Categorized | Education

UH Distinguished Alumni announced for 2012


The University of Hawaii Alumni Association (UHAA) has named its 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards honorees. A dinner will be held to honor this year’s recipients Thursday, May 10, at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye is honorary chair of the event, and Grammy Award-winning slack-key artist Jeff Peterson is scheduled to perform.

Proceeds from this event benefit UHAA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information about the Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner or UHAA, contact the Alumni Relations office at (808) 956-2586, toll-free 1 877-842-5867 or email

University of Hawaii Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award

Established in 1987, the Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes outstanding alumni who have used their University of Hawaii education to excel professionally, provide inspirational leadership to others, and provide service for the benefit of UH and the community.

Any University of Hawaii alumnus who has either completed 50 percent of an educational program within the UH System of 10 campuses, or received a degree from a UH campus, is eligible to be nominated for the UH Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award.

The nomination process began in September 2011, and nominations were reviewed by a committee composed of members of the UHAA Board of Directors, past award recipients and members of the community-at-large. This year’s honorees are:

Robert Alm, J.D. (B.A. ’73 Manoa), is executive vice president of Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., and has held other executive positions in public affairs there since he started in 2001. He is an executive officer of the Collaborative Leaders Network, an Omidyar Family Enterprises initiative.

He currently teaches a graduate course in public administration leadership at UH Manoa. Alm was previously executive vice president and manager of the Financial Management Group at First Hawaiian Bank, which he joined in 1993. Before that, Alm was director of the State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs under Hawaii Governor John Waihee for six years, and he was deputy director under Governor George Ariyoshi for two and a half years.

Before going to work for the state in 1982, he served on the staff of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye in Washington, DC. He had a private law practice for three years after he earned his J.D. from the University of Iowa in 1975.

Alm is active in community affairs and currently serves as board chair for Enterprise Honolulu and PBS Hawaii. He also serves on the boards of Island Insurance Company, Helping Hands Hawaii, Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs, and the American Judicature Society, Hawaii Chapter.

He and wife Cindy, an attorney and mediator, have two daughters, Kristin and Rachel.

Frederick D.S. Choi, Ph.D. (B.B.A. ’65, M.B.A. ’68 Manoa), is dean emeritus and Distinguished Service Professor of Business at New York University’s Stern School of Business. A prolific author, he is an expert in financial reporting and analysis.

During his 30-plus years at NYU, Choi has served as Stern School’s vice dean, dean of its Undergraduate College, chair of its accounting and international business departments, and chaired professor. He directed NYU’s Ross Institute of Accounting Research and Japan-America Business and Cultural Studies Program.

Choi was previously an accounting professor at UH Manoa’s Shidler College of Business, where he was instrumental in establishing its School of Accountancy and chaired its accounting department. Throughout his career, Choi has been invited to speak at major educational, governmental and financial events around the world.

He has done professional and pro bono consulting, and he helped establish the National Center for Industrial Science and Technology Management Development in China. Choi has written and co-authored more than 26 books, including his award-winning International Accounting.

He is the founding editor of the Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting, has served on several editorial boards, and has contributed to more than 80 scholarly and professional publications.

Choi is a member of the American Accounting Association and the Academy of International Business, among others. He received the Citibank Excellence in Teaching Award, was elected a Fellow of the Academy of International Business, received the AAA’s Outstanding International Accounting Educator Award and was the first academician appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Financial Executives Research Foundation.

Choi earned his Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Washington in 1972.

He and wife Lois reside in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Connecticut and Honolulu.

Patrick H. DeLeon, Ph.D., J.D. (M.P.H. ’73 Manoa), began his public health internship with Sen. Daniel Inouye on the first day of the infamous Watergate hearings in 1973. He retired last fall as the senator’s chief of staff, having served 38-plus years.

DeLeon is known for his extensive public policy advocacy in the healthcare field, specifically in psychology and nursing. He has an impressive list of academic credentials: B.A. ’64 Amherst College, M.S. ’66 and Ph.D. in clinical psychology ’69 Purdue University, M.P.H. ’73 Manoa, J.D. ’80 Catholic University of America, three honorary doctorates and approximately 175 refereed publications.

DeLeon was recently appointed Distinguished Professor of Uniformed Health Care Policy and Research at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He has been on the clinical faculty at UH Manoa and UH Hilo, Vanderbilt, Widener University and others.

After earning his Ph.D., DeLeon and his wife Jean (Ph.D. ’74 Manoa) came to Hawaii to work for the UH Hilo Peace Corps Training program. DeLeon then worked for the State of Hawaii Division of Mental Health before earning his M.P.H., then going to Washington.

A long-time member of the American Psychological Association (APA), DeLeon was elected president in 2000. The APA has given him numerous awards, and in 2009 he was given its highest honor: the APA Award for Lifetime Contributions to Psychology. He is also a member of the Hawaii Psychological Association and Hawaii State Bar Association.

In 2008 he was inducted into the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Last year, the state senate commended DeLeon for his contributions to Hawaii, and Papa Ola Lokahi recognized him for his commitment to the health of Native Hawaiians. Aug. 28, 2011, was proclaimed Patrick DeLeon Day in Hawaii by the governor and mayor.

DeLeon and his wife have a son, daughter and granddaughter.

The University of Hawaii Founders Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award

The UH Founders Alumni Association began the tradition of recognizing outstanding University of Hawaii alumni. The Founders continue honoring alumni who have made a significant impact throughout their lives with the UH Founders Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award.

