UH degree: BA in political science ’73 Mānoa
Roots: Windward Oʻahu
Career: Executive director, Native Hawaiian Education Council
Accomplishment: Developing a framework for assessing educational program effectiveness
Family: Wife, physician Deborah Kippen, and three grown children
As the first Hawaiʻi representative and first native Hawaiian appointed to the Commission on Presidential Scholars, Colin Kippen hopes his national role brings recognition to a local holistic model for serving indigenous students.
The national commission annually selects up to 141 Presidential Scholars—outstanding high school seniors whose academic, artistic and public service accomplishments mark them as the country’s future leaders.
The federally established Native Hawaiian Education Council, which Kippen heads, seeks to evaluate and improve educational programs designed to improve the educational attainment of Native Hawaiians.
Both programs shed light on successful education, says Kippen, a longtime advocate for Native Hawaiians, American Indians and Alaska Natives. The key is mauli (wellbeing in body, mind and spirit), ʻike (knowledge in all subject areas, including language, culture, values and practices of the host culture) and kuleana (stewardship combining self reliance with contributions to family, community and the world).
Kuleana is a concept he knows first hand. The Punahou graduate put himself through law school and a master’s program at the University of Iowa. He served as a judge for Indian tribes in the Pacific Northwest, as chair of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee and in administrative roles with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.