Sundaes with Students Fall 2018 Recap

Kahealani “Kahea” Acosta

As a soil science student, Kahea advocates for finding purpose while learning outside of the classroom. Before finding her desired academic path, she didn’t really apply herself in school and felt unmotivated because of the uncertainty about what to study and what to ultimately pursue as a career. In order to reset and figure our a plan, Kahea took a year off of school to spend time doing what she loved, volunteering her time to work in nature! She returned to UH Mānoa to study in the Tropical Plant and Soil Science Department. Soil Science gives Kahea the opportunity to be outdoors while still conducting research. Overall, she encouraged students to take the initiative to enhance their own learning by using the resources available at UH Mānoa. She says, “The resources are there, you just have to ask!”


John Phan

John is study Kinesiology and Exercise Science while still remaining involved on campus. As the Vice President of the Kappa Sigma fraternity here at UH Mānoa, he feels that many of his greatest memories were made by taking the time to balance academic and social life. With plans for Medical School and an internship at the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific, John admited it can be hard to find time to simply have fun, but it is worth the extra effort to finish his studies in order to take a breather away from his work. One of John’s critical pieces of advice was working with your advisor for more than just the mandatory visits! By sitting with an advisor, he has been able to make an academic plan and feel confident in planning to graduate on time!


Kainoa Reponte

Three majors may seem like a lot, but Kainoa assured students that when pursued organically, it is a great way for students to diversify themselves. Kainoa realized that he enjoys talking to people and being analytical so he decided to pursue Marketing. He says that Marketing can work for so many different personalities because it includes a creative side of the trade as well. For his language credits at UH Mānoa, Kainoa studied French and then the opportunity to study abroad presented itself. After returning from France he realized that pursuing a degree in International Business(IB) for a few additional credits of French really interested him. Because he opted to take the extra French course for the IB major, Kainoa added on French as a major to become a triple major. He shared with the students that it is not easy because his course load is a bit heavier, but it is worth the extra work because he is passionate about each part of his studies. Surprisingly, Kainoa originally had planned to transfer from UH Mānoa, but because of his involvement with Registered Independent Organizations he really found a place in the UH Mānoa community which has organically kept him engaged with school and extracurriculars.

Sundaes with Students Fall 2018

Aloha UH Manoa!

We are kicking off the semester with Sundaes with Students! Take this opportunity to hear upperclassmen share their advice on how to be a successful student at UHM.

Our featured panelists:

Kainoa Reponte

Kainoa was born and raised in Lahaina on the island of Maui. After graduating from Lahainaluna High, Kainoa began his journey at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in Fall 2015. He is currently pursuing Bachelor of Business Administration degrees in Marketing and International Business, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in French Language and Literature. In his first semester, he joined the Resident Hall Association and served as the Marketing Coordinator for the Mokihana Freshmen tower. In addition, he pledged for Delta Sigma Pi Rho Chi, a professional co-ed business fraternity, and severed as the Eta Pledge Class Chancellor and the following semester as the Historian for the Rho Chi chapter at large. During the summer of 2016, Kainoa started training to become a Mānoa Peer Advisor (MPA). In Fall 2016, Kainoa started working at the Mānoa Advising Center (MAC) as an MPA. During the past two years, Kainoa has grown into leadership positions both at MAC and the MPA Program, as a Student Coordinator for the Mānoa Advising Center and Peer Advisor Leader for the MPA Program at large. Despite original plans to transfer to a university on the continent, Kainoa found his place on the Mānoa campus from being heavily involved and creating a memorable, fulfilling college experience. In the future, Kainoa hopes to become a Creative Director at an advertising agency where he can blend design with strategy.

John Phan

My name is John Phan and I’m from the Bay Area, California. Currently a senior studying Kinesiology and Exercise Science, I plan to apply to medical school following graduation. I’ve been on the Dean’s List for the last three years while also currently serving as the Vice President of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity here on campus. Other campus organizations I’m involved in include the Campus Center Board, where I am serving as the Membership Chair. During my free time, I work with cancer rehab patients at the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific, help with research conducted by the graduate students in my department, and run SportsScienceStudent, a YouTube channel tutoring undergraduate students. 
Outside of school and work, you can catch me re-watching any of the Marvel superhero movies, boxing, and going out with my friends. 

