Blaze Mancillas ’09 Lands Role in Golden Boy on CBS


Chaminade Alum Blaze Mancillas (BFA Communications, Performing Arts Minor ’09) will be guest-starring in the new CBS police drama Golden Boy (midseason premiere on Tuesday February 26 at 10pm EST) as Arroyo Jr., a cocky rookie NYPD officer who is the son of veteran officer Tony Arroyo. Blaze will debut in the episode titled “Young Guns,” airing Friday, March 8. Mancillas’ acting career began at Chaminade.

I think the hardest part about following your dream is figuring out what your dream is. Chaminade is a great place to discover your dreams because it’s a supportive environment that really empowers students to try everything… Once you figure out what your dream is, surround yourself with like-minded dreamers, never give up and don’t forget to have fun! – Blaze Mancillas, Actor

An Interview with Blaze:

What inspired you to become an actor?

Acting started off as a happy accident. A dear friend of mine and Dayton Exchange student Joe Melendrez sat me down on a bench at the Courtyard in Henry Hall and begged me to take his part in a show because he couldn’t manage the time commitment. I went in for a rehearsal just to try things out and the director, Bro. Gary Morris, liked what I brought to the table and took a leap of faith and cast me in a production of “Sylvia” by A.R. Gurney. At age 17 I played a married man going through a midlife crisis who falls in love with a stray dog. I’m not sure if I was very good but I had a lot of fun. Before I knew it I was changing my major and trying to sponge up all the knowledge I could from our talented and supportive performing arts department (Bro. Gary Morris, Fr. Robert Bouffier, Prof. Timothy Carney).

What would you say to someone (a student) who wants to follow their dream?

I think the hardest part about following your dream is figuring out what your dream is. Chaminade is a great place to discover your dreams because it’s a supportive environment that really empowers students to try everything. At Chaminade I competed on the Cross Country, Golf and Soccer teams as well as working in student government, the school newspaper and doing plays and musicals. That’s what college is all about: trying everything and thus learning about others and yourself. Once you figure out what your dream is, surround yourself with like minded dreamers, never give up and don’t forget to have fun.

I started at Chaminade studying Biology with ambitions to one day go to medical school. When I graduated I completed a degree in Broadcast Communications with a minor in Performing Arts on my way to getting my MFA in acting at Columbia University in New York City. If you had asked me if I would become an actor during my freshman year at Chaminade I would have laughed. You never truly know your potential until you give yourself a chance to succeed as well as a chance to fail. I find that I learn more about myself when I make mistakes.

What is the most interesting or remarkable thing to you right now about your participation in Golden Boy?

Aside from the endless tables of snacks and food on set I would say the most interesting part of being a part of project like this is the great deal of focus and attention everyone puts into their job. Being on set may seem a little overwhelming because there are a ton of people running around but each person has a very specific job that when done well enables others to do their own job to the best of their abilities. I didn’t need to worry about my costume, make up, hair or even what I was going to have for lunch. Not only was this liberating but held me accountable for my work. I was able to focus on the one job I was hired to do: act.

Do you have any anecdotes to share about Chaminade?

During my first show at Chaminade it was nothing short of a miracle that I didn’t fall asleep in rehearsals. After a long day of class I would have a sweat-drenched practice with the Cross Country team and then shuffle into the Loo Black Box Theater where I would rehearse and shovel cold Chef Boyardee down my throat. The Silversword Cafe wasn’t open after cross country practice so despite his disdain for lukewarm, canned pasta, Bro. Gary would allow me to eat my modest dinner when we had breaks between scenes.

Jessica Vork Receives International Study Abroad Award

Student profile

Jessica Vork, a Senior majoring in Biology, spent a semester immersed in the culture and language of Denmark. She received the Platinum Award Certificate for Intercultural Leadership from the Danish Institute for Study Abroad.

