Recognition and Awards

Please consider nominating an advisor or advising unit for the 2014-15 Pakela and 'Oikela Awards.

And congratulations to all our past winners!

AY2014 Winners

The 2014 Pakela Award was given to Kathleen Normandin, a Junior Specialist/Academic Advisor with the College of Arts and Sciences Student Academic Services (CASSAS). Her passion is working in academic affairs, and collaborating with students, faculty and staff to create empowering and holistic undergraduate student experiences. She has been instrumental in co-creating SOAR (Students Owning Academic Responsibility) for academically at-risk CASSAS students, and has assisted with designing the new Student Success Center for the College of Natural Sciences. She has worked tirelessly to illuminate awareness of the growing student veteran population on campus with its members’ unique set of experiences and needs. As the faculty advisor for the UHM Student Veteran Organization, she developed a Center for Teaching Excellence lecture series that was titled, “Serving Those Who Serve: Best Practices in Working with Student Veterans.”

The 2014 'Oikela Award was awarded to the Biology Department. Junior Specialist Stephanie Kraft-Terry and Joseph Menor Jr., Academic Support, along with their team of Mānoa Peer Advisors, have made great strides to increase access to advising and foster engagement among the Department of Biology’s 1,300 students. Through the use of technology, this innovative advising unit created a convenient online appointment system, with improved information dissemination through the use of Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Prior to arrival on campus, newly admitted students receive personalized phone calls from these proactive advisors, with an invitation to join an information webinar or to schedule a one-on-one advising appointment. In addition to providing mandatory advising and valuable workshops to ensure student success, this exemplary advising unit supports the College's social events, such as an Incoming Student Reception, Graduation Reception and Alumni Gathering. These activities cultivate a closer connection among the Department of Biology’s students, staff, faculty and alumni.

AY2013 Winners

Two individuals were recognized with 2013 Outstanding Academic Advisor awards.

Rikki Mitsunaga, Undergraduate Academic Advisor for Shidler College of Business, has accomplished impressive achievements that demonstrate breadth of service within and beyond the UHM campus and depth of service in her dedication to her students. In addition to her regular duties as an academic advisor, she plays multiple roles for various organizations at UH Manoa. The Freeman Scholarship Award, FISH Scholarship Program, System-wide STAR Board for CAA, and MPA supervisor are just a few things with which Rikki is involved.

Kiana Shiroma, Academic Advisor for the Honors and Regents and Presidential Scholars (RAPS) Program, has been a source of inspiration for her fellow advisors, due to her limitless energy, creativity, and enthusiasm. In just a few short years as an academic advisor, she has helped the Honor’s program expand and improve its services and the opportunities offered to students. In addition to her countless improvements and innovative ways to help develop each program with which she is involved, Kiana continues to inspire her colleagues with her energy, hard work, and dedication to academic advising.

AY2012 Winners

Ruth Bingham was presented with the 2012 Outstanding Academic Advisor Award for her leadership and work at the Pre-Health/Pre-Law Advising Center (PAC). Ruth was also recognized at the national level for her work with PAC as the recipient of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Commissions and Interest Group Service Award. The award "recognizes an individual who has provided outstanding service, leadership, and commitment to a specific commission, interest group, cluster, or the CIG Division." 

The Colleges of Arts & Sciences Student Academic Services received the Academic Advising Unit Award for Excellence/Innovation for their leadership and innovation in working with students.

Congratulations to this year's awardees for their exemplary leadership in promoting innovative strategies in academic advising and student success!

AY2011 Winners

Megumi Makino-Kanehiro was given the Outstanding Academic Advisor Award for her work at the Manoa Advising Center. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Reed Dasenbrock commended Dr. Makino-Kanehiro for her leadership of the Manoa Advising Center and her work with the peer mentoring program and mandatory advising, which have been "major influences on student success."

The College of Education's Office of Student Academic Services (OSAS) received the Academic Advising Unit Award for Excellence/Innovation for their leadership and innovation in working with students. OSAS was recognized for integrating alternate modes of advising delivery like Skype, Facebook, and E-lluminate to make advising accessible to students who are not able to come in during normal business hours. Read more about this award on the UH System news site.

Contact Us

Council of Academic Advisors
Office of the Assistant
Vice-Chancellor for Undergraduate Education
QLCSS 213
2600 Campus Road
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Honolulu, HI  96822

Current Chair:
Megumi Makino-Kanehiro
(808) 956-7273
makino@hawaii.edu