Kahealani Acosta

Sundaes with Students Recap Spring 2018


Here are a few points each of our panelists discussed:

Lance Nunes

Immediately after graduating high school, Lance approached UHM with wide eyes for the freedom college would bring. This freedom can be a positive part of college life, but requires self control. As the valedictorian of his graduating class, Lance and his family were surprised when the transcripts from freshman year showed unsatisfactory grades. One contributing factor to Lance’s struggle with school was taking on a full-time off-campus job. In order to get back on track, Lance quit his full-time job and pursued on-campus work opportunities and organizations. On-campus jobs know the commitment required to be a student and work with students to prioritize academics while still maintaining a job. As a member of Gear Up HUI and Kappa Sigma Fraternity, as well as, working on campus as a Resident Assistant, Lance has been able to seize the many opportunities within his reach while sustaining his academic path.


Alyssa Lapitan

Alyssa academic journey began with a scholarship to Creighton University, however, staying close to family was ultimately more important. Similar to Lance, Alyssa was excited at the possibilities of college and chose to live on campus throughout her academic career. Alyssa is also part of the the Gear Up HUI program and transitioned to the Program Coordinator in 2016. As a way to branch out, Alyssa joined the Phi Mu sorority. This presented many social opportunities that Alyssa believe contributed to her overall happiness at UHM. Though college can be a place of freedom, ask yourself, “what are you really here for?” Remember that academics come first and attending class is the key to being successful in college. In addition to punctuality, Alyssa, takes time to introduce herself to her professors. Professors can help students along their academic path and present opportunities for the professional sector.


Tate Castillo

For Tate, the college journey began in the UH community college system. Because he had always been considered a ‘good student’ in high school, Tate felt he did not need to put in effort to his courses and used his free time to befriend the wrong crowd. When Tate made the transition to UHM, he began to realize how crucial time spent in University can be. These are the years when students can discover their passions and making the most of your time and connections can help students develop the best version of themselves. At UHM, Tate joined a couple RIOs at Shidler College of Business. He found a foundation to catalyze his efforts to achieve greater in the Delta Sigma Pi fraternity and continues to be an active member for Business Executive Society of Tomorrow.  Tate encourages students to believe in their abilities to achieve higher.


Chad Keaulana

At the start of his college career, Chad, would commute from Makaha to UHM daily and found himself exhausted. He decided that taking a year off from school to work and save money would be the best option for him. Chad was driven by his aim to uplift his community and set an example for his younger siblings by being the first in his family to graduate college. By setting aside time to become financially stable enough to live closer to campus, Chad set himself up for success to pursue his degree more comfortably. By sharing his story, Chad feels that he can help other students realize that college may not always be a cookie cutter, four-year path. He encourages students to learn from others and begin networking with peers, mentors, and professors so that the transition into the professional sector is more successful.


Happy New Year! Sundaes with Students Spring 2018

Check out our featured article on Sundaes with Students on Ka Leo!

Here are our panelists:

Tate Castillo

“Aloha! My name is Tate L. Castillo, and I’m a Senior this semester graduating from the Shidler College of Business with my degrees in Finance, Entrepreneurship, and International Business. I’m from Kāneʻohe, Oʻahu, and I’m a graduate of Kamehameha High School Kapālama. I enjoy playing my guitar, watching movies, and napping on my free time. My extracurriculars on campus include being a both an active Brother of Delta Sigma Pi (Rho Chi) and Bestie in the Business Executive Society of Tomorrow (BEST) as well as being chosen as a select few to act as academic and professional ambassadors, domestically and internationally, in the Shidler Global Leaders Scholarship. I, along with a few other undergraduates and master’s students, traveled through Japan, China, and Vietnam last summer as part of the Pacific Asian Management Institute’s Asian Field Study Program where we immersed ourselves in each country in order to gain a clearer perspective of the development of global economies at different scales. After graduation, I will be enrolling at the William S. Richardson School of Law in the hopes of pursuing both my Juris Doctor & Master of Business Administration to strive for my dream of having a positive impact on my local community that has made me into who I am today…”
Delta Sigma Pi (Rho Chi):
Business Executive Society of Tomorrow (BEST):