I chose to take risks, knowing they may very well be out of my comfort zone, accepting that I would be known as “the American.” To this day, I have yet to regret any of my choices. –Jessica Vork

Jessica Vork writes:

Upon my arrival in Denmark, I chose to strongly channel Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous words “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” While I should apply this mantra to my life as a whole, I saw the DIS study abroad program as an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I will never get a chance to redo and I refuse to have moments where I will wonder “what if” or “I should have.”

Fortunately, my study abroad experience was quite the opposite of being filled with terrifying moments. However, I do believe I have confronted fear in the face in a different sense. I consider myself to have a fairly passive personality and can be considered one who avoids confrontation. While I do still believe I possess some of those characteristics, I believe being in Denmark has made me a stronger, more courageous and confident women. For that, I couldn’t be more grateful.

I chose to take risks, knowing they may very well be out of my comfort zone, accepting that I would be known as ‘the American.’ To this day, I have yet to regret any of my choices. Each experience, whether it be living with a host family, volunteering at various events, or attending seminars I normally wouldn’t, has molded me into a person I have always wanted to become. I feel fearless, confident in my own skin and more active in pursuing my dreams whether it is to find my way to the nearest Lagkagehuset, to do better on my exam, or to take in every bit of Danish culture that time allows. It would have been much easier to take part in activities I was already accustomed to and comfortable with, while simultaneously immersing myself in the Danish culture. For example, at my home institution of Chaminade University, I was the captain of my soccer team before I chose to study in Denmark. Instead of relying on activities I was already extremely familiar with, I chose to immerse myself in those completely out of my realm, such as the Creative Painting Workshop with Anna Birk. I found these types of decisions to be very important in initiating my own cultural immersion.

Find out about Study Abroad opportunities at Chaminade.

Dominique Bocanegra Receives Founder’s Award

Student Profile

The Founder’s Award is annually presented to a student who has exhibited a commitment to Marianist values by his/her outstanding generosity, respect for others, and spirit of faith and who is an exemplary role-model for the Chaminade community. Chaminade University presented this year’s Founders’ Award to Dominique Bocanegra (Senior, Criminal Justice and Criminology with a minor in Business Administration).

My favorite inspirational saying is “don’t limit yourself.” Opportunities are endless, so don’t give up too easily, but also don’t be totally satisfied with what you have or what you’re doing because you can keep striving for more! –Dominique Bocanegra

Bocanegra has been an outstanding scholar as well as an athlete on the women’s soccer and softball teams, has served as the president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and has been a peer mentor and orientation leader since her sophomore year. Her faith values have been expressed in her participation in campus ministry activities, especially through the Los Angeles Immersion Program in January of 2012.

Bocanegra serves with a smile. A staff member wrote of her: “Dominique doesn’t belong to just one group of friends. She’s an athlete, staffer, student leader, orientation leader and immersion participant. Most of all, she’s friends with everyone. I think this is a unique and special skill to have.”

Interview, Domnique Bocanegra:

What is your career goal?

I want to work in the Corrections department, jails & prisons, to help those who want to change for the better and help them find a more promising life for after incarceration. I’d like to start/continue the programs that do this for inmates. In the end I just want to support those who need help getting back on their feet. If I could be able to intertwine the Criminal Justice field with the Business world somehow, I would be satisfied.

What inspires you to help people and make friends?

Diversity. Think about it. Every single person has their own family, interests, culture and stories just waiting to be told, and that is what inspires me to make friends. I want to experience and learn all about their lives so I keep an open mind to every person I come across. My inspiration to helping people just comes from the heart. Everyone deserves to be nothing but happy so if I can help do that I will. Happy people make for a happy world!

What is your favorite inspirational quote or thought?

My favorite inspiration quote is “don’t limit yourself.” Opportunities are endless, so don’t give up too easily, but also don’t be totally satisfied with what you have or what you’re doing because you can keep striving for more!

What makes you the happiest?

I like to be around happy people. Seeing and feeling the love in the air lets me know everything is okay and that it’s only appropriate to be happy with them.

