Next Steps to Your Future
»»»»»»»»Faculty Profiles - Summer 2021
Next Step - Faculty Info

Click on the name of each faculty to view more information.

Erica Balbag-Gerard, Honolulu Community College
Course: IS 197D College and Career Exploration
  • Course description: Unsure of what your major is or what career to get into? This class is definitely for you! In this class you will learn helpful tips that will lead to college success!
  • Fun fact about myself: I am a huge Harry Potter fan!
  • My college major: Biology
  • My philosophy on teaching: Learning is two ways!
  • Best way to contact me: ebalbag@hawaii.edu
Summer Barrett, Leeward Community College
Course: LSK 110 College Success Strategies
  • Course description: Want to know how to be a successful college student? Learn key skill sets to help you manage your time, stay motivated, take good notes, remember information, and perform well on tests. You will also explore career options that fit your interests, personality and lifestyle choices. This course will be taught in an interactive, engaging way by an instructor with over 8 years of experience teaching introductory college courses.
  • Fun fact about myself: Spent a year traveling throughout Asia.
  • My college major: Bachelors of Science in Biology, Masters in Secondary Education
  • My philosophy on teaching: Keep it student-centered, always!
  • Best way to contact me: summerls@hawaii.edu, 454-4713
Merissa Bunton, Ed.D., Leeward CC, Waianae Moku Campus
Course: LSK 110
  • Course description: Want to know how to be a successful college student? Learn key skill sets to help you manage your time, stay motivated, take good notes, remember information, and perform well on tests. You will also explore career options that fit your interests, personality and lifestyle choices. This course will be taught in an interactive, engaging way by instructors with over 10 years of experience teaching introductory college courses.
  • Fun fact about myself: I'm also a yoga instructor.
  • My college major: Speech Communication and Political Science (BA, Communication (MA), Educational Technology (Doctorate)
  • My philosophy on teaching: Interaction is everything
  • Best way to contact me: merissa.bunton@hawaii.edu
Pomai Burkart, Kaua'i Community College
Course: IS 103
  • Course description: Introduction to College is a comprehensive first-year experience course for new students.
  • Fun fact about myself: I am one of eight children.
  • My college major: Mathematics/Mathematics Education
  • My philosophy on teaching: Building relationships first, then building upon prior knowledge.
  • Best way to contact me: pomai.burkart@hawaii.edu
Jo Ann Cagasan, Leeward Community College
Course: IS 103 Introduction to College
  • Course description: Start your college experience off right! This course will share college and life strategies that will lead to academic and personal success. Get inside tips about helpful college and community resources, develop personal goals, and gain confidence that will help you get ahead in college and in life.
  • Fun fact about myself: I once shook hands with President Barack Obama.
  • My college major: B.Ed. Elementary Education from UH Manoa and M.A. Counseling from the University of San Diego
  • My philosophy on teaching: Each student is an individual with a story. I bring an approachable style with an open door communication policy to learn their unique backgrounds and learning styles.
  • Best way to contact me: jcagasan@hawaii.edu
Lexer Chou, Leeward Community College
Course: IS 103: Introduction to College
  • Course description: Start your college experience off right! This course will share college and life strategies that will lead to academic and personal success. Get inside tips about helpful college and community resources, develop personal goals, and gain confidence that will help you get ahead in college and in life.
  • Fun fact about myself: Huge 49ers fan!
  • My college major: Human Development
  • My philosophy on teaching: "Be the change you wish to see in the world"- Gandhi. My goal is to help students become passionate advocates and receptive learners, to be proactive and responsible members of society.
  • Best way to contact me: achou@hawaii.edu
Cori Conner, Leeward Community College
Course: IS 105 Career and Life Planning
  • Course description: This course will share how you can prepare for making an effective career decision. Learn about various career readiness resources which includes all of the following: development of a career profile, survey of occupational clusters and labor market information, preparation of resume/cover letters, employment interviewing skills and job seeking techniques. This course will also provide an introduction to cooperative education. Primarily for individuals seeking direction with reference to career decisions.
  • Fun fact about myself: I attended college, worked, and lived in Las Vegas for 7 years.
  • My college major: Communications
  • My philosophy on teaching: Quitters never win and winners never quit!
