Above all, our staff is here to serve the student. Our first priority is to ensure that the program provides an outstanding experience to every single student. This includes everything from academic advising to extracurricular activities. We're dedicated in what we do.
Here are a few introductions from our full-time staff and student assistants. We hope this gives you a better idea of who we are as individuals, but more importantly, who we are as a team.
Terry L. Hunt, Director of the Honors Program, is Professor of Anthropology, adjunct Professor in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, and presently serves as Chair of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program at University of Hawai‘i-Manoa. He earned his Bachelor's Degree at University of Hawai‘i, Hilo; his Master's Degree (First Class Honors) at University of Auckland (New Zealand); and his Ph.D. at University of Washington (1989). Dr. Hunt has taught at University of Hawai`i since 1988. His research and teaching are focused on Pacific Island archaeology, the evolution of island societies, and palaeo-environment change.
Dr. Hunt has been conducting archaeological field research in the Pacific Islands for more than 30 years. He has done extensive work in the Hawaiian Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, and Rapa Nui (Easter Island).
Over the past 12 years Dr. Hunt has directed archaeological field research on Rapa Nui, where he and his students continue work on many aspects of the island’s prehistoric past. His continuing research on the island addresses questions concerning the trajectory of cultural and ecological changes, including the role of the colossal statues and monuments in the ancient society.
Dr. Hunt has published numerous scholarly articles on Pacific archaeology, prehistory, and linguistics. His work has been published in Science, Nature, American Scientist, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Journal of Archaeological Science, Pacific Science, Journal of the Polynesian Society, Rapa Nui Journal, and Current Anthropology, among others. He has co-edited four books, including a collection on historical ecology and ancient landscape change.
In 2008 Dr. Hunt was awarded the prestigious University of Hawaii Board of Regents Medal for Excellence in Research in recognition of his innovative work on Rapa Nui. In 2005, Dr. Hunt won the University of Hawai‘i Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching.
Dr. Hunt’s recent book (The Statues that Walked: Unraveling the mystery of Easter Island, Free Press, New York, 2011) co-authored with Carl Lipo revisits the dramatic story of Rapa Nui’s prehistory. Hunt and Lipo’s book won the Society for American Archaeology’s book of the year award, 2011, in the public audience category. Dr. Hunt’s research was the focus of a National Geographic Magazine cover story (July, 2012) and a full-length Nova-National Geographic TV documentary that aired on PBS in November 2012.
Kiana Shiroma was born and raised on Oahu. She earned her BA and MA in Speech Communication and is currently in the PhD program for Educational Administration at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Kiana loves spending time with her family and watching movies. She has two black Labrador Retrievers named Mili and Lani who are almost 100 pounds each!
"Aloha everyone! I'm Jenn and I'm from California. I received my B.A. in History from CSU Long Beach and I'm proud to say that in 2011 I earned my MA from UH Manoa in American Studies."
Little known but true: "I enjoy spending time with friends and family, especially with my two dogs, Toby and Rocky. I love going to Disneyland because it's the happiest place on earth!"
Kimo has returned to school to double major in Hawaiian Studies and Hawaiian Language with the goal of earning a Master’s in Education. He wants to combine this education with his background in Botany and teach science in the Hawaiian Immersion school system. Kimo is also a student in the Honors Program.
Little known fact? “I’ve spent most my working life as a farmer, but I still don’t like to eat my vegetables.”
Damion Sailors is a graduate student in the Anthropology Department currently studying Pacific Island Archaeology. Damion was raised on the Big Island and spent 14 years as a tallship sailor travelling around the world before starting his academic journey. Damion currently serves as a Graduate Assistant for the Honors Program and the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.
Little known fact? Not many people know that Damion is an actual Disney character...he served as the action model for the protagonist "Jim Hawkins" in Disney's animated feature titled - "Treasure Planet".
Arlen McCluskey grew up in a sleepy little town in Alaska called Skagway. He now lives in Honolulu, where he works for UH Manoa at the Honors Program. In 2011, Arlen earned a Master's in Communication from UH Manoa. His BA in Communication was also from UH Manoa.
Favorite pastimes? "I love hiking, travelling, playing the uke, photography, and cycling... If only I could do those all at once!"
Ronelyn Ganir, from Kahalui, Maui, is a student assistant in the Honors Program office. She is a pre-nursing major, and aspires to pursue a career in nursing. An avid lover of music, graphic design, and just kickin' it with her friends, she still makes time for reading too.
Little known fact? "I was originally a lefty, but now I'm right-handed. Only... every now and then, though, my left hand totally tries to take over!"
Christie Obatake is a student assistant in the Honors Program office. She was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and is currently pursuing a BS in electrical engineering. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, listening to music, and watching Japanese dramas.
Little known fact? "My favorite color has always been yellow because it's so bright and cheerful!"
Andrea Hidano is a Manoa Peer Advisor in the Honors Program. She is currently working on receiving her BA in English and Economics, and plans to continue her education in the field of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.
Favorite Pastimes? "I love arts and crafts, especially baking and making jewelry. I also love traveling and visiting new places!"