Pilina Panel: Navigating networks for graduate school and beyond
Come learn the ins and outs of meaningful professional relationships through networking in college and graduate school!
This event is open to the general public - whether you’re a student, teacher, professor, or just someone interested in meeting new faces, we invite you to come to our Pilina Panel!
The Pilina Panel is a virtual seminar that will provide insights into how to navigate professional networks for school, jobs, and more! Our panel features Dr. Mehana Vaughan, an associate professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in addition to early-stage PhD and medical students. Attend our event to hear a variety of perspectives on how to approach new people, find opportunities, and develop a network that can influence your long-term career. All are welcome to join and you are welcome to come with questions to ask our panelists!
What is Graduate School?
Our presenters will talk about:
- What is graduate school & why do people do it?
- How do we prepare for graduate school?
- How do we apply to graduate programs & how do we know what program to apply to?
- How do we pay for graduate school?
- What is graduate school like?
Hiki iaʻu ke hele i ke Kula Nui: A Talk Story with Hawaiian Students on Health and STEM pathways
Our panelists will share their path, passion, and challenges they’ve faced in their STEM/Health academic and professional careers followed by a Q&A session. Whether you’re a student interested in STEM, are in a STEM career, or just interested in STEM, we invite you to come to learn about how nā po’e a Hawaii have navigated the world of STEM.
Facilitator: Dr. Lelemia Irvine (Kumu Lelemia), Assistant Professor at University of Hawaii - West Oahu
Dr. Lelemia Irvine is kupukaaina, a lineal descendant from the aboriginal families that sprouted out of the land of Waiʻanae. He earned his BS and MS degrees in Biological Engineering and MS and PhD in Civil Engineering degrees from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Notably, Dr. Irvine is the first Native Hawaiian kāne to earn a PhD in any engineering discipline at UH Mānoa. Dr. Irvine is the first appointed Physics faculty at the University of Hawaiʻi—West Oʻahu. Previously, he served as a Lecturer and Teaching Assistant in Civil Engineering at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In recognition of his excellence and dedication to teaching, Dr. Irvine received the Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2013 from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. At UH West Oʻahu, Dr. Irvine is developing the physics, pre-engineering, and engineering courses within the Mathematics, Natural and Health Science Division. Dr. Irvine is a self-described rain farmer seeking to connect sky, aquifer and culture through the physics of fluid dynamics. In general, his research interests involve the Water—Indigenous Knowledge—STEM education nexus. Specifically, his research thrives on interdisciplinary collaborations with a special focus on (i) Indigenous grounded STEM-oriented Education, (ii) water sust-ʻāina-bility and (iii) natural and biological applications and implications of environmental physics. Recently, Dr. Irvine and his collaborators were awarded the prestigious Spencer Foundation Grant to study the impact of COVID-19 on the indigenous teaching practices in Hawaiʻi.
PhD Student, UC Santa Barbara
Nākoa Farrant is a PhD student in Environmental Science and Management at UCSB’s Bren School. He broadly seeks to improve agricultural productivity while minimizing ecological harm. He is currently exploring how ecosystems revegetate on abandoned sugarcane and pineapple lands in Hawai‘i. With a clear understanding of how vegetation patterns occur across environmental contexts, he hopes to inform future allocation of land for conservation, food production, and cultural activities among other priorities. To enhance our current understanding of these coupled human-natural systems, he applies an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates remote sensing, GIS analysis tools, and causal inference methods. Nākoa also investigates the future role of Native Hawaiian food systems to resolve food security issues locally and beyond. In his free time, Nākoa enjoys surfing, running, and biking. When he’s home in Hawai‘i, he catches up with friends, mentors, and volunteers at loko i‘a like He‘eia Fishpond or lo‘i kalo like Ho‘okua‘āina in Maunawili.
Geospatial Analyst, UH Mānoa SOEST
Kammie Tavares is a geospatial analyst for the Coastal Geology Group at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. From there she earned a B.S. Global Environmental Science and M.S. Geology and Geophysics. It was on the beaches of her one hānau (birth sands, homeland) Waiʻanae where her love and respect for the environment grew. In an effort to preserve sandy beaches and people's relationship to places, Kammie currently works on updating the Hawaiʻi Shoreline Study to inform coastal managers on how beaches have changed and are projected to change in a future of sea level rise.
PhD Candidate, Ohio State University
Makana is from Waiʻanae, Oʻahu and is currently a PhD candidate in Astrophysics at Ohio State University. His research focuses on cosmology and astrophysics. So far, he has worked on escaping atmospheres on exoplanets, lensing of primordial black holes, and weak lensing of halos with dust. He has tutored at the University of Hawaiʻi in physics and math. His passions and motivations for his career choice include the desire to advance and perpetuate educational opportunities for nā keiki of Hawaiʻi by expanding the horizons of their imaginations through STEM. He enjoys strongman workouts, playing games, and going to the beach.
Medical Student, John A. Burns School of Medicine
Maveric Abella grew up in Kapolei and graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapalama in 2015. She went on to study Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University and is now a first-year medical student at the John A Burns School of Medicine. Maveric has participated in a breadth of research internships ranging from cancer biology to microfluidics. More recently, she co-authored three publications in PNAS detailing the radiation from bomb testing that threatens the Marshall Islands to this day. Maveric has always had an interest in serving the community and does so through her leadership at Honua Scholars while she continues to pursue a path in medicine. Maveric likes to surf, spearfish, scuba, and play basketball and volleyball. She also likes engineering projects.