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May, 2002

 

News-bytes:
The latest developments on campus: historic NCAA-II tennis championship for both men and women's tennis teams, President Shumway's powerful Devotional on the Atonement, breakfast in the Ballroom, PCC discounts for alumni, Koolauloa service awards, national and international scholarships, another national championship, and looking for IK knights.

BYU-Hawaii faculty are helping the impoverished:
BYU-Hawaii faculty are helping the "...roughly one billion people who live on less than a dollar a day in this world, two billion on less than $2 a day; and 3 billion, less than $3 or $4 a day."

Hoping to change international media
A Brazilian student's intercultural experiences and his passion for sharing them on video have led to Hawaii public access television honors, and perhaps much more.

Updates from your classmates
We continue to hear from alumni, near and far; plus the editor and about 40 other members of the Mormon Pacific Historical Society recently toured New Zealand's North Island for two weeks, reporting back on a number of our Kiwi alumni.

 

BYU-Hawaii News-bytes:

 

The BYU-Hawaii men and women's tennis teams made NCAA II history in Kansas City, Missouri, on May 13, 2002, when for the first time ever, teams from the same university won national championships in the same year. This was also the men's first-ever national title.

The women posted a convincing 5-1 victory over Armstrong Atlantic State (GA) in the NCAA-II finals, bringing their season record to a perfect 29-0 — and 132-1 over the last four years; and the men put down Drury (MO), 5-4, topping out their season at 29-1. BYU-Hawaii tennis coach, Dr. David Porter, is only the second coach in history to score a double-win at any level.

The double-win feat has previously been accomplished five times in NCAA Division I play (each time by Stanford), twice in the NCAA III, but never in NCAA-II play. Furthermore, no university has placed both teams in a championship match since 1991.

The BYU-Hawaii women had previously won four national titles: '1997 and '98 in the NAIA, and 1999 and '00 in the NCAA II. The men's team had previously finished twice in the NAIA as national runner-up.

Read more information on this historic BYU-Hawaii sports victory.

 

Breakfast in the Ballroom, anyone?
BYU-Hawaii is serving meals in the Ballroom until August while the cafeteria undergoes major renovations. Food Services DirectorDavid Keala ['87, BS, Travel, Hotel, Restaurant Management] said improvements include making the dining room, from the entrance to the restrooms, compliant with the American Disabilities Act; adding new dish, tray accumulator and pulper appliances; installing a non-slip floor in the kitchen; and renovating a reception area for catering meetings and take-out orders.

President Shumway presents powerful BYU Devotional:
BYU-Hawaii President Eric B. Shumway drew on the New Testament story of Lazarus, his English literature background with Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, and the spiritual experiences of current student Theany Reath from Cambodia and alumnusKatsuhiro "Kats" Kajiyama [attended '75] — who has been a BYU-Hawaii professor for many years, to deliver a compelling sermon in the BYU Marriott Center on March 26, 2002, on the power of the Atonement: Loose Him and Let Him Go. Reath's testimony grew from the "killing fields" in her native Cambodia before she joined the Church, while Kajiyama's overcame the atomic destruction of his family in Hiroshima, Japan.

PCC offers Alumni Discount:
Polynesian Cultural Center Vice President of Sales Alfred Grace ['88, BS, Travel Management] informs us that, effective immediately, BYU-Hawaii alumni qualify for a 20% discount on all PCC packages that include admission and show. The discount applies to the BYUH alumnus and spouse, and cannot be combined with any other offer. 
To receive the discount, alumni will need to present a current BYU-Hawaii alumni card or BYUH diploma (certificate or wallet card) at the PCC box office when purchasing tickets. If you no longer have your alumni card, contact the Alumni Association office to get a free copy.

 
Emma and Bill Ernestburg...
honored for service to Scouting

Koolauloa Service Award:
Every two years — and for the first time this year, with the Polynesian Cultural Center and Hawaii Reserves, Inc. — BYU-Hawaii recognizes Koolauloa community leaders for their outstanding service. One of this year's awards went to BYUH alumna Emma Ernestburg ['74, BA, Music] who, along with her husband, Bill, has devoted over 40 years to Scouting. She has served 32 years as an Aloha Council Commissioner, holds the Council's Silver Fawn and the Western Region's Silver Antelope awards, has taught early-morning Seminary for 28 years, and has been a Red Cross volunteer for 35 years.

