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Student Support Spotlight: Admissions


Image courtesy of UHWO Staff

Welcome to a new series that highlights the services the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu offers to help our students succeed. Student Support Spotlight will profile the wide-ranging services that are important for our students and campus. The series launched on Aug. 24 with a feature on Advising.

Name of service: Office of Admissions

Where we are: Campus Center, C-141

Who we are:

  • Michelle Adorno Cohen, Director of Admissions
  • Amy Bumatai Fairhart, Admissions Officer
  • Ralynn Kobashigawa, Admissions Officer
  • Jo-Ann Payongayong, Admissions Assistant
  • Christopher Waiamau, Admissions Officer

What services we provide: Admissions serves as a source of information about UH West Oʻahu for potential college applicants. Our goal is to help potential students determine if UH West Oʻahu is the best fit for them. (If you are reading this — we are glad you chose us!)

We assist with the application process and with the “next steps” after being admitted (for example, How do I get a MyUH account? What is SOAR?). We also serve as the point of contact for miscellaneous questions that potential students may have but don’t know which office to go to for an answer!

We like to get to know our potential students, so students can expect a personalized experience when they interact with us, whether it’s when they visit our campus, when we visit their high school or community college, or when we meet virtually!

What we’re excited about: Admissions is excited to enhance our current online information to become even more accessible through virtual platforms. We are working to provide a more comprehensive and accessible experience for virtual learners, or for those who simply prefer to learn about us from the comfort of their own home.

We recently implemented an online chat on our website where you can get your admissions questions answered quickly. We are also working on setting up a “virtual lobby” so that students can conveniently “visit” us from anywhere. And while we know many students love our beautiful and informative paper brochures, we are also preparing online materials for virtual Admission Information Sessions.

What’s special about us: While a priority of our office is to recruit students to enroll at UH West Oʻahu, we are also committed to creating a college-going culture for students of all ages in our region. We are teaching this at the elementary age with hands-on learning experiences, like bringing young students to our māla to show them that college can be engaging and not just books and lectures. We also teach the college-going culture at the middle school level by engaging students in scavenger hunts and “College Jeopardy!” games, where they learn about college in a fun and interactive way.

What’s special about you: There are so many things that are special about our students! Something unique about UH West Oʻahu students is that they are prepared to work in settings across the world because they deeply understand the importance of serving the community. UH West Oʻahu’s mission and vision bring out the best of our diverse student body, with students truly dedicated to service and leadership.

Contact: 689-2900,, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

Group photo of Admissions team.
From left, Amy Bumatai Fairhart, Michelle Adorno Cohen, and Christopher Waiamau.

Image courtesy of UHWO Staff