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NICE Program

New Intensive Courses in English (NICE)
Meet our NICE Staff


Michiko Seki Kahmann, Interim Program Director

Michiko Seki Kahmann,
Master of Arts (MA) in English as a second language, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa; Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English and American literature from Rikkyo Univ., Tokyo, Japan; Certificate in Teaching English, Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education; Certificate in English/Japanese-Japanese/English Interpretation and Translation, UH Manoa

Michiko has worked as Custom Programs Manager since 1996 and works with sponsoring organizations on customized programs for groups coming to UH for English programs and seminars. Prior to joining our staff, Michiko taught English, Japanese, and interpretation courses at universities in Honolulu and at private schools in Japan. She also worked as an interpreter/translator in Honolulu and program coordinator in Tokyo. Her academic interests include language acquisition, bilingual education, and program planning and development. Michiko enjoys meeting and working with people from all over the world and creating opportunities for people to learn and grow. She hasn't had much free time to herself since becoming a mother in 2000 but enjoys reading, going to movies, and spending time with her children and husband whenever she gets a chance.

Phone: (808) 956-3416; Fax: (808) 956-3421; Email: michikos@hawaii.edu

Saori Ishida Doi, Academic Coordinator
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Educational Psychology, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa; Master of Arts (MA) in English as a second language; Advanced Graduate Certificate in Second Language Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa; Bachelorʻs of Education (BEd) in English education with teaching license, Nagasaki University, Japan

Originally from Japan, she studied at UHM as an undergraduate study abroad student in 1998-1999, and then returned to Hawaiʻi for graduate studies in 2000. While an MA student, Saori taught ESL in both the English Language Institute and the Hawaiʻi English Language Program on the UHM campus. Her research interests include globalization in higher education, acculturation, intercultural communication, social support for college students, and language learning in culturally diverse settings. While pursuing her academic interests as a doctoral candidate, she enjoys spending time with her family at home. Saori has been at NICE since Fall 2005. In July 2015, she became the Academic Coordinator of 10-week NICE and she also continues to teach 2 classes a term.

Phone: (808) 956-3464; Fax: (808) 956-3421; Email: saori@hawaii.edu

Bob Lipske, Program Specialist
Master of Arts (MA) in Second Language Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa; Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Bob has been with NICE since 2004. He also currently works at the UH Medical Schoolʻs Imi Hoʻōla Program as a writing tutor. He spent almost 5 years teaching English overseas, and lived abroad for nine years. His academic interests include academic writing and using English for authentic purposes. He loves to help students achieve their English goals, and hopes he creates fun, interesting (OK, and challenging) lessons. In addition, he has always enjoyed learning about, and using, new technology. When he's not teaching, he loves exercising and volunteering with his girlfriend. On vacation, he wants to hike in the mountains and deserts of Utah and Arizona. Favorite food: Mexican; favorite pastime: reading; favorite music: hip hop; favorite movies: human interest.

Phone: (808) 956-3417; Fax: (808) 956-3421; Email:lipske@hawaii.edu


Lisa Nakandakari, Student Services Coordinator
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Asian studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Lisa has been in charge of NICE student services since 1982. Prior to coming to NICE, Lisa decided to explore her roots while studying for a year and a half in Okinawa, Japan at the University of the Ryukyus on a governmental scholarship. A fluent Japanese speaker, Lisa manages the NICE office, and is our in-house immigration expert. She loves working in an educational environment with international students. Lisa enjoys Okinawan dance; in fact, she's a senior assistant instructor at the Nakasone Dance Academy. She also enjoys Japanese culture and sports.

Phone: (808) 956-7753; Fax: (808) 956-3421; Email: nakandak@hawaii.edu

Pancho Delos Santos, Academic Support Specialist
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa

Pancho's job at NICE includes taking care of many program details, such as room scheduling, payroll, and paperwork and database work related to making purchases for the program. He has been at NICE since 1995. Before coming to NICE, he worked at the UHM College of Education and also taught English at local high schools. He's interested in ethnic literature, ethnic studies, and ethnic cuisine. Pancho likes working at N.I.C.E because he likes the interaction with people from other cultures and the challenge of solving unexpected problems.

Phone: (808) 956-7753; Fax: (808) 956-3421; Email: pdsantos@hawaii.edu


Laura Ranney, Interchange Coordinator/Academic Support Specialist
Bachelor of Education (BEd), San Diego State University;
Teaching Credential in Elementary Education, California State San Marcos; CELTA Certificate (Certificate of English Language Teaching Adults), Cambridge University, England; ESL Certificate, San Diego State University

Laura has worked at International Programs since 2003. She works behind the scenes hiring and scheduling university students to meet with NICE and SEP students as conversation partners in our popular interchange program. She also arranges for classrooms, receptions, and graduations for our Special English Programs, and she makes sure teachers and interchangers get paid! Before coming to NICE, Laura lived in Japan for seven years, working as an English teacher for Japanese students of all ages. (She tells us entertaining stories about her experiences during lunch!) She's also taught Elementary school age children in San Diego, California. In addition to living in Japan, she has also lived in Italy and Australia as well as traveled extensively around the world. Laura loves being the catalyst who arranges meetings among American and foreign students for conversation and friendship. She likes to help make students' time in Hawai‘i and at the University of Hawai‘i as enjoyable as possible.

Phone: (808) 956-6824; Fax: (808) 956-3752; Email: lranney@hawaii.edu


Walter Gojo, Student Services Specialist
Bachelor or Arts (BA) in Japanese, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Walter has been working with International students since 2001, and started working at the NICE program in 2014. He is born and raised in Hawaiʻi, and is a graduate of Kapiʻolani Community College, and the Univeristy of Hawaiʻi. His regret in life is that he didnʻt leave Hawaiʻi to study abroad, so he greatly admires what our International Students are doing to improve themselves. Walter is an avid football fan, and is at every UH home game to watch the Rainbow Warriors.

Phone: (808) 956-7753; Fax: (808) 956-3421; Email: gojo@hawaii.edu

NICE Office Assistants

Phone: (808) 956-7753; Fax: (808) 956-3421;  Email: ips@hawaii.edu


Su Kim
Bachelor of Science in Psycology

Speaks - Korean and English
Volunteering and reading



David Pan
Bachelor of Biology
Speaks - Mandarin and English
Hobbies: Gaming and drinking Milk tea





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