National and International Scholarships:
BYU-Hawaii alumna Nicole Kajiyama ['01, BA, Political Science] of Laie recently received the $8,000 Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship for graduate studies. Nicole plans to study at BYU Law School when she completes her LDS mission in Hong Kong.

Laie senior Jesse Palmer has earned the 2002 Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society) Regency Scholarship.

Two other BYU-Hawaii students — Paul Landerman, a freshman from El Paso, Texas; and sophomore Jonathan Yoshimura from Kahuku — have been included among five finalists recommended for the Japanese Ministry of Education 2002 Monbukagakusho (Japanese Studies) full-ride scholarship, plus travel and monthly stipend, for one year at a Japanese university.

Speaking of championships:
University of Hawaii/Manoa head volleyball coach Mike Wilton ['72, BS, Physical Education] recently led his men's team to the national championship. As of press time, Wilton was being considered as a possible replacement for the retiring BYU head volleyball coach, Carl McGowan, who coached CCH team in the late 1960s. Go, 'Siders!

Any Intercollegiate Knights out there?:
The Intercollegiate Knights are looking for any alumni from the Kamehameha Chapter, founded at Church College of Hawaii in 1962. IK alumni are asked to contact James Williams, former National Executive Secretary, 504 N. 7th St., Temple, TX 76501; or go to the IK Alum website.

 

Norm Wright: helping the impoverished

 
Wright

"I've always had an interest in international development," said Dr. Norm Wright, BYU-Hawaii's Department Chair of International Business Management.

Wright, whose department includes eight faculty in the College of Business, teaches courses in international organizational behavior, leadership and business strategy. He earned his Ph.D. in management from the University of Pennsylvania, and after teaching at Penn and BYU, came to the Hawaii Campus in 1996.

Wright currently focuses much of his interest on microfinance — providing financial services to people in impoverished conditions who have the ability to succeed in life but have never had the financial resources necessary to do so.

"There are roughly one billion people who live on less than a dollar a day in this world, two billion on less than $2 a day; and 3 billion, less than $3 or $4 a day," Wright said. "These are outstanding numbers. How much difference could the money that you and I might use in a week to eat out make to somebody in those circumstances?"

Wright shared an example from Journal of Microfinance (JFM):

La Maman Mole Motuke lived in a wrecked car in a suburb of Kinshasa, Zaire with her four children. If she could find something to eat, she would feed two of her children; the next time she found something to eat, her other two children would eat. When organizers from a microcredit lending institution interviewed her, she said that she knew how to make chikwangue (manioc paste), and she only needed a few dollars to start production. After six months of training in marketing and production techniques, Maman Motuke got her first loan of US$100, and bought production materials.

Today, Maman Motuke and her family no longer live in a broken-down car; they rent a house with two bedrooms and a living room. Her four children go to school consistently, eat regularly, and dress well. She currently is saving to buy some land in a suburb farther outside of the city and hopes to build a house. 

"Traditionally, banks would not lend to these individuals because they had no collateral and 'could not be trusted' to repay their loans," said Wright, who was recently named JFM co-editor, along with BYU Romney Institute of Public Management Professor Gary Woller. BYU-Hawaii Professor Beth Haynes also serves as Book Review Editor for the Journal, which comes out twice a year. "It is a journal which is meant to promote best practices and innovations in the field of microfinance. It's targeted primarily for the thinking practitioner. It also attracts academics in the field as well," Wright said.

"I've learned that you can lend to the poor," he continued. "Payback rate in these programs is approximately 98%, which is higher than when lent to people like me and you, and is a lot higher than student loans."

Wright explained that there are currently thousands of microfinance lending institutions reaching millions of people. "There's a goal by an organization called the Microcredit Summit of reaching 100 million people over the next few years.

"There are microfinance programs in the United States. Eastern Europe is also really growing right now. I know there are some programs running in Fiji, and I believe there's one or two running in Samoa and Papua-New Guinea.

