clubs or activities. Take advantage of study abroad.


Dr. Steve Robinow, Associate Dean in the College of Natural Sciences

Undergrad:  UC Berkeley, BA Genetics
Grad School:  Brandeis University, Waltham MA, PhD in Biology
Post-doctoral research: Department of Zoology, University of Washington
Arrived at UH as an Assistant Professor of Zoology in 1995.  My research lab investigates the genetic basis of nervous system development using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.  We have been particularly interested in identifying genes that are required for the growth and navigation of axons in a developing nervous system.  I have been teaching a large undergraduate course, Cell and Molecular Biology since my arrival in 1995.  I served as the chair of the Department of Biology from 2012 to 2014, and am currently serving as an Associate Dean in the College of Natural Sciences.
  • On the faculty-student dynamic: Faculty can talk about material endlessly, but the fun is not in lecturing. They really care about students they teach. It may be hard to see due to traditional barriers. The barrier is for you (the student) to break. Faculty want to know students. It’s the moments where students say, “Wow, you had an impact on my life,” that make their year. It’s why they’re here at UHM.
  • On connecting with faculty: Find a faculty member to have a professional relationship with, especially for letters of recommendation.
  •  Advice for the future: Be brave. This is a safe place. Your peers and everyone out there are generally nice people.

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Dean Cost, Esq. Professor at Shidler College of Business

Dean Cost is a professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Shidler College of Business. He earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Ohio State University before doing his graduate study the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver and the University of Exeter England. He then attended the University of Denver College of Law to earn his JD and worked in a private practice till 2000 when he began teaching at UHM. He is the recipient of the 2003-2004 Dennis Ching Outstanding Teaching Excellence Award and an Outstanding Teacher Award, both from the Shidler College of Business. Professor Cost currently teaches BLAW 200 (Legal Environment of Business) and BLAW 604 (Social and Legal Aspects of Management).


  • On taking notes in class: Record lectures then transcribe notes at home. Read the material before class. It’s double studying, but it yields the best notes.
  • On choosing a major: Major in a subject/find a career in something that’s beneficial to society and find something meaningful to you.
  • On taking school seriously: Treat school like it’s a job. Get a good GPA. Get people to write you letters of recommendation.
  • On getting involved: Be involved in this experience, it disappears and after that, it’s work.

w-7037Thank you to the Student Activity & Program Fee Board and Dr. Ron Cambra for funding this event. Thank you to all the MSE committee volunteers who helped plan and execute this event.

“Fraps & Sweets” Recap

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The panelists (from left): Thomas Kiyabu (alumnus and Division Manager at UPS), Ivan Chik (alumnus of UHM and student at John A. Burns School of Medicine), Dr. Craig Santos Perez (Director of the Creative Writing Program), Dr. Loriena Yancura (Family Resources).

The first-ever “Fraps & Sweets” event took place on Thursday, February 13,  2014 from 12-1:30PM. Forty attendees came to the Campus Center Executive Dining Room to hear from a special panel of speakers., including alumni, faculty and a local professional. Each panelist spoke for 10-15 minutes about a) Their experience as students, b) Life after graduating, and c) Advice for current students. Attendees drank Starbucks Coffee Frappuccinos and munched on a variety of baked goods from Sodexo.

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Here’s a sampling of what the attendees had to say about “Fraps & Sweets!”

“Cool experience!”
“The event was enjoyable and definitely worth my time :)”

What did you like about this event?
“Lots of good tips!”
“Your speakers are fun to listen to. Everyone is interesting, I like the variety of the speakers.”
“I liked hearing about other people’s undergrad experiences.”
“The wisdom offered by the panelists and insight.”

What did you learn from this event?
“The importance of connecting with other students and professors as well as getting involved with the campus.”
“Work hard, be dedicated. College isn’t all about classes, it’s about growing.”
“I learned that everyone goes through hard times and that it’s okay to not know what you want to do.”
“Don’t be afraid ‘Experience life on a deeper level'”

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A big MAHALO to all of our guest speakers and to the Manoa Sophomore Experience committee for their help in making this event a success!

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