By MidWeek Staff
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Island Pacific Academy student Caprice Avis, 14, takes the lead as Prospero (usually a role reserved for men) during the Hawaii Young Actors Ensemble’s presentation of The Tempest. Kapolei High School’s Justin Schneider assists with lighting design as a student apprentice.
The play kicks off with a student matinee at 9:15 a.m. May 29. For details, call Hawaii Theatre Center education director Hester Kamin at 732-0358. Public performances are at 7 p.m. May 29 and 30. Tickets cost $9 and $12 and are on sale now; call 528-0506 or visit http://www.hawaiitheatre.com to purchase.
Waipahu resident Dennis Okada‘s artwork will be featured alongside that of Ewa Beach’s Toni Turner and Uilani Correa during the months of June and July as part of Now & Then, an exhibit by patients enrolled in the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific’s Louis Vuitton Creative Art Program. Now & Then follows The Big Picture, on view now through May 31. Both exhibits are free to the public and can be found in the gallery on the lobby level of the hospital at 226 N. Kuakini St. For more information, call 531-3511.
State Rep. Lynn Finnegan (District 32 - Lower Pearlridge, Aiea, Halawa, Hickam, Pearl Harbor, Moanalua Gardens) has been appointed to serve on the special VOG Effects committee recently established by Speaker of the House Calvin Say. The Special Committee will examine the effects of VOG from the eruption of Halemaumau on the public’s health and safety, agriculture, water quality, pets and animals, wildlife and other such areas.
“What is occurring is a natural disaster, but unlike a tsunami, twister or major earthquake, it is not viewed as one,” said Rep. Robert Herkes, chairman of the committee. A report on the committee’s findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives is due at least 20 days prior to the convening of the Legislature’s 2009 Session.
Kapolei’s Kelsie Uehara and Waipahu’s Kayla Morinaga both made the Winter 2008 Dean’s List at Portland State University. The undergrads - Uehara is in the College of Urban and Public Affairs, while Morinaga is part of the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science - had to be registered as full- or part-time students and meet certain standards, including maintaining a cumulative 3.50 grade-point average while achieving one of 3.75 for the quarter, to qualify for this honorary list.
The hula halau from Aiea High School placed third in both the Kane and Hui ‘Ia categories of the 2008 Hawaii Secondary Schools Hula Kahiko Competition. Fourteen schools statewide did their best to dance and dazzle the judges during the highly anticipated event May 17 at Kamehameha Schools’ Kapalama campus.
Waipahu culinary master Kyle Yonashiro has been named executive chef for Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Restaurant Row. Yonashiro brings a long list of credits to his new position, including former roles as sous chef at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui and Acqua Restaurant, executive chef at Nick’s Fishmarket on Maui, and chef at Kula Lodge Restaurant and Mid-Pacific Country Club.
Prior to joining the Ruth’s Chris family, this Waipahu High grad served as executive chef at Lulu’s Waikiki. Yonashiro received his degree from Kapiolani Community College as well as a certificate of completion from the California Culinary Institute.
The West Oahu Economic Development Association (WOEDA) has appointed Lance Wilhelm to its board of directors. Wilhelm, an 18-year veteran of the Hawaii construction industry, is senior vice president and Hawaii-area manager of Kiewit Building Group and is active in both business and community organizations.
In addition to his seat on WOEDA’s board, the Kamehameha Schools grad serves on the board of the General Contractors Association of Hawaii, the Honolulu Executives Association (of which he is a past president), Honolulu Theatre for Youth, YMCA of Honolulu and the University of Hawaii Foundation. He also is a trustee of several local union trust funds and is a past president of the Hawaii chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America.
Hoakalei Country Club,a soon-to-be-opened master planned community in Ewa Beach, has named Tulinh Luciano-DeSmith as sales and marketing for Hawaii’s first Ernie Els Signature 18-hole golf course and clubhouse.
With a BA in business administration from Colorado Technical University, Luciano-DeSmith brings nearly 20 years of hospitality sales and marketing experience to her new position. She most recently served as director of market sales for Aqua Hotels and Resorts, where she developed and managed new business for the hotel and resort management company’s 12 properties. Prior to that, Luciano-DeSmith held a variety of sales management positions at properties such as Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, ResortQuest Waikiki Beach Hotel, Ala Moana Hotel and ResortQuest Waikiki Beach Tower Resort. She is also an active member of the National Business Travel Association, Professional Convention Management Association, Hawaii Business Travel Association, Hawaii Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association and American Society of Association Executives.
Two West Oahu residents have climbed up the leadership ladder at Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific: Sue Ann Moriwaki of Waikele and Lori Ho have both been promoted to new positions at the acute care medical rehabilitation hospital.