"It's not just enough to want to do good," Wright said. "That's a great place to start, because our hearts go out to people living on the edge constantly. You've got to know how to do it. You've got to understand the technical aspects of international development. We need people with financial training. We need people who are really good in the banking industry, but who also understand the not-for-profit skills.

"For example, we have a lot of BYU-Hawaii students who would like to help. They're smart and bright about marketing for an international company. Sometimes they think because they're good at that, they can go to a less developed country and help. But they need training in microfinance, which requires specialized training, if they're to make a decent impact in the field."

Wright feels there's great opportunity for BYU-Hawaii students from these countries who have these specific skills to get more involved with non-governmental organizations. "They would pay them good wages by local standards," he said.

"Alumni can also go to these microfinance institutions and start their own businesses. There are groups out there making loans. A lot of the major international development players, like CARE, World Vision, and Freedom from Hunger can direct people to the institutions.

"I'd also like to see a greater awareness among people in the Northern Hemisphere of what it's like to live on a dollar a day," Wright said. "That would create additional funding sources for these programs."

Wright also encouraged people to donate to the Church's Humanitarian Fund, "ask that their contributions be used for microfinance, or contact one of the major NGOs [non-governmental organizations]. They're more than happy to accept donations," he said, citing Katalysis, FINCA, Grameen Bank, MicroBusiness USA as examples.

Wright explained that microfinance has grown significantly over the past  20 years and is an important part of international development. "But it still comes down to the individual," he said, sharing the story of a Bangladeshi woman:

Nurjahan is a borrower of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Her name means "the light of the world." Abandoned by her parents at three months of age and raised by a neighbor, Nurjahan was married at twelve only to be abandoned by her husband a year later, while three months pregnant. She returned to the family who had raised her, cooking for them while raising her son.

Before joining Grameen, Nurjahan had never earned more than $37.50 in a year and owned no land. After five years as a borrower with the Grameen Bank, her annual income is $250 (just above the national average) and she owns two goats, one pregnant cow, ten hens, and two-thirds of an acre of land. The land cost $1,000, more than four times the average annual income. Seasonally, she employs two farmhands to assist with her rice crop. In a country where only 46 percent of the children reach grade five, Nurjahan's son is now in 8th grade.

http://www.microcreditsummit.org/stories/nurjahan.htm

"It's exciting to see the number of lives influenced, and moving to something more secure," Wright said.

 

Daniel Skaf: best move of his life

 

Daniel Skaf ['01, BA, International Cultural Studies Communications] came from half-way around the world to surf Hawaii waves, but ended up with several new loves and so much more.

"I came to surf the big waves in Hawaii in 1994. I had been studying civil engineering for two years, but I was not satisfied," said Skaf, who grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil. That first time he stayed in the islands for a year, then went back to Brazil and studied tourism for two years.

"During that time, I got a surf sponsor who would send me to Hawaii during the wintertime. One day, a friend of mine brought me to eat in the [BYU-Hawaii] cafeteria. When I saw the Little Circle with the flags, I was deeply touched. I had never heard of the LDS Church before, but I felt that unity was the answer for man's problems — unity through love, all together in the Little Circle. I came to know BYUH was owned by the Church," Skaf said.

He transferred to BYU-Hawaii in fall 1998. "It was the best move of my life, because I wasn't happy. I was unbalanced. In Brazil, I wanted to be surfing the waves of Hawaii. When I was in Hawaii, I knew I needed to be doing more, something with my hands where I could make a living."

Skaf, who is part Portuguese and part Syrian, soon met Jacquelyn Harrison ['98, BA, TESOL]. The couple married two years ago. "My first semester in school was Jacquelyn's last. After taking Book of Mormon classes, and meeting her, I got baptized in April 1999."

Skaf recalled the reaction of his family when they came to Hawaii for the wedding. "When they saw all the love that BYU and our friends have for us, they said, 'Wow, Daniel. We wish we could have your life now.' I come from this city that is bigger than New York, and now I live in Laie."

Through Jacquelyn, who now teaches English at Leilehua High School, Skaf said he  "met very wonderful people who helped me find the focus in my life — to do video and film productions. The focus started with 'Olelo [Hawaii public access television]," Skaf said, explaining that Laie Point resident Tammy Toma, who manages 'Olelo's satellite studio at Kahuku High, was looking for interns at BYU-Hawaii.

