As we enter February, we enter the heart of the spring semester after welcoming about 2,600 students back to our college. A number of them will be culminating their achievements by joining us this May for commencement exercises. From now until graduation, here are some of the things happening in our Kauhale.
Kauhale Pride: Alumna of the Year
With this issue, let us take pride in the success of the many graduates who have passed through the halls of our campuses. Their success is indeed our success. So, let me introduce to you our featured alumna of the year, Lacy Deniz. Born and raised on Hawai'i Island, Lacy’s educational journey includes earning her Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts at the Kealakekua campus in 2012. She then transferred to UH Mānoa where she earned her bachelor’s degree in communications. Now she can be seen daily on Hawaii News Now, primarily as their traffic reporter. To get an idea of what she does, above is a video clip of some reporting she did during the Merrie Monarch Festival. (Lacy is passionate about hula and a dancer herself). We will be celebrating Lacy on February 8 as a guest speaker for Hawai'i CC Day and the Hawai'i CC Alumni Mixer. Lacy will also be the commencement speaker for Hawai‘i CC – Pālamanui.
Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE)
A number of research posits that the best anti-poverty program is a job. But in the economy of the 21st century, the best way to get and keep a job is to have a two- or four-year college degree. This is particularly relevant when a number of our households are living below ALICE and poverty level. A recent report from United Way illuminates the difficulties for households with limited assets and income constraint to support themselves and their family.
In our Kauhale, we take our commitment as mobility-makers seriously. Our integrated student success efforts continue to focused on closing educational achievement gaps, particularly for students we have historically underserved. This includes our responsibility to put our students first and begin to understand the many obstacles they face, including the debilitating impact of poverty. On March 2, we will hold another Kauhale Day and Capacity Cafe. The day will provide an opportunity to develop and enhance our capacity in supporting student success.
On another note, I extend a mahalo nui for your feedback and input on the 2018 restructure proposal for the College. I submitted the final version to Dr. John Morton January 13, 2018. It is attached here for your information. It is my understanding that John will carefully review our proposal, confer with UHCC staff and consult with bargaining units appropriately before rendering his approval. I commit to keeping you updated about the approval of this proposal.
Chancellor Spring Schedule
I am involved in key activities this spring for professional development and an opportunity to represent the College regionally and nationally. This will require travel off of our Island. They include:
- ATD spring conference February 20-23. We are again excited to send a delegation of faculty, staff and students to this conference. We intend to bring best national practices to help inform our integrated student success efforts.
- ACCJC Evaluation of Hawai’i Tokai International College (HTIC). I am serving as Chair for this evaluation visit scheduled for March 5-8. With this experience, I hope to learn firsthand an evaluation visit that could help prepare us for our October 2018 visit. Dr. Melanie Wilson is assisting me on this visit with seven other team members.
- NWCCU Evaluation of Oregon Coast Community College. I am also a member of an evaluation team for OCCC candidacy accreditation application scheduled for April 8-12. This visit is also a training to prepare me to chair future NWCCU evaluation.
- Annual American Association of Community College (AACC) Conference. As an AACC member for Economic and Workforce Development commission and also as past President of National Asian Pacific Island Council, I will be attending this annual conference from April 26 to 30. I intend to represent our College in current and emerging issues affecting community colleges.
Me ka aloha pumehana,
Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas