Author Archives: andy

New Scholarship Opportunity!

Scholarship opportunities for Pacific Islands language study for 2014-15
University of Hawai`i at Manoa
Earlier this week we received word that our application for Foreign Language and Area Studies Scholarships (FLAS) had been approved. The awards will be available starting with the current 2014-15 academic year. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent resident degree-seeking full-time UH-Manoa students who combine modern Pacific Islands language training with area/international studies. Awards include tuition costs and stipends and both graduate and undergraduate students are invited to apply.
The application deadline is 30 October 2014 
For further information and application materials please go to
FLAS information:
Application form:
Direct questions to myself (see below), or
Chizuko Allen
Fellowships Coordinator
School of Pacific and Asian Studies
Telephone: 956 2210

Pacific Islander Tuition Funding at UHM

At the end of spring semester 2014, UHM Chancellor Tom Apple and Vice Chancellor for Students Francisco Hernandez provided funding to meet tuition differential of 50% for Pacific Islander students at UH Mānoa, thus bringing fees to the equivalent of resident tuition. By completing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Pacific Islander students are automatically awarded the funding. Last semester, Dr Tina Tauasosi-Posiulai, Dr Lola Quan Bautista, and Dr Lufata Simanu-Klutz led an initiative with UHM Pacific Islander students to bring attention to the tuition differential.

Hawaiʻi Specialist Librarian Kapena Shim

Kapena Shim was born in Honolulu and raised in Southern California. After high school, Kapena returned to Hawaiʻi to study at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where he began a journey of connecting with the stories of his ancestors. These stories are a grounding source of inspiration and transformation for his work as a librarian. He believes libraries are lifelines for our communities because the rich cultural repositories of ʻike (knowledge) can empower Hawaiʻi’s youth and families. In 2010, he completed concurrent bachelor’s degrees in Hawaiian Studies and Hawaiian Language and a Master’s of Science degree in library and information science in 2013.

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The Hawaiʻi Specialist Librarian position became vacant in January 2012 with the retirement of longtime Hawaiian Collection curator Joan Hori. Kapena will join librarians Dore Minatodani and Jodie Mattos in the Hawaiian Collection, where his job duties will include collection development and management, library instruction, and reference. CPIS MA candidate Kealiʻi MacKenzie also continues to work in the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections as a reference librarian.

Baninnur: A Basket of Food

In collaboration with blackmail press in Auckland, the Center for Pacific Islands Studies recently published Baninnur: A Basket of Food, a special issue of the online poetry journal. The collection of creative works was guest edited by recent CPIS MA graduate Kathy Jetnil-Kijner and copyedited by CPIS GA Candi Steiner, this project was instigated and coordinated by CPIS Outreach Director Katherine Higgins. The special issue is available at

Making Micronesia: A Political Biography of Tosiwo Nakayama

Making Micronesia: A Political Biography of Tosiwo Nakayama, by CPIS affiliate faculty member David Hanlon (chair of the UHM History Department), is a biography of Tosiwo Nakayama, the first president of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Nakayama was born to a Japanese father and an Chuukese woman in 1931 on  Piserach, part of an atoll northwest of the main Chuuk Lagoon group. He grew up during Japan’s colonial administration of Micronesia and the US-administered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Nakayama studied at the University of Hawai‘i and in 1958 returned to Chuuk, where he quickly advanced through a series of administrative positions before winning election to the House of Delegates (later Senate) of the Congress of Micronesia. He served as its president from 1965 to1967 and again from 1973 to 1978. Nakayama was in the center of complex negotiations for FSM from local engagements wtih the US colonial presence to the creation of a nation-state against a fornidable array of local and external forces. Throughout the political story, Hanlon shares the remarkable story of the physical, political, and cultural distances that Nakayama negotiated. See Publications for more information.


Ancestral Places: Understanding Kanaka Geographies

Ancestral Places: Understanding Kanaka Geographies, by CPIS affiliate faculty member Kapāʻanaokalāokeola Oliviera (Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language), provides examples of how Kānaka utilize cartographic performances to map ancestral places and retain moʻolelo (historical accounts). In this book, Kapa offers a new framework in Kanaka epistemology and explores connections between Kānaka with their environment, tracing how moʻolelo and ʻāina inform a Kanaka sense of place. See Publications for more information.

The Art of Excavation

The Art of Excavation book cover

Leilani Tamu, the 9th Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer in Residence, recently published The Art of Excavation, which was one of her writing projects during her 2013 residency at the center. This book of poems uses the creative metaphor of excavation for reframing and retelling Pacific stories from her perspective. Leilani draws from her experiences as a mother, historian, former New Zealand diplomat, and columnist to delve into the complexities of the Pacific region. For more infomation, see Publications.

UHM-ANU Memorandum

In June, UHM Chancellor Tom Apple visited the Australian National University (ANU) and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ANU and UHM. The MOU enables programs for student exchanges and opens the way for research collaboration between the two universities, with potential collaboration between their respective libraries. The MOU was initiated by ANU faculty Dr Katerina Teaiwa (who is the Pacific Studies Convenor and a CPIS alum), Professor Margaret Jolly, and Nicholas Mortimer, with support from the Center for Pacific Islands Studies and the School of Pacific and Asian Studies.
Dr Teaiwa said, “This formalization of cooperation between two internationally renowned centers of Pacific research will help inspire students to imagine a future dedicated to engaging Oceania.
In November 2014, Dr Teaiwa will bring fifteen undergraduate and three graduate students to UH Mānoa for a Pacific Islands field school. The students will collaborate with students and staff at the Center for Pacific Islands Studies in areas of arts, heritage, and social issues.

Spring/Summer Student Activities

Congratulations to the center’s most recent graduates: Lesley Iaukea, Janniese Mulch, and Luseane Veisinia Moalapauu Raass.
Janniese Mulch’s capstone project focused on contributions made by Compact of Free Association (COFA) citizens to their families, especially teenagers who have jobs or provide unpaid services such as babysitting. Janniese’s service-learning project and research was with the Salvation Army Social Services Department in Honolulu, where she continues to work.

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Janniese Mulch and Alyssa Nakasone at spring commencement. Photo by Anna Oh.

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Spring/Summer Alumni Activities

Many students, alumni, and affiliate faculty members presented at the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association conference, which was held 28–31 May at University of Texas, Austin.
Kenneth Kofigan Kuper (CPIS MA, 2014) chaired “Decolonial Chamorro Studies: Language Revitalization, Sex Education, and the Trans-Oceanic Home” and presented “Na`la`la` I Hila`-ta Na`matatnga I taotao-ta”; also in that session, American Studies doctoral student Jesi Lujan Bennett (CPIS MA, 2013) presented “Taimanu Hu Ayuda I Tano`-Ta Yanggen Taigue Yu`: Chamorro Diaspora and Trans-Oceanic Sovereignty” and comment was provided by Craig Santos Perez (UHM English Department).
Congratulations to recent MA graduate Kenneth Gofigan Kuper and Francine Naputi, who welcomed their daughter Inina on 18 July 2014.
Hōkūlani Aikau (Indigenous Politics, UHM Political Science Department) presented “On being Malihini” in “Kānaka Maoli Methodologies” and chaired the session titled “Success at Settler U.”
Noenoe Silva (Indigenous Politics) presented “Towards Hawaiian-American Indian Diplomacy and Solidarity: An Update on Jodi Byrd’s ‘Satisfied with Stones’ in The Transit Empire” in a session titled “Indigeneity, Racialization, and Colonial Entanglements: Engaging Transit of Empire: Part 2.”

