Chaminade hosts farewell event for Director of OSAL

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Haumana Project

Chaminade giving the guest of honor a last "dunk" of farewell before he embarks on a new journey.

As students and faculty filled the Sullivan library lawn to bid Director of Office Student Activities and Leadership (OSAL), Makerusa Porotesano farewell and thank him for his five diligent years of dedication to Chaminade University, they also made sure he did not leave without getting soaked in the dunk tank.

Known commonly as “Mak,” faculty and students not only perceive him for his directive role in OSAL, but also as a mentor and leader to the Chaminade community.

“I’ve learned so much from Mak,” said Alofamoni Laumoli who previously worked under Porotesano. “He has a heart of gold and is such a God-fearing man. When I was going through some hard times, he helped me see the good in the bad and to stay humble and pray.”

The Dean of Students provided fruits, chips, juice and sandwiches on the hot, sunny day. On the lawn was a big inflatable bounce house that consisted of a mini barrier that led to a ladder and slide where students competed against each other. Ono pops was also provided for cool refreshment during activities and mini games, such as Ping-Pong toss and egg surprise hosted by none other than the Haumana Project in front of the Sullivan Library.

They wanted students to come enjoy the free food, prizes and activities to unwind before the sleepless nights and overdose of caffeine for week of finals. The event ended with Mak in the dunk tank giving each student two tries to hit the target or release valve.

“It’s great that Chaminade hosts these kinds of events,” said 23-year-old Joshua O’Brien, a psychology major. “It’s nice to walk out of the library after hours of studying to loosen up and have some snacks before a cram session.”

Before starting his journey with Chaminade, Porotesano spent five years working in higher education in Oregon to improve the educational value for students. He worked with Men of Color through a groundbreaking program at Portland Community College (PCC) known as the Men of Color Mentoring Program. Through this program, which was funded by the PCC Multicultural Center (MC), he was able to become the Assistant-Coordinator of MC

All of Porotesano’s involvement within the community has built his love to serve and help others, which is how he landed the job at Chaminade by helping a friend through service.

“Through my work at Chaminade, I have been able to connect with various community organization that service our Pacific Islander communities and our at-risk youth.”

Porotesano has been away from his family for almost a year and at the same time missed valuable moments being away from his 15-month-old daughter. He will be returning to his small family in the Marshall Island in July and will be receiving his Masters in Education on May 11.

“For all the years I’ve known Mak, he was nothing but a humble person and a great sport,” said 30-year-old Walter Omalza, a Chaminade senior and criminal justice major. “His hard work will never go unnoticed and will certainly be missed.”

Porotesano is thankful for the opportunity to serve Chaminade and especially working with students. He mentions how his experiences with Chaminade immensely changed his life in more ways than once.

“Words cannot express the impact Mak has had on the Chaminade community,” said Omalza. “He is one of my role models because of the change he has accomplished in our Pacific Islander community. Thank you Mak for being a great leader and God bless you as you embark on your new journey soon.”