Helen J.D. Whippy, PhD

Helen J.D. Whippy, PhD

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Academic Appointment(s):
Provost and Professor of Mathematics, Chaminade University, Honolulu, HI

PhD, Higher Education Leadership, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
MA, Mathematics University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Certificate, Educational Management, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Research Focus

As former Senior Vice President at the University of Guam, I facilitated the University of Guam/University of Hawaii Cancer Research Center (U56) planning grant and administered the details and activities, becoming PI in 2008 when serving as Interim President of UOG. I led the UOG team that wrote the subsequent U54 application, funded in 2009, and was PI of the UOG/UHCC partnership grant from 2009-2013. After mentoring a Pacific Islander to take my place, I retired from the UOG in 2013. I have since assumed the position of Provost at Chaminade University in Honolulu, a federally-designated Native Hawaiian and Minority Serving Institution (MSI).

My research interests focus on cancer health equity in Pacific Island populations, as well as mentorship and training of students of Pacific Island ancestry. My contribution to science consists of two parts:

  1. Establishing the next generation of Pacific Islander researchers and faculty members.
    During my time at the University of Guam, I mentored over 20 Pacific Islander women, producing the first Chamorro female PhD in mathematics, the first Chamorro tenured faculty member in mathematics, and others who became epidemiologists, nurses, doctors, and teachers.
  2. Developing the people and systems that support these faculty members and ensuring the infrastructure put in place is sustainable.
    At the heart of health equity is the issue of supporting a healthy and educated population, which often means translating research and best practices to public policy. As former PI of the U54, our group successfully brought the Guam Cancer Registry into line with national requirements so that data would be available for researchers. We ensured the registry and outreach were sustainable by implementing a successful campaign that led to an increased cigarette tax on Guam. The resulting revenues support, in part, Guam's Cancer Registry and Cancer Trust Fund, administered by the UOG and designed to support cancer screening and direct patient services.

Keeping Pacific Islander researchers focused on conducting research and outreach applicable to their community is strengthened by a well-developed infrastructure to support these activities. Under my leadership, the UOG tripled its research funding by combining faculty development and mentoring with physical facility and instrumentation development. As a result, UOG now has a Research Foundation, currently in the startup stages, to ensure sustainable research support.

At Chaminade, I am the PI of a Title III grant to develop a faculty resource center for scholarship and teaching and an office of sponsored research. I have also created and funded a new position of Associate Provost for Faculty Development, Assessment and Research. I have also been awarded an NIH Biomedical/Biobehavioral Research Administration Development (BRAD) grant, which aims to develop an integrated approach to grant seeking, competitive success, and post-award support that focuses on addressing inequities in health, justice and education opportunity for indigenous Pacific peoples, and includes multiple academic disciplines relevant to the NIH mission.

Selected Publications

Robinett HR, Ames T, Peterson JA, Whippy HJ, Vogel CW. (2011). UH Cancer Center Hotline: the training and education program of the University of Guam/University of Hawaii Cancer Center Partnership. Hawaii Med J, Nov;70(11 Suppl 2):54-5. PMID: 22235161; PMCID: MPC3254219.

Vogel CW, Whippy HJ, Robinett HR. (2010). A partnership between the cancer research center of Hawaii and the University of Guam in Cancer Research, Education, Training, and Outreach. (2010). Hawaii Med J, Jun;69(6 SUppl 3):56-8. PMID:20540006; PMCID: PMC3123148.

Moor MA, Baumann F, Foliaki S, Goodman MT, Haddock R, Maraka R, Koroivueta J, Roder D, Vinit T, Whippy HJ, Sobue T. (2010). Cancer epidemiology in the pacific islands – past, present and future. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 11 Suppl 2:99-106. PMID: 20553071; NIHMS675306.

Haddock RL, Whippy HJ, Talon RJ, Montano MV. (2009). Ethnic disparities in cancer incidence among residents of Guam. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, Jan-Mar;10(1):57-62l. PMID: 19469625; NIHMS675352.

Haddock R., Talon RJ, Whippy HJ. (2007). Ethnic disparities in cancer mortality among residents of Guam. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 2006 Jul-Sep;7(3):411-4. Erratum in: Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2007 Jan-Mar;8(1):2. PMID: 17059333.

Publication list via PubMed

Active Grants

H. Whippy, PI/Project Director
"Increasing the Academic Capacity of Chaminade University"
Chaminade University of Honolulu offers professional and academic degrees at the undergraduate and masters level. The total student body numbers 2,600. While more than 90 percent of the students are U.S. residents or from the U.S.A.P.I., 48 percent are first generation students. More than 50 percent are Asian/Pacific Islanders and only 16 percent are White Non-Hispanic. Sixty-eight percent of the day undergraduate student body is female. Native Hawaiian students comprise over 13 percent of our full-time day undergraduate enrollment of 1,326 students. Chaminade plans to significantly strengthen its academic capacity. Five of its academic buildings will be upgraded in both facilities and technology, to include a new Teaching and Learning Center and Office of Sponsored Research. In addition to renovating the facilities, Chaminade's information and learning technologies will also be brought up to current standards. The $10M grant is divided with $2.5M for technology improvements and $7.5M for renovation of academic facilities to support student career development, faculty development, and research.