This year’s recipient:

Ted T. Tsukiyama, J.D. (Attended ’39–’41, ’46 Manoa), attorney, arbitrator, archivist and historian, remembers the day Japanese planes roared over his Kaimuki home to bomb Pearl Harbor. A UH Manoa student and ROTC cadet at the time, he rushed to campus to report for duty.

The UH ROTC unit was converted into the Hawaii Territorial Guard, in which Tsukiyama served until Jan. 19, 1942, when he and all fellow Nisei were discharged based on their ancestry. In spite of this, they volunteered to serve in the “Varsity Victory Volunteers” civil labor battalion, and later went on to volunteer for the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

Tsukiyama served in the 442nd and then as a linguist in the Military Intelligence Service. After his UH education was cut short by the war, that early, bitter taste of injustice helped inspire him to complete his education and become an attorney.

Tsukiyama earned his bachelor’s from Indiana University, graduated from Yale Law School and was licensed by the Hawaii Bar in 1950. He went to work for attorney Masaji Marumoto then became Deputy City and County Attorney. He was an associate with Okumura & Takushi Law Firm from 1956-67 and also chief counsel of the Honolulu Redevelopment Agency.

In 1959, Tsukiyama became involved in local labor contract disputes as an arbitrator and mediator. He established his own Honolulu law firm in 1967, where he practiced until retirement.

Since 1995 he has been on the Hawaii Supreme Court’s bar examining committee and numerous local, national and international mediation and arbitration panels. He issued more than 800 arbitration decisions over the course of his career.

As a historian, Tsukiyama has served on many 442nd projects, including as coordinator of the 100th/442nd Archival Research Project at the National Archives. He donated his extensive research collection, now known as the Ted Tsukiyama Papers, to UH Manoa’s Hamilton Library.

He is a founding member of the Nisei Veterans Endowed Forum Series “Universal Values for a Democratic Society” in the UH Manoa Colleges of Arts and Sciences. He also chairs the university’s Charles R. Hemenway Scholarship Fund committee.

Tsukiyama and wife Fuku have been married 61 years and have a daughter, two sons and five grandchildren.

The University of Hawaii Alumni Association President’s Award

The UHAA President’s Award recognizes and honors those who have dedicated themselves to and made a significant contribution to the University of Hawaii, its alumni and students, Hawaii and the world.

UHAA President Douglas Inouye (B.A. will present awards to:

Virginia S. Hinshaw, Ph.D., is chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and serves as its chief executive officer responsible for providing both administrative and academic leadership. She is also a lifetime member and strong supporter of the UH Alumni Association.

Under her tenure, UH Manoa has earned full WASC accreditation for the maximum term of 10 years. The campus has increased financial aid to ensure access for Hawaii’s students and provided a smoother transition for transferring students from UH community colleges to continue their higher education.

UH Manoa continues to welcome a growing student population and houses almost 4,000 students in transformed residence halls, now described as “awesome.”

The campus has garnered a national reputation for its sustainability efforts, ranging from installing photovoltaic panels on the roof of Sinclair Library to building the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE) Hale, which has won the highly coveted LEED Platinum rating for environmental consciousness in construction and design.

And she has been credited with elevating community engagement to new heights through numerous partnerships locally, nationally and internationally, and effectively communicating the value that UH Manoa provides to Hawaii and the world.

Before joining UH Manoa in 2007, Hinshaw was provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of California, Davis. She is also former dean of the graduate school and vice chancellor for research at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

Hinshaw is a renowned scientist with expertise in microbiology whose work over the past 25 years has contributed to the understanding of the influenza virus and new approaches to vaccines.

She has conducted research at various hospitals and universities, and her research has increased our understanding of various aspects of influenza viruses.

Hinshaw’s innovative and energetic teaching style, combined with her continual advocacy for research and education and her dedication to increased opportunities for underrepresented groups, has earned her international recognition and acclaim.

In 2009 she was appointed the national co-chair of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities’ Energy Initiative Advisory Committee.

Hinshaw earned a bachelor’s in laboratory technology in 1966 and master’s in microbiology in 1967 from Auburn University. After working at Medical College of Virginia as a clinical and research microbiologist, she returned to Auburn and earned a doctorate in microbiology in 1973.

Ann Dunham Soetoro, Ph.D. (B.A. ’67, M.A. ’83, Ph.D. ’92 Manoa) was an applied anthropologist who used her academic training from the University of Hawaii to better understand the culture, political system and values of the rural poor in Southeast Asia.

Soetoro’s research and consulting work took her around the world. She became a consultant for the U.S. Agency for International Development on setting up village credit programs, then a Ford Foundation program officer in Jakarta championing women’s issues.

She later served in Pakistan as a consultant to the Asian Development Bank focusing on women’s welfare.

In 1988, she joined Bank Rakyat Indonesia and helped develop the world’s largest sustainable microfinance program. Credit and savings services enabled poor people from rural areas to engage in cottage industries and emerge from poverty.

As a pioneer in the field of microfinance, her anthropological research helped shape the bank’s policies.

In August 1992 she earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from UH, and shortly thereafter became a research and policy coordinator for Women’s World Banking in New York. Soetoro returned to the U.S. after becoming ill in 1995 and was diagnosed with uterine cancer.

Her life was cut short on Nov. 7, 1995, days before her 53rd birthday. In “Dreams From My Father,” President Barack Obama wrote of his mother: “I know that she was the kindest, most generous spirit I have ever known, and that what is best in me I owe to her.”

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