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HPU graduates 1100+ summer 2002
by Kalamalama staff

HPU held two graduation ceremonies this summer, with more than 700 students graduating May 15 and more than 400 on Aug. 5. On each occasion, three students were chosen as valedictory speakers to represent the graduating classes of the downtown campus baccalaureate program, the military campuses baccalaureate program, and the graduate program.

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Brian K. Thompson, originally of Brea, Calif., received a B.S. in Computer Science and represented the military campus degree programs. In the Marine Corps since 1982, Thompson said he was “looking to pursue a career in the computer field and HPU had a great reputation for their computer science program.” He ended saying, “I enjoy the caliber of people in the military campus programs, from the staff to the faculty. They are flexible in accommodating the needs of people like me.”

Representing the on-campus baccalaureate degree programs and earning a B.A. in Communication was Shaun K.H. Tateishi of Ma‘ili. Tateishi’s first college experience at HPU began after seventh grade, when he was awarded a course scholarship to the University through his affiliation with the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. As an undergraduate, Tateishi was active in and president of numerous student organizations: Debate Society, Alpha Chi National Scholarship Honor Society, and Akamai Advertising. He is a recipient of numerous academic awards, including being named a Collegiate All-American Scholar by the United States Achievement Academy.

Deniz Karacaoglu of Istanbul, Turkey, graduated with an MSIS and represented the graduate degree programs. Karacaoglu, who received her bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from HPU three years ago, has been active in numerous student organizations on campus, including the Windsurfing Club, and the Delta Mu Delta and Alpha Chi National Honor Societies. She also the recipient of thefor Undergraduate Scholarship in Turkey.

Karacaoglu is a national and world sailing champion and was named Ambassador of Sports, Tolerance, and Fair Play by the National Olympic Committee of Turkey. She was drawn to HPU for its rich student diversity and ideal location to condition her sailing skills.

Jeffrey S. Colwell of Vista, Calif. represented the on-campus baccalaureate degree programs on Aug. 5. He graduated with two degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a concentration in Visual Communication and a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising. Active in Kalamalama, the Comedy Club, Akamai Advertising, and other HPU groups, he was appointed a President’s Host, a designation reserved only for a select group of students at HPU. “Living in Hawai‘i and attending HPU has taught me to be independent, meet people from all over the world and appreciate the rich cultures that they bring to us. I have grown as a person. Being the youngest of three children, I felt sheltered at times. Coming to HPU helped me to come out of my shell,” said Colwell.

Marc Ratkus, a Pensa-cola, Fla. native, represented HPU’s military campuses and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. Stationed in Hawai‘i in 1999, Ratkus decided to pursue a degree in computer science to help him prepare for a career after he retired from the military. His co-workers, he said, suggested he attend HPU because the instructors were “the best on the island.” A member of the Wheeler Middle School Parent Teacher Organization, where he served one year as president, Ratkus says the driving force behind his success is his two boys. He “wanted to make a positive influence on them and show them what hard work and commitment could result in.”

Ralf Mitteregger, a Salzburg, Austria native, represented the graduate students and received M.B.A. in Computer Information Systems. As a student assistant in the University’s development office, he helped design and create that department’s Web site. He is a member of the Epsilon Delta Pi National Honor Society and the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society. “It is not only the degree that will aid me in the future,” he said, “it is the experiences I have gained, the people I met, and the friends I made. My time in Hawai‘i has influenced my life significantly and it will have a great impact on my future.”

Commencement speaker for May 15 was Lt. General H.C. Stackpole, USMC (Ret.), president of Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.

Commencement speaker for Aug. 5 was Caroline Matano Yang, chair of the J. William Fulbright Scholarship Board in Washington, D.C. The Board oversees the worldwide Fulbright program including establishing policies and approving all grants. Yang also serves as chair of the International Advisory Board for Tokyo Foundation, and is an active member of The Mike Mansfield Fellowships to Japan and the International Studies Advisory Council at HPU.
Both Stackpole and Yang received the Fellow of the Pacific Award, the University’s highest accolade.



2002, Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.
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