HPU student John Rulmal, a native of Ulithi, Yap, in the Federated
States of Micronesia, was awarded a $500 scholarship from the
Paradise of the Pacific Chapter of the Club Managers Association
of America (CMAA). Rulmal is a travel industry management major
in the College of Business Administration.
Rulmal is a native of Ulithi Atoll, an area comprised of 49
small islands (four are inhabited) that is home to the fourth-largest
lagoon in the world. With miles of unexplored reefs and underwater
marine life, Ulithi could become a world-class diving destination—a
factor that prompted Rulmal to pursue a degree in travel industry
management at HPU.
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“Our chiefs and island leaders have recently allowed
visitors to come to Ulithi, and this has become a concern to
the people. While they welcome visitors with open arms, the
Ulithian people need to understand the business and the full
effects of tourism,” explained Rulmal, who said he will
become the first Ulithian with a tourism-related degree upon
graduating from HPU next year.
“I’d like to guide Ulithi to become a world class
destination that would not only provide jobs to the natives,
but also allow them to share the rich Ulithian culture with everyone
who goes there,” said Rulmal, who hopes to accomplish this
through community awareness and education programs.