Author: Lexus Yamashiro

Tim Phillips

From Kapolei, Tim Phillips is a 19-year-old in his second-year at KCC. Initially having entered KCC as a Nursing major, Phillips decided to pursue his studies in Psychology instead after taking a class in the subject during his first semester in Fall 2017.

Finding Psychology to be an interesting field of study, Phillips hopes that what he learns will help him to find a career in the medical field. Despite being undecided in a specific future job, Phillips said that his decision to go into medical work is based upon his idea of wanting to help people and make a difference in the community.

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Michael Kwak

Michael Kwak is a 2018 graduate of KCC who received his Associate in Science in Hospitality and Tourism. From Honolulu, the 22-year-old chose this pathway because he was unsure of what he wanted to study, believing that this would be a safe start to his college career. Tired of the restaurant business, Kwak said that he would most likely want to find a hotel-related position if he were to follow a career based on his degree.

While attending hospitality courses when he was working toward his associate’s degree, Kwak shared that he enjoyed learning from his professors such as Kawehi Sellers and Palakiko Yagodich.

Kwak returned to KCC this school year to complete his pre-requisites for a smooth transition to UH Mānoa in the near future. There, Kwak hopes to focus his studies in the Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology (MBB) program. His passion for science is what drew Kwak to this program along with his interest in future technologies.

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Michael Sheehey

Michael Sheehey serves as KCC’s retention coordinator. New to this position since the start of the Fall 2018 semester, Sheehey moved from Pāhoa to Honolulu to jump at this career opportunity. As a retention coordinator, Sheehey works with KCC faculty to oversee campus-wide initiatives to target student success.

Sheehey said that working within the community college gives him this feeling of a “small town vibe.”

“You have the convenience to know who you’re working with and have conversations with these people outside of the context of a specific problem or challenge you’re trying to address,” Sheehey said. “We have to collaborate and cooperate for the sake of our own success.”

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Voices & Views

  • Alyssa EspinozaAlyssa Espinoza
    Alyssa Espinoza moved to Hawaiʻi with her husband ­six months ago. Originally from Texas, Espinoza and her partner had spent a year and a half stationed in Nebraska before moving to the aloha state. She said that she has been enjoying the island, and its mellow weather. “I like it because it doesn’t snow,” Espinoza said. “We get to go to the beach a lot, which is a lot of fun. … We can be outside, swimming, and my dog likes to be outside … ” Being away from her extended family is a challenge to the 21-year old. “ … My family is back home in Texas, and I recently just lost two of my grandfathers, over the past like, two months. That’s the hardest part, is not being able to be with my family.” Alyssa is currently working towards a degree in nursing at KCC. In the future, she hopes to work in pediatric care. In her free time, she goes on hikes and fishing with her husband. She also enjoys watching tutorial videos on how to do makeup.