  • Best way to contact me: cori66@hawaii.edu
Will Dressler, Kaua‘i Community College
Course: IS 103 Introduction to College
  • Course description: In IS 103, students will develop, practice, and refine success techniques for college, including methods to enhance self-esteem, motivation, goal setting, time management, study habits and skills, understanding college culture and using resources, test-taking skills, written and oral communication, research skills, computer literacy, critical thinking, team-building, and networking within the college community.
  • Fun fact about myself: I've paddled in the Molokai Hoe.
  • My college major: History
  • My philosophy on teaching: The relationships you build are are as important as the content of courses, so I work to create a class environment that is nurturing to relationship building.
  • Best way to contact me: dressler@hawaii.edu
Evelyn Greene, Honolulu Community College
Course: IS 197E
  • Course description: Explore the many careers available in the aviation industry.
  • Fun fact about myself: I own, maintain, and fly two eighty year old airplanes.
  • My college major: Aviation Maintenance
  • My philosophy on teaching: I am a mentor and partner to students in their pursuit of learning.
  • Best way to contact me: evgreene@hawaii.edu
Alexander Guerrero, University of Hawaiʻi Maui College
Course: IS 105, Career/Life Exploration Planning
  • Course description: Moākāka anei nā ʻanuʻu e piʻi aku ai? Ma ka papa "IS 105: Career/Life Exploration & Planning," e aʻo ʻia ana nā mākau ʻoihana a ola i mea e hoʻoikaika ʻia ai ka hoʻolālā a me ka hoʻoholo ʻana āu. Ma o ka loiloi iho ʻana a me ka noiʻi nōwelo aku ʻana i nā ʻoihana like ʻole, e kūkulu ana ʻoe i ka papa hoʻolālā ʻimi naʻauao i mea e hoʻokō aku ai ʻoe i kou mau pahuhopu.
  • Fun fact about myself: Puni au i ka haʻuki moemoeā (ʻo ia ka "Fantasy Football", ka "Fantasy Basketball", a me ka "Fantasy Baseball").
  • My college major: M.A. ʻŌlelo a Moʻokalaleo Hawaiʻi (Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani, Ke Kulanui o Hawaiʻi ma Hilo); B.A. Hulikanaka, Haʻawina Hawaiʻi, Mōʻaukala (Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani, Ke Kulanui o Hawaiʻi ma Hilo)
  • My philosophy on teaching: "I maikaʻi ke kalo i ka ʻohā." ʻO ka manaʻo o kēia ʻōlelo noʻeau, ʻike ʻia ka maikaʻi o ke kumu i ka maikaʻi o kona mau haumāna. He kuleana ko ke kumu, ʻo ka hoʻoulu ʻana i kēlā a me kēia haumāna a kūpono. I mea e hoʻokō aku ai i kēia kuleana, aʻo ʻia ka papa ma ke ʻano he seminā, ʻo ia hoʻi, paipai ʻia ka noiʻi nōwelo, ke kālaimanaʻo, a me ka nalu iho ʻana o nā haumāna.
  • Best way to contact me: akguerre@hawaii.edu
Dustin Hart, Honolulu Community College
Course: Sustainable Art and Design
  • Course description: Welcome to Sustainable Art and Design. This course introduces students to the concepts of sustainability as it relates to Art and Design. This class is collaborative in nature and this syllabus is to be taken as an organic document that will change with the class culture throughout our time together. Artists and designers who consciously implement sustainability practices will be explored, with an attention to historical context and larger cultural meaning. Students also complete basic studio art projects that relate to sustainability. Videos of studio demonstrations and video documentaries of related topics will complement studio projects, class lectures and are available as content collection videos.
  • Fun fact about myself: I am a Ceramic and glass artist.
  • My college major: Fine Art
  • My philosophy on teaching: Laidback
  • Best way to contact me: hartd@hawaii.edu
Lisa Hinano Rey, Windward Community College
Course: IS 105B
  • Course description: Career Decision Making- An introductory course designed to prepare students to make more focused career/life decisions through self analysis and world of work examinations. Focus is on Sustainability
  • Fun fact about myself: I studied Food Sustainability in Raiatea, French Polynesia and I speak Tahitian Language.
