University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu faculty and staff regrouped and returned energized for the start of the semester at the Fall 2019 Professional Development/Convocation on August 21, 2019. The semesterly event celebrates faculty and staff accomplishments and sets the tone and direction for the upcoming semester. It is an opportunity for the campus to hear a comprehensive overview from the campus administration, reconnect with colleagues and prepare for the upcoming semester.
The campus recognized new faculty and staff; recipients for the Regents Medal for Excellence in Teaching, Jennifer Byrnes, Francis Davis awardee Kamuela Yong, Lecturer awardee Steven Hanneman, and Laulima Innovation Award recipient Yasmine Romero; service award winners; and faculty who earned tenure and promotion.
Chancellor Maenette Benham spoke about embracing our region and strengthening what the campus does to link with the opportunities and resources at hand.
“You are doing this with regional field study programs, mentorships and internships with regional businesses, conducting classes in community studying real-time/real-world problems,” she said. “When we partner to teach and to study in our region and adjoining regions we show our students that they can thrive here – in Hawaiʻi too.”
She spoke about enrollment, recruitment and retention of professional faculty and staff, and strengthening capacity to foster dynamic, respectful, and safe spaces for learning – all challenges that can be overcome by working together collaboratively and across departments.
Progress toward the operationalization of the Strategic Action Plan was discussed in detail by each of the Vice Chancellors, who also discussed next steps and how each campus unit took steps forward to accomplish the goals and tactics outlined in the plan.
The campus also had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions focused on Kūlana O Kapolei – featuring the Filipino culture, Student Recruitment and Student Support, and Distance Education.