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Free Guitar Concert July 25th at UHMC

Kahului, HI — July 9, 2014 — A trio of virtuoso guitarists are set to perform a free noon concert at UH Maui College on Friday, July 25th to help shine a light on opportunities to study music at UHMC and inspire the next generation of musicians.

The concert features students of world-renowned classical guitarist Benjamin Verdery who serves as chair of the guitar department at the Yale School of Music – Ian O’Sullivan, a Kamehameha graduate and UH alumni who became the first guitarist from Hawaiʻi to earn a Masters in Guitar from Yale University, Arash Noori who is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Music from the Yale School of Music, and Ray Zhou, who will begin Yale School of Music’s highly competitive Artist Diploma program.

Sponsored by the UH Maui College’s Music Department, the program will include baroque guitar, classical guitar, and ‘ukulele, and will take place in the science building lecture theatre (‘Ike Le‘a 144) at 12:00 PM.

“We’re thrilled to have these gifted guitarists appear at UHMC, and demonstrate the depth and variety of music that can be heard here on Maui,” said UHMC music studies coordinator Dr. Keola Donaghy. “Maybe the next Ian O’Sullivan will be in the audience and find inspiration to take a music class at UHMC.”

UHMC is offering a variety of hands-on music classes starting August 25th, including Piano, Hawaiian Steel Guitar, Beginning ‘Ukulele, Voice Class and Digital Recording Techniques. There’s still time to apply and register, but it’s recommended interested students do so soon.

To learn more about music opportunities at UHMC, visit or to fill out an online application.

Popular Food Innovation Courses to be Offered Online

Kahului, HI — July 3, 2014 — This past April, UHMC’s Office of Continuing Education (commonly known as EdVenture) held it’s first food industry workforce development and training series, Food Industry Fundamentals, which helped participants develop differentiated, value-added, and safe specialty-food products. Courses included Food Trends and Food Marketplace Overview; Food Technology and Product Development; Quality Assurance and Food Safety Principles; and Good Manufacturing Practices for Food Producers. Due to its popularity, the series of courses will be offered again in July, this time in an online format to accommodate more participants.

“It was exciting to connect with so many food enthusiasts with dreams of moving their career forward or launching their own food industry business last April,” said Lou Cooperhouse, a consultant to UHMC’s Maui Food Innovation Center. “It just confirms the project’s core mission and the demand for food industry workforce development and training.”

The participants of the Spring session were also excited about the course. Tim Parsons, Owner of Adoboloco, thought the courses offered a useful perspective for many in the food industry, saying, “the Food series has a bunch of really good tips and reminders for anyone in or planning to be in the food service/ manufacturing business. Owners, operators and every employee should attend to learn about best practices.”

The insights offered in the Fundamentals series are designed to empower participants to better understand the market and where they might find their niche in it, while providing a solid foundational understanding of food safety and regulation. This helps employees, managers, and business owners avoid common pitfalls associated with the early stages of product development and distribution.

Mat Seavey, prospective food innovator and course participant, was amazed at the amount of information he learned and said the Fundamentals series was a “rich source of information… answered all of my questions (including some I didn’t […]

Joel Rand Scores Hole-In-One at 24th Annual Golf Tournament

Kahului, HI — July 9, 2014 — Joel Rand of Wailea, Maui recorded his second hole-in-one Saturday, June 28 at the Wailea Old Blue golf course during the 24th annual UH Maui College Chancellor’s Golf Tournament. On the 12th hole, par 3, Rand used a pitching wedge, hit the ball 135 yards and made the hole-in-one. Witnesses were Sandy Fujitani and Dan Regan.

Rand said he felt “awesome”, as these hole-in-ones “do not come along frequently”. He plays golf once a week, usually at Wailea Old Blue or other Wailea golf courses. On Maui since 1979, Rand is a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley Wealth Investment at its Kahului office. His first hole-in-one in 2001 was also at the Wailea Old Blue course (18th hole, par 3).

UHMC Chancellor Clyde Sakamoto said: “The entire UHMC faculty, staff, and students congratulate Joel Rand for his memorable hole-in-one, and hope he and his team-mates enjoyed the golf tournament at the spectacular Wailea Old Blue course.”

Chancellor Sakamoto expressed his gratitude to lead tournament co-sponsors Wailea Old Blue Golf Club, the Wailea Beach Resort & Spa, and Dorvin Leis Co., Inc. He added: “This year we had a record 56 sponsor teams, including three gold sponsors: Sodexo, Maui Soda & Ice Works, and Johnson Controls, Inc. The Maui business community has participated in our golf tournament and supported UHMC in many areas.”

Over the past 24 years Chancellor Sakamoto said that $800,000 has been raised for several key UHMC programs. Proceeds from this year’s tournament benefit the UHMC Lanaʻi Ed Center, Baccalaureate Development, Faculty and Staff Development, and the Maui Culinary Arts Academy.

