BYUH Years of Service Awards 2017: 2 longtime employees share their aloha

Written by: 
LeeAnn Lambert
Margie Tuttle, left, and JoAnn Lowe, right, say their lives have been blessed by the co-workers and students they have met at BYU-Hawaii.

Margie Tuttle, the Cataloging and Reserves Supervisor at the Library, was recognized for reaching 35 years of service at BYU-Hawaii during the annual Ho‘omaika’i Employee Appreciation Dinner and Dance on March 16. She was one of more than 60 employees who were honored with years of service and exemplary employee awards that night in the Cannon Activities Center along with a dinner catered by Food Services.

Tuttle said she has worked in the Library for the whole 35 years. “Some may find it hard to believe, but I have been in my same office since Jan. 6 1981!” she said. “At that time, it was called Technical Services located in the JFS Library, now re-named the Library Access & Collections Service ….Funny as it sounds, I started this job as a single employee, and since I’ve had four children and am now a grandmother, and I am still working in the same office!”

Tuttle said she has loved working with her fellow workers at the Library and also the students she has hired and trained. Tuttle said of her co-workers, “When I think about them and how much they have influenced my life in a positive way” they have made “working in the library an enjoyable and learning environment for me.” She said she still feels that way after all these years.

Originally from Kona on the Big Island, Tuttle said she came to school here, joined the church in Laie and then served a mission in the Japan Nagoya Mission. “My parents being nonmembers were ok with that,” she said.

“When I returned back from my mission, the only jobs available were part-time ones, but I knew that I needed to get insurance coverage, which was important to me.  I guess I was picky as to what jobs were available - after all having a college degree meant something to me. You must understand also that the Kona job market 35 years ago isn’t like what it is now.

“I’ve always felt that if I did my part in church services - accepting callings, doing Visiting Teaching, supporting functions at the ward - but doing them in a positive manner - that somehow something should come my way. And mind you, there was no Kona Temple at that time,” she continued. “I can remember every night in my prayers telling Heavenly Father that I am doing all that I can so if he was listening, if he could help me as to where and what I should do.”

Tuttle said a close friend and classmate who had graduated and was working at the university, “called me telling me that someone in her office, Technical Services, was leaving to return back to the mainland and was interested in applying for the position. I flew in on a Saturday and was interviewed by only two people….I guess I did ok after the interview because I was hired.”

Also celebrating 30 years of service at BYUH is JoAnn Lowe, who started out working as an Academic advisor for the School of Education and then moved to Admissions. As an Academic adviser, “I was hired by Jayne Garside (totally dating myself) and worked under Ron Jackson, who was head of the School of Education.  I loved working as an Academic Advisor which gave me the opportunity to work with students on a one on one basis.  Many of them are currently teachers and leaders in the education community throughout Hawaii and all over the world.  I worked in advising for nearly a dozen years before I made the move to the Admissions Office as an Admissions Analyst.”

She said getting a full-time job at Admissions was a blessing because her husband had passed away, and “with six daughters to raise and four of them at universities at that time, this was a great place to be.”

Lowe said her favorite memories include students who came to BYUH and their incredible stories.

“I have a flood of memories but one that comes to mind is Barry Hardy, who came to visit a couple of years after graduating. He was a four-year letterman at BYU-Hawaii and was a three-time slam dunk national champion. He had 48-inch vertical leap. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business management. He lived his dream as he tried out and was chosen for the Harlem Globetrotters and played for seven years and then was hired as a coach. 

While visiting with Hardy after he graduated, Lowe said she asked him why he chose to come to BYUH even though he isn’t a Mormon and since he was heavily recruited by other schools. “His answer was that when he came to campus on a recruiting trip, he loved the physical beauty of campus but more than that he loved the ‘clean living’ standards of the Honor Code,” Lowe recalled.  “As an athlete, he knew if he went to a party at BYU-Hawaii he would not be offered drugs or liquor. This was important to him since every friend he grew up with from his home town in Michigan, was either in jail or dead from drugs or gang involvement.”

Hardy is the first person in his family to earn a bachelor’s degree, she said, and “he told me earning his college degree and living a ‘clean life’ helped him get on the Harlem Globetrotter team. Every Globetrotter at the time, had a bachelor’s degree and the team had strict standards against drug use and keeping moral standards.”

Lowe continued, “Hearing stories like this and seeing so many other graduates become upstanding, contributing citizens to their communities and countries has blessed me and given inspiration to my life.”

