Monthly Archives: October 2012


Open Table Diners Choose UHMC’s Leis Class Act Restaurant #1 for Hawaii

The best restaurant in Hawaiʻi might just be one you haven’t heard of. Open Table Reservations, a nationwide online restaurant booking service used by 350 million diners, recently revealed that the Leis Class Act Restaurant run by the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College’s Maui Culinary Academy (MCA) was rated number one on their list of “Best Overall Restaurants Hawaii.” What’s their secret? It could be the enthusiasm of MCA students who enjoy the opportunity to shine both in preparing and serving exotic menu items like Salmon and Scallop Paupiette with Pea Shoot Coulis, Chicken Bastilla with Shaved Fennel and Harissa Yogurt, or Mocha Mascarpone Panna Cotta with Pistachio Gelato to their discriminating clientele. “Leis Class Act is a real, five-star restaurant where students learn under fire what it takes to succeed as a culinary professional. We challenge them with menu items that most have never tasted, and can be hard to pronounce! So it’s a thrill for their success to be reflected in the real opinions of Open Table diners,” said MCA External Program Coordinator Chris Speere. “It’s also a testament to the dedication and passion for student learning demonstrated by Juli Umetsu, Teresa Shurilla and Craig Omori who lead the MCA’s efforts in the Leis Family Class Act Restaurant.” The acclaimed fine-dining restaurant can seat up to 75 patrons and has a breathtaking ocean view. At the center of this living classroom is the Exhibition Kitchen, where diners can watch up-and-coming chefs as they deftly wield pots, pans, knives and spatulas to prepare cuisine. Appetizers, salads, soups, entrees and desserts highlight the Island’s freshest locally-grown produce. The restaurant is open Wednesdays and Fridays with seating starting at 11:30am. Reservations can be made through Open Table, or by phone

Whole Foods partners with UHMC Maui Culinary Academy to Support Students

Whole Foods customers put their extra change to good use last September with checkout donations supporting the culinary aspirations of students enrolled in the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College’s Maui Culinary Academy (MCA). Whole Foods Market’s quarterly ‘Recycle Your Change’ fund drives give customers the opportunity to contribute change or additional donations to a designated community group. To-date, Whole Foods Market’s Community Support Days have raised more than $100,000 for Maui nonprofits, and over $900 was raised for Maui Culinary Academy students. “We are thrilled to be able to support the UHMC Maui Culinary Academy,” says Mark Martinez, WFM Kahului Store Team Leader. “The school continues to be a shining example of Hawaiʻi’s rich culinary heritage and we are particularly proud to have some of the Academy’s graduates as fellow team members.” “Whole Foods Maui continues to step forward to support MCA in a number of ways,” said MCA External Program Coordinator Chris Speere. “They provide sponsored employment opportunities for our students, donations of food and beverages for our fundraising activities, "Guest Chef" demonstrations in the art of healthy food preparation, and they serve as a sponsor of our MCA hosted Taste Education Series offered in partnership with Slow Food Maui.” ‘Recycle Your Change’ is part of Whole Foods commitment to supporting local communities. Whole Foods Market Maui partners with local nonprofits in a variety of ways, including donations to local foods banks, change drives, team member volunteer days, and clothing drives. For additional information on Whole Foods Market Kahului, visit or call (808) 872 -3310. Whole Foods Market Kahului is also on twitter, and Facebook UH Maui College’s Maui Culinary Academy was recently recognized by the American Culinary Federation Educational Foundation as one of only 71

‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ at UHMC

Ponolove, the University of Hawai‘i Maui College Sexual Violence Prevention Taskforce, in collaboration with the University of Hawai'i at Manoa Women's Center and Women Helping Women, will be hosting its second annual "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event. “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is an internationally recognized men's march to stop rape, intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and gender violence.  This event will take place on Friday, October 19th from 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. on the UH Maui College Great Lawn. Prior to “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes”, there will be a “General Dynamics of Domestic Violence Training” in the Pilina Multi-Purpose Room from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is being held to increase awareness about issues of violence towards women. It encourages men to be the leaders in the fight towards preventing violence against women, and asks men to walk a “mile” in women’s high-heeled shoes to support the saying: ''You can't really understand another person's experience until you've walked a mile in their shoes." The goal is to open up communication about sexual violence and to help men better understand and appreciate women's experiences, and it also highlights the fact that sexual violence does not just affect women but also the men, family, and friends who care about them. The first 200 participants will get a free t-shirt and a chance to win a $100 cash drawing. The event will be emceed by the ZOO CREW from the Da Jam 98.3 FM morning show, and there will be music and informational services from Maui County agencies. The public can confirm their participation by calling 808-984-3278, or registering at For more information, visit or “LIKE” the event’s FaceBook page

