For Our Alumni
When you were a student here at Leeward, we were committed to providing everything you needed to be successful. That doesn’t stop once you’ve graduated! We’re committed to building and maintaining strong connections with you as our alumni. Please check this page often to discover new projects and the benefits we’d like to offer you!
Be Part Of The UH Alumni ‘Ohana
Want to be even more connected as a Leeward alumni? Visit our section on the UH Alumni website to update your contact information and start receiving alumni event invitations, news and announcements.
Chief Production Officer, ‘Ōlelo
When she graduated from high school, Angela considered becoming an architectural engineer. When she arrived at Leeward, her dreams changed. Her studies in Leeward’s television production program were the perfect start to a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Video from UH Mānoa.
After completing her studies there, she returned to Leeward CC to work in the Educational Media Center. A creative and productive individual, she began to experiment with her artistic talents. With her background in stage performances, she started a non-profit organization to produce children’s shows. But her dream remained in television production, so she re-entered the field by accepting a position with ‘Ōlelo as their Community Project Manager, which she described as a “catch all” title for doing everything from community relations to television production. She was subsequently appointed Training Coordinator, and in that role, she very quickly re-organized their program for teaching television production from a traditional lecture method to a hands-on approach with individualized instruction. She now serves as Director of Production Services at ‘Ōlelo.
Dr. Patricia Blanchette
Clinical Professor of Geriatric Medicine in the John A. Burns School of Medicine, Associate Director for Administration, and Chief Operating Officer for the UH Cancer Center
Dr. Blanchette worked as a bookkeeper at the University of New Hampshire prior to her arrival in Hawai‘i. When she set foot on the Leeward CC campus, she felt a bit intimidated. She thought she might become a nurse, but after taking an aptitude test, the counselor suggested she should become a doctor. She said, “I laughed so hard I almost fell off the chair!” Although she had the responsibility of raising three children, she decided to pursue her goals. She thought it was funny when a counselor said she should become a doctor, but she knows now that the counselor’s advice and the encouragement of the professors at Leeward CC helped her to develop the confidence she needed to achieve her goals.
Dr. Blanchette is a product of both the UH system and the Ivy League. She earned an A.A. degree at Leeward Community College, a B.A. in Pre-Professional Studies at UH Mānoa, and she earned concurrent M.D. and M.PH. degrees in Gerontology at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) and the UH School of Public Health. She then completed her medical training with an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, followed by a two-year fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Upon completing her fellowship at Harvard, she was recruited back to JABSOM to start the state’s first medical education program in Geriatric Medicine and thus she became the first fellowship-trained geriatrician in the state of Hawai‘i.
She also has served as CEO of UCERA (University Clinical, Education and Research Associates), the medical school’s faculty practice plan. A few years ago, she founded the Teaching Nursing Home (TNH) program whereby medical school faculty members in geriatrics provide care to residents of many of Oahu’s nursing homes. In the TNH program medical students, residents, and fellows learn to provide excellent medical care to frail elders. In this way, more well-trained geriatricians become available to provide nursing home care to relieve the shortage of geriatricians both now and in the future.
Dr. Blanchette is a recognized expert in normal cognitive aging, decisional capacity, and in Alzheimer’s disease. She has provided extensive community service, including having served as president of the Aloha Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and as a member of the association’s national board.
Hawaii State Senator
Senator Michelle Kidani was first elected to the Hawai‘i State Senate in 2008. Through reapportionment, her district was expanded from her hometown neighborhood in Mililani to include the communities of Royal Kunia, Village Park, Waikele and most of Waipio Gentry. She continues to serve as Vice President of the Senate in the Thirtieth State Legislature.
Prior to being elected, Michelle served as the Executive Assistant and Community Relations Specialist for the Neighborhood Commission of the City and County of Honolulu. As the Branch Administrator for MedQuest Customer Services Division for the Hawaii State Department of Human Services, her department won the coveted “Governor’s Employee Team of the Year” in 2003.