Also, this year will mark UHMC’s 50th anniversary as Maui County’s only institution of higher education. Several unique prize packages […]

A & B Foundation Supports Maui Workforce


Kahului, HI — June 6, 2014 — Today the Alexander & Baldwin Inc. presented a donation of $15,000 to the A&B Training Grant program at UHMC’s Office of Continuing Education and Training (OCET—also known to many as EdVenture) to continue helping Maui’s entrepreneurs and small businesses advance their job skills, careers, and business.

This is the sixth consecutive year of funding to provide additional skills training for Maui’s entrepreneurs, small businesses, non-profits and individuals who seek further education to improve their performances.

Funds are used to reduce tuition for Career Training, Business and Computer courses offered through EdVenture, with $100 off many courses, and 80% off most courses under $100. Eligibility is based on course categorization and is limited to one grant per employee or student per year (limit of 2 employees from businesses with 20 or less employees).

A&B offers financial support towards training for entrepreneurs and small business owners, that will impact the success of their businesses here in Maui County and the state. We are fortunate to have an organization like A&B that cares about the community it is in.

Those interested in applying for an A&B individual training grant should visit:, or call EdVenture at (808)984-3231.

Commencement 2014

Kahului, HI — May 15, 2014 — Two-hundred and sixty UH Maui College students and thirty-five University of Hawaiʻi Center, Maui students walked at the combined commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 18th at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center at 4:30 p.m. The commencement address was given by Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui, with the State Anthem, Hawai‘i Pono‘ī, performed by UHMC’s Institute for Hawaiian Music students.

This year’s UH Maui College valedictorian was Anna Miller. It was the first time the two commencement ceremonies were combined. Seats were limited during last year’s UHMC Commencement Ceremony held indoors at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, and each graduate could only invite a maximum of five family members.

During the course of exploring other venues for 2014, expanding outdoors appeared to be the best solution and the most inclusive—under the Yokouchi Pavilion and in the A&B Amphitheater. This area would accommodate the UHMC as well as the University of Hawaiʻi Center Maui graduates and families to celebrate commencement at the same time.

“There’s a breadth of opportunities for higher education here on Maui, and having a combined commencement for both UHMC and the UH Center illustrates just what’s available to our community,” said UHMC Interim Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Cathy Bio. “It also shows the continuum from associate’s degree to master’s degree, which will inspire students to consider all their degree options.”

“We’re excited at the prospect of a combined commencement,” said UH Center, Maui Director Karen Hanada. “It’s important that Maui County residents understand their options when it comes to choosing a degree path, and not everyone can or wants to leave Maui County to pursue their higher education. The UH Center offers our community the chance to work, meet their family obligations, and still reach their […]

Ka Ip Kukui Program Completes 7th Year

Kahului, HI—May 14, 2014—The Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows program recently completed its seventh year and is now seeking applicants for the 2014-15 session. A Decisions Maui and Focus Maui Nui initiative, the program is a yearlong endeavor designed to promote and train community-identified future leaders of Maui County, and is coordinated by UHMC’s Office of Continuing Education & Training.

Since it began seven years ago, 85 fellows have completed the program, including 11 graduates who were honored during a commencement ceremony held on Wednesday, May 7, at the Kahili Golf Course in Waikapu. Members of the Ka Ipu Kukui Class of 2014 include Charles Yeaman, Candace Thackerson, Akili Jones, Alison Cohan, Adam Radford, Nicole Nanea Spalding, Susan Clements, Sonya Niess, Ali Martin, Jennifer Chirico, and Jordan Molina. A number of business representatives, program supporters and community leaders attended the graduation ceremony, including Hawai‘i State Sen. Roslyn Baker, Joe Pontanilla, and Maui County Council members Gladys Baisa, Don Couch, Elle Cochran, and Stacy Crivello.

“There is no magic wand to wave that will give us the answers for all the challenges that face Maui,” said Class of 2014 Fellow Candace Thackerson. “Being a leader is not only about finding solutions, but also about compromise and understanding. An effective leader must first listen to the wide range of voices within the community, truly understand their concerns and then use all the information they have available to create the best solution possible for Maui’s future.”

“Ka ipu kukui” means “crucible of light; a test and a furnace for seeking and taking the best path ahead.” In response to concerns first expressed by Decisions Maui in the 1980s and reinforced by the 2003 Focus Maui Nui visioning process, the program was conceived to develop leaders through a community-based curriculum designed to address all aspects of planning for […]

High School Students Play to Win at UHMC

Kahului, HI—May 2, 2014—Over three hundred high school students and teachers made the UH Maui College campus their playground at the first annual College Preparation & Completion Recruitment Day. ‘Playgrounds’ spanned a wide range of academic and career fields, including business, information technology, engineering technology, sustainability, culinary arts, and hospitality and tourism. Students then got hands-on with breakout sessions like “Do It Yourself Electronics”, “Entrepreneurship: The Growing Pains”, and “Fresh Pasta Demonstration.”

UHMC faculty, along with local high schools and businesses, developed the collaborative project to help high school students explore college majors and careers in a fun and creative way. Another major goal was to show students how the pathways of the high school academies (e.g., Business, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality and Tourism, Culinary Arts, Arts and Communication, Engineering and Information Technology) can connect to programs at the college, and careers beyond.