  • My college major: Natural Resource and Environmental Management (B.S.), Sustainable Management (M.S.)
  • My philosophy on teaching: Interactive, relevant, down-to-earth, and student-led.
  • Best way to contact me: hinano.rey@hawaii.edu
Hoku Hobbs, University of Hawai'i Maui College
Course: IS 105 Career Life Exploring and Planning
  • Course description: Know your interest? Got a passion for something specific? If so, navigate deeper into your personal planning map. If not, it's 100% okay. Use those uncertainties to explore a multitude of opportunities and ways that will help develop and hone into your interest. This course "IS 105:Career/Life Exploration & Planning" will provide you skills for career and life exploration to help you with lifelong planning and decisions.
  • Fun fact about myself: I’ve traveled to 43 U.S. States, 3 U.S. Territories, 6 Continents, 26 Countries.
  • My college major: BS in Recreation Management/Youth Leadership with a minor in Sociology, MEd in Learning Design and Technology.
  • My philosophy on teaching: An insight into my teaching style, my declared major as a college freshman was Elementary Education. In my second semester, I soon realized my interest was elsewhere. The choice and action to switch majors came with hesitation and nervousness. Still, it was the stepping stone to a rewarding career. Not identified at that time, that decision also allowed me to experience many learning and teaching opportunities. Eventually, those experiences brought me back full circle with an interest in becoming an educator. There is never one pathway to teaching or learning new things. My teaching style is not limited, but I enjoy exploring while highlighting the significance of becoming self-directed learners. Developing fruitful and respectful pilina (relationship/connection) is essential. I look forward to supporting you on your educational voyage.
  • Best way to contact me: hhobbs@hawaii.edu
Liana Horovitz, University of Hawai'i Maui College
Course: IS 105
  • Course description: Career/Life Exploration Planning
  • Fun fact about myself: I rode my bicycle over 2,000 miles across the continental United States to raise money for children with special needs. I love a good adventure!
  • My college major: History
  • My philosophy on teaching: An interesting journey can lead to an interesting destination! I embrace multiple ways of learning as well as diverse modalities of instruction. I am here to support and guide you through your journey into higher education, identifying your passions and realizing your goals.
  • Best way to contact me: liana@hawaii.edu
Kalehua Kamakawiwoole, Honolulu Community College
Course: IS 197 Career and College Exploration (ESL)
  • Course description: IS 197 Career and College Exploration (ESL) will provide Non-Native speaking students opportunities to explore career paths and practice college skills. IS 197 is a 3-credit, synchronous and asynchronous course offered at Honolulu Community College. The session runs from June 14 - July 23, 2021
  • Fun fact about myself: I have lived and taught in Japan, so I can speak a bit of Japanese.
  • My college major: Japanese Language and Culture & English As A Second Language
  • My philosophy on teaching: I like to create lessons for students that are practical, engaging, and motivating.
  • Best way to contact me: khkamaka@hawaii.edu
Sarah Krupp, Windward Community College
Course: Veterinary Technology Program
  • Course description: Introduction to a career as a veterinary technician
  • Fun fact about myself: I eat, sleep, breathe, live veterinary medicine
  • My college major: Associates in Science
  • My philosophy on teaching: There is always room to learn and grow
  • Best way to contact me: skrupp@hawaii.edu
Prateek Kunwar, Honolulu Community College
Math 197A: There's more to math than numbers : Careers in Math

  • Course description: If you've ever sat in a Math class and wondered how you can use your knowledge to tackle and solve real-life problems, then this class is for you! Join the class and let's together solve for X, where X is your career.
  • Fun fact about myself: I like making up silly songs in my free time.
  • My college major: BE in Electrical Engg, MA in Mathematics
  • My philosophy on teaching: If you know exactly 'why' you are learning something, the proces beomes a whole lot more fun!
  • Best way to contact me: kunwarp@hawaii.edu
Ryan Locke, University of Hawai'i Maui College
Course: IS 105
  • Course description: Not sure about your next steps? This course "IS 105:Career/Life Exploration & Planning" will provide you skills for career and life exploration to help you with life long planning and decisions. Through self-assessment and a survey of work opportunities, you will be able to map your path of related academic preparation related to your interests and values.
