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Genuine Gold: Rose Ram describes how to truly appreciate BYU–Hawaii

Rose Ram sits at her desk in her office. Her computer screensaver is of the Flag Circle.

Associate Academic Vice President of Curriculum & Assessment Rose Ram said she started her journey at BYUH in 1982 as a student after leaving her home and family in Guam.

After serving her mission in Los Angeles and graduating from BYUH in 1988, Ram worked at various positions and was the lead of many projects throughout the 30 years she has been a part of BYUH’s ohana. She shares her beloved stories and advice she has gained along the way.

What have been some of your favorite memories or experiences at BYU–Hawaii?

“As a BYUH employee, I have to say my favorite memories and experience come from watching, working and learning from others ... They teach me to be humbleand to be aloha with whoever we comein contact with. I have a huge degree of respect for them ...

“I remember one time ... we [had a quilt given to us, and Brother Mo’o from Physical Plant was able to help us hang it]. Every time I saw the quilt, I thought of the many hands that helped to create and hang it. It was just a reminder of aloha, just the love that emanates from this place when we live the law of consecration and when people are selfless and serve each other with love.

“I think, to me, that is the greatest memory, that I will walk away from this institution one day knowing I labored with so many great people who truly live aloha.”

What has been the main reason you have stayed with BYUH for 30 years?

“I can’t believe I’ve been here for 30 years. I would say the main reason I stayed at BYUH is because I love BYUH and its mission. The idea I get to help prepare students to be leaders in their families, community and country is simply an amazing opportunity.

"The more we do for others, the more it gives us a great feeling inside. As a student, I would often hear how we were handpicked to be here at BYUH.

"As a faculty member, I feel my responsibility was to help those who come here recognize and see how God loves them ... I do know, if you teach with love, your students will feel it and they will want to learn.”

What has made BYUH so special to you over the years?

“It has just been so awesome to see God’s hand at His university. I remember distinctly how there was a period of time, maybe in the ‘90s or early 2000s, where BYU and BYU–Idaho were going through so much growth and construction. [This made] some people on campus say, ‘What about us?’

"I always had in my mind it just was not our time and our time would come, and it has. I just think He has always been mindful of us, and God always knows what our needs are.

“I’ve also learned about things that are special ... Like the people. It’s these relationships, and honestly, it’s all about the relationships. Those are important. When you stay at a place long enough, you want to make sure you take care of people.

“I think that was something my mom taught me growing up in Guam and being Chamorro. She taught us an overarching Chamorro principle, ‘Fan inafa’maolek yan fan aayuda.’ It means to take care of each other and to help each other.”

How have you been able to gain a better sense of gratitude and hospitality in your life by working here?

“I remember learning a lesson from Noa Au on both Hawaiian hospitality and gratitude. She said to me, ‘Rosie, when we show others aloha, it goes a long way.’

“Noa is now on the other side of the veil, but she could tell that as a young faculty member I had a lot to learn. She took the time to teach me that to have a sense of gratitude one must be humble and know where all blessings come from. Hospitality comes from loving and treating others the way you would like others to love and treat you.”

What is your favorite project or position you have had here?

“Most people do not know that I am an oral historian of over 20 years. My focus was on Pacific Island women. That resulted in a book, a couple chapters in another book and numerous conference presentations.

Other projects included helping the institution with accreditation-related meetings, reports and reaffirmation ... All in all, the projects were wonderful because of the people I was able to work alongside with. It really was the experience that made it rich and memorable ... These projects have truly been successful because God’s influence was right there. [God] loves BYUH.”

What do you want students of BYUH to know about the goals of this university?

“I love the mission of this university and the prophecy from David O. McKay. This idea that as we learn and grow in this BYUH living laboratory, we are actually being built to become genuine, genuine gold ... I’ve learned about integrity. I’ve learned not to shy away from hard things. I’ve learned to be humble. I’ve learned to have God’s help and to ask for God’s help.

“It’s amazing, both the secular and spiritual elements here. Both the academic and co-curricular can help build a student so they can make a huge difference in this world and really live out that prophecy ... It is in the little things, and we just need to be mindful of the little things because it’s the little things that decide whether or not we are going to be genuine gold.”