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The Voice of KCC: News from Kaua‘i Community College

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Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012 12:30 am

Welcome to the inaugural edition of “The Voice of KCC,” a chance for the community to get to know a little bit more about the island’s only institution of higher education. On the first Friday of each month, we’ll highlight the people, places and events that make the college the hub of so much of what happens on Kaua‘i. We welcome comments and suggestions for future columns, and also welcome the opportunity to keep the community up to date about goings-on at our Puhi campus.

Chancellor Helen Cox announced last week that KCC was one of four campuses of the University of Hawai‘i system showing an increase in enrollment. The college also had the highest percentage increase for the entire system as well as its highest enrollment number in 15 years.

After more than 21 years of discussion and planning, an Associate Degree in Hawaiian Studies will now be offered at the college. Hawaiian Studies Coordinator Dennis Chun comments, “With the an AA in Hawaiian Studies, our students will have a foundation which will enrich not only their personal lives, but also their careers.”

The new Cognition Learning Center on campus was developed by team of staff and faculty led by Brian Yamamoto as a demonstration facility to utilize sustainable construction. The facility will provide an experimental environment that will foster hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Activities already completed in cognition include converting a vehicle from gas to electric operation. One of the goals of the facility is to be an incubator for kindergarten through grade 12 students so that they can develop their own projects from what they have encountered in the Cognition Learning Center.

Daphne Sanchez, business management major and a talented professional singer, recently visited Iwaki City, Kaua‘i’s sister city in Japan, and performed in various venues as a way of lifting spirits in the lingering aftermath of the devastating tsunami of 2011. One of her most memorable visits was to a temporary shelter for children whose homes were washed away in the disaster. Thanks for lifting spirits with your beautiful voice, Daphne!

It’s what’s for dinner! Culinary Instructors Chef Mark Oyama, Chef Steven Nakata and Duane Miyasato, along with 24 culinary student volunteers, participated in the recent Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair with the Kaua‘i Cattleman’s Association, which provides KCC culinary students with a $1,600 scholarship each year.

Gilbert Adair, instructor of English, had his collection of poetry, “Sable Smoke,” published by Vere Books in London, and several works by Patricia Yu, lecturer in drawing and painting, were selected in the juried 2012 Shafer Portrait Challenge on Maui. Additionally, one of her paintings was recently purchased by the Hawai‘i State Foundation of Culture and the arts, and is on exhibit at the Molokai Library.

Sharad Marahatta, instructor in Integrated Farm Systems, conducted a presentation on nemotology (the study of worms, essential elements of agricultural ecosystems) at the 51st annual meeting of the Society of the Nematologists in Savanna, Georgia in August.

Philosophy instructor Chris Tennberg recently participated in the American Philosophical Association’s Pacific Division conference in Seattle by chairing a symposium on “Zeno’s Definition of the Apprehensive Impression”.

Under the supervision of Virginia Dunas, licensed massage therapist and former coordinator of the KCC massage program, 17 KCC graduates volunteered to massage Kaua‘i Marathon runners last Sunday.

A total of 26 nursing students graduated over the summer as LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses). They are now eligible to take their State Board exam and are authorized to care for clients.

Featured Faculty

Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, History lecturer Rich Cappellino enlisted in the Navy after high school and served as a meteorologist for eight years. During that he saw much of the world and gained a great respect and understanding of other cultures and societies. He has taught at KCC since 2010. He says, “Teaching is one of my passions and being a lecturer at KCC allows me the opportunity to what I love with great people.”

Rich is also giving back to the community as Waimea High School’s new head wrestling coach.

Ming Chi, who goes by the nickname “Coco” is originally from Dalian, China. She graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa with a master’s degree in mathematics and is now in charge of Developmental Math at KCC. She says, “I love hiking, the ocean and reggae music. Kaua‘i is my dream place to live and work.”

Coco’s goals for her students include preparing them for college courses, and introducing them to the beauty of math.  

• Greg Shepherd is an Associate Professor of Music at Kaua‘i Community College. ‘The Voice of KCC’ appears the first Monday of every month.

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