CPIS Welcomes New Students for the Fall Semester

We are excited to welcome Luseane along with Kaimana Bajados, Asalemo Crawford, Rolando Espanto, Joseph Halaʻufia, Gerald Ramsay, Dalaunte Stevenson, and Travis Thompson as graduate students at the center. We also welcome undergraduate students Tavita Eli, Kauanoe Kalili, Serena Michel, Erica Rosales, and Brandi Tarkong.
Diamond Kaimana Badajos is from Waipahū and earned a Master’s of Professional Journalism from the University of Oregon in 2014. She graduated from UH Mānoa’s Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hawaiian studies. Kaimana is interested in continuing research around the politics of sex—biological sex, gender, and sexual relationships—in Hawaiian culture before European contact and exploring present-day Kānaka ʻŌiwi relationships with their bodies as well as changing practices that have contributed to reformation of Hawaiian thought, perceptions of Hawaiian bodies, and ways bodies are used.

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Faculty Updates: Summer 2014

Lola Quan Bautista’s film Breadfruit & Open Spaces made its television premier on 17 July on PBS Hawaiʻi. See
In July, Alex Mawyer was awarded support from Digital Arts and Humanities Initiative’s Do/Dream project for the Moving Images of the Pacific Islands (MIPI) wiki. With technical support from this project, MIPI will return to the UH website and extend its functions and utility. Keep an eye out for MIPI updates. In August, Alex presented “Critical Issues of Pacific/Asia Film” as part of the Community Building Institute  (CBI) at the East-West Center. This year’s CBI was titled “Laulima: Linking Communities in Asia and the Pacific.”
David Hanlon participated in a workshop entitled “Pacific Futures: Pasts and Presents,” held at the University of Otago in Dunedin, Aotearoa/New Zealand, 19–21 June. He presented a paper entitled “A New Historiography for ‘a handful of chickpeas flung over the sea’: Approaching the Federated States of Micronesia’s Deeper Past.”  The workshop was sponsored by the University of Sydney’s Program on Race and Ethnicity in the Global South and the University of Otago’s Centre for Research on Colonial Culture.

Special Issue! The Contemporary Pacific (26:2)

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A special issue of The Contemporary Pacific (26:2), titled Global Sport in the Pacific, is forthcoming this semester. It is guest edited by CPIS affiliate faculty member Faʻanofo (Lisa) Uperesa (UHM Ethnic Studies and Sociology) and Tom Mountjoy (University of Bergen). This issue features a series of photographs by Greg Semu. Articles include:

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Upcoming Conferences and Meetings

2014 Papua New Guinea Symposium: PNG and the World

The fourth annual Alfred Deakin Research Institute Symposium on Papua New Guinea, “PNG and the World,” will be held in conjunction with the Pacific Adventist University at the Koiari Park campus, Port Moresby, on 15 September 2014. For more information, see

Combined ASAANZ/AAS Conference

The combined Association of Social Anthropologists of Aotearoa/New Zealand and Australian Anthropological Society conference will be held in Queenstown, Aotearoa/New Zealand, 10–13 November 2013. The conference theme is “Cosmopolitan Anthropologies.” The second call for papers and panels closes on 30 August 2014. For more information, contact or see

Sea-Change: Performing a Fluid Continent
The 2015 Oceanic Performance Biennial will be held 23 July–1 August 2015 at Auckland University of Technology and will focus on the sea as a performative site and changing ecology. The Biennial links into a global body of performance work addressing themes of fluidity and change and calls for works that address Pacific oceanic ecologies. For more information, see

2014 Conferences and Meetings

2nd Annual State of the Pacific Conference
The conference, hosted by the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program at the Australian National University on 18–19 June 2014, will bring together academics, policy makers, business leaders, civil society representatives, and the media to discuss the important nexus between research and policy. The conference themes include “Political Development” and “Innovation and Experimentation in Development”. For additional information, visit
OURMedia 2014
The Centre for Social and Creative Media at the University of Goroka will host the tenth OURMedia conference from 21–25 July 2014. The conference theme is “Diverse Communities Diverse Media” and will include dialogue among academics, activists, practitioners, artists, and policy experts about community media and media for social change. The OURMedia conference provides a space for collaboration in which needs and alternatives can be identified in the areas of communication and information infrastructure, policy, and research. For more information, visit