 
Daniel Skaf in the editing bay at 'Olelo

"I started an internship in Winter 2000. After the internship was over, I asked Tammy if I could be a volunteer. I started coming every day. Then one day, she asked me if I could use the editing bay," Skaf said, recalling how he read the manual and taught himself to use the equipment over the next two weeks. Toma hired him part time.

For one of his Intercultural Communications classes, Skaf and three classmates — seniorNathan PettyNoella Querubin ['00, BA, English] and Michelle Sailini Hinckley ['98, AA, TESOL] — produced a 40-minute video, Keepers of Culture, "which shows the preparation of the Maori and Africa Clubs for BYUH Culture Night program. It's been shown on both 'Olelo and BYU-TV.

"For me, it was amazing, because that was my first big project. We also won a prize competing with people from the western United States," Skaf said. "When I graduated, 'Olelo hired me fulltime."

Since then, Skaf's duties at 'Olelo include training, community outreach, and program production. In fact, he's done so well that the 'Olelo organization recently named him 2001 Employee of Year.

 

"I nominated Daniel because of his never-ending enthusiasm, and his commitment to doing the job well. I'm very proud of him. He started out as an intern. He was willing to work very hard and took a lot of initiative. He is a wonderful human being, on top of being a great employee," Toma said.

Skaf throws the same qualities into his own work. For example, he recently finished editing over 60 hours of videotape for his next big project, The Birthing of Iosepa, which shows how the university and the community united to create BYU-Hawaii's 57-foot twin-hulled sailing canoe.

"I'm extremely thankful to Tammy, and [BYUH Hawaiian Studies Director] "Uncle" Bill Wallace [72, BS, History]. I feel honored that he allowed 'Olelo to cover this project. I hope people will gain a lot of respect for the Hawaiian people, BYU-Hawaii, and the Church."

Skaf, who recently previewed Iosepa for the crew, community and students, said he and Jacquelyn plan to go to Brazil for a while in June, then to Orange County in the fall where he will enroll in Chapman University's MFA program in film and video production. "It's a three-year program. After that, we plan to come back to Hawaii. I really want to do more projects about voyaging canoes. I would be honored to go with them some day," he said.

As he prepares for his own voyage into the future, Skaf reflects on how far he's come: "I've been to three universities, and I think BYU-Hawaii is the best. First, it's a school that unifies people from different knowledges and beliefs into love, no matter what your religion is." He also praised the small classes and having "relationships that are very solid and grounded" with faculty.

"The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of peace and understanding. That's a wonderful environment in which to learn," Skaf continued. "Wherever I go, I will always tell people how BYU-Hawaii blessed my life in ways I could never have imagined.

"One of my dreams is to help in the production of epic movies such as The Ten Commandments, but depicting stories of the Book of Mormon. I want to be part of a new trend that will improve the media and its negative and damaging effects on new generations."

Bon voyage, Daniel and Jacquelyn, a hui hou.

 

Alumni updates

Catching up with classmates:
Mahalo nui for your continuing feedback from near and far through our new BYU-Hawaii Alumni Newsletter. For example, from literally next door — the PCC offices in the Snow Admin Building — former Alumni Association president Bobby Akoi ['80, BA, Travel, Hotel, Restaurant Management; and '85, BS, Elementary Education] e-mailed: "I just had to thank you for the classy e-newsletter you are putting out. I love it, and it will connect many of our alumni back to BYUH"; and Ruby Sanele Leota ['01, BS, International Business] e-mailed us from Mermaid Waters, Queensland, Australia, to let us know she's been accepted in a law program there.

San Diego chapter chairs Adolf Singh ['81, BS, Business Management] and his wife, Avis Cabacungan Singh ['78, AS, Secretarial Science] also wrote, asking everyone to check out their new website. And speaking of chapter chairs, the Alumni Association recently asked Sandra Sagisi-Moser ['83, AA, Theater] to take the helm of the Honolulu chapter. She will work closely with Association board member Susana Berardy ['85, AS Travel Management].

