Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 35.03
Liaison Laurel Pikcunas
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Hawaii Honolulu Community College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.50 / 2.00 Michelle Nathan
Assistant Professor
Math and Natural Science
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

A Student Sustainability club was started in the Fall of 2017. The club was active until the Fall of 2020 when the lack of students on campus due a switch to distance learning rendered the club dormant, that is until the club was restarted in the Fall of 2022. The club is currently active. One of the biggest projects of the Student Sustainability Club was the conducting of a waste audit in the Fall of 2018. Currently, the club is working on working with environmental community organizations to organize cleanups and working with the school to bring a compost system to campus which will allow students to bring organic waste to campus to be composted.

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

The māla (dry-land taro patch and community garden) is a central pillar on campus. The space is used for food production and to teach culture-place-based lessons. It is not part of a CSA due to the crops not being harvested and sold on a regular basis. The space is used more as a teaching center. ( See AC-8 campus engagement for more information )


The Honolulu Community College community is very active and involved in restoring the local taro patch, or lo’i kalo. The lo’i kalo is located nearby in the same neighborhood as HonCC, Kalihi. Robert Silva, an automotive instructor at HonCC leads this effort, by organizing volunteers and heading the outreach efforts. The community work days are every first Saturday of the month, these are open to the entire community. The Kalo (taro) is harvested and distributed to the volunteers. Due to the efforts of the volunteers, the park has been restored with the removal of trash and debris and a functioning Lo’i Kalo. Loi Kalo Mini Park was once part of a vast network of taro patches that covered Kapalama. The area toward the mountain was called Niuhelewai after a now-diverted stream that was fed by a collection of springs in the area. Water from the springs now flows directly to the ocean through the Kapalama Canal.


The HonCC Greenhouse is also run by Botany, Hawaiian Studies, and Agriculture professor Isaiah Smith focuses on agriculture in an urban setting. The Students prioritize plants that can thrive on a windowsill or in a pot indoors since most students at HonCC live in an urban environment and the Greenhouse has a goal of making greenery and agriculture accessible for as many people as possible.

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

The Honolulu CC Sustainability Colloquia Sub-Committee:
This committee organizes speakers including experts from the campus and the community to discuss topics related to the environment and sustainability. Talks are open to and promoted to students, staff, and the public. There were a total of 154 attendees during the 2021-2022 Academic Year.
Examples for 2021-2022 Academic Year :
FALL 2021:
October 26, Hawaiian Earth Recycling, Blane Yoshimura
November 9, Thriving Culture, Thriving Planet, Dr. Kēhaulani Watson
November 18, So You Want To Teach an S-Designation Course, Michelle Nathan
November 23, 1pm - Aloha Harvest- The reuse of food waste
November 30, 1pm - Paul Tower, Island Commodities, Hawaii and Food Sustainability ( largest biodiesel producer in Hawaii)

SPRING 2022:
January 20, 1pm - Marissa Miller, Sustainable Coastlines ( beach cleanup and reduction of ocean plastics nonprofit)
January 25, 1pm - Reina Mitsuda, HYCC - Kupu Hawaii- Intro to the 'Aina corp (a summer work opportunity within natural resource management)
March 12 - Krisna Suryanata & Aya H. Kimura, Food and Power in Hawaiʻi
TBD - Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaiʻi

List and description of past events: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CYfqslcThoIkV0xba8611Ub7HH8Z1NgrNbTL5BOEFlc/edit
The numbers of attendees for each event in the 2021-2022 Academic Year:

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

I. Ho’olaule'a festival is a community-wide annual event for all students, faculty, staff, and community members. It takes place within the māla (dry taro patch), Hale hālāwai (traditional Hawaiian meeting house), along with other parts of campus. An imu (Hawaiian underground oven ) is prepared before the event. The celebration includes food, dance, music, and cultural booths and demonstrations.
Video of the event
Write-up for 2022 Ho’olaule'a:

Contact Information: Kūlana Hawaiʻi Division Chair: Mark Alapaki Luke, 844-2372, markluke@hawaii.edu , hulilik@hawaii.edu.

Part of the Ho'olaule'a celebration is the Sustainability Showcase (which has taken place since 2015). The Showcase includes booths where community organizations supporting environmental awareness and engagement share information with students, faculty, and staff. There is also usually a seedling giveaway and a 'trash to treasures' repurposing art contest. Prior to COVID, the Ho'olaule'a celebration, which included the Sustainability Showcase, had over 400 attendees.
See the link to events from last year's virtual showcase: https://www.honolulu.hawaii.edu/why/sustainability-showcase/

II. Hawai'i Student Success Institute 2020
"Integrating Sustainability Across Disciplines: Lessons Learned in Teaching Sustainability Related and Sustainability Focus Classes"
The panel discussion consisted of Honolulu Community College instructors who teach Sustainability-Focused and Sustainability-Related courses in the Natural Sciences, English, and History. The group shared experiential insights on topics including possible resources, strategies to engage students, and the learning benefits of integrating sustainability as part of class curriculum.

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

- Campus-Wide Zero Waste audit 2018

- Sustainability Committee Activities:
* Colloquia - always open to students; often faculty encourage students, or require attendance, or give extra credit to promote attendance.
* Website: public page; contains tips, links to sustainable projects, etc.
* Sustainability Showcase: Several community organizations provide outreach, materials and resources on this day, many specifically focused on connecting to and engaging students https://www.honolulu.hawaii.edu/node/2435

Cynthia Smith produces a newsletter currently sent via the campus listserv with links to community event work days, teachers resources, videos on culture or changing life habits to be more sustainable. There are plans to create a student version of this newsletter to be sent out monthly.

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

The Student Life & Development Office hires multiple student aids that assist in organizing and planning various Sustainability-focused events throughout the academic year. All event ideas are suggested by student aids who work to put these events on for the Honolulu Community College community.

Sustainability-focused events in recent years include:
January 18 2023- Welcome Back Fair multiple environmental groups presented at the fair including the Student Sustainability Club, Sustainability, and Marine Option Program Academic Subject Certificate.
October 16 2022- Food Drive in collaboration with the Hawai'i Food Bank
October 22 2022- Sustainability Bingo- an opportunity for students to learn about Sustainability Practices while competing for Environmentally friendly prizes.
October 10 2022- Garden Giveaway- The Student Life and Development office collaborated with the Botany and Agriculture classes by giving away free plants that the classes grew in the campus greenhouse.
April 14 2022 Ho’olaule’a 2022 a celebration of Hawaiian Culture and Sustainability in collaboration with all departments of Honolulu Community College
April 13 2022 Food Drive in collaboration with the Hawai'i Food Bank

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Emily Ann Kukulies
Professor & Director, Student Life & Development
Phone: (808) 845-9498 kukulies@hawaii.edu
874 Dillingham Blvd. | Building 2, Room 113 | Honolulu, HI 96817

Brenda Coston
Professor & Chair, Sustainability Colloquia Subcommittee
Email: bmcoston@hawaii.edu
874 Dillingham Blvd. Honolulu, HI 96817

Michelle Nathan
Sustainability Co-Coordinator
Phone: 808 845 9253
874 Dillingham Blvd. Honolulu, HI 96817

John Delay
Sustainability Co-Coordinator
Phone: 808 845 9419
874 Dillingham Blvd. Honolulu, HI 96817

Isaiah Smith
Botany Professor & Director, HonCC Greenhouse
Email: ismith@hawaii.edu
874 Dillingham Blvd. Honolulu, HI 96817

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.