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“New Flags Flying: Pacific Leaders Talk about the Times of Change as They Remember Their Journeys to Independence and Self-Government,” by Radio New Zealand, provides an online website series of archival recordings of reminiscences of the leaders of 14 Pacific Island nations as well as “Perspectives of Pacific Women.” An introduction to the 16-part series sets out the general historical background; a final program deals with perspectives of Pacific women. Transcripts of each program are included.
“Social Network Analysis Project of Climate Change Professionals,” by Pacific RISA at the East-West Center, is a result of a multi-year social network analysis project to examine communication patterns and how climate information spreads across different sectors and countries in the Pacific Islands region. The interactive maps visualize networks across the Pacific to help identify gaps and areas that need to be strengthened, particularly for coordination efforts in the region. By tracking information flows, key hubs, and isolated groups using network analysis and statistical methods, the researchers are mapping out strengths and gaps in the delivery of climate information, allowing Pacific RISA and other groups to focus research and resources on areas that have been previously ignored.

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Available from UH Press

I Ulu I Ka ʻĀina: Land, edited by Jonathan K Osorio, is the second publication in the Hawaiʻinuiākea series, and it tackles the subject of the Kanaka (Hawaiian) connection to the ʻāina (land) through articles, poetry, art, and photography. The collection acknowledges Kanaka’s intimate connection to the islands and the alienation of `āina from Kanaka that accelerated and intensified over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Contributors include Carlos Andrade, Kamana Beamer, April Drexel, Dana Nāone Hall, Neil Hannahs, Lia O’Neill Keawe, Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, Noʻeau Peralto, Kekailoa Perry, and Kaiwipuni Lipe with Lilikalā Kameʻeleihiwa.
2013, 128 pages; ISBN 978-0-8248-3977-2, paper, US$16.00.
Gender on the Edge: Transgender, Gay, and Other Pacific Islanders, edited by Niko Besnier and Kalissa Alexeyeff, explores transgender identities and other forms of gender and sexuality that transcend the normative and pose important questions about society, culture, politics, and history. The dynamics of non-normative gendering and sexuality in the Pacific Islands are addressed alongside different social configurations, cultural contexts, and historical trajectories that generate diverse ways of being transgender across the societies of the region and also acknowledge that these differences are overlaid with commonalities and predictabilities. Contributors include Deborah Elliston, Reevan Dolgoy, Penelope Schoeffel, Makiko Kuwahara, Serge Tcherkézoff, Linda L Ikeda, Geir Henning Presterudstuen, Greg Dvorak (CPIS MA 2004), Mary Good, Sarina Pearson, Teresia K Teaiwa, Nicole George, Christine Stewart, and Sue Farran.
2014, 408 pages; ISBN 978-0-8248-3882-9, cloth, US$65.00; ISBN: 978-0-8248-3883-6; paper, US$35.00.

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Visitors to the Center and Pacific Events on Campus

On 17 January, the Pacific Writers’ Connection and UHM Department of English sponsored “Eye of the Albatross: Seminar with Carl Safina.” Dr Carl Safina is author of Eye of the Albatross (2003) and president of the Blue Ocean Institute.
The Department of Ethnic Studies’ Spring Colloquium Series began on 21 January with “Polynesia is Not a Project, Not a Place: Regenerating Indigenous Futures” by Dr Maile Arvin, University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Art and Visual Culture, University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr Arvin’s presentation examined how settler colonialism is much more complicated than a demand for Indigenous peoples to “go away,” and how we are all in the story of settler colonialism, even if we do not want to be there. She shared an eclectic visual archive of depictions of settlers, natives, and immigrants or “arrivants.” The event was cosponsored by Department of Women’s Studies and CPIS.

