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.


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: Oral communication, Interpersonal communication, Intercultural communication, Health communication with ICT development, and Social Media research. Currently, I am working on the use of social media continuation on WeChat by using users and gratifications 2.0 as the main framework. 

Pamela Estell

Interests: My research interests center around the broad area of organizational communication, specifically strategic internal communication and PR aimed at improving employee engagement/motivation, and encouraging employee voice. Related areas of interest that have the potential to impact each of these phenomena in different ways include ICT use in organizations (specifically the development and use of Enterprise Social Networking Sites ESNS), knowledge sharing/management, and leadership behavior.

Alena Feeney

Alena Feeney

Interests:Alena’s research interest lies in understanding how ICTs (information communication technologies can be leveraged toward social justice. Applying an interdisciplinary approach that includes components of social informatics, community engagement, game theory, cognitive science, persuasive technologies and policy. Alena analyzes digital platforms, UX design and data science to educate and inspire the public towards action. Her Master’s degree from Washington State University, combined communication strategy, content creation and digital media to illuminate environmental issues. 

Stanislava Gardasevic

Interests: I am interested in exploring ways to create and visualize knowledge graph-based information system, in order to facilitate resource discovery and decision making. By applying participatory design research methods, I am aiming to create this technology for a particular user group, in this case- students of an interdisciplinary PhD program. 


Stacia Garlach

Interests:  I've been studying 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). The working title of my dissertation is Usability of preference-setting tools for online behavioral advertising: Mobile AdChoices and Facebook Ad Preferences. I am also interested in marketing communication, data visualization, and user-centered design. I have more than 20 years’ experience in marketing communication work, mostly for non-profit organizations. 

Crystal Boyce

Crystal Boyce-Gudat

Interests: As a librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University (small, private, liberal arts university in central Illinois), Crystal Boyce explored conducted research focused on academic library public services. Her publications include a data-focused investigation of the effect of a change in borrowing privileges on delinquent account management, an unobtrusive observation study of the two primary service desks in Ames Library, and a comparison of the expectations and perceptions of service at a joint IT-reference help desk. These studies grew out of her interest in library user experiences, specifically focusing on public services and service points. As a PhD student, Crystal is interested in exploring the intersections of libraries and information technology in higher education environments with a focus on how statistical analyses and algorithms reduce complexities and erase intersectional identities. Crystal is interested in studying how those reductions and erasures lead to discriminatory practices and policies in higher education environments, and what can be done about it.

Anis Hamidati


My dissertation project looks into an e-government-based scholarship program from the perspective of its recipients. It addressed the challenges and the workarounds conducted to obtain and complete the scholarship program. It also discussed the social learning process that recipients undergo as part of communities of practice.
Apart from working on my dissertation, I am part of a team of researchers in my home country of Indonesia that focuses on the Internet facilitated women empowerment through entrepreneurial activities with the use of social media. My other research includes how international students in Hawaii maintain a connection with their family back home, comparing corporate communication cultures in five countries; how online communities support local travel in Indonesia, and discourses in travel accounts.

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.

Matthew Kanekoa

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

Moshe Karabelnik

Interests:I am interested in the practice of using digital images in social media. I want to understand what people are doing with visual media in their everyday lives. Currently working on understanding the use of visual media in the creation of group identities in political conflict.  MA Film & Television you can always find me looking for new television shows and old art movies. 


Nyle Sky Kauweloa

Interests: My research interests sit at the intersection between games cultures and society. In particular, I study the development of college esports in the United States, and how greater institutional support for students’ interests in esports has raised important questions about the role of educational institutions, administration, and educators have in the development of students within this still emerging space of digital games and higher education. I taught two semesters of one of the first courses at UH to take a critical look at esports and its growing presence in society for America’s youth (Spring 2018, 2019).



Sajja Koirala

Interests: My research interest revolves around the field of human-computer interaction.  I am interested in studying media accessibility, specifically audio-description.  I am exploring the usage of audio-description in entertainment and education, and how it impacts information consumption for people who are blind or visually impaired.  I am currently working on a long-term project to audio-describe the brochures of all 420 national parks in the United States.

Dean Lodes

Interests: My research interests are a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR), and how a self-lead virtual university compares to both online and in-classroom educational systems. I am also interested to know how a person interacts in the virtual environment compared to a real, live environment, so human computer interaction (HCI) is also an integral part of my studies.

Keahiahi Long

Interests:I am passionate about how library and information science processes can support and elevate Hawaiian communities. My general research interests are Hawaiian librarianship and Indigenous information literacy instruction. My recent work included a focus on research support for Hawaiian Studies faculty, and Hawaiian language descriptive metadata.

Keikilani Meyer

Keikilani Meyer

I am interested in Hawaiian Librarianship, providing library services and resources to Hawaiian communities, increasing Native Hawaiian representation in the field of Library Information Science and Interdependent Operability

Stacy Naipo

Stacy Naipo

Interests: Archival Use Normalization for the K-12 student: Native Hawaiian Students as Community. 

As the Kamehameha Schools Archivist, Stacy has the unique opportunity to increase engagement with primary sources for the private, K-12 educational institution. Her research looks at the embedded K-12 archive as the best opportunity for contributing to the primary source education of students in primary and secondary school, and to disrupt colonial and hegemonic narratives. A review of the literature supports the hypothesis that the role of archivists and archives in the 21st century is ripe for revitalization in K-12 education, and that archival use normalization along the K-12 spectrum is a worthwhile endeavor in the educational realm of inquiry/project/student-based learning initiatives of the 21st century. 

Ellen Ng

Ellen Ng

Interests: Ellen Ng is a first-year PhD student in the CIS program. Her research interests include digital privacy, and regulation (GDPR, CCPA etc.), data governance as well as digital legacies. She also works for the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) as its economic development specialist – with a mission to grow the tech economy and workforce in the state. Ellen graduated with a B.So.Sci (Honors) and M.A in Communications and New Media from the National University of Singapore.

Branden Ogata

Branden Ogata

Interests: My research interests revolve around educational techniques and technologies, particularly in the field of Computer Science. My prior work has focused on the concept of learning by teaching.

Maggie Pulver

Interests: I am interested in Community Engagement and Network Science, as it relates to the building and maintaining of relationships that can support culture- and place-based education of Hawai'i's youth.

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

Dave Stevens

Dave Stevens

Interests:  I am a full-time Information Technology Instructor at Kapi’olani Community College (KapCC) teaching a range of technology related courses, including programming, databases, network security, project management, cloud-based computing, and ethical hacking. Prior to joining academia, I had a 20-year IT career, which included working as a programmer, website developer, project manager and cryptographer. My interest in cyber-security compels me to continually research, analyze, solve for, discuss, and educate on the ever-increasing number of vulnerabilities associated with most web-based applications that rely on user authentication for access. For my research, I want to focus on secure online voting systems and their secure implementation.


Yinan SUN

Yinan SUN

Interests: My research interests center around the broad areas of social informatics, cultural studies, and posthuman studies, specifically cultural affordance, cultural identities, and health informatics. In addition, my research methodology includes ANT (actor network theory), phenomenology, grounded theory, and community engagement. My research aims to examine how technology, people, and culture as practices influence each other.

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.

Shelbey Walker

Shelbey Walker

Interests:  I am a first-year Ph.D. student interested in researching video and digital games, digital communities, digital cultures, and social media. Specifically, I would like to examine the relationship between an individual's career choice and type of games participated in during their leisure time. My Master's Thesis examined the gaming habits and leisure activities of those within the agriculture industry to see if, how, and when farmers play farming video games. I have a background in Agribusiness: Animal Sciences (B.S. from Southeast Missouri State University) and Communications (M.A. from the University of Hawaii at Manoa).


Shanye Valeho-Novikoff

Interests: Hawaiian Librarianship; Hawaiian knowledge systems for LIS education; Indigenous Ecology within LIS education; Hawaiian culture and protocols; Social justice; Indigenous Knowledge and culturally responsive methods in information research; Indigenous Knowledge and the Library and Information Service sector and protocols; The impact of IT on Indigenous peoples; Digital technologies and cultural collections; Indigenous knowledge systems and digital ethics; Indigenous knowledge and database management.

Yiting Wang

Interests: My research interests focus on the theatrical affordances of social media. I look at the audience-creator relationships and how social media can function as a portable and personal theatre for people’s everyday presentation. My latest paper is Cross-Cultural Communication: Language Choice among International Couplehoods.  

Joel Wilf

Joel Wilf


For the past ten years, UH professor Dan Port and I have been studying how NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) provides assurance (i.e., confidence) in the quality, reliability, and safety of its mission systems. We came to focus on the role of assurance in mission decision-making – for example, deciding whether the guidance and control software was ready for testing on the integrated flight system and, later, if it was ready for launch and cruise operations. We examined how assurance reduced the uncertainty – and ultimately the risk – inherent in these decisions. Over the years, we developed a decision-based theory of assurance and its value to NASA. Through several research grants and papers, we applied this theory to better understand NASA mishaps and the mission decision-making factors that led to them. I’ve also applied these insights in my work at JPL, developing a new program for assuring the cybersecurity of mission systems. My current interest is in summarizing our theory of assurance, with supporting evidence, and illustrating one or more of its applications in my CIS dissertation.