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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, April 24, 2008

UH senior wins research award

University of Hawai'i-Manoa senior Tiffiny Baring won first prize for her research poster at the national convention of the American Association of Anatomists this month in San Diego.

Her poster was titled, "A new spontaneous mutation (tuft) causing defective neuropore closure and craniofacial lipoma maps to proximal chromosome 10 in the 3H1 mouse" focusing on study of a brain deformity discovered in a mouse.

Her research mapped the mutation to mouse chromosome 10. The significance of Baring's work is that it suggests the existence of a previously unknown gene regulating brain development and tumor formation.

Baring is majoring in biology and pursuing advanced research at the UH's John A. Burns School of Medicine.

RIGHTS ACTIVIST TO LECTURE AT UH

Ngugi wa Thiong'o, author, playwright, essayist and human rights activist, has been named a 2008 Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals.

Ngugi will hold public lectures at the University of Hawai'i's Manoa and Hilo campuses from April 28 to May 2, according to a news release.

"Few people are more deserving of being honored for a lifetime's pursuit of democratic ideals than Ngugi wa Thiong'o," said David Stannard, chair of American Studies at UH-Manoa.

While professor of English at Nairobi University, Ngugi established a theater and wrote novels and plays published in Kenya and throughout the world that were critical of colonial rule.

He was arrested in 1977 but freed after a global protest campaign. However, death threats forced him to leave his homeland. He is presently a professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Irvine and director of the International Center of Writing and Translation.

CATHOLIC SCHOOL SETTLES LAWSUIT

A Catholic elementary school has agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a former employee who alleged she was subjected to discrimination by two administrators, including a priest, then fired after complaining about it, officials said yesterday.

Holy Family Catholic Academy in Honolulu has also agreed to revise its policies. School officials did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a complaint on behalf of Roxanne Castilliano, who worked at the school as a bookkeeper from 1994 until she was fired in February 2004.

Castilliano alleged that she was discriminated against by a male supervisor and a priest because she is Filipino. She also reported sexual harassment, said Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office. The $100,000 award will go to Castilliano.

When she complained, the school failed to investigate and then retaliated against Castilliano by putting her under heightened scrutiny until she was eventually fired, Park said.

"The real crux of the case was the retaliation," Park said.

The policy and procedural changes the school agreed to include development of a clear way to handle complaints of discrimination and retaliation, training on federal employment laws, and required reporting and record keeping under a federal decree.

Timothy Riera, the director of the EEOC's Honolulu office, said retaliation is a major issue in Hawai'i. He said nearly a third of all complaints his office fields involve retaliation.