Students come from all over the world to participate in this unique program. The diversity of students obtained through our international recruitment enriches the experience for all students and faculty. Many of our students and faculty study cultural issues or issues specific to the Asia-Pacific region, so the presence of a contingent from Asia is appropriate, along with students from other countries and local residents.

An important criterion for an interdisciplinary program is the disciplinary mixture of incoming students. Applicants are required to hold a Masters’ degree. The degrees held by students have included Communication, Business Administration, Computational Sciences, English, Library Science, Economics, Engineering, European Studies, Philosophy, Public Administration, Public Health, Systems Management and many others.

Coupled with the diversity of participating units and the focus areas, CIS is truly an interdisciplinary nexus.


Weranuj Ariyasriwatana

Interests: I am interested to combine Communication Theory, especially Intercultural Communication, with Biomedicalinformatics. My interests also include Swarm Intelligence, ICT Policy & Planning, Communication Rights, and Participatory Development Communication.

Jennifer Beamer

Interests: Scholarly Communications and Publishing, Open Access, Institutional Repositories, OER, Open Data, Bibliometric, Infometrics, Scientometrics, Altmetrics, Metadata (XML, Linked data), Research Data Management. Digital Initiatives and Information Technology Librarian UH Manoa Library, HICSS Doctoral Fellow 2017, Affiliate Member Center for Japanese Studies.

Website: ORCID page

Shiqing Cao

Interests: Intercultural Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and Health Communication with ICT development

Kanekoa Crabbe

Caterina Desiato

Interests: Diversity and power on the Internet; Ethical aspects of Information Technologies, particularly issues of privacy and control, the appropriation of the social web for personal and social change, and sociotechnical conditions for diverse online political deliberation; and Cross-pollination of methods and concepts from Philosophy, Communication, Network Analysis, and Gender Studies.


Sara Douglas

Interests: Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Medical and social informatics, device product design and evaluation, usability, accessibility, information visualization, attention and cognitive load. I am interested in interdisciplinary collaboration with both the medical field and software engineering field to better understand how to integrate HCI into the software design lifecycle, including evaluation of medical devices.

Pamela Estell

Stanislava Gardasevic

Interests: Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS), Semantic Web, Information Classification, Digital Libraries.


Stacia Garlach

Interests: I have been examining online advertising and its implications on consumer data privacy, from both a communication policy perspective (regulatory framework), and a human computer interaction perspective (design aspects of usable privacy and security). I am also interested in marketing communication, data visualization, and user-centered design.

Matthew Kanekoa

Interests: digital libraries, library technology, library services, informatics, and communications.

Nyle Sky Kauweloa

Interests: My overarching research interests sit at the intersection between gaming cultures and society. This includes looking at competitive video-gaming and e-sports as a tech. & social phenomena in the United States and South Korea. I'm also interested in looking at the nexus between sport and leisure, and looking at where exactly does the professionalization e-sports fit between the two. Other research interests include looking at personal streaming sites (such as Twitch) as a platform for gamers to broadcast personal streams of their own game-play, and the role of audiences in such digital environments.


Kay Hamada

Interests: Technology in Academic Advising, ICT Assessment, Social Informatics, Online Communities & Popular Culture

Anis Hamidati

Christina Higa

Ms. Christina Higa is the Associate Director of the Telecommunications and Social Informatics Research Program (UH TASI) and Co-Director of the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center of the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI), University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM).

Interests: information communication technology for development and specifically the application of Health Information Technologies to assist in the reduction of health disparities in remote and rural areas in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. Focal areas include the application of health informatics, telehealth, electronic health records, and health information exchange for improved access to health care, cost efficiencies, and outcomes. In particular, Ms. Higa’s research includes focus on Chronic Care Models and the potential for health information technology innovation to integrate clinical, public health, community, and self-management programs.

Kelly Holden

Interests: My research focuses on types of engagement in health care and how different influencers can modify and moderate engagement at different levels (micro to macro). Keywords: Information Technology (IT), Healthcare, health communication, health behavior, patient engagement, consumer engagement.