Alyssa Lapitan

Aloha! My name is Alyssa Lapitan, and I am a senior pursuing a degree in Psychology. I was born and raised in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, and graduated from Moanalua High School. I am currently working as the Program Coordinator for the Hawaii Undergraduate Initiative (HUI) program here at UH Manoa under the Office of Multicultural Student Services. Aside from working at HUI, I am also active in several organizations on campus including Phi Mu Fraternity, AlohaThon, and reLITE Dance. When I’m not in school, I love to dance, find new and old music to listen to, and travel around the world with my family.

Lance Nunes

“Aloha, my name is Lance Nunes. I was born and raised here on O’ahu and graduated from Farrington High School. I was originally a Bioengineering major, however, I am graduating this semester with a B.S. in Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology. Following graduation, I plan to attend a graduate school in pursuit of a master’s degree in either Developmental, Reproductive Biology or Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. I currently conduct research at the Manoa Institute of Biogenesis Research. I have been involved with organizations such as UHM Hawai’i Undergraduate Initiative (HUI), serving as a Peer Mentor, Program Team Member and Support Staff, and the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, serving as Fundraising Chairman and Grand Treasurer. I also am a Resident Assistant for Student Housing. I am happy to answer any questions you may have for me. I look forward to meeting you all! 

Chad Keaulana

Chad Keaulana was born and raised on the Leeward side of Oʻahu in Makaha, Waianae. He is a UH Mānoa student pursuing his BS degree in Civil and Environmental engineering. He graduated from Leeward Community College with an Associate’s Degree in natural science in engineering (ASNS). His career objective is to create a Native Hawaiian-owned engineering firm to design environmentally conscious structures. His life experiences in ocean and water activities has grounded him to critically think about how he can sustain and manage the limited resources around the Hawaiian Islands.


SWS Recap Fall 2017

Sundaes with Students Recap

Here is some advice our panelists shared at the event!

Tzana Saldania

After a series of life changing events, Tzana, decided to follow her passion for art and switched her Cognitive Science Major to English. Tzana encourages students to keep in mind that not everyone has the privilege to receive a college education; use this time in your life to do what you are most excited about.

“It’s okay to be afraid,” use that fear to propel you into your full potential.

Sam Calumpit

For the first two years of college, Sam treated college like high school. She had built her friend group around familiar people and then began to realize that she was not growing. Sam wanted grow her network and began to join multiple business clubs in Shidler. This allowed her to meet and build relationships with those outside of her major. Joining clubs brings many responsibilities and the key is finding your balance, knowing your capabilities in order to best serve yourself and your club.

Bryce Au

Bryce stressed the importance of creating opportunities for yourself, whether it is taking on leadership roles or trying something new. Bryce exemplified this in his reflection on Study Abroad here at UH Mānoa and wants others to do the same as it can be an opportunity to discover your strengths in and out of the classroom.

Kelli Sunabe

As this is her super senior year, Kelli, reflected on her years of being involved on campus. Joining clubs and taking advantage of the little opportunities that presented themselves, Kelli has been able to create a friendly atmosphere here at UH Mānoa. Kelli reminds us that creating opportunities for the following generation of students is important as well. Without the help she received from the generation before her, Kelli would not be where she is today. She encourages us to adopt this mentality in order to foster the next generation of leaders here at UH Mānoa.

Sundaes With Students Fall 2017

Our first event of Fall 2017!

We will be featuring a panel of students who will share about their experiences at UH Mānoa.
Come out and enjoy their stories and FREE ice cream sundaes!

Wednesday, September 27th
QLC 411/412


Tzana Saldania

Tzana Saldania is a junior of the Honors Program at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She started her college career majoring in Cognitive Psychology. For two years, she worked under Dr. Scott Sinnett and Dr. Andrew Dewald as a research assistant in the Perception and Attention Lab of Manoa. She also served as a teaching assistant for Dr. Dewald in Spring of 2016.

