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We are an interdisciplinary team brought together by a need to transform our  health and learning spaces.  We believe inclusive processes that utilize multiple perspectives to find proactive solutions is the way to move forward.  Together, caring for, and protecting one another, we are stronger.   Pūpūkahi i holomua. 

Kūpa`a Collective

E kūpaʻa kākou.


E kūpaʻa kākou.

E kūpaʻa kākou.

Meet Our Team


Pauline W. U. Chinn

Pauline W. U. Chinn is a Professor in the College of Education (COE) Department of Curriculum Studies at UH Mānoa.  Her research centers on place-based, culturally sustaining teacher leadership; the impact of teacher-developed curricula on student engagement and academic achievement;and studying Hawaiian language newspaper articles and related texts for STEM education and research.


Alika Keolaokalani Maunakea

Alika Maunakea is an Associate Professor of Epigenomics in the Dept. of Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Physiology at JABSOM. He applies interdisciplinary approaches to address health disparities in the community by integrating systems biology, biomedical lab research, and Hawaiian knowledge in partnership with community-based organizations.


Ruben Juarez

Ruben Juarez is a Professor in the Economics Department and a UHERO research fellow at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His research includes measuring the health, economic and well-being impacts of community-based programs around Hawai`i using a social network approach that incorporates the direct and indirect impacts.


Josette Kaleo Hanohano

Kaleolani Hanohano is a 30 year Department of Education veteran.  Her focus is on the development of Smaller Learning Communities, Academies, and `Āina-based Education.  She is also a Native Hawaiian & Indigenous Curriculum & Assessment Development consultant.


Alison Ka`ōlinokaimana Yasuoka

Ka`ōlinokaimana Yasuoka is a College of Education STEMS2 graduate student at UH Mānoa.  She has worked under Professor Chinn’s place-based, culturally sustaining teacher leadership program for the past 4 years.  Her commitment to the teaching profession is embedded in her aloha and support for her students, community-based partnerships, and networks. 


Riley Kauʻilani Wells

Riley Kauʻilani Wells is a Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering (MBBE) graduate student at UH Mānoa. Her research on public health in Hawaiʻi, as historically archived in Hawaiian language newspapers, is conducted in parallel with her laboratory research on epigenomics and gut microbiota for developing community-based strategies to address health disparities in Native Hawaiians.

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NSF Disclaimer:  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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