Kelsea Hosoda

Interest: Natural Language Processing applied to Hawaiian Language.


Ryan James

Interests: My research interests include digital libraries, electronic books, and the digital representation of cultural objects. The data sources I've used so far are library catalogs and collections and digital library collections. The methods used are primarily based on the analysis of metadata and image files. My work is interdisciplinary because it combines library science, information science, and the study of culture.

Philipp Jordan

Interests: IT and Healthcare, in particular the potential of assistive technology to both support and/or stimulate dementia patients using their remaining individual memory as well as integrate their (informal) caregivers around in a home caring environment.


Joanne Loos (Romero)

Interests: My research focuses on the intersection of wearable information technologies (IT) and health communication. In particular, I concentrate on communication between patients and physicians, looking at things such as patient participation and the physicians' perspective. The wearable IT that I study can be used for patients who might otherwise have trouble communicating their health information to their physicians, be it from a lack of motivation to get involved with their health or with discussions about their health, health literacy issues, disabilities, insecurities, problems related to recall, factors related to language, and so forth. My research seeks to answer the question of how patients and physicians can better communicate with each other and what role wearable IT may play in this process. Keywords: wearables, information technology, health communication, physician-patient communication, personal informatics, social media, health behavior, consumer informatics, patient engagement, patient participation.

Lila Loos

Alexis Meyer Keikilani

Julie Motooka

Interests: digital libraries, information retrieval


Stacy Naipo

Ashiyan Rahmani-Shirazi

Interests: I am primarily interested in how women in rural communities in the Pacific region use mobile devices to interact with community radio for the purpose of social and economic development. My teaching interests include 'Global Communication' and 'Communication for International Development'. Keywords: ICT4D for rural women in the Pacific, Radio in the Pacific, Mobile devices for Development, Media & Communications History, and Pacific Islands Research Methods


Wiebke Reile

Interests: Social Media, Social Informatics, Social Movements, Digital Democracy, Social Change, Communication Theory, Digital Citizenship, Communication Rights, Broadcast Journalism, Media Literacy, Media Studies, Audience Research, Video Production, Documentary Film, and Radio.


Terence Rose

Interests: Library Services to Special Populations (focusing on Issues of Access to Information, Communication Rights, and the Right to Read), Assistive/Adaptive Technologies, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and NLS's Digital Talking Book Program

Alicia Takaoka

Interests: My research interests are social informatics, communicative and cultural memory, ethics in online communities and technology, writing for science and technology, learning technologies, social computing, transitioning from an in-person to online presence, gender in STEM, and human-computer interaction.

Shanye Valeho-Novikoff

Michelle White

Joel Wilf

Taunalei Wolfgramm (Kau)

Interests: Social informatics, communication policy (in governments, organizations, and the socio-technical relationship it has in education), online role development in chat sessions with a primary focus on identification and the implications of it, and cyber assurance. Current research involves building a taxonomy to identify various leadership roles that informally immerge through interactions in online chat sessions. This study seeks to examine whether identifiable communicative patterns are evident through a content analysis that correlate to certain informal roles within the chat environment. This interdisciplinary study seeks to look at communication that has traditionally been studied in offline face-to-face settings and look at it through the lens of social informatics and social network analysis.

Jonathan Young

Interests: My interests lie at the intersection of information science and communications. Specifically, I am studying the behavior of scholarly publishing networks, in the hope that we can understand and predict the direction of scientific progress. Ultimately, this might allow the creation of indicators that can highlight important scientific works quickly, a tool that becomes more and more necessary as the amount of information produced increases with each year. I use diverse methods in my research, including traditional bibliometric analysis, social network analysis, and communication theories. The CIS program has given me the opportunity to learn and make use of these various fields (Communications, Information Science, Library Science, Biomedical Informatics), apply them to this research question, and integrate them into a new and powerful interdisciplinary tool.