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by Kalamalama staff


HPU president Chatt G. Wright announced last week the promotion and reassignment of several staff members in the Division of Student Affairs, under the direction of Vice President Dr. Jeffrey L. Philpott

“ I am pleased to announce a structural reorganization,” said Wright, “which will result in the promotion of three individuals as well as new work assignments for other Student Affairs staff members.”

The promotions and reassignments are scheduled to take effect March 5.

“ Charles Sasaki, dean of Academic Advising and Personal Counseling, will be promoted to the position of assistant vice president, Student Affairs, Wright announced, adding that Marites Fiesta will be promoted from director of First-Year Programs to dean, Student Life and First-Year Programs.

The President also announced that Jennifer Matheson, who had left her position as director of Student Life in order to spend more time with her two children, would be returning to HPU in May in a new part-time position as Coordinator of Special Events. The position was created, Wright said, “to assist with a host of Student Life events such as new student orientation, Robert E. Black Awards, and Intercultural Week.

Student Life will also add an additional full-time position, Coordinator of Campus Activities and Student Center, Wright said, “in order to develop social, educational, and cultural activities and provide oversight of the Sea Warrior Center.”

Lisa Ishikuro, coordinator of First-Year Advising, has been promoted to assistant director of Academic Advising. “Lisa’s responsibilities will be expanded to include outreach events for admitted students, outcomes assessment projects, grant writing, and implementation of the new General Education core,” Wright explained.

Sasaki joined HPU in 2005, according to Philpott, who said that in 18 months “completed a major reorganization of the Advising Centers, substantially improved counseling and behavioral health services on both campuses, helped streamline the undergraduate advising process, and developed the new “Early Alert” and “Prescription for Success” initiatives for students whose grades do not reflect their academic potential.

Under Sasaki’s leadership, Philpott added, the Summer Bridge program was significantly enhanced and all the students in the 2006 cohort were retained. “Sasaki will continue to work closely with faculty and staff from Academic Affairs to help implement the new General Education curriculum,” Philpott said, adding that Sasaki will also now oversee the activities of the Career Services Center and the University Chaplain.

Fiesta joined HPU to create the new First-Year Programs office to help incoming undergraduates make the transition to college life, HPU, and Hawai‘i. She revamped fall orientation, Philpott said, putting a greater emphasis on academic life, “and the number of spring orientation attendees doubled from the previous year.”

Fiesta also implemented a series of community-based learning experiences—field trips to culturally or historically significant locations, a highly popular speaker series, and new Global First-Year Seminars. This semester she initiated the “Be My Guest,” program that allows students to invite a professor to lunch. She will continue these activities and assume responsibility for a newly-merged department of Student Life and First-Year Programs, Philpott said.




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