She served as the Office Manager for the Waipahu Community Association and was responsible for coordinating the very first Taste of Waipahu. Michelle served for twelve years as a Senior Advisor at the Honolulu City Council and also worked for many years at GTE Hawaiian Tel, as well as Office Manager for John H. Payne Inc., international agricultural consultants. She is a strong supporter of education and instrumental in the expansion of our Teacher Education program.
Entertainer, Founder of Honolulu Broadway Babies
When the Cameron Mackintosh Production Company was looking for performers for the touring production of “Miss Saigon,” they held an audition here at Leeward Theatre. Kristian Lei was a theatre student and performed in minor roles. It was the first time she auditioned for a singing role. She landed the lead of Kim at the age of 19 and began her luminous career.
Later, she won the role of Tuptim, alongside Richard Chamberlain as the King, in the Hawaii Opera Theatre Production of “The King and I.” In 2009 -2010, Kristian portrayed the role of Princess Nala and Rafiki in the Festival of the Lion King in Hong Kong Disneyland. Aside from her notable International Theatre credits, Kristian’s been invited to sing abroad and locally for exclusive and elite groups, as well as numerous TV, radio, & public appearances statewide.
Kristian was honored by the State of Hawai‘i as an Outstanding Woman Achiever in Entertainment of 2014, and voted as one of Hawaii’s Ten Outstanding Young Filipinos of 2011. Kristian released two albums and was nominated for a Na Hoku Hano Hanohano Award for the best religious album in 2008. Kristian also founded Honolulu Broadway Babies and The Joshua Earl Tanjuakio Hegwood (JETH) Continuing Education and Performing Arts School – a non-profit corporation/production company building continuing education and performing arts programs for individuals who are developmentally and intellectually disabled after High School. When she’s not on stage or serving the community, you can find Kristian teaching voice and stage presence in Oahu and Hilo, Hawai’i.
Senior Instructional Designer and Program Manager, Amazon
Born in Haleiwa but raised in Ewa Beach, Natalie and her family have close ties with Leeward Community College. She began her education at Leeward in 2009, while her older sister and mom were also enrolled and they were fortunate enough to have classes together. Unsure of her major while at Leeward, Natalie took a variety of classes and enjoyed building life-long friendships with many of her peers. At different points she considered majoring in microbiology, art, photography, psychology and geography. The faculty and their passion for teaching inspired her to explore different career pathways. After taking a series of English courses, Natalie decided to pursue a degree in English. She completed her associate in arts degree and graduated from Leeward in 2011. Since then, Natalie, her older sister (Kirsten), younger sister (Rachel), and her mom, Louise Eichner – who was LCC’s 2018 commencement speaker – have all successfully graduated from Leeward Community College.
Natalie transferred to UH-West O‘ahu, which was still located at the Leeward campus (before the new campus in Kapolei was built). She went on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from UHWO. She switched career directions, after gaining an interest in technology and completed her master’s degree in LTEC from UH Mānoa. Over the years, Natalie has served as the Online Learning and Support Coordinator at UH West O’ahu and has also directed other distance education programs in the UH system. She is currently pursuing her PhD in LTEC from UH Mānoa.
Natalie also works as a Senior Instructional Designer and Program Manager at Amazon. She designs instructional content and materials to onboard technicians in over a dozen countries and languages around the world, including managing other learning and training initiatives for a global workforce. She credits her formative years at Leeward CC and UHWO as being invaluable; her peers, mentors, and faculty assisted her in exploring career opportunities, challenged her perspectives, and encouraged her to think outside of the box, among a number of other academic and communicative skills that have been instrumental to her success.
Natalie was recently selected as one of the 2020 Learning Guild Thirty Under 30. Read about her accomplishment in UH News.
Part Of the Community
Donating: Helping The Next Gen At Leeward
Private donations are essential to the long-term quality and growth of Leeward Community College. Donations help our college to meet a number of diverse needs that would not be possible through state funds alone.
Through partnering with our donors, our college can sustain excellence and enhance the student experience, making our campus a learning destination of choice. Many of the donors who give gifts to Leeward do so to support a program or area of study that they believe in. Others make donations to help provide scholarships to current students. Without exception, every gift has a major impact on our students, faculty and campus community as a whole.
Read the story of one of our scholarship recipients and the amazing impact of our donors’ contribution.