  • Fun fact about myself: I have never taken a break from school yet...I have been constantly going to school and study a variety of subjects!
  • My college major: MAT - Teaching English to Speakers of Another Language, MSIT - Software Design and Management, BA - Japanese Language, BA - Second Language Studies
  • My philosophy on teaching: Your experience is a valuable contribution to our classroom discussions and I welcome the opportunity to hear everyone and act as a guide. I will challenge you in your coursework to help you be the best you can be, achieve the outcomes, and hopefully leave with something you will remember and use for the rest of your academic career and life.
  • Best way to contact me: rlocke@hawaii.edu
David Medeiros, Honolulu Community College
Course: IS 197B / Introduction to Careers in Transportation
  • Course description: Do you like fixing things? Learn about well-paying and highly sought-after careers in auto technology, diesel mechanics and aerounatical maintenance.
  • Fun fact about myself: I build electric and gas pro-street hot rods.
  • My college major: Automotive Mechanics Technology
  • My philosophy on teaching: I believe that any student can learn complex automotive operating systems.
  • Best way to contact me: (808) 754-97623 or davidcm@hawaii.edu
C. Ku‘ulei Miranda, Windward Community College
Course: IS 105B
  • Course description: IS 105b is an introductory course designed to prepare students to make more focused career/life decisions through self analysis and world of work examinations. Unsure of what career you want to pursue or what to college major to want to study? If so, this would be a great class for you!
  • Fun fact about myself: I am the WCC student that never left LOL. I came to WCC right after high school and ended up loving Windward so much, I made a career out of it!
  • My college major: BA- Sociology/MEd.- Educational Administration (Higher Ed. Focus)
  • My philosophy on teaching: I am a pretty down-to-earth instructor, serving and supporting haumāna with Aloha!
  • Best way to contact me: daniluck@hawaii.edu
Nicole Mitani, Honolulu Community College
Course: IS 197D - College and Career Exploration
  • Course description: Unsure of your major or what you want to do for a career? This is the class for you! And it'll provide helpful tips and tricks for college success!
  • Fun fact about myself: I'm a Big Island girl at heart who loves to talk Pidgin.
  • My college major: Bachelor of Science in Family Resources, Minor in Sociology; Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology
  • My philosophy on teaching: Interactive and Student-Centered
  • Best way to contact me: niwasaki@hawaii.edu
Sharleen Nakamoto Levine, Honolulu Community College
Course: AMST 197 Careers Related to American Studies
  • Course description: Are you interested in learning about the U.S. through a variety of disciplines, such as history, art, music, politics, and gender studies? This class will facilitate an understanding of different perspectives and cultural backgrounds, communication skills, creativity, and an ability to think critically and constructively. It will introduce you to careers related to American Studies, such as teaching, law enforcement/law, public service/politics, and museum curation, and how jobs are enhanced by knowledge of culture and history.
  • Fun fact about myself: I met my husband at a meeting at UH-Mānoa, when we were both students. We were both going to skip the meeting because we didn't think we needed it. Now we both work in the UH system and have 2 daughters, 3 cats, and a neighbor's chicken that lays an egg in our yard every morning.
  • My college major: B.A. in History, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa P.D. in Secondary Social Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa M.A. in History, College of William & Mary Ph.D. in History, University of California at Santa Barbara
  • My philosophy on teaching: I provide opportunities for students to explore history and culture from different perspectives and with original artifacts and sources; ask and discuss thoughtful questions; and relate what they are learning to their own experiences and current times.
  • Best way to contact me: snnl@hawaii.edu - I will try to reply within 24 hours
Liliana Napolean, Kapiolani Community College & UH Maui College
Course: HLTH 120 & HLTH 121
  • Course description: HTLH 120 - introduces students to concepts of health and disease, health care systems, organizational structure and function of primary, tertiary, and community-based health facilities, health care ethics, and the health care team in individualized patient care.

    HLTH 121- intended for the student who desires an in-depth opportunity to explore various health care careers and to decide which would be most appropriate to pursue.
  • Fun fact about myself: I enjoy getting in the ocean (paddling, surfing) and spending time with family and friends.