Susan Davis Taylor [attended '69] wrote: "It certainly brings back fond memories of CCH when I receive the newsletters and alumni magazine. I think this is a great way to communicate."

Jeff Ruffolo [attended '78], president of his own public relations firm, keeps compiling an impressive record of accomplishments: He's done radio broadcasts from the past two Summer Olympics, does PR for Southern China Airlines — the largest airline in The People's Republic, and most recently spoke at an Airline Business Magazine seminar in London.

 
MPHS members meet with Minority Leader, M.P. Winston Peters (center), in New Zealand's "Beehive" Parliament Building in Wellington. — Photo by Mike Foley. For more information on the MPHS tour.

As mentioned in the April BYU-Hawaii Alumni e-newsletter, theMormon Pacific Historical Society — which includes many alumni — recently took a two-week fact-finding tour of New Zealand, meeting a number of Kiwi and other alumni in the process. For example:

  • Edith Kanekoa ['62, BS, Elementary Education] joined her sister, Josephine Kanekoa Bird [attended '72] on the tour. Originally from Hana, Maui, Edie attended CCH as a single mother. "My oldest was ten-and-a-half when I graduated and moved to the mainland," she said. After first teaching in Los Angeles, then 28 years in the Evergreen, Washington district, Edie retired back to Hawaii and now lives in Waikiki. She has 15 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.
  • Arriving at Honolulu International Airport, Rosina Ward Ho, [attended '72] helped with outbound ground arrangements for the group. Rosina, who still owns a home in Maromaku, New Zealand, has worked for Air Canada for the past eight years, and 14 more for United before that. She married Wilson Ho [attended '64], a Honolulu banking executive. The couple has six children and lives in Waimänalo.
  • Enroute to New Zealand, the group also bumped into Halahuni Langi ['72, BS, Business Administration] in the Nadi, Fiji airport. Langi, who has been head of Customs for the Kingdom of Tonga for the past eight years, had been attending a conference in Wallis-Futuna. Prior to entering government service, 
     
    Edmonds

    Langi taught at Liahona High School. He has been a bishop twice, and is currently a stake high councilor and Temple sealer. Langi and his wife, Ana Tu'iasoa ['75, BA, Business Education] have seven children and 17 grandchildren. Two of the children, Cleveland and Lupe Langi, are currently attending BYU-Hawaii, while another son is at the University of Hawaii. "I miss Laie, and I always look forward to returning," he said. "I've been in various parts of the world, and there's no place like Laie…except for Tonga."

  • We met Tom Edmonds ['84, BS, Travel, Hotel, Restaurant Management] and his wife, Grace Edmonds ['85, BA, History-Government] at a potluck and social in the small LDS Branch chapel in Paihia. The Edmonds, who also worked at the Polynesian Cultural Center while in Laie, have kept busy in the Bay of Islands tourism industry.  They have seven children and 26 grandchildren. Several of their older children are also BYU-Hawaii alumni: Haydn [attended '81], who is now a bishop in Whangarei; Natalie Edmonds Lobendahn [attended '83]; and Jacqui Edmonds Williams [attended '82].
  • Alex Lobendahn ['86, BA; History, Government and Education], who is originally from Suva, Fiji, now teaches Primary school in Paihia, Bay of Islands, New Zealand, where he is also branch president. He previously taught for 10 years at LDS Technical College in Suva. Alex and Natalie's daughter, Yasmin, recently enrolled at BYU-Hawaii as an Information Sciences major.
  •  
    Coffey
  • At Church College of New Zealand (CCNZ) in Temple View, naturally, we met a concentration of alumni, including: Arthur Elkington ['78, BA, Travel Industry Management], the new Hamilton chapter chair Wayne Tarawhiti ['92, BS, Organizational Development] and his wife, Kenra Muir Tarawhiti ['90, BS, Accounting]; Raha Elkington [attended '80], who joined the Honolulu Police Department before returning to New Zealand in 1984... and his wife, Karina Watene Elkington ['85, BSW, Social Work] who works in the health care industry; Apihara Hemi ['74, BA, English], who's now a retired CCNZ teacher and said she keeps busy watching the grandkids, as well as her husband, Apihai Hemi ['73, BA, History], who stillteaches at CCNZ; and Ken Coffey ['82, BA, Fine Arts], who teaches art, photography and technology at CCNZ, while his wife, Susan Kent Coffey ['83, BS, Home and Family Development], works in the library. He said their oldest son, Kona, is serving a mission in Japan.
  • In Nuhaka we met up with Tommy Taurima [attended '62] who is still very involved in teaching cultural arts through Maori Indigenous Te Wananga o Aotearoa based in Gisborne. One of his performing groups recently returned from Europe, he's preparing another tour to Hawaii and Utah in June; and, of course, he is still a Maori cultural consultant for the Polynesian Cultural Center.
  • It was a pleasure to meet Vernice Wineera ['77, BA, English], her daughter Teryl Pere Soren [attended '78] and granddaughter Rani Soren at their ancestral Maori meetinghouse in Porirua, near Wellington. Vernice, who is now director of theInstitute for Pacific Studies at BYU-Hawaii, was in New Zealand on university business. It was also a particularly poignant moment for MPHS group members John Elkington ['75, BS, Business Management] and Stan Curnow ['66, BA, Industrial Education], as this is their ancestral meetinghouse, too. Tribal elders greeted them warmly. In fact, everywhere the MPHS group 
     
