For 20+ years as a member of SACNAS, I have been preparing to assume an executive leadership role. I didn't realize I would choose this opportunity, however, I am confident and ready to seek the nomination for the position of SACNAS President-Elect. I am excited to serve and work alongside the board, the ED, and SACNAS staff whom have been implementing the strategic imperatives.
Highlight SACNAS experiences that qualify me to serve include 3 previous terms on the Board; serving as advisor for our ʻIlima SACNAS chapter; LPSLI alumna; Chair/served on numerous committees; and Chair of the Local Committee that hosted the 2019 NDiSTEM Conference in Honolulu, HI. In partnership with SACNAS, we secured a $250 investment for the conference from the University of Hawaiʻi System. My values have aligned with the SACNAS vision and mission for 20 + years. I have DEI experience from the SOEST Dean's Council, the Search Advocate Program, and an NSF ADVANCE project on gender equity in STEM professions. Collectively, these experiences and commitment align with SACNAS.
SACNAS/ STEM Diversity & Inclusion Experience
2018-2019, Chair, Local Organizing Committee, hosted the 2019 NDiSTEM Conference in Hawaiʻi, the Largest diverse STEM registrants count to date: 5,189). Participated with SACNAS to secure a large university funding investment. SACNAS mission aligned.
2018-2022, Member, NIH Advisory Committee to the Director-Working Group on Diversity (ACD-WGD). ACD-WGD is charged to assist the ACD with developing effective diversity-related strategies for NIH. Committee deliberations culminated with an ACD-WGD Report on Racism in Science. The ACD unanimously accepted the report and forwarded it to the NIH Director for implementation.
2019-21, Member, SOEST Dean’s Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Worked on the 'draft' code of conduct (COC) document. The council then forwarded it to the Dean’s office for wide distribution. The COC was adopted in Fall 2021.
2021 -, Search Advocate, The Manoa Provosts’ Search Advocacy Program to promote more equity and inclusive recruitment and hiring processes for faculty and staff positions. Served on two STEM college faculty search committees.
July 2022 -, Co-PD/PI, NSF ADVANCE Catalyst, Advancing gender equity in STEM. Advised on the process and oversaw focus group recruitment and connections with women and Hawaiian STEM scholars. Currently reviewing UHM policy and data reports and websites. Liaison to search advocate program for advancing inclusive excellence.
Member, Board of Directors, Ke Ola Mamo, Native Hawaiian Health Care System, Provides leadership to address healthcare needs and wellness through a system of culturally sensitive services, interventions, advocacy, outreach, and education. At one particular community meeting an agenda topic was being hotly contested by several board members. Feeling uneasy with the rising tension, I firmly interrupted and called for a biology/restroom break. The chair agreed and declared a 10-minute break. The tension dissolved. Upon reconvening, I asked to address the situation, and the chair agreed. I acknowledged the passion, expertise, and value of everyone working to achieve our mission. However this topic was nowhere near a resolution, therefore I suggested we 'tabled' the item until the next meeting, and schedule ample time for discussion. I recommended the board return to the remaining agenda items because some were time-sensitive and required board discussion, and a vote. The council agreed, and the meeting continued with civility to complete our tasks. Members can be very passionate and set on their way to resolve problems. I diverted away from negative energy and focused on the completion of our tasks & and agenda items. My style is collaborative while acknowledging everyone's value at the table.
2005 & 2008 Chair/Host, Local Organizing Committee of the NIDDK, NIH STEP UP Undergraduate Research Conference, $10,000 raised each year.
2014 & 2015 - Advisor, ‘Ilima SACNAS Chapter, For each year, the chapter members raised ~$50,000. Includes campus RIO club award; national conference costs, research supplies & and small equipment, fresh flower lei donations, and in-kind donations. In addition, the national office provided funds to host the Regional Student Conference ($10,000). In 2016, $6,000 was raised to host a Nobel Laureate keynote speaker.
2018 – 2019 Chair, Hawaiʻi Organizing Committee for the 2019 NDiSTEM conference. Working with the SACNAS president and ED, we secured a sole 'Presenting Partner' investment of $250,000 from the University of Hawaiʻi System. Largest in-person registrants to date: 5,189. Local media outreach via 15 SACNAS stories across the morning networks, a publicity value of $26,000. Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) reported the conference contributed an additional $23 million to the state economy.
A core responsibility of a board member is governance and implementing the strategic plan. An organization is only as good as its foundational structure. Having a good working relationship and trust with the organization's executive director is critical. It's important the Board knows their roles and responsibilities which are separate from the operational responsibilities of the executive director. The board sets the big picture and the ED with his staff operationalize the tasks for carrying out the board directives.
2017-2019, Board of Director, Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), General Member. Chair, Native American Affairs Committee.
2001 – Founding Member, Kuali‘i Council of Native Hawaiian Programs, UHM. Served several times as the Kualiʻi representative at the Puko‘a Council, University of Hawai‘i System-wide Level. Council members (15) are program directors of Native Hawaiian serving programs that advocate for student, staff, and faculty advancement in academia and positions of leadership across disciplines.
2017 - 2019, Member, SACNAS Board of Directors, Chair, Native American Affairs Committee. 2018-2019, Chair, Hawaiʻi's Local Organizing Committee, 2019 NDiSTEM Conference, Hawaiʻi Convention Center, Honolulu, HI. Serve as a general member on several additional SACNAS committees.