“This event was an important connecting point – not only did students get to explore their academic interest and possible majors, but local business leaders and experts gave them an inside look at what kinds of careers might be available after college,” said UH Maui College professor Debra Nakama. “We think a lot of bright futures were launched today, thanks to the support of our schools, the community and businesses.”

Linda Rosario, a representative from McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii, which helped sponsor the event, said, “McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii is proud to support this interactive day of learning – an innovative approach to introducing local high school students to different career tracks. We are happy to be collaborating with the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College in igniting students’ interest in preparing for their future.”

Jennifer Baum, High School Counselor at Kamehameha High School, agreed. “We were thrilled that our students had the opportunity to be a part of this college preparation and completion event at UHMC. The […]

Register Now for Degree-in-Three!

Register now for the The Degree-in-Three (D-3) fall cohort!

Degree-in-Three students achieve their Associate in Liberal Arts degree in 3 years on a part-time basis.

“Our part-time students are busy – sometimes they’re working or have other family obligations. It was hard for them to keep track of which courses they needed next, or the course they needed wasn’t offered until another semester,” said Linda Fujitani, UHMC academic counselor. “Part-time students who sign-up for Degree-in-Three have a clear pathway and a guaranteed course schedule to keep them on track so they can earn their AA in Liberal Arts degree in three years.”

D-3 has proved to be a popular option for those busy students. Lea Moracco, a D-3 participant, said, “The schedule allowed me, to continue to work full time and pursue a degree. Adviser Linda Fujitani and faculty provided so much support and encouragement during the entire semester. Work study groups were formed, Q&A sessions were scheduled and appointments with our instructors were encouraged.  I also liked the flexibility of the online course and watching class on cable T.V.”

Students accepted in the D-3 program also have the benefit of moving through the course schedule with the same group. This builds a supportive peer network that encourages degree completion.

“There are a lot of support services for students, like counseling and tutoring,” adds Fujitani, “but sometimes a student struggling with a personal or academic issue finds the best help from one of their classmates. They become a tight family over the course of three years and go out of their way to help each other reach their goals.”

Another D-3 student, Tia Perdido said, “Being a mother of two young kids and finding time to go back to school has […]

Hospitality & Tourism Graduate Returns from China

Shelly Silva, University of Hawai’i Maui College Hospitality & Tourism graduate and 2013 Valedictorian recently returned from a six month international internship in China. When Shelly learned of the internship at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Shanghai, she knew immediately that it was an incredible opportunity to gain professional experience and use the skills she acquired at UHMC. The 5-star boutique hotel, Urbn Hotels Shanghai, is the first “carbon neutral hotel” in China.

“China is a fascinating place to work and live both culturally, socially and linguistically. I returned with a wealth of knowledge gained from my overseas work experience and built professional friendships that will last a lifetime,” says Shelly upon returning to Maui. Pudong is Shanghai’s newest district on the eastern side of the Huangpu River, a Special Economic zone full of gleaming skyscrapers rising out of what was farmland only 15 years ago.

As a management trainee, Shelly was charged with the position of Hilton HHonors Coordinator sharing with Hilton guests the hotel’s brand promise: “To provide the special comforts and acts of kindness that make the traveler feel human again.” Shelly says she worked with professionals at all levels of the firm and fine-tuned her leadership and management skills while under their tutelage.

“This experience changed my life” Shelly said.

Current UHMC HOST and Culinary Arts students who are motivated to experience an internship experience abroad can contact Liping Liu, Ph.D. CHE, Hospitality & Tourism faculty member and Director of China Programs (808) 984-3328. Those looking for an exciting career in hospitality and tourism, one of Hawai’i’s key industries, can contact Lorelle Peros at UHMC to learn more about the HOST program (808) 984-3343 or visit

Innovation Day Series May 1st – 3rd

UHMC baccalaureate students will host the third Innovation Day Conference this Thursday, May 1st – Saturday, May 3rd in the Kaʻaʻike building on campus. The series of events include project demonstrations of student work in electronics, optics, communication, space studies, agriculture and aquaponics, renewable energy, robotics, astronomy and related fields, as well as workshops and lectures by senior technology industry professionals. The public is invited to attend.

It’s an opportunity for the community and technology professionals to learn more about the latest innovations, and for engineering and science students to showcase their hard work, some with projects that took over a year to complete.

“Our goal is to connect students with senior industry professionals, and share what they’ve learned with the community,” said Dr. Anil Mehta, one of the faculty members in the STEM department at UHMC and a mentor to the students organizing the Innovation Day conference. “This gives them important feedback about their work, but also a wider perspective of the concepts they’re learning in the classroom.”

Lindsay Komai, a senior in the Engineering Technology program and volunteer for last year’s event, said, “By networking with global industry professionals of the world, you learn how to communicate briefly and effectively, you learn about team work and individual responsibility and above all to be a valuable member of the community by applying your knowledge for the good of the community.”

Industry professionals appreciate the opportunity to interact with the students as well. James Yenne, a former project manager at Microsoft Inc., enjoyed participating in the series last year and will do so again this year as a panelist. Yenne said, “I thought the event was well run and the exhibits were designed to help build understanding for the […]