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Faculty and Staff Updates

A number of CPIS core and affiliate faculty played key roles in the latest annual meeting of the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO), which was held 4–8 February 2014 in Kona, Hawai‘i.
  • The Distinguished Lecture was given UHM Ethnic Studies Department Chair Ty Kāwika Tengan, who is also associate professor in the UHM Anthropology Department and a member of the CPIS affiliate faculty. As with all ASAO Distinguished Lectures since 2009, Ty’s talk will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Oceania.
  • CPIS Affiliate Faculty Member Lisa Uperesa, who is an assistant professor with the UHM Ethnic Studies and Sociology Departments, is incoming ASAO Board Chair; she organized a session titled “Theorizing Race and Culture in the Pacific.”
  • CPIS Assistant Professor Alexander Mawyer is the ASAO Program Coordinator; he also presented a paper in a symposium, “The Social Life of Rivers” and a presented an emerging paper titled “Nature’s Empires” in the working session “Naturalist Histories.”

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CPIS Alumni Network

The center would like to help establish an alumni network to help keep in touch, to host events in Honolulu and elsewhere, and to establish an alumni scholarship fund. If you are interested in helping to establish an alumni group and activities, please email Katherine Higgins at

Student News

Congratulations to the center’s most recent graduates, BA student Alyssa Nakasone and MA students Chai Blair-Stahn, Kenneth Gofigan Kuper, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Christine Manarpaac, and Jesse Yonover. We also had an honorary CPIS BA graduate, Tiffany Korrsen, who earned a dual degree in international relations and anthropology from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, by completing coursework at UH Mānoa.
Alyssa Nakasone at spring commencement. Photo by Stefanie Vivian Jim.

Alyssa Nakasone at spring commencement.
Photo by Stefanie Vivian Jim.

Alyssa Nakasone’s capstone project was “Pohnpei House: Healthcare and Wellness in Hawaiʻi.” Alyssa was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and served as a student marshal for the School of Pacific and Asian Studies at commencement. She returned to Pohnpei after graduation.

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Alumni Spotlight: Asuka Hirabe Hamakawa (CPIS MA 2011) Recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as an Unsung Hero of Compassion

After graduating from Boston University in 2004, Asuka “Aska” Hirabe Hamakawa was traveling when a series of coincidences brought her to Sāmoa, where she stayed for a few months in the village of Tafitoala. She returned to Sāmoa a year later and was shocked by the immediate and powerful effects of climate change. The experience drove her to change career paths from being a business consultant and, in 2008, she joined the Center for Pacific Islands Studies to pursue graduate research on climate change impacts on Tafitoala.
During her second year at UH Mānoa, the earthquake and tsunami hit Sāmoa. Within a week, Aska raised $16,000 in donations for relief efforts and then flew to Sāmoa to assist with reconstruction of homes and deliver aid. Aska returned to UH Mānoa and completed her thesis in 2011. “Rising Waves of Change: Sociocultural Impacts of Climate Change in the Village of Tafitoala, Sāmoa, in the Face of Globalization” draws examples from Tafitoala to illuminate the invisible, intangible, and immeasurable effects of climate change. Aska presented the “human” side of climate change and described the ways that local perspectives have too often been cast aside for numbers and scientific analysis. The final chapter of her thesis, “Looking into the Past for the Future” proposed ways to incorporate traditional knowledge and methodologies to deal with environmental degradation and adapt to climate changes in Sāmoa.

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Pacific Languages Grant

The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded funding to Andrea Berez (UHM Department of Linguistics) and Eleanor Kleiber (Hamilton Library Pacific Collection) for “Making Pacific Language Materials Discoverable: Identifying and Describing Indigenous Languages in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library Pacific Collection.” Andrea and Eleanor proposed the two-year project to develop precise catalog descriptors to improve discovery of materials held in the Pacific Collection. With more than 1,100 endangered Pacific languages represented in the Pacific Collection, the project aims to improve cataloguing for nearly 10,000 items and make this information accessible to language communities, documentary linguists, other catalogers, and the public.

