Thursday, May 3, 2012

Serving the Public as a Life-Long Mission

Professor Susan Chandler with Rep. Takumi

Serving the public is a concept and practice that our legislators live day in and day out. For some, a springboard for launching or strengthening a career in public service means obtaining a Master's of Public Administration degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Public Adminstration Program (PUBA). Benefits of the program, which began in 1984, include not only a relevant curriculum and opportunities to interact with public leaders, but also lasting friendship and career connections with peers. Some notable graduates of PUBA include former Honolulu Fire Department Chief Attilio Leonardi and OHA Trustee Haunani Apoliona, as well as the legislature's own Rep. Roy Takumi (D-36).

PUBA held its alumni and awards event on Thursday, April 21, at UH Manoa's Andrews Amphitheatre. The program awarded its first-ever distinguished alumnus award to Rep. Takumi. Professor David Nixon, Acting Director of PUBA, says Rep. Takumi has "made such a difference in the community."

On being the recipient of the PUBA award, Rep. Takumi jokes, "Did I draw the short straw?"  But humor aside, Rep. Takumi is no stranger to accomplishment, having been awarded the prestigious Flemming Fellowship in 1997, given to emerging political leaders in the country. In 2001, Rep. Takumi received the Eleanor Roosevelt Fellowship for his work in connecting local and global issues. He is the first legislator from Hawaii to receive both of these nationally-recognized awards. Rep. Takumi has been recognized as a leader in education reform and received the Legislator of the Year award in 2004 from the Friends of the Library and the Friend of Education award from the University of Hawaii’s College of Education in 2005.

For more information about UH-Manoa's Public Administration Program, please visit or call 956-8260.

Photos courtesy of Rep. Tom Brower. 

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