What has been your high point at Chaminade so far?

Meeting and making life-long friendships. The culture here in Hawaii is so embracing that I am beyond blessed to have made some really strong relationships with people whom I call my ‘Ohana now.

Photo above: The Rev. George Cerniglia, S.M., Dominique Bocanegra, Brother Bernard Ploeger, S.M., Chaminade President.
News Release

Chaminade Projects Stand Out In National Research


Five Student Biology Researchers Honored at ABRCMS Conference
The awards just kept coming for Chaminade University student researchers at a gala dinner held this fall in San Jose, California. All told, 5 Chaminade students (out of 14 Chaminade students attending) were honored with a prize for their research efforts at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) national conference. The five accepted prizes in front of 1,600 undergraduate and graduate researchers from colleges across the nation.

Chaminade Students Mata’uitafa Faiai (Biology major), Mary DeVita (Biology major), Anthony Junker (Biology major), Alyssa Dixon (Biology major), and Katie Shewbart (Forensic Sciences major),were honored at the conference.

This gathering of over 1600 young STEM undergraduates, as well as prestigious graduate school and nationally-recognized researchers, sets the standard in recognition and resumé-building for those students who intend to enter PhD programs or medical school following their graduation.

Chaminade biosciences majors work with faculty mentors on projects at the university or with mentors at prestigious research institutions on the mainland, serving as interns in the summer.

“Research is such an integral part of our curriculum and enrichment experience for Chaminade majors in biology, biochemistry and forensics,” explained Helen Turner, Ph.D., Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Chaminade, “and to see their hard work recognized at the national level is fantastic.”

Their awards energize the program. Biology undergraduate Christina Linares said that now it’s time to get back to work: “I can’t wait to get back in the lab, get back on the microscope and start working towards next year’s conference.”

Fourteen Chaminade University student scientists attended the event, held in San Jose, Calif.

More about Biology and Biochemistry degrees at Chaminade

Endocrine Society Recognizes Biology Majors Alyssa Dixon, Maia Corpuz for Research


“Is this for real?”
was the first question in an email from Chaminade biology senior Maia Corpuz to her faculty mentor Dr. Jolene Cogbill.

Is this for real? – Maia Corpuz, Biology major and researcher

Corpuz received an email this week from The Endocrine Society, the nation’s premier scientific society for the study of endocrine disease (such as diabetes, reproduction, infertility, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and obesity). She and Chaminade colleague, biology major Alyssa Dixon, were selected for the Society’s prestigious National Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Research.

Every year more than 20 Chaminade undergraduate science students (majoring in Biology, Biochemistry, and Forensic Sciences) participate in fully-funded summer research experiences at prestigious mainland institutions. Student researchers also perform research in Chaminade’s own program, which focuses on Pacific health disparities such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, pre-term birth and liver cancer. Our cutting-edge laboratory and research facilities and a sophisticated biomedical curriculum help to prepare students for future careers in the biosciences, forensic sciences, and medicine.

Alyssa Dixon, Maia Corpuz

Alyssa Dixon (left), Maia Corpuz (right) explain their research

Alyssa Dixon (left), Maia Corpuz (right) explain their research.

Awardees, topics, mentors, laboratories:

Alyssa spent last summer at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and Maia travelled to University of California-San Diego Medical School.

Alyssa Dixon, Biology Major
Targeting Scr through drug combination therapy in Anaplastic and papillary thyroid cancer
Mentor/Project Lead: Rebecca Schweppe, Ph.D., assistant professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, & Diabetes at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Maia Corpuz, Biology Major
The Effect of Hypothalamic SirT1 Over-expression on Feeding and Reproductive Genes
Mentor/Project Lead: Nicholas J. Webster, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Research Facilities, professor of Medicine, and interim chief of Endocrinology at University of California-San Diego, Medical School

More about Biology and Biochemistry degrees at Chaminade