Taupōuri Tangarō named director of Hawaiian culture and protocols engagement for UH Hilo and Hawai‘i CC

University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Chancellor Don Straney and Hawai‘i Community College Interim Chancellor Joni Onishi jointly announced today the appointment of Taupōuri Tangarō, PhD, as director of Hawaiian culture and protocols engagement for both campuses.

“The appointment of Dr. Tangarō to this important collaborative position shows the joint commitment of UH Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College to Hawai‘i Papa O Ke Ao, the systemwide plan for UH to become a model indigenous-serving institution,” said Straney.

Tangarō served on the UH System taskforce that developed the plan in 2012 and currently serves as a member of the systemwide Hawaii Papa O Ke Ao Committee.

“Dr. Tangarō is well qualified to advise the leadership of UH Hilo and Hawaii Community College on implementing our respective Hawaii Papa O Ke Ao plans and collaborating on goals and objectives that benefit both campuses,” said Onishi.

Tangarō received his bachelor of arts in Hawaiian studies from UH Hilo, his master in education from Heritage College at Toppenish, Washington state, and his doctor of philosophy in interdisciplinary studies from Union Institute and University, Ohio. He graduated as a hula instructor, with the title Uniki Kumu Hula, from Halau O Kekuhi in 2007. He is a professor of Hawaiian studies at Hawaii CC and delivers the associate of arts degree in Hawaiian studies with a hula focus.

By using the halau (formal Hawaiian education) foundation to teach the hula degree program, he established Unukupukupu, the halau hula of Hawai‘i CC, over ten years ago. Tangarō and Unukupkupu have performed worldwide including at the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC; the 2012 International Union for the Conservation of Nature Congress in Jeju, Korea; and at the World of Shadow Theatre in Stuttgart, Germany, this past December.

Tangarō serves as director of the Kauhale Academic Village, described as an ‘ohana (family) of administrators, faculty, staff, students, their families, and the Hawai‘i Island community that contributes measurably to the success of Hawai‘i CC’s mission and outcomes.

In collaborative initiatives between Hawai‘i CC and UH Hilo, Tangarō is founder and director of the Unuolehua Academic Success via Kumu Hula Program, the Kīpaepae Hawai‘i Protocols Committee, the Haʻakūmalae-Hawai‘i Protocols Training, the Kukuena Hula cohort of Hawai‘i CC and UH Hilo to increase transfer students, and the Unuiti hula program to introduce K-12 grades to Hawai‘i CC and UH Hilo. He is co-founder and director of Hawaii Pāmaomao Indigenous Exchange and Engagement Program, and co-founder and co-director of the Uluakea Indigenizing Academic Process and Services of UH Hilo with Gail Makuakāne-Lundin, Director of Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center and Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Tangarō received the Native Hawaiian Education Association Educator of the Year in 2013, the UH Board of Regents Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010, the UH Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2010, and the UH Hilo Distinguished Service Award in 2006.

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