  • My college major: Masters in Business Administration (MBA) , Bachelor in Science - Business Administration, Associate in Applied Science - Office Administration Technology, Associate in Arts - Liberal Arts
  • My philosophy on teaching: Open communication between instructor and students. Giving the students the ability to freely express their desired outcome from the course content, and delivering the content in a manner in which students can absorb and implement the learning into their career profiles. Students focus and positive gains for the students is my utmost priority.
  • Best way to contact me: Phone at (808) 553-4490 option 6 and/or email at liliana@hawaii.edu
Sam Nezzer "Ms. Q", Windward Community College
Course: IS 105b Career & Decision Making
  • Course description: An introductory course designed to prepare students to make more focused career/life decisions through self-analysis and world of work examinations.
  • Fun fact about myself: I learned to water ski in the 'gator infested' bayous of Louisiana (Laissez les bons temps rouler).
  • My college major: Masters in Business Administration, MBA
  • My philosophy on teaching: I believe in Student-centered instruction focusing on skills and practices that enable lifelong learning and independent problem-solving, putting responsibility for learning in the hands of students by imparting to them skills, and the basis on how to learn.
  • Best way to contact me: Text/iMessage (714.307.1468) or Email: nezzers@hawaii.edu
Eri Nomura, University of Hawai'i Maui College
Course: Career/Life Exploration & Planning
  • Course description: Not sure about your next steps? This course "IS 105:Career/Life Exploration & Planning" will provide you skills for career and life exploration to help you with life long planning and decisions. Through self-assessment and a survey of work opportunities, you will be able to map your path of related academic preparation related to your interests and values.
  • Fun fact about myself: I was born and raised in Japan. After graduating from high school, I studied in Michigan and ended up staying there for 20 years! Now Maui is my home. I love gardening and enjoying the produce that we’ve harvested! I also have fun baking with my daughter. I am not a good swimmer but my 7 year old and I are learning to snorkel and dive.
  • My college major: M.A. in Counselor Education & Counseling Psychology; B.A. in Art, B.F.A in Ceramics
  • My philosophy on teaching: We will have activities and exercises that promote studentʻs self-learning and critical thinking skills that students can use as a first-time college student throughout their college journey. Iʻd like to help connect your passion to your future.
  • Best way to contact me: eri4@hawaii.edu
Justin (Ha‘a) Pagan, Windward Community College
Course: IS 105B: Career Decision Making
  • Course description: Unsure of what you want to do as a career? Come join us for an introductory course designed to prepare students to make more focused career/life decisions through self analysis and world of work examinations.
  • Fun fact about myself: I have a high tolerance for spicy food!
  • My college major: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • My philosophy on teaching: My teaching philosophy is a student centered approach. The course involves active collaboration and participation from students in the course. My application of course material is more of a hands on approach where we will do more in-class activities and navigating as opposed to lectures. Come explore with us as we work to identify all of the opportunities there are for you!
  • Best way to contact me: I can be contacted via phone: 808-235-7460 or email: paganj@hawaii.edu
Bobby Salvatierra, Honolulu Community College
Course: DISL - Next Steps 2021
  • Course description: Introduction to DISL and it's career.
  • Fun fact about myself: I enjoy fixing and modifying everything!
  • My college major: AAS Automotive/Diesel Technology with auto transmission. Bachelors in business management (with honors)
  • My philosophy on teaching: I have high expectations for all my students. Students learn best when they are actively engaged in their own learning especially during lab sessions. I always expect my students to come to class ready to focus and engage. I am always available to assist students if any questions arise.
  • Best way to contact me: bs33@hawaii.edu
Amy Shiroma, Kapi‘olani Community College
Course: HOST 101, CRN 35266, Introduction to Hospitality & Tourism
  • Course description: An exploration through the diverse and dynamic sectors of the hospitality & tourism industry
  • Fun fact about myself: I love Hawaiian music, enjoy stand up paddling and watching LA Dodger baseball and cowboy movies!
  • My college major: Travel Industry Management
  • My philosophy on teaching: Create an engaging learning environment sharing industry experience with course learning outcomes.
  • Best way to contact me: als6@hawaii.edu
William Smith, Windward Community College
Course: IS 105B Career Decision Making
  • Course description: An introductory course designed to prepare students to make more focused career/life decisions through self analysis and world of work examinations. It will introduce students to careers in Hawaii with a focus on sustainability.