As of Fall 2017, however, she declared her major in English. Her focus being literary studies and psychological critique. She has been awarded the Myrle Clarke Award in Creative Writing. As well as publications in Verse Versi for Italian poetry and Horizons; the undergraduate journal of student work for creative nonfiction.

A writer at Ka Leo, she is the founder and curator of the “American Identity Project” which is on its second publication cycle this term.
She hopes to be a professor in Literary Studies or Comparative Literature.

Samantha Calumpit

“My name is Sam and I am currently a junior, pursuing a degree in Accounting. I plan on applying in the Master of Accounting Program, as well as, become a Certified Public Accountant. I am currently a Manoa Peer Advisor, Student Interchanger and a member of a couple clubs at the Shidler College of Business. I love to paint my nails, play the guitar, and try out new places to eat! I’m also from Waipahu, Hawaii and a graduate of Maryknoll High School. “

Bryce Au

Hey everyone, I’m Bryce Au and this is my final semester at UH Manoa, pursuing a degree in International Business and Management. I currently intern for Culture and work as a Student Fellow with the Office of Admissions in trying to establish the Manoa Scholars Club. In the Shidler College of Business was a member of International Business Organization. Currently living in the Salt Lake side of Oahu and graduate of Moanalua High School. Ask me about different opportunities you’re interested in!


Kelli Sunabe

Aloha! My name is Kelli Sunabe, I am a Senior majoring in Fashion Merchandising, Human Resource Management and International Business. In the Shidler College of Business, I am currently a Shidler Global Leader, the President of the Inter-Business Council, and Co-Director of Fundraising for Delta Sigma Pi: Rho Chi professional fraternity. In the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, I am currently a CTAHR Ambassador and a member in the honor society Phi Upsilon Omicron. I have assisted the Marketing Director of Pearlridge Center over the past year, but am currently focusing on my studies and organization positions this semester. This year I am excited to be the Captain of Shidler’s NU-CUIBE case study competition team, we compete to represent the college in Boston in November.

The biggest takeaway I have learned from college is that taking chances and being uncomfortable allows you to grow, will open up new opportunities for you, and will ultimately help you to maximize appreciation for your present experience. Don’t be afraid, try it!

Recap: Sundaes With Students Spring 2017

Thank you for coming out to our first event of Spring 2017! We hope you enjoyed hearing from our panel and the ice cream sundaes!

Sara Samiano

She is a Sophomore, active within the UHM community by serving as American Marketing Association’s Vice President of Communications. Sara shared about her desire to pursue art at an institution away from Hawaiʻi, but found a family within AMA. She is now on track to obtain a double major in Marketing and Management at the Shidler College of Business with a minor in Art! Sara talked about the difficulty of balancing work, school and internships, but getting involved is important. Finding clubs and other places to put your time and energy exercise your ability to prioritize. College is your time to “put yourself out there and put yourself first; be selfish because this is about your future.”

Joanna Galingana

Joanna stressed the importance of over coming the challenges you face. Working three jobs since the age of 16 to fund her college education was tough, but she exemplifies that you can achieve what you work hard for. Being the first in her family to pursue college, Joanna learned all aspects of this venture on her own. She initially pursued a degree within the College of Education, however, she is now finishing her degree in Family Resources! Joanna wants students to be proactive within the UHM community by joining clubs early to gain experience and meet people. This is your time away from the classroom to make connections. Joanna leaves some advice, “Don’t be afraid, be positive, never give up; asking stupid questions will get you answers!”

Tasha Haili-Silva

Tasha has a huge passion for helping others; pursuing a double major in Hawaiian Studies and Family Resources. Throughout college she battled with deciding if college was sincerely the route she wanted to take. When Tasha began Hawaiian Studies courses at Kapiolani Community College, she found passion for Hawaiian Studies because Hawaiʻi is home. After her transfer to UHM, Tasha decided to take on her double major because Family Resources is more related to what she wants to do with her career. Tasha stresses the importance of making friends in your classes because those are the people you will graduate with. Without her friends, Tasha is convinced she would have dropped out of college; they held her accountable when it came to her education.

