Inaugural Wo Global Learning Champions Announced

Windward Community College, Maui College, Leeward Community College, Kauaʻi Community College, Kapiʻolani Community College, Honolulu Community College, Hawaiʻi Community College
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Dir of Communications
Posted: Feb 20, 2015

Jim Wo and Louise Pagotto
Jim Wo and Louise Pagotto

Thanks to the generosity and vision of the James and Juanita C. Wo Foundation, seven outstanding University of Hawai‘i Community College faculty and staff have been selected as the 2015 Wo Global Learning Champions (WGLC).

Inaugural Wo Global Learning Champions
Christine Quintana, Hawai‘i Community College
Larissa Leslie, Hawai‘i Community College
Mary Hattori, Kapi‘olani Community College
Ryan Girard, Kaua‘i Community College
Joyce Yamada, UH Maui College
Liping Liu, UH Maui College
Ellen Ishida-Babineau, Windward Community College

The WGLC is a new professional development initiative that creates global learning and leadership opportunities for selected faculty and staff from all seven University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges. Through this program, participants will have first-hand experiences interacting with their counterparts in higher education institutions in other countries.

This year, the cohort will visit Aotearoa (New Zealand), with a focus on learning how they can return to their campus and support the University of Hawai‘i strategic goal of being a premier indigenous-serving institution.

“The importance of international education to Hawai‘i cannot be overestimated. An international education helps our educators develop an understanding and appreciation for the cultural differences among people in their immediate environment as well as throughout the world. This makes them better educators and better leaders,” said Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton.

The WGLC expands the existing Wo Learning Champions Program with a global initiative for professional development. The Wo Learning Champions is a professional development program James Wo and his brother Robert initially funded for the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges in 2001.

“Brother Bob and I have long believed that international education is critical to Hawai‘i’s success today and in the future,” stated Jim Wo.  He added, “We have been encouraged by the progress of the professional development program under Louise Pagotto’s leadership and we support her aspiration to make the community colleges more globally-connected places of learning.”

Kapi‘olani Community College Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Louise Pagotto said, “We are immensely grateful to the Wo brothers for being such strong advocates for professional development for faculty and staff at the community colleges.  This new gift helps launch a global initiative through which we can develop our future community college leaders.”

University of Hawai‘i Foundation President and CEO Donna Vuchinich said, “We are inspired and humbled by the Wo brothers’ visionary leadership in philanthropy. Their investment in timely educational initiatives strengthens our faculty, and the education available to Hawai‘i’s students.”


The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations.


For more information, visit: