Class of 2016

Laura Dunn

Laura Dunn
BA, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (Religion, 2012)

Laura studied Indian religions with a primary focus on the Śakta-Tantric traditions of India while maintaining an avid interest in yogic mysticism. Her research was on the goddess Chinnamastā’s meaning and significance in modern Tantric thought and practice. She studied Sanskrit and Hindi to support her research.



Charissa Fabia
BA, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (Religion, 2010)

Charissa explored the role of traditional healers/shamans within the Ilokano community in diaspora and in the Philippines. She included her field work interviewing and observing three healers on Oʻahu, and historical research into the place of baglans in precontact Ilokano society.



Joanna Kim

Joanna Kim
BA, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (Religion, 2013)

Joanna studied East Asian Buddhism, particularly Korean Buddhism. Her research focused on the development of the Jogye Order after the end of the Japanese occupation through the Presidency of Park Chung Hee. Joanna also held interests in indigenous traditions and in their intertwining with transplant religions.



Sameer Vyas
BA, University of Western Ontario
(World Religions and Cultures, 2013)

Sameer studied Indian religious and philosophical traditions, and his primary area of focus was on the non-dual tradition of Advaita Vedanta. His research involved comparing and analyzing the teachings and understanding of the Self through the perspectives of three Advaitin teachers: Adi Shankara (8th century CE), Ramana Maharshi (20th century CE), and Mooji (21st century CE). Sameer also held an abiding interest in: the nature of self-identity, consciousness, mysticism, and contemporary religious and spiritual movements. He studied Sanskrit to assist in his research.