Sundaes with Students – Spring 2016

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Event Summary: The Spring 2016 Sundaes with Students event was a success! Attendees enjoyed delicious fully-loaded sundaes while hearing fellow students share their college experiences and words of wisdom.

The panelist spoke about their college experiences and shared their tips for success (which have been added to this post below each panelist’s bio).



Rolando Espanto

Rolando Espanto grew up in Nanakuli, O’ahu. Currently working on his masters in Pacific Island Studies. Rolando graduated from University of Hawaii at Manoa with a bachelor’s degree in history. His undergraduate studies focused on Pacific and Asian histories. Rolando is interested in Pacific Island and Hawaiian History 20th Century thru Contemporary, Cultural Identity and Politics, and Education: Social and Cultural Issues, particularly ways that indigenous methods of education can help communities overcome obstacles and reclaim a sense of place in the Pacific Islands.

– Fully utilize college resources that the university provides!
– “Every day you make a choice, and with every choice comes a good or bad consequence. Be grateful, enjoy your successes, but also be humble. A person’s character is determined by how they react to victory, but also failure”
– Have a purpose!

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Cherese Shelton

Aloha or shall I say Kia ora? My name is Cherese Shelton and as I write this, I am abroad in New Zealand! The multiple bakeries and cafes on every corner are perfect for a foodie like myself. It’s no wonder that I am studying towards my Bachelor degree in Dietetics – Food Science and Human Nutrition. I plan to combine my love for traveling and nutritional advising in the near future through the peace corps. Since I am also studying to earn a certificate in spanish, I am eager to offer my knowledge of nutrition to a spanish-speaking country. Possibly before, but more likely after this adventure, I would like to receive a Master degree in business so that I may start my own practice and/or open a heathy local cafe. Eventually, I hope to acquire a PhD so that I may gain utmost knowledge in the subject of human nutrition and perhaps in the late future become a professor a university where I can build up the next generation of health professionals. My plans are plentiful and grand, but I have the dedication, compassion and well…a whole lifetime!

– If you find yourself stuck and not knowing what to pursue, take time to think about what you love doing most during your free time. Find career connections with things you absolutely love doing!
– Scholarship season can get really crazy but really worth it!
– Figure out your best studying habits.


Preston Matsuo

Hey everyone, my name is Preston Matsuo and I’m from Mililani, Oahu!  As a senior majoring in Civil Engineering, I have truly made UH Manoa my home.  I work in the Office of Admissions as a student ambassador, I’m a peer advisor for the Manoa Peer Advisors, I’ve played a variety of intramural sports, and am the treasurer for the American Society of Civil Engineers. There’s so much that this campus has done for me, and I don’t think you’ll find anyone who has more pride in UH Manoa.  As for my plans after graduation in the fall, I plan to work in construction, so maybe you’ll see some buildings of mine out there some day!

– Get involved on campus! Be apart of something bigger!
– Develop a network and support system!
– Find you career and academic goal! It will help you get through tough courses and keep you motivated!


Elyse Oyama

Hi! My name is Elyse Oyama and am currently in my second year at the William S. Richardson School of Law.  In law school, I have participated in a variety of organizations, such as the Client Counseling team, Etes (the Women’s Flag Football team), and Law School Ambassadors.  Currently, I also work at the Pre-Health/Pre-Law Advising Center as a Pre-Law Advisor, helping students understand the process for applying to law school.  I graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with a double major in Economics with Highest Honors and Psychology, a minor in Political Science, and a certificate in Spanish. After leaving UH, I worked in Washington, D.C. for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka and in Philadelphia, PA for a charter school non-profit organization.

– Make an effort to make friendships with your professors!
– Gain experience through jobs and volunteering!
– Reach out to people to get more information of what you think you’d like to do after college!

Sundaes with Students Spring 2015

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Event Summary: The Spring 2015 Sundaes with Students was a success! Attendees checked in upon entering, then helped themselves to a diverse selection of ice cream flavors and toppings at the sundae bar.

