A Degree A Long Time Coming

Pamela Young
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Wednesday - June 15, 2011
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Hi Pamela,

After seven years, I finally defended my 290-page Ph.D. dissertation successfully, and I’m getting “hooded” at the UH graduation ceremony. I have the dubious distinction of being the oldest Ph.D. recipient (at age 55) in our East Asian Languages and Literature Department! I am grateful to the professors who continued to mentor me all these years, and grateful to the EALL department for giving me this opportunity.

I’m really grateful to all my professors, particularly Dr. Nobuko Ochner, who will be my sponsor on stage to place the hood on me. I’m also really grateful to my family and friends who have supported me throughout this endeavor.

Elizabeth Keith

Dear Elizabeth,

Congratulations for all your hard work in the East Asian Languages and Literature Department. Even while toiling over your dissertation, you still had time to serve the community at numerous events. (We really think you should have listened to your gal pals and allowed them to put pink rhinestones and boa feathers on your cap!)

three star

Aloha Pamela,

I survived a rollover truck crash on H-3. Three or four cars stopped behind me to help, all keeping me calm as I hung upside down. I remember the name Gary, who was one of the men who helped me out of my truck. I remember a lady taking my dog to safety, and a young boy asking if I was OK. Risking cuts from glass and other injuries, you stayed and helped me. Even in the pouring rain, you had your cell phones out, called 911 and you stayed until the ambulance took me. I really want to thank you all: the good Samaritans, HPD, HFD, paramedics, everyone in the Queen’s ER (including nurse Mat and Dr. Ganir), Dr. Robert Kagawa at Kuakini and the person in front of my boyfriend Matt and I (whom we don’t know) who paid our Kuakini Hospital parking garage ticket after my follow-up appointment. My dog Zoe and I are doing fine and recovering quickly. I am so thankful and grateful to you all. You are all proof that the Aloha Spirit lives. Our paths may never cross again, but I hope you all know you have left a lasting impression on my heart. I will definitely “pay it forward.” Thank you.

Quinn Miyashiro

Dear Quinn,

Dr. Robert Kagawa is appreciative of your letter of gratitude. “Very rarely do we get thanked in such a public way,” he says. “We don’t expect it because it’s part of our job, but still, it’s always a nice gesture when a patient thanks the staff for the care received.”


three star

Aloha Pamela,

Since my husband of 52 years died several months ago, I have been living with my daughter and her family. They have a little studio in the back of the house that has a separate entrance. I would like to give APPLAUSE to our mail carrier, who brings my parcels and packages to my door, even though it means walking all the way around the house. I made some cookies for him at Christmas, but I think he deserves much more.

Mildred Hong

Dear Mildred,

“It’s tremendously gratifying - although not at all unusual - for us to hear about the outstanding efforts of a local Postal Service carrier or clerk,” says Duke Gonzales, corporate communications specialist for the U.S. Postal Service. “Hardly a day goes by without a phone call or letter describing similar outstanding customer service efforts. First-class service is second nature for the 2,400-plus Hawaii postal employees.”


(If you know someone who deserves some Applause, send your letters to Pamela Young, MidWeek Applause, KITV, 801 S. King St., Honolulu, HI, 96813 or e-mail pyoung@kitv.com. Include your name, phone number and, if possible, the phone number of your “applaudee” so we can contact him or her.)

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