She told another story about a day when she was working in the Admissions office and “an ecclesiastical endorsement signed by a stake president in Zimbabwe came across my desk. The name of the stake president was a person who I knew well, as he was a friend and a graduate of BYU-Hawaii - one of our alumni. I had not known what became of him, and seeing his name brought tears to my eyes.  It was a memorable day.”

Lowe agreed with Tuttle that working with students and co-workers is another highlight of being at BYUH.

Lowe said, “Working at BYU-Hawaii in the School of Education and in the Admissions Office has given me the opportunity to work with people who are intelligent, hardworking and dedicated to the mission of the university.  I love and admire my workmates, which includes the many student workers. I always tell people that if they want to see and experience a ‘world of united nations,’ they need to come to BYU-Hawaii. Yes, we are not perfect, but we do a pretty good job. [There are at BYUH] people from nations all across the earth, working side by side and learning to love and respect each other.  I have counted as a great eternal blessing in my life to be employed at such a university.”

When asked if there was something she wanted to share about working at BYUH, Tuttle added, “Have a good attitude at work. Sometimes bring goodies to share with your co-workers as well as student workers, and don’t forget tell your student workers how much you appreciate them and the work that they do for you and the department.”

Besides Lowe, another employee who was recognized for working 30 years at BYUH is Joseph Cazimero, the Facilities Management locksmith.

Employees who reached their 25-year marks this year were Tony Castillo, Library; and Perry Christensen, English Language Teaching and Learning faculty.

Recognized for 20 years of service were: Guy Boydstun, Athletics; Tutasi Fiu, Food Services; Mayette Fonoimoana, Registrars; Marilou Lee, Food Services; Lila Matagi Magalei, Business Management; Scott McCarrey, Music faculty; Ivona Mills, International Student Services; Rodney Salanoa, Facilities Management; Kevin Schlag, University Information Officer; Eugenia Soliai, Human Resources; Michael Tuia,, Facilities Management; and Kamoa’e Walk, Pacific Islands and Hawaiian Studies faculty.

Reaching 15 years of service were: Jacquie Alisa, Student Leadership Activities and Service; Ellen Bunker, English Language Teaching and Learning faculty; Chiung Hwang Chen, International Cultural Studies faculty; Anna Marie Christiansen, English faculty; Stephen Crowell, McKay Auditorium; Dwight Fogle, Facilities Management; Jeannette Fukuzawa, English Language Teaching and Learning; Dawn Keliikuli, Housing; Kaala Lindo, Library; Neomai Mataele, Food Services; Timothy Richardson, ICS and Language faculty; and Iafeta Sao, Facilities Management.

Those honored for 10 years of service were: Brandyn Akana, Housing; Daniel Bradshaw, Music faculty; Yee Man Cheney, Food Services; Becky DeMartini, Library; Maria Feagai, Library Copy Center; Helena Hannonen, Business Management faculty; Brian Houghton, Political Science faculty; Jing Jun Huang, Educational Outreach; Tom Mariteragi, Facilities Management; Olivia Moleni, Information Technology; Troy Smith, Political Science faculty; Peter Tailele, Housing; Isaiah Walker, History faculty; Hiagi Wesley, ICS and Language faculty; Susan Wesley, academic advisor, and Mark Wolfersberger, director of Faculty Development.

Five-year service award recipients included: Joselyn Akana, academic adviser; Michael Aldrich, University Librarian; Norman Black, vice president of Administration; Ropiha Campbell, Facilities Management; T. James Faustino, Admissions; Puifatu Fiso, Facilities Management; Gideon Kaonohi, Financial Services;Wendy Lau, Food Services; Jared Marcum, Online Education; Eric Marlowe, Religion faculty; Jeff Merrill, Art faculty; John Moleni, Telephone ; Enele Ongoongotau Jr., Financial Services; Daniel Sharp, Religion faculty; Joshua Smith, Computer and Information Systems; J. Russell Tai Hook, Purchasing; Aveavai Tanuvasa, Facilities Management; Kahler Vendiola, Housing; Kawika Vendiola, Facilities Management; James Watkins, Accounting faculty; and Chris Wright, Testing Center.

BYUH President John S. Tanner said in a welcome letter in the program for the employee appreciation event, “Thank you for your continued service and dedication to being and helping our students become learners, leaders and builders. I know that BYU-Hawaii has an important role to play in the international church as we prepare student who are able to serve with a spirit of love and peace. Your daily interaction with these students hastens the work of the university and helps build the kingdom one life at a time.”

Date Published: 
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Last Edited: 
Tuesday, May 9, 2017