The guest speakers were also very diverse. Each of the speakers spoke for ten minutes about their backgrounds, undergraduate experiences and lessons learned along the way. The panel finished by sharing their tips for success (which have been added to this post below each panelist’s bio).



Michelle Tagorda

Michelle A. Tagorda was born in Hilo, Hawai‘i and is a graduate of Kea‘au High School. Tagorda attended the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa where she received bachelor degrees in biology and psychology. As an undergraduate, she was a New Student Orientation Leader, Access to College Excellence peer mentor and a peer advisor at the Pre-Health/Pre-Law Advising Center. She was also a member of the Pre-Medical Association, Psi Chi Honor Society, Mortar Board Honor Society and Office of Multicultural Student Services: Bin-I Program. Throughout the majority of her undergraduate years and into her first year as a graduate student, Tagorda was also part of the Campus Center Board.Currently serving as an undergraduate advisor for the UH Office of Public Health Studies, Tagorda is pursuing her master of public health at UH Manoa. She also assists the Manoa Peer Advisors as the program assistant, and is a member of the Hawai‘i Public Health Association and the Hui Ola Pono student group. Additionally, she volunteered with the Hawai‘i Primary Care Association to develop an educational toolkit for the film Ola.Tagorda is also part of the Health Behavior Change Research Workgroup. In her spare time, Tagorda enjoys playing basketball, running at Ala Moana Beach Park, reading and journal writing.


  • Venture out of your comfort zone to find your passion and learn how to be connected and involved on campus. Challenge yourself.
  • Always remember that you are not alone in this.
  • Make wellness a top priority. Be sure to make time for yourself and take care of your mental health.

A McKee Headshot

Amy McKee

Amy McKee is a first-year Master’s student in Higher Educational Administration program at UH Manoa. She is from Kaimuki, Oahu and graduated from Kalani High School (2009). Afterward, she went to Kapi‘olani Community College and received her AA in Liberal Arts, then transferred to UH Mānoa and received her BA in English and Chinese in Spring 2014. She currently works as an Academic Advisor Assistant at the Colleges of Arts & Sciences Student Academic Services (CASSAS) and as a Mānoa Peer Advisor (MPA) at the Mānoa Advising Center. In the future, Amy plans to be an Academic Advisor and hopes to work in student affairs. Her on-campus involvement includes serving on the Mānoa Sophomore Experience (MSE) Committee; a Peer Advisor Leader (PAL) for the MPA Program; the Vice President of Membership for the Higher Education Student Association; a board member on the Student Activity & Program Fee Board (SAPFB); an ACE Peer Mentor for Fall 2013; and an Accepted Student Reception Panelist in Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and Hilo.


  • Invest in a planner and look at your syllabus at the start of the semester.
  • Technology: Use Dropbox or Google Drive to back up files (computers crash!) and you can access them anywhere. Set up automatic sync for email on your phone.
  • Surround yourself with positive people (find people who care about the things you do and want to get involved). Make sure you speak up and let your student voice be heard.


Jeff Chung

Jeff Chung started his college career 25 years ago at Occidental College where he pursued a Major in Physics. However, life circumstances intervened and he took a break from school, subsequently becoming involved in the Life Safety Industry (fire alarms, security systems, cctv and other specialty low voltage systems). Starting out as a technician, and gradually moving into sales, marketing, engineering and project management, Jeff was eventually given the opportunity to start and run a Low Voltage division at an established Electrical Contracting company. However, after 20 years in the same industry, he has returned to UH Manoa to explore the fields of Psychology and Social Work. While he’s still trying to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up, Jeff is enjoying life as a college student and is having fun being back on campus learning new things.


  • If you have a direction, stick with it, earn your degree and make the best of it.
  • From experience, having a college degree shows that a potential job applicant had the tenacity to stay in college. It’s not all about school or your GPA–learn soft skills and don’t miss out on extracurriculars just to get A’s.
  • Make the most of your college experience: explore extracurriculars, don’t be afraid to take something fun, get to know your professors and other people on campus.


Thank you to the Student Activity and Program Fee Board (SAPFB) for funding our Spring 2015 Panel Series!

A big thank you to our awesome panelists, committee volunteers and everyone who attended Sundaes with Students!