2nd Pacific Islanders in the Arts: PACITA with Visiting Artist Dan Taulapapa McMullin

The 2nd Pacific Islanders in the Arts (PACITA) Showcase took place 16–20 April, thanks to the vision and perseverance of Loau Dr Luafata Simanu-Klutz (UHM Samoan Language and Literatures). PACITA included an exhibition and workshop by visiting artist and poet Dan Taulapapa McMullin, “Island-style” welcome ceremony, a film festival, and a “Parade of Student Poets, Actors, & Musicians.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Raukura Roa (UHM Māori Program) and Aaron Sāla (UHM Music Department) opened PACITA with a ceremony featuring song, oratory, and dance by faculty and students. Thursday included “Our Sea of Movies,” a showcase of short films and documentaries by Pacific Islander filmmakers curated by Michele Tupou (Kapiʻolani Community College) and Alice Te Punga Somerville (UHM Department of English). After the film festival, festivities continued at Mānoa Gardens with poetry, songs, and other performances by students.

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Expressing Oceania: Pacific Islands Scholarship on the Page, on the Stage, and Beyond

The 2014 Center for Pacific Islands Studies Student Conference “Expressing Oceania: Pacific Islands Scholarship on the Page, on the Stage, and Beyond” took place on 8 April in UHM’s Center for Korean Studies auditorium and in Hale Pasifika. The 2nd annual conference was organized by the center’s graduate assistants—Lee Kava, Jocelyn Howard, and Candi Steiner—to involve both undergraduate and graduate students.
Students from UH Mānoa, BYU–Hawaiʻi, and Chaminade University shared and demonstrated ways that they creatively engage with Pacific Islands scholarship. Panels covered topics including storytelling, poetics and politics, genealogy, and creative expressions and were facilitated talanoa style by CPIS graduate students to encourage open discussion.

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Pacific Verse

CPIS graduate assistant and MA student Leora “Lee” Kava initiated “Pacific Verse,” a project focused on developing and encouraging indigenous Pacific languages in songwriting. Lee, a poet and musician, has been looking for ways to promote Pacific language songs; she developed this series of events in the hope that it will lead to a music festival in the future. The project began in March 2014 with a song-writing and music composition workshop at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies and will continue in future semesters with public performances, recording sessions, and follow-up sessions with the participating musicians.
The workshop was facilitated by Aaron Salā, assistant professor of Hawaiian Music and Ethnomusicology in the Music Department, and Dr Raukura Roa, instructor of Māori Language in the Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures, with assistance from language partners Kamahana Keaola and Doris Tulifau, and Jason Mateo and Melvin Won-Pat Borja, CPIS MA students and co-founders of Pacific Tongues, a nonprofit organization that cultivates an active artistic Oceanic community.
As a community component of Pacific Verse, Lee conducted a workshop at Pālolo Community Homes as part of the Pālolo Pipeline program through the Pālolo ʻOhana Learning Center.
All events for Pacific Verse are free, and the only requirement for participants is that they be proficient in at least one instrument (including voice) and be interested in working with indigenous Pacific language(s). Pacific Verse is sponsored by the Center for Pacific Islands Studies and the Office of Student Equity, Excellence and Diversity (SEED).
Lee Kava with workshop participant Britanica Sene and Samoan language partner Doris Tulifau. Photo by Yu Suenaga.

Lee Kava with workshop participant Britanica Sene and Samoan language partner Doris Tulifau. Photo by Yu Suenaga.

Latest Two PIMS Books Launched

On 6 March 2014, the latest two volumes in the Pacific Islands Monograph Series (PIMS) were launched during a gathering in the offices of the Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center. To celebrate the new publications, PIMS Editor Tarcisius Kabutaulaka and Managing Editor Jan Rensel arranged a forum with presentations by authors David Akin (University of Michigan; author of Colonialism, Maasina Rule, and the Origins of Malaitan Kastom) and David Chappell (UH Mānoa; author of The Kanak Awakening: The Syncretic Anticolonialism of New Caledonia’s Red Scarves) on anticolonial resistance in Melanesia. David Hanlon of the UHM Department of History introduced David Chappell, and Geoffrey White of the UHM Department of Anthropology introduced David Akin. Carol Abe represented the University of Hawai‘i Press, which copublished the books with the Center for Pacific Islands Studies in late 2013. Warm thanks to all the cosponsors of the event as well as to all the volunteers who set up the reception and book sales tables afterwards.