    Waka

    went, the people of New Zealand warmly remember the Elkington and Curnow families for their contributions to the LDS labor missionary program that built CCNZ, the Temple, chapels and stake centers.

 
  • Back in Auckland, we enjoyed a potluck social with a small group of alumni in the Howick Chapel. Chapter Chair Myron Broederlow ['98, BS, Business Management] works for the government tax service, and is using his financial skills to build a new home.

Naiomi Waka ['99, BS, Travel Management], who is originally from Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, has been back in New Zealand for two years and works as a finance company administrator, but she plans to leave soon to teach English in Seoul, Korea, for a year to gain Asian experience. "BYU-Hawaii taught me a lot, especially taking the business core classes, and how companies are run, and how you treat employees. The standards BYU set were really good. When we left, we took those with us," she said.

Wiremu Meha ['89, BS, Biological Sciences], who got married two years ago and now attends medical school at the University of Auckland, said he always recommends that all the young men in his ward go to BYU-Hawaii.

 
Dianna Fitisemanu

Dianna Fitisemanu ['93, BA, Organizational Development] earned her master's degree at Columbia in Organizational Psychology before returning to New Zealand, where she is now general manager for Pacific Group Consulting. She reports that her brother, Albert Fitisemanu ['87, Travel, Hotel, Restaurant Management] is now working in Oregon; and brother Jay Fitisemanu [attended '83] manages the Auckland branch of the same computer training company that Wayne Tarawhiti manages in Hamilton. "We have 160 LDS scholarship students in our program," Jay said.

Norma Leatu Fleming [attended '94] got married after returning to New Zealand, is teaching primary school, and is expecting her first child. She said she still remembers the teriyaki chicken in the cafeteria, "and I loved the religion classes. They were my favorite."

David McKay ['99, BA, English] has been working as a web designer for the past seven years at the same company where his wife, Aryan Sadler McKay['98, BS, Business Management] works in office administration. David, who is from Hastings, and Aryan, who is from Kaikohe, said theirs is a true BYUH romance story: "We first met on the way to BYU-Hawaii at the airport."

 
Keung

Alexis Siteine ['93, BA, English] has been a senior lecturer at the Auckland College of Education for the past five years, following assignments as a primary school and teacher in-service teacher. Even though she had already earned an education diploma before coming to Laie, she said her time at BYU-Hawaii "was the most wonderful experience. I did the whole thing over again at BYU. I'm really pleased with the people I met. Also, it really prepared me for the academic scholarship that I've been involved in."

Aaron Keung ['96, BS, Business Management] earned his master's degree in organizational behavior at BYU in '98 before returning to New Zealand, where he is now a senior consultant for a Big Five accounting firm. Aaron, who danced in the night show and worked for PCC Retail Sales before getting elected ASBYUH student body president in '95, got married April 1st to CCNZ graduate Laurie Wharemate.