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Na leo means “the voices.” And so Na Leo is an apt name for our college literary journal that features the voices of our students in several different media. It is part of the UH-MC Student Publications Council and provides a platform for our students to express themselves in written and visual ways. The range of work is as wide as our students are diverse – from poems about pets, to photos of boobies and cloud formations, to strong statements about water rights and the personal challenges of family issues and sexual and gender identity.

‘Iolani Brosio teaches English and interdisciplinary studies and has been a faculty advisor for Na Leo since 2017. She has always loved creative writing and art and jumped at the chance.

“I found out when I was in college that I was successful when I had a community,” said Brosio. “I want Na Leo to be a forum where students hear their own voice. It’s a great way to engage students.

Monthly cash prizes are an added incentive for students to submit work.

“Two prizes of $50 are awarded by lottery and the team votes for a prize of $100. Students are thrilled when they win, but they’re also thrilled when they see their work in print. » said Brosio.

Brosio sees his role as a facilitator and guide and wants Na Leo to be a “student-run thing.” Enter Na Leo student editor Aysha Jarnesky-Ramsey, one such leader. A part-Native Hawaiian born and raised in Makawao, she is particularly keen to get our Native Hawaiian students involved and “express their feelings on a native level.”

“I’m always looking for a job that keeps our Hawaiian culture alive,” said Jarnesky-Ramsey.

Her path to her editorial role is as compelling as the literary and visual art she collects and reviews. She’s a non-traditional student pursuing her associate’s degree in social work and after graduating in 2023, hopes to earn a bachelor’s degree and eventually a master’s degree in that discipline.

“I have a passion for guiding young women and girls in my community,” she said.

She added that “There are certain things that our (Native Hawaiian) community and all communities face – domestic and sexual violence, drugs.” Jarnesky-Ramsey said she encountered difficulties in her own family, that she had “dark path” and did not receive the help she needed.

“If I had, I would have made better choices” she said. “I want to be a source because I know I can change the outcome.”

When she was finally able to start college, she looked forward to immersing herself in all that UH-MC had to offer.

“I excelled in English classes and have a background as a writer,” said Jarnesky-Ramsey.

She was in the right place at the right time. Ho’oulu (meaning “Inspire”) was looking for writers and the editor was in her final year. The publication is an independent online student newspaper covering campus news, features, and ideas, and is also part of the UH-MC Student Publications Council.

“After writing a few stories, I was offered the position of student editor.” she said. “I wanted to be involved in all modalities of writing.”

So she happily accepted the position of student editor-in-chief of Na Leo.

“It takes a lot of courage to get into poetry and art,” said faculty adviser Brosio. “It takes a lot to be vulnerable that way. When people can give you space to speak your truth and make it known, it means a lot. Teenagers, college students don’t have a ton of opportunities on Maui to be recognized that way. If we can do that to Na Leo, we do good.

To read and view the work of talented UH-MC student artists on Na Leo, please visit and follow on Instagram at in.

To read Ho’oulu, please visit and follow on Instagram at

For complete information on UHMC, please visit

* Dr. Lui K. Hokoana is Chancellor of the University of Hawaii Maui College. Ka’ana Mana’o, which means “Sharing Thoughts” appears on the fourth Saturday of each month. It is prepared with assistance from the staff of UH Maui College and is intended to provide the Maui County community with information about the opportunities available through the college at its Kahului campus and teaching centers.

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Lucas E. Kelly