Sundaes with Students Fall 2015

The Sundaes with Students event was very successful! We had 100+ attendees come for ice cream and listen to the panelists speak. Thank you to all those who showed up and to the panelists for sharing their fascinating anecdotes and advice!

Here’s what some of out attendees had to say:

“I liked hearing motivational speeches from students who have struggled like I have.”

“Hearing the upperclassman/grad students tell the stories were motivational to me.”

“I loved hearing about other student lives (how they got to where they are now) while eating ice cream.”

What: Sundaes with Students
When: September 30th (Wednesday)
Event Details: Make a customized sundae at our sundae bar then hear from a panelist of undergraduate upperclassmen and graduate students as they talk about their experiences as first and second year students at UHM. It’s a great way to gain perspective on what’s in store for you at Manoa and beyond! (Sundaes available on a first-come, first-served basis.)


1907931_751796301565154_215125819053775489_nMcKenna Lewis
Aloha! My name is McKenna Lewis and I am majoring in global environmental science with a focus on marine biology. Some of my accomplishments include graduating high school as valedictorian, receiving the Marine Technology Society Scholarship award, and gaining acceptance as a National Society of Collegiate Scholars member. I plan on graduating with honors with my bachelor’s of science degree and pursuing a master’s degree in marine biology. I hope to have a career in ocean conservation, specifically dealing with coral reefs. Fun fact: I love to shoot film photography!


  • Friends will come naturally
  • Find friends that are going through the same thing
  • Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
  • Study hard; stay on top of new concepts
  • Get help when you need (e.g. Office Hours, LAC, Learning Emporium)
  • Apply for as many scholarships as you can

Richard Mizusawa

Richard Mizusawa is currently a graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in educational administration at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM). He works as a graduate assistant for the College of Education Senate as well as a policy analyst for the UH Office of the Vice President for Administration. During his undergraduate tenure, he attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and communicology (formerly speech) with a minor in business administration. He served in the undergraduate student government, ASUH, for four years, where he was elected to serve as student body president (2012-2014) and secretary (2010-2012). He also served as president of the Public Relations Student Society of America, was an NSO leader for two years, ACE Peer Mentor, and was active in other student organizations related to his academic interests. He enjoys serving his community as a member of the Aiea Neighborhood Board, his alma mater’s School Community Council, and as president of the Aiea High School Alumni Association. He is originally from Mānoa, Honolulu, but now resides in Aiea. Fun fact – he can beat anyone at thumb war.


  • Health is important
  • Live a happy, healthy lifestyle
  • Take charge of your future; know that things will change over your lifespan
  • Get involved (e.g. join a club, get a job, support others)
  • Keep options and perspectives open
  • Do not necessarily rush your degree
  • Make time to study. You’re here to study.
  • Balance your schedule


Angie Taylor Anderson

Originally from Ewa Beach, Hawaii, Angie Taylor Anderson is a Bachelor of Arts candidate in both English and Theatre, hoping to graduate with Honors in 2017. She is currently working three jobs as a Peer Advisor Leader with the Mānoa Peer Advisors Program at the Mānoa Advising Center, a Student Mentor at Student Athletic Academic Services, and a Pirate at Hawaii Pirate Ship Adventures. (That’s right, a pirate. Like, Argh! and all that. That’s not a joke.) While she is currently a pre-law student pursuing a career in Maritime Law, she would not be opposed to Steven Spielberg dropping a script on her desk in the near future. Passionate about acting and theatre, she has performed as the Fire Captain in The Bald Soprano at Kennedy Theatre and has appeared in both the One-Minute Play Festival and the New Play Festival. By the time you meet her at the panel, she would have just closed her most recent show, The Butterfly, at Kennedy Theatre and will have started stage managing The Cow is on the Other Side of the Fence. Fun Fact: she has survived electrocution.


  • Keep time to yourself. You will find out what is true to you during your college experiences.
  • There will be something you will find.
  • You will create your own pathway. See your advisors.
  • Motivate yourself to go to classes.
  • Recognize your own limits and plan accordingly.
  • If you get the chance to go somewhere else, do it.

Past Panelists