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Board Members

The UHSPHAA board is responsible for the overseeing the association and carrying out the association's mission. They meet occasionally to plan events, review scholarship applications, and other activities to aimed to engage alumni, students, and the community for public health. Our current board members are:

Angela Sy, PhD
Angela Sy, PhD

Angela Sy is a 1993 graduate from the School of Public Health in Health Services Administration and Planning. She later went on to receive a PhD from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 2005.


Angela conducts research on health disparities among Asian and Pacific Islander communities with a focus cancer prevention, chronic disease management, and community engage research and program evaluation. 


Angela taught public health and research classes at the UH Office of Public Health Studies, School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, and Undergraduate Honors Program. Classes include program evaluation, community based participatory research, introduction to health promotion, and research methods. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology, and Pharmacology at John A. Burns School of Medicine.


Angela served as the Treasurer and Vice President of UHSPHAA. She was also the Caucus Councillor, Vice President, and President of the Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus, American Public Health Association.

Brandon Kobashigawa
Brandon Kobashigawa

Brandon is a 2013 MPH graduate from the School of Public Health in Social and Behavioral Health Science.


Residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, he works in Human Resources in the Technology sector.

Gerald Ohta
Gerald Ohta

Gerald retired after 47 years mostly at the Hawaii State Department of Health and briefly in the Office of the Governor. He worked primarily in equal access and discrimination issues. He is known his work in public health cultural, language, disability and history.  He has been active in and has been recognized by the Hawaii Public Health Association and the American Public Health Association.

Grace Matsuura
Grace Matsuura

Grace earned her MPH in Gerontology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2002. Upon her return to UH to pursue an MS degree in Epidemiology, Grace joined the School of Public Health Alumni Association (SPHAA) in 2007, serving as a Student Liaison. 

Grace helped resurrect the Student Scholarship Program in 2008, and now serves as the Scholarship Committee Chair.  The Student Scholarship Program continues to be an active part of SPHAA, providing many Public Health students with scholarships to supplement their academic needs.

Grace is a Program and Data Coordinator supporting research grants at the John A. Burns School of Medicine in Kakaako.

Jena Funakoshi
Jena Funakoshi

Jena Funakoshi is an honorary member and current graduate student at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Office of Public Health Studies and a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center. She is concurrently seeking a Master’s of Public Health in Social Behavioral Health Sciences and a PhD in Community-Based Translational Research.

Jena was a 2023-2024 SPHAA Scholarship Recipient and has volunteered to help SPHAA marketing endeavors. With an extensive background in communications and digital marketing, she was offered the role of Social Media Administrator on the SPHAA board.

Lila Johnson, RN, MPH, CHES
Lila Johnson, RN, MPH, CHES

Lila graduated with her Master’s in Public Health in 1994 at UH Mānoa.  She earned her BSN degree from San Francisco State University.

She recently retired after twenty-eight years at the Hawai‘i State Department of Health where she served as the Section Supervisor/Program Manager for Tobacco Prevention and Control.

Lila continues to serve on community boards, including the Friends of the Medical School, the COPD Coalition, and Holy Nativity Vestry.  She has held leadership roles on the local and national level with the American Cancer Society, the Junior League, and the American Medical Association Alliance.  Previously, she was the Representative from North America to the International Network of Women Against Tobacco Executive Board.


Lila serves as Treasurer and Parliamentarian for SPHAA.

Tin Shing Chao
Tin Shing Chao

Tin Shing is a 1993 graduate from the School of Public Health with a concentration in Environmental and Occupational Health. He retired from the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations as the program manager for the Occupational Health enforcement branch with statewide jurisdiction.


Tin Shing first got involved with the board by an invitation from Dr. Jay Maddock; helping to write a letter to Hawaii’s legislature urging them to provide funding for the School of Public Health when it was on the verge of being dismantled.

Since then, he has been part of the board’s scholarship committee and works with wonderful groups of public health graduates to build and expand the association. He is a lifetime member of the association.

Past Board Members

We honor board members who have served in the past, leading UHSPHAA to where it is now. A huge mahalo!

Sheri M. Gon, MLS(ASCP)CM

Sheri is a certified Medical Laboratory Scientist with 18 years of work experience at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. Much of her work concentrated in diagnostic hematology and transfusion services.


Sheri began teaching two introductory labs in the Medical Technology program at the urging of the previous program director. This sparked an interest in collegiate education which became a second career. She left KMCWC then earned a MPH with a focus on Health Services Administration and Planning to strengthen her teaching position.


Since 2000, Sheri has been active with the Hawaii State Department of Education Health Pathway/Health Academies. Sheri provides consultation to high schools that have this career-focused initiative. She participates in curriculum development, connecting teachers and students with post-secondary programs, and workforce development.


Sheri has served as the UHSPHAA newsletter editor and bylaws chair.


Ana Jimenez


Ana Jimenez McMillan is a 1996 graduate from the School of Public Health in Health Education & Infectious Diseases. She received a Master Certificate in Business Marketing from Tulane University in 2008.


Ana is a member of Hawaii State Comprehensive Cancer Coalition and Hawaii State Medical Reserve Corp and co-host Hispanic Hawaii culture on Think Tech Hawaii.

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