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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, December 31, 2001

Hawai'i students help organize a new college

By Zenaida Serrano Espanol
Advertiser Staff Writer

Life at a start-up college in Needham, Mass., has far exceeded the expectations of Nicole Hori, Leighton Ige and Cheryl Inouye.

Nicole Hori, Leighton Ige and Cheryl Inouye are helping develop the yet-to-open Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts.

Advertiser library photo

The three kama'aina were among 30 students who opted for an untraditional college career by each accepting a $170,000, five-year scholarship to help develop the curriculum and student life programs at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, a college not opening officially until next fall.

The students, known as the "Olin Partners," have reached the halfway point of their first year at the school.

"It's so exciting to see the passion with which everyone approached their duties there — the partners, faculty, staff, administration — everyone at Olin," said Ige, 19, of Palolo.

The first four months included courses in which they developed curriculum, as well as participation in community service projects. The students also got to know each other and staff. "Everyone knows everybody," said 18-year-old Inouye, of Pearl City. "We're a nice, small community."

The students, on vacation for the holidays, will return to classes Jan. 17. The remainder of their first year at Olin will include more curriculum development courses and a one-month trip to France in February.

"It's an incredible program, with lots of partnership between the students and faculty, and everyone is overflowing with enthusiasm and energy," said Hori, 18, of Honolulu. "There's so many talents that it makes it just a real exciting place to work."