PIMS Managing Editor Jan Rensel (far left) and PIMS Editor Tarcisius Kabutaulaka (second from right) join authors David Akin and David Chappell at the launch. Photo by Alan Howard.

PIMS Managing Editor Jan Rensel (far left) and PIMS Editor Tarcisius Kabutaulaka (second from right) join authors David Akin and David Chappell at the launch. Photo by Alan Howard.

Pacific Islander Student Tuition Initiative

This semester students, faculty, and staff launched an initiative for Pacific Islander students to pay in-state tuition rates at UH Mānoa. The Planning Committee for the Pacific Islander Students Tuition includes Loau Dr Luafata Simanu-Klutz, Dr Tina Tauasosi-Posiulai, Aumuagaolo Ropeti Ale, Samalaulu Chrissy Lam Yuen, Brian Alofaituli, and Dr Lola Quan Bautista.
The intake and retention of Pacific ​I​slander​ students at UH Mānoa​ have been negatively affected by a policy decision by the UH Board of Regents that went into effect in 2007. For many years prior to that time, students from Island countries without their own colleges and universities paid in-state tuition rates. Today they pay 150% of resident tuition. At the time of the increase, the Regents assured that there would be access to alternative scholarship funds to pay for the differential. But many students have not received such assistance. Given escalating tuition costs and the lack of economic opportunities at home, the initiative to reinstate in-state tuition can only result in an increase in the number of Pacific ​I​slander​ students attending and successfully completing a program of study at UH Mānoa.
Pacific Islander students collected more than 1,700 signatures in support of the initiative. Dr Tina Tauasosi-Posiulai at the UHM Office of Multicultural Student Services collected testimony from students, staff, and alumni to support the petition, which was delivered to the Board of Regents. In April, the planning committee and Pacific ​Islander​ students delivered an information session to the Board​ of Regents Committee on Student Affairs​ to request that they be again allowed to pay resident tuition. As the committee representative, Lola provided information on the current tuition rate for Pacific Islanders, graduation and retention rates, and percentage of students awarded scholarships, as well as how many Pacific Islander students recruit and actively encourage more of Hawaiʻi’s high school graduates to remain in the state and attend the college at the UH system campuses. Pacific Islander students at UH Mānoa also provide outreach to Pacific Island communities in Hawaiʻi, often focusing on some of the most underserved, such as those in Waipahu on Oʻahu.
Students, faculty, and staff after the April meeting. Photo by Zachary Villanueva.

Students, faculty, and staff after the April meeting. Photo by Zachary Villanueva.

Pacific Islands Studies Undergraduate Capstone

For the first time since the center’s BA program began in 2011, the senior capstone ran as a course (PACS 401) rather than as a one-on-one project with faculty. PACS401 requires BA candidates to complete community-based research projects and give presentations on their processes and outcomes. Dr Lola Quan Bautista and Dr Julie Walsh designed the course to build on service-learning experiences gained through 200- and 300-level courses. At the beginning of the semester, representatives from local Pacific Islander and Hawaiian organizations came to the PACS 401 class to discuss potential projects. Hamilton Library’s D Kealiʻi MacKenzie (CPIS MA candidate) played an important role, as he described:
“This semester I had the privilege of volunteering my time as the embedded librarian for PACS 401, in which students have a capstone project combining research with service learning. The class consists of ten students from various backgrounds and connections to the Pacific region. I worked with Professor Bautista to come up with ways I could support the class. First, along with Dr Julie Walsh and Malia Nobrega-Olivera, I was on a panel that provided feedback and commentary on student projects. Second, I conducted a library instruction session on search strategies and standard Pacific studies resources. Third, I created a library guide for PACS 401, based on my instruction session with students and a survey they took. Finally, they were each required to meet with me twice for hour-long sessions to develop research strategies as they encountered difficulties in their research process, such as finding relevant sources for their papers. This has been a highly rewarding experience and it was a real pleasure to get to know the PACS 401 students, their academic interests, and their service-learning interests.”

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