Friday, February 20, 2009

UH Hilo Honors Rep. Clift Tsuji

The University of Hawaii at Hilo has named Rep. Clift Tsuji (District 3 - South Hilo, Panaewa, Puna, Keaau, Kurtistown) as a recipient for the 2009 Distinguished Service Award. Rep. Tsuji will be recognized in an award ceremony on February 27, 2009 at the UH Hilo Campus Center Ballroom. The late state Senator John Ushijima and his wife Margaret will also be honored for Distinguished Service.

UH Hilo will also present Distinguished Alumni Awards to environmental, planning and land use consultant Dr. Ron Terry, real estate broker Carol Ginoza-Arikawa, and Kumu Lehua Veincent, a noted teacher and school administrator.

Here is what the UH Hilo says about Rep. Tsuji:

State Representative Clift Tsuji understands the positive economic impact a strong university has on a community such as Hilo, both as a large-scale employer and as an educator of the local workforce.

Tsuji, a retired Central Pacific Bank senior vice president, has long been a staunch supporter of UH Hilo. Now in his third term representing the 3rd House District, Tsuji has assumed a proactive role as a creator of and advocate for legislative initiatives to benefit UH Hilo.

In the 2007 and 2008 legislative sessions, Tsuji introduced three bills and one concurrent resolution directly affecting UH Hilo, two relating to Hawaiian language education. As Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, Tsuji introduced a measure requesting that the UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management collaborate with the State Department of Agriculture and Hawaiʻi Community College to conduct a study to evaluate programs developed by the Kulani Correctional Facility to aid in the revitalization of State agriculture.

Closer to home, Tsuji has worked as a member of the UH Hilo Education Department’s Advisory and Advocacy Group. He provided support for Associate Professor Seri Luangphinith and the book project of her English 323 class, Ku Kilakila: Writing from the Big Island. In addition, he supported repairs to the Manono Street Campus, testified before the Board of Regents in support of the China-U.S. Center and worked to advance the UH Hilo Baccalaureate Nursing program and to fund faculty positions.

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