  • Fun fact about myself: Kayaked over 1,000 Km around the near shore marine environment in American Samoa, Hawaii, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Palau
  • My college major: Masters in Geography, U.H. Manoa; Bachelors in Zoology, U.H. Manoa
  • My philosophy on teaching: A student-centered approach guiding students in experiential research.
  • Best way to contact me: wsmith@hawaii.edu; office phone: 808-236-9216
Derek Snyder, University of Hawai'i Maui College
Course: IS 105 - Career/Life Exploration & Planning
  • Course description: Not sure about your next steps? This course "IS 105:Career/Life Exploration & Planning" will provide you skills for career and life exploration to help you with life long planning and decisions. Through self-assessment and a survey of work opportunities, you will be able to map your path of related academic preparation related to your interests and values.
  • Fun fact about myself: I sometimes host a radio show on Maui featuring music from all genres and eras.
  • My college major: MA in English as a Second Language (UH at Manoa); BA in Anthropology (UH at Hilo)
  • My philosophy on teaching: I have been teaching at the University of Hawai’i for almost 20 years, and each year I learn so much from my students. In this way, I would describe myself as the lead student in the class. I always try to challenge students to do their best with their coursework. I deeply care about student success and I am committed to helping students achieve their higher education goals.
  • Best way to contact me: dsnyder@hawaii.edu
Loretta Tan, Leeward Community College
Course: LSK 110
  • Course description: Exploration of critical thinking , collaboration, creative life skills that will future proof you in this post-Corona world. It’s fun and fab too!
  • Fun fact about myself: I am a fur mom to 10 indoor cats, 2 outdoor cats, several birds and a family of ducks!
  • My college major: Theater & Philosophy
  • My philosophy on teaching: 3Cs and 3Ps : Create. Connect . Communicate & People . Purpose . Possibilities
  • Best way to contact me: ltan@hawaii.edu, IG @drlorettachen, LI Loretta Chen
Jill Teraizumi, Honolulu Community College
Course: IS 103
  • Course description: IS 103 is designed to provide skills to better navigate students' academic, career, and life journey.
  • Fun fact about myself: I am a second degree black belt Judo Instructor, my favorite food is natto, I ran the Honolulu Marathon in 7 hours, and I love to sing Japanese Modern Enka songs.
  • My college major: Associates in Liberal Arts from Leeward Community College, Bachelor of Science in Psychology from UH West Oahu, Masters in Science in Counseling Psychology from Chaminade University
  • My philosophy on teaching: My teaching style is based on John Dewey's "Learning by Doing". As a hands-on learner, I enjoy planning interactive and engaging activities, games (Kahoot.it, Jeopardy, Family Feud, etc.), and group discussions. I am student-centered and focus on student needs, health, and well-being.
  • Best way to contact me: koidej@hawaii.edu or 808-845-9228
Dr. Erin Thompson, Leeward Community College
Course: IS 103 - Introduction to College
  • Course description: Start your college experience off right! This course will share college and life strategies that will lead to academic and personal success. Get inside tips about helpful college and community resources, develop personal goals, and gain confidence that will help you get ahead in college and in life.
  • Fun fact about myself: I once jumped out of an airplane to get over my fear of heights.
  • My college major: Bachelor's in Business (Human Resources) and Travel Industry Mgt; Master's in Ed Admin; Doctorate in Education
  • My philosophy on teaching: My philosophy is based on what I learned from my first kumu, my parents. Five simple ideas: Education is for everyone. Education is the key to self-improvement. Education is community. Education is a safe space. Education is about receiving and then giving back. I strive to nurture love and appreciation for self, others, and the gift of education in all my students.
  • Best way to contact me: enkt@hawaii.edu
Drake Zintgraff, Honolulu Community College
Course: IS 197D College and Career Exploration
  • Course description: IS 197D is designed to provide skills to better navigate students' academic, career, and life journey.
  • Fun fact about myself: I love to play video games
  • My college major: Bachelor's Degree in Speech and Master's Degree in Education
  • My philosophy on teaching: Always student-cenetered, interactive, flexible to students needs
  • Best way to contact me: drakez@hawaii.edu



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