Maui College’s New Program Preserves Future of Hawaiian Music

The first ever class of the Institute for Hawaiian Music at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College is a talented group says institute director George Kahumoku, Jr. “This is the cream of the crop of Hawaiian music,” said four-time Grammy Award winner Kahumoku. He is considered by many to be a living legend when it comes to Hawaiian music. There are about a dozen students in the program, which is dedicated to the perpetuation and preservation of Hawaiian music. Students have to go through a very competitive application and interview process before they are accepted into the 18-month program. Institute for Hawaiian Music students are mentored by some of the greatest Hawaiian musicians around. “If they want to learn falsetto, we hook them up with Uncle Richard Hoʻopiʻi,” said Kahumoku. “If they want to learn slack key, Uncle Ledward Kʻapana, ʻukuele, Herb Ohta. That kind of thing.” “I always love their music. I get to meet all these guys and they get to teach me and it’s like, sometimes I have to think about and wow, is this really happening?” said Axel Menezes, a student participating in the program. Students take a variety of music classes, a music business course and perhaps, most importantly of all, Hawaiian language classes. “Hawaiian music is not just the music itself,” said student Travis Orozco. “It’s the culture, it’s the people, it’s the land and everything. Just learning all these bits and pieces, piecing it all together is awesome.” The students also perform on a regular basis at actual paid gigs and have to produce their own CD for commercial release before getting their certificate of completion. The goal is to adequately prepare them for a career in music, but the program is also

IHM Students Win “Shower of Stars” Competition

Three students from the Institute for Hawaiian Music placed first in the annual "Shower of Stars" talent competition sponsored by the Central Maui Hawaiian Civic Club on Aug. 4. Finals were held at the Iao Theater, where the ‘ukulele and bass trio, comprised of Axel Menezes, Brad Bordessa, and Travis Orozco, took top honors in the 18-and-older category. Preliminary eliminations were held at the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Shopping Center on July 16. The group was one of 17 that earned a place in the finals. "I really thought we'd missed out chance to place," said Bordessa as the second and third place winners were announced. The three students had entered the competition to gain experience and practice their live performance skills and were surprised when it was announced that they had won first place in their category. "The extra effort these students have put in to play additional gigs beyond their IHM work has helped their performance tremendously," said UH Maui College Instructional Designer and IHM planning team member Marty-Jean Bender. "If they keep it up, they should go far in the music industry." On Aug. 31, the IHM students concluded their "Aloha Friday" summer concert series at The Fairmont Kea Lani Resort in Wailea. The free 8-week series provided IHM students with valuable experience in playing live shows. Mentors George Kahumoku, Jr. and the Brown brothers, Kevin and Sheldon, took the stage alongside their students for the final performance of the summer. The Institute for Hawaiian Music at UH Maui College provides mentorships and training to aspiring musicians in performing, singing, composition, repertoire development, recording techniques, and marketing of Hawaiian music. Students also complete coursework in Hawaiian studies and Hawaiian language to understand the cultural

$12.7M Grant to Expand Job Training at UHMC

The University of Hawaii Maui College will administer and receive about a third of a $12.7 million federal grant to expand job training on the Neighbor Islands. The money will be used for one-year certification programs for residents who are unemployed or looking to upgrade their skills, including veterans, said Susan Wyche, special projects coordinator at UH-Maui College, on Wednesday. Programs will be developed in geographic information services, electric vehicle repair and maintenance, entrepreneurial and small business, food innovation with development of "value-added" products from fresh fruit and vegetables and food security, water and wastewater treatment and sustainability in green building and energy efficiency, she said. The curriculum for most of these programs currently is not offered by UH-Maui College and will have to be developed, which will take six months to a year, said Wyche. The college does offer a sustainability program, so the money will be used to enhance that curriculum. Wyche noted that there currently is no training in water and wastewater treatment and that "massive retirements" are expected in this area. The programs probably will be online for next summer and fall semesters, she said. The offerings will be one-year programs, presented either online or as a hybrid online-face-to-face. The programs will be offered for two years. Popular programs may be incorporated into the offerings of the college after the end of the grant term, Wyche said. The workforce development grant with UH-Maui College and Kauai and Hawaii community colleges engaged as a consortium is a first for the Neighbor Island institutions, she said. UH-Maui College will administer the program with each institution receiving roughly a third of the grant, she said. Read more ...

UHMC’s Liko A’e Native Hawaiian Leadership Program Awarded $4.7M by the US Dept. of Education

University of Hawai’i Maui College’s Liko A’e Native Hawaiian Leadership Program was selected to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Native Hawaiian Education Program. The three-year $4.7 million federal grant was made possible under the Title VII Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This grant will support students with higher education scholarships and facilitate the development of their leadership potential. Student scholars who are selected for the program will work with identified community groups throughout Hawai’i and on the continental U.S. Some of the planned activities include working with cultural practitioners across Hawai’i, presenting research to conferences and events throughout the state, participating in leadership programs in Washington D.C. and the United Nations in New York, and participation in online scholarly forums and discussions. Liko A'e Director Malia Davidson said the leadership program, formerly known as a scholarship program, will continue to provide scholarships to Native Hawaiian students as it has done since 2003. “This grant will be no different, except for the higher level of scholarship support, and the expectation that the scholars will learn abouttheir communities and provide services for those communities. We know that leaders are grown from within each community, and we hope to help in that effort.” Davidson compared the student scholars of Liko A'e to a very large family. “There are many personalities and individuals’ goals to care for,” said Davidson. “Best practices have emerged and at Liko A‛e we believe we’ve found a balance to provide good service and successful scholars supported by their communities and our many partners. Thus, we continue to build and strengthen our lahui from the inside out, one scholar at a time.” The application period for the 2013-14 Liko A'e leadership