On the Horizon at UH West O‘ahu


Thursday, April 22, 2021
11:00am - 12:00pm

Join Chancellor Maenette Benham for an On the Horizon series webinar titled Alakaʻina Hakuhia Wahine (Women’s Innovative Leadership) which will highlight two of UH West O‘ahu’s leading female faculty members and two of their successful students turned alumna.

Tune in to hear about the special programs that shaped the careers of these leading entrepreneurial alumnae and how it inspired them to contribute to the growing realm of entrepreneurship and innovation in Hawai‘i.

Maenette K. P. Ah Nee-Benham
Chancellor, UH West O‘ahu

Kristina Lu
Professor & Division Chair of Public Administration, UH West O‘ahu

Holly Itoga
Assistant Professor of Hospitality and Tourism, UH West O‘ahu

Leina Ijacic
Chief Administrative Officer, Institute of Human Service and Owner, Premier Medispa

Ilima Fisher
Founder, Milk Market Hawaii

Meeting ID and password will be emailed upon registration. Questions for the speakers can be submitted on the registration page.

About the On the Horizon series: The On the Horizon series aims to showcase programmatic endeavors, campus goals, and opportunities for support at UH’s 10 dynamic campuses.

Questions? Please contact the UH Office of Alumni Relations at contact@uhalumni.org.

About the speakers

Maenette K. P. Ah Nee-Benham began serving as University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu chancellor on January 1, 2017. A kānaka maoli (Native Hawaiian) scholar and teacher, Benham previously served as the inaugural dean of the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at UH Mānoa.

A Kamehameha Schools graduate, Benham began her teaching career in 1978 teaching grades K–12 in California, Texas and Hawaiʻi (Kaiser High School and Kamehameha Schools). She earned her doctoral degree from UH Mānoa in 1992 and joined the College of Education faculty at Michigan State University in 1993. Among her notable accomplishments, Benham was the lead author of the White House Paper on the Tribal Colleges and Universities a Trust Responsibility (2004) submitted to the U.S. President’s Advisory Board on Tribal Colleges and Universities.

Benham’s work on alternative frames of leadership and issues of education is nationally and internationally respected. She has been an invited speaker and presenter in Europe and South East Asia and the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education. She covers a range of topics from program planning and assessment/evaluation, school change, leadership development, building school-community partnerships and professional ethics.

Benham is dedicated to community service, working extensively with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation on youth, education, and community collective leadership initiatives. She serves on community boards that include the Waiʻanae Community Redevelopment Corp./MAʻO, the Mānoa Heritage and Kūaliʻi Foundation, The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation, the Queen’s Health Systems and Queen’s Medical Center, the North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital, Awaiaulu and the Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation.

Dr. Kristina Lu is professor and director of the Health Care Administration Program at the University of Hawai‘i-West O‘ahu. Since 2012, she has been serving as the chair for the Division of Public Administration. Prior to UH West O‘ahu, she was an assistant professor of Health Services Administration and chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management at Florida International University. She holds a PhD in Public Administration from Florida International University and a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Miami.

Dr. Lu teaches courses in public administration, health care administration, health policy and organizational behavior. Her primary areas of research are in health care, long-term care, and public health policy and management. Her publications focus on the political, economic, organizational, and management implications in the complex and evolving health care environment and especially now with the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, she has developed new models for describing the roles of managers in health and long-term care organizations.

Dr. Lu has chaired and presented her work at various local, regional, national and international conferences. She has over 100 peer reviewed journal publications and presentations. She actively participates in university, community and professional service and has chaired numerous committees. Dr. Lu is a member of the editorial board for five professional journals in health care management and policy.

Dr. Holly Itoga is an assistant professor of Hospitality & Tourism in the Business Administration Division at the UH West O‘ahu.

With her undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; an MBA from Queensland University of Technology, Australia and her PhD from National Chiao Tung University, R.O.C.; Dr. Itoga brings her local and global, academic and work experience to curriculum and research within Hawai‘i’s tourism economy.

Ilima Fisher is the owner and founder of Milk Marker Hawaii, a small plant-based beverage operation on O‘ahu and Maui.

Shortly after graduating from college she started Milk Market selling homemade nut milk online and at farmers markets across O‘ahu. Ilima received her associate's degree in Liberal Arts from Maui College and her business administration degree in 2020 from UH West O‘ahu.

Leina Ijacic is the Chief Administrative Officer at The Institute for Human Services (IHS), Hawai‘i’s oldest and most comprehensive non-profit focused on ending homelessness. She oversees health services, operations, finance, grants, human resource and community development. Leina most recently led the medical team in standing up two COVID quarantine and isolation sites providing 24/7 shelter and care for hundreds of Hawai‘i’s most vulnerable during the height of COVID.

She is also the clinical director and owner of Premier Medispa in Ala Moana Shopping Center providing medical esthetic services such as laser hair removal, fat reduction, laser skin resurfacing, and vitamin injections.

Prior to joining IHS, Leina worked at The Queen’s Medical Center, where she led system wide improvements related to clinical quality and patient safety as a clinical performance improvement coordinator. A nurse, business owner, realtor and former CFO, she brings more than 15 years of financial, clinical and leadership experience to her present role. She holds degrees in Nursing (Registered Nurse), Healthcare Administration, Economics and Biology with a focus in Biotechnology, and is certified in operational efficiency and process improvement as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. 

Leina lives in Honolulu with her two teenage boys who have taught her patience with a whole bunch of humor.

About the programs

Public Administration

The UH West O‘ahu Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration degree prepares students for supervisory and management roles in the public sector. Students receive a solid foundation in public sector practices and processes as well as a fundamental understanding of, and appreciation for, public sector management practices and administrative procedures. Students may also go on to pursue graduate degrees in varied programs, such as Public Administration, Criminal Justice, Health Care Administration, and Urban and Regional Planning, Management Science.

The Public Administration program offers concentrations in Community Health, Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Health Care Administration, Justice Administration, or General Public Administration. A certificate in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and a certificate in Health Care Administration are also available.

All students majoring in Public Administration are required to take core courses and complete a capstone course (e.g., Senior Project or Administrative Practicum).

Business Administration

The UH West O‘ahu Business Administration program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Its curriculum offers students a solid foundation in business objectives and processes and prepares students for management roles in business environments. Students are provided with an understanding of the perspectives that form the context of business, including ethical and global issues; the influence of political, social, legal, regulatory, environmental, and technological issues; and the impact of demographic diversity on organizations.

University of Hawai‘i Alumni