Maui News

Wo Global Learning Champions Selected for Study Abroad

February 18, 2015, 8:26 AM HST
* Updated February 18, 8:28 AM
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Jim and Louise. Courtesy photo.

Jim Wo and Louise Pagotto are the true leaders and backbone of the University of Hawai‘i’s Wo Learning Champions. Courtesy photo.

By Maui Now Staff

Seven exceptional students and faculty from colleges statewide have been selected as the 2015 Wo Global Learning Champions to participate in an international learning and leadership initiative abroad. Two are from Maui.

The selected champions are:

Joyce Yamada, UH Maui College

Liping Liu, UH Maui College


Christine Quintana, Hawai‘i Community College


Larissa Leslie, Hawai‘i Community College

Mary Hattori, Kapi‘olani Community College

Ryan Girard, Kaua‘i Community College


Ellen Ishida-Babineau, Windward Community College

The WGLC is a professional development initiative offered to selected faculty and staff from all seven University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges.  Participants will have the privilege of interacting with their counterparts at colleges and universities in other countries. This year’s champions will be venturing to Aotearoa, New Zealand, where they will be learning about how to support the University of Hawai‘i’s vision of being a leading indigenous-serving institution.

“The importance of international education to Hawai‘i cannot be overestimated. An international education helps our educators develop an understanding and appreciation for the cultural differences among people in their immediate environment as well as throughout the world,” said John Morton, vice president for community colleges. “This makes them better educators and better leaders.”

The WGLC is an expanded global version of the current Wo Learning Champions Program, a community college professional development program originally funded by James Wo and his brother in 2001.

“Brother Bob and I have long believed that international education is critical to Hawai‘i’s success today and in the future,” said Wo. “We have been encouraged by the progress of the professional development program under Louise Pagotto’s leadership and we support her aspiration to make the community colleges more globally-connected places of learning.”


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