Category: Voices & Views

Jamie Lee

18-year-old Jamie Lee is a Liberal Arts major from Honolulu who has just finished his first year at KCC. Interested in anime, Lee hopes to be accepted into the Animation Department’s internship once he receives his Liberal Arts degree.

Lee works as an AVID tutor at Washington Middle School. Previously, he only tutored in its summer school program for four years while he was in high school, and now he tutors during the regular school year. The tutors help the students with work problems that they are having difficulty solving on their own in any subject.

In his spare time, Lee likes to play board games with his friends or practice his animation skills.

Chas Efhan

Chas Efhan is a 19-year-old liberal arts with a concentration in business major. As a native of Nuʻuanu, Efhan is in his sophomore year of college. He plans on transferring into UH Mānoa’s accounting program next semester.

“Today’s world is so focused around markets, businesses, and money,” Efhan said. “A lot of jobs are situated around businesses, and because of that I want to get a business degree. It’s a really versatile degree that can land me a lot of different jobs.

“Efhan’s goal is to own his own business where he manufactures and builds his own products. He loves to repair surfboards and fix anything related to fiberglass. However, Efhan believes that he will start his post-college job at a business firm.

“I think I’ll start at a business firm after Mānoa to save and invest my money so that I can buy my own company someday,” he said. “I want to build composites in the future; preferably stuff dealing with carbon-fiber, surfboards, or canoe making. Those would all be really cool. I want to create things that bring people happiness.

“Efhan’s advice to future business majors is to just love what you’re doing. He said that you must be interested in the field as a whole, and be motivated to work hard. He believes it might take a while, but you’ll get to your end goal eventually.

Alex Lum

Alex Lum describes himself as a “perpetual sophomore” attending KCC. The 42-year-old is pursuing his studies in Pre-Engineering and serves as a temporary representative for the Na Hua o Papa Club. Lum said Na Hua o Papa works to promote sustainability efforts, specifically ecological implementations onto the campus.

“Everyone has their own kind of green space culturally in the back of their minds and that’s kind of what we want to see,” Lum said. “With the loss of a lot of native ecologies, native plantscapes, we don’t have enough people with that in their mind so we have to recreate the native ecology of KCC as much as possible.”

Lum said the club recently harvested some sweet potato, a plant he said is pest resistant making it unharmful to the environment it is placed in.

In the future, Lum hopes that the campus’ only rain garden will advance to divert roof water from going into storm drains into a freshwater lens that he said should become drinkable within 50 years. 

Adam Pada

Adam Pada is a 21-year-old first-year student from Kahaluʻu. He is interested in a Computer Science degree, though he currently does not have an official major. He decided to attend Kapiʻolani Community College as Windward Community College did not have the classes he needed for that particular major.

Pada was always keen to get into the computer science field, as he loves working with computers and learning about their technology. He hopes to continue working with them once he graduates, but is unsure of his exact plans.

“I’m still trying to figure that out, though, my future,” Pada said, “Like everyone else.”

He works at Yamashiro’s Building Supply, which his family is connected to through the owner. It’s a simple job that allows him to focus mainly on his education, something that is important to him. In his free time, Pada enjoys going to the gym in order to stay in shape. There is not much spare time in his life because he prefers to concentrate on school and work.

Erika Matsui

Erika Matsui is a 35-year-old first-year Natural Science/Biology major from Tagimi, Japan (Gifu Prefecture). Before moving to Hawai’i, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design and began work as an aesthetician and hair stylist. Matsui, whose father was previously a guest geophysics researcher at UH-Mānoa, decided to continue her studies here, beginning at KCC.

“I am appreciative and glad to be a student at KCC,” Matsui said, “and my fathers’ peers recommended I begin here. … The instructors offer a better atmosphere for learning, they told me.”

Working as an aesthetician and hair stylist, Matsui became concerned with only being able to treat the symptoms of the chronic skin disease and alopecia. She wants to do more and be able to treat the underlying cause of the symptoms, to find a cure.

“Observing my father, how he studied and how he approached his research, he inspired me to want to be a biomedical researcher … so that I can really help these people,” she said.

Matsui is currently working on her prerequisites so that she can begin her graduate studies at UH Mānoa and to eventually earn a doctorate in either Microbiology or Molecular Biology and Bio-engineering.

Stefan Cranston

Stefan Cranston is a 20-year-old biology major at KCC. Cranston is a sophomore who’s a native of Honolulu. His main goals are to transfer into UH Mānoa’s medical school to obtain a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and to become a future doctor.

“I’ve always had a profound interest in biology since I was a kid,” Cranston said. “I allow my fascination for life to move me forward. Biology to me is really easy, and I find it more interesting than something complex like physics. I really want to get into the medicine field after I’m finished with KCC.”

Cranston is currently working towards both an associates degree in Natural Sciences and an associates degree in Liberal Arts at KCC. He is doing this to save money on classes and to complete as many as possible before he transfers to UH Mānoa.

 “My favorite part of biology is that it gives us a description of everything living and the meaning behind it,” Cranston said. “Biology relates to people since we’re living creatures too and I like to understand the meaning about everything that we do.”

Cranston offers important advice for people who are interested in the biological or medical fields. His advice stems from his passion for the subject as a whole. 

“If you want to be involved with biology, do it because you love it, not because you want a lot of money,” Cranston said. “Money matters a little bit, but your passion for biology should be the most important part of your studies and work.” 

Chie Koda

31 year old Chie Koda is a first year Art student from Tokyo, Japan. Before moving to Hawaiʻi on her own, she graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts. Koda decided to come here because KCC is cheap and she loves the beauty of Hawaiʻi.

“I like bonding humans and nature together,” Koda says, “and Hawaiʻi is the best place for that, with its nature … its environment.”

She has always been interested in being an artist and nature is her favorite subject. After graduating, she hopes to either work at the Honolulu Museum of Art or become a teacher. She wants to teach young children art through nature.

In her spare time, Koda enjoys swimming at Waikiki beach or creating paintings outside. She also likes to play the ʻukulele, having started after arriving on Oʻahu.

Jeremy Robinson

Majoring in mechanical engineering, 22-year-old Jeremy Robinson is completing pre-requisites at KCC. From Royal Kunia, Robinson said his decision to go to KCC for his studies was because tuition was more affordable compared to UH Mānoa, and since he is paying out of pocket KCC accommodates to his financial status.

As a mechanical engineering major, Robinson hopes to become a commercial pilot so that he can build experience to one day fly a jet. 

“Every time, when I was a little kid, I always liked going to those air shows at Kāneʻohe Bay, so that’s what made me interested in becoming a pilot,” Robinson said.

Within two years, Robinson is looking to transfer to UH Mānoa so that he can achieve his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. 

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Voices & Views

  • Kaitlin VictorinoKaitlin Victorino
    Kaitlin Victorino is a first-year student at KCC who plans to major in Liberal Arts - Business Administration. She enjoys drawing and painting, but school responsibilities have limited her time to do so. She has found that bullet journaling is a good substitute and works well as a creative outlet. "Bullet journalling is basically like a planner but without all the structure. You can do whatever you want with it. Lists, budgeting ...," Victorino says. She went to school in the Philippines, where she is originally from, and later came to study in Hawaii. With English being her first language, she says she struggled with some of the social views and how she speaks and understands school subjects in her home country. "I have more role models here [than in the Philippines]," she says.

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