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Office of the Dean of Arts & Sciences - Fall 2013 Convocation Remarks

James Goodman, Dean of Arts & Sciences
Convocation Remarks for Fall 2013

Working with State Senator Michelle Kidani, Leeward CC’s Admin Team, and Hālau Coordinator Aulii Silva, our Faculty Senate’s Legislative Relations Committee Chairs Eiko Kosasa and Momi Kamahele helped to secure $2 million in CIP planning and design monies for a "Native Hawaiian Center for Excellence."  Earlier that semester the Hālau had won a competitive Title III grant for $2 million over the next two years to increase the number of Native Hawaiian students in STEM related degree programs and to increase the success of those students in STEM courses. 

As a way of supporting the goals of the Title III grant, Aulii Silva collaborated with Michael Reese, ASNS Coordinator, to provide Math & Science faculty opportunities to participate in activities with the faculty and staff of the Hālau to foster the incorporation of more “place-based” learning in the STEM disciplines.  So far those activities have included working on the 800 year old fishpond, Loko Ea, in Hale‘iwa, clearing debris for nesting native endangered birds in the Ewa wetlands, visiting recently discovered Hawaiian archeology sites in the Kunia hills, pulling invasive weeds from the forest at the summit of Mt. Ka‘ala, and before Nainoa Thompson embarked on his four year round-the-world voyage in May, touring the Hokule'a and Hikianalia.  

These off-campus activities were complemented by a visit and talk at the Hālau with Dr. Michael Chun, former President of Kamehameha Schools, as well as several other important speakers throughout the year.  During the coming year, the Title III group will continue to visit sites and learn from cultural practitioners to incorporate more place and culture based learning in STEM areas.

In July, faculty and staff of the Hālau, STEM, and Hawaiian Studies attended a the 8th Vine Deloria Jr. Symposium and toured the newly opened Salish Sea Research Center at the Northwest Indian College on the Lummi Indian Reservation in Bellingham, Washington.  Leeward CC participants included: Michael Reese, Aulii Silva, Luʻukia Archer, Momi Kamahele, Darnelle Angay, Catherine Walker, and Genai Keliʻikuli.

Leeward once again hosted the Annual Leeward District Science & Engineering Fair on February 8th.  Organized by Michael Reese, this event featured over 50 high school projects from the Leeward District, judged by more than 50 faculty and visiting professionals. 

With Biology Assistant Professor Helmut Kae serving as the Regional Director, Chemistry Instructor Brad Ashburn as the Finals Tournament Director, and the assistance of many of our Math & Science faculty, Leeward hosted the Hawaii State Science Olympiad, which involved more than 600 students from public and private middle and high schools.  

Under the guidance of Engineering instructor Nikolaj Nordkvist, 10 Leeward Physics/Engineering students participated in the annual CanSat Competition, sponsored by the American Astronautical Society and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.  For the first time, six students of Leeward’s newly formed Ka Lewa ‘Imi Loa team travelled to Abilene, Texas to compete in this international rocket contest, earning 8th place among 22 colleges and universities! 


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