Hawai'i State News

Hawai‘i Pacific University names Steven D. Fenster first vice provost of student success

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Hawai‘i Pacific University has appointed Steven D. Fenster, Ph.D., as its first Vice Provost of Student Success. Photo Courtesy: Hawai‘i Pacific University

Hawai‘i Pacific University has announced the appointment of Steven D. Fenster as its first Vice Provost of Student Success.

“The success of our students requires a combination of academic, community and individualized support,” Fenster said. “I am looking forward to working with the HPU ‘ohana to help our students achieve success in their careers and personal lives.”

In his new role Fenster will collaborate with the University’s center for academic success, student life, library and learning commons teams. The primary objectives will be to offer comprehensive support that encompasses academic and mental health services, access to healthcare, and the cultivation of a sense of belonging within the Hawai‘i Pacific University campus community.


Fenster’s experience and expertise will play a key role in placing students at the center of Hawai‘i Pacific University’s success. His dedication to student achievement and social mobility is exemplified by his commitment to empowering students to pursue their passions and define their own career paths.

He joins Hawai‘i Pacific University from his previous position as a professor of biology and interim dean of the School of Science and Health at Fort Lewis College in Colorado. He has served as a program director for the National Institutes of Health U-RISE program and the Howard Hughes Inclusive Excellence Award 3 at Fort Lewis College, where he has been instrumental in improving the success and retention rates of undergraduate students from underrepresented communities.

Fenster holds a Ph.D. in cell biology from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and a B.S. in biology from the University of California, San Diego. With nearly 30 years of experience in academia, including roles as a faculty member, interim dean, associate dean, and research associate, Fenster possesses a deep understanding of both the classroom and administrative settings.


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