Jolene Muneno, Reid Kuioka, Denise Abara, Geri Salvador, Denise Nakaoka, Alyssa Kapaona, and LaJoya Shelly
Jolene Muneno, Reid Kuioka, Denise Abara, Geri Salvador, Denise Nakaoka, Alyssa Kapaona, and LaJoya Shelly

On April 29, 2019, the College of Education Office of Student Academic Services (OSAS) was awarded the ‘Oikela Outstanding Academic Advising Unit Award during the UH Mānoa Awards Ceremony. OSAS was selected for its excellence, innovation, and significant contributions to the advising community by the Council of Academic Advisors.

“I am extremely proud of our faculty, staff, and student assistants,” said OSAS Director Denise Nakaoka. “They are most deserving of this award since they have consistently demonstrated a high level of excellence in their delivery of services to students, program development, and work ethic. They inspire me every day.”

The core functions of OSAS include recruitment, admission, advising, retention and graduation. By establishing partnerships with other units, state departments, and local high schools, the office is making an impact on the teaching profession. They have expanded course offerings to students from underserved populations by working with campus administrators. In addition, they offer recruitment and advising services to neighbor island students, satellite advising at all of the community college campuses, and advising for students interested in graduate programs.

OSAS recently received more than $11K in grants to support underrepresented student activities and events, and they were instrumental in a $1.2M award to provide students with tuition stipends. In collaboration with other university units, they received a $90K U.S. Department of Education grant for the recruitment and retention of Native Hawaiian students who are interested in teaching and STEM fields.

“It has been a joy to work with such hard working, student centered, creative, driven people,” Nakaoka concluded. “I would like to acknowledge the OSAS team: Associate Director Denise Abara; Academic Advisors Alyssa Kapaona, Reid Kuioka, Jolene Muneno, and Karen Wilson; Graduate Information Officer Adam Tanners; Administrative Manager Kori Ricci, Secretary Geri Salvador; Graduate Assistant LaJoya Shelly; and Student Assistants Dolores Black, Toni Oyama, and Jorin Young.”

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