Moriwaki, who has served as vice president of finance since 2004, is now vice president of finance and chief finance officer. Her new responsibilities include overseeing the financial performance of REHAB Hospital and its foundation. Before beginning her career with the hospital 18 years ago as a financial analyst, Moriwaki earned a BA in accounting from UH. She also has a master’s in business administration and serves as a board member for the Healthcare Financial Management Association.
Formerly a senior speech-language pathologist with REHAB for the past 16 years, Ho is tackling the newly instated position of vice president of outpatient network. She now will provide oversight for all outpatient services at the main hospital in Nuuanu and its seven out-patient clinics on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.
According to CEO Clair Jones, the restructuring of key leadership positions was done “to better support and enhance (REHAB’s) many services and its network of outpatient clinics throughout the state.”
Speaking of the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific, REHAB has announced that Waipahu resident Chris Sato is among the prestigious second set of First Hawaiian Bank Fellows.
Sato, who has been with REHAB for more than 24 years, works as manager of clinical information and utilized her library degree to revitalize the hospital’s James and Abigail Campbell Medical Library into a resource center for clinicians and patients. She was nominated by her supervisors and managers for this recognition that allocates a cash award to enable recipients to further their studies locally, nationally or abroad.
Another REHAB employee, Eric Kawaguchi of Aiea, has been awarded the AT&T Award of Excellence for 2008. Kawaguchi is a certified physical therapist who has been at REHAB for more than six years. He currently works in the aquatic therapy program and is also an inspiration to patients through his work with the REHAB-at Work and Work Health programs.
UH West Oahu professors Dr. William J. Puette and Dr. Ross Prizzia were recognized for their 30 years of service during the university’s annual professional development day program.
“We are honored to have two such outstanding individuals as members of the university faculty,” said UHWO chancellor Gene Awakuni. “Dr. Puette and Dr. Prizzia’s hard work, dedication and commitment to educational excellence have enriched the lives of our students, and we are grateful for their extraordinary years of service.”
As director for the Center for Labor Education and Research (CLEAR), Puette developed a leadership skills seminar, a labor law course, programs on contractual grievance handling, parliamentary procedure and labor history. He has won numerous awards for his academic and community projects throughout his three decades of service, including the Penn State’s Lowell-Mellett Award for outstanding media criticism, the George Meany Award for Outstanding Service to Youth by the Hawaii State AFL-CIO and the Aloha Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, he received the Hung Wo and Elizabeth Lau Ching Foundation Award for Faculty Service to the Community from UH in 2005.
Prizzia serves as the chairman of the division of professional studies, which includes degree and certificate programs in public, justice and healthcare administration as well as disaster preparedness and emergency management, business administration and accounting. Since 1976, Prizzia has taught and conducted research in human resources administration, environmental administration, comparative administration and disaster management as professor of public administration. He is the author of numerous journal articles and books and has served as peer reviewer for the Journal of Environmental Economics and the American Review of Public Administration. He was the recipient of the UH Board of Regents Excellence in Teaching Award in 1987.
“What makes teaching so special at UH West Oahu is the opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of our students in advancing their academic goals and careers,” said Prizzia.
“I am sometimes proud to reflect on my part in how CLEAR and UH West Oahu have grown together, but I am also humbled by the even greater unmet goals that challenge the time I have left to make a difference,” added Puette.
Waipahu Intermediate teacher Erin Yagi was honored with the annual Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for 2007.
Yagi pulls double-duty as a seventh-grade life science and eighth-grade earth and space science teacher and has chaired the science department since 2005. Her prize includes a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation and a trip to Washington D.C., for a week of celebratory events and professional development activities.
At the 2007 awards, President George Bush issued a citation commending Yagi and nearly 100 other middle and high school math and science teachers from across the nation for “embodying excellence in teaching, for devotion to the learning needs of the students, and for upholding the high standards that exemplify American education at its finest.”
Congratulations also go out to Naidah Gamurot of Kapolei High for being chosen as a science final-ist for Hawaii this year.
Campbell High School’s Eleyne Fia has been chosen as the 2007-08 Counselor of the Year by the Hawaii School Counselor Association. Fia has undoubtedly changed the lives of many who have passed through Campbell’s corridors over the past 12 years. Principal Gail Awakuni summed up Ria’s contributions by saying:
“She has helped the entire range of students find their avocation, be it the military, college or work force. Students are respectful of her, and she has found ways to motivate a diverse population - and her students are proof of how their dreams have become reality. Pride and hope have been restored to our school, thanks to our counselor for her dedication, commitment and belief that all students can learn, achieve and grow emotionally and intellectually.”
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