Recognition Ceremony 2018 Celebrates Graduates

More than 700 families and friends gathered at the Hawaii Convention Center on May 10, 2018, to celebrate 97 Fall 2017, Spring 2018 and Summer 2018 graduates from UHM Nursing. Graduates from the Bachelor of Science, Executive RN to Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) nursing programs participated in this year’s Recognition Ceremony.

The students selected Dr. Clementina Ceria-Ulep, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and UHM Nursing alumna, to deliver their keynote address. Student speakers were BS graduate Alea Amano and DNP graduate Mathew Bellhouse-King.

2018 Recognition Graduates

In keeping with the tradition, students invited family members to participate on stage during the pinning ceremony. Each student received a ribbon lei from the School with a UHM Nursing alumni pin affixed to it. UH Manoa Nursing Alumni Association (UHMNAA) President Lydia Kumasaka, MSN, APRN continued a more recent tradition of giving a $200 cash gift to accompany the baccalaureate student-selected Professional Nurse Award presented to Alea Amano, as well as the advanced degree faculty-selected Liko A‘e and Ko‘o Kua Awards. The recipient of the Liko A‘e Award was DNP graduate Yvonne Yokono and MS graduate Lindsey Vandolah received the Ko‘o Kua Award. Additional baccalaureate award recipients were: Courtney Burggraaf, Leadership Award; Kayo Estes, Kahiau Award; Angella Ligon, Community Service Award; Fejiereich Luz Lopez, DAISY in Training Award; Ashley Asuka, Uliana Kostareva, and Kylie Styner, Academic Achievement Award.

The Dean’s Scholarly Project Award was awarded to PhD graduate Kamomilani Anduha Wong in recognition of her study project titled “Ethnographic Study of Nutrition and Diet as it Relates to the Health and Well-Being of Native Hawaiian Kūpuna (Elders)”, DNP graduate Ryan Hironaka in recognition of his study project titled “Venous Thromboembolism Risk Assessment in Renal Transplant Patients at the Queen’s Medical Center in Hawaii”, and MS graduate Kahalalihi‘ula Bray in recognition of her study project titled “Using Personalized Outreach to Improve Influenza Immunization Rates”.

The undergraduate students presented UHM Nursing faculty Frankie Hale, MS, RN with the Nurse Educator Award in recognition of her respect and dedication to student success. Jonita Ozeki, MSN, RN was the recipient of the faculty-selected DAISY Faculty Award, in honor of her exceptional impact on students and inspirational influence on their future.

Two graduate faculty awards were student-nominated and committee selected. Susan Driscoll, PhD, MPH, APRN, ANP-BC, WHNP-BC received the Liko A‘e Faculty Award in recognition of her exemplary teaching in the graduate nursing programs early in her employment with the Department of Nursing. The Ho‘okele Award was given to John Casken, PhD, MPH, RN, recognizing his consistent engagement in guiding and supporting graduate nursing students.

UHM Nursing will celebrate 2019 graduates at a Recognition Ceremony in May 2019. For questions about Recognition Ceremony, please contact Carlyn Minster at

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