I am extremely humbled and honored to receive the support of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA), which represents our UH system’s faculty members at our six community colleges, UH Hilo, UH-Manoa, UH Maui College and UH-West Oahu.
UHPA and I are both strongly committed to the achievement of excellence and maintaining the highest standards at the University of Hawaii. As our state’s only public post-secondary institution and the gateway for generations of students to build a better life for themselves and their families, I have a strong record of support for higher education during my years as the Senate Education & Higher Education Chair, but also when I served as Ways and Means Chair, where I fought for funding to establish the Hawaii Promise Scholarship. This “last dollar” scholarship provided to qualified students enrolled at any of the six community college campuses will close the gap and change lives.
As a first generation college graduate, I know first hand that education is the truest equalizer. I also know that at the core of a strong post-secondary institution are those individuals dedicated to seeking and passing on knowledge. Which is why UHPA’s endorsement is so important to me. It reflects the work we have done together to fight for what was most important for higher education in Hawaii and it speaks to our shared commitment to continue to increase access and opportunity. Standing side by side our faculty, I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and working hard, focused on our future.