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Aerial view of U H Manoa campus

 The winners of the 2022 University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Provost’s Strategic Investment Competition have been announced.

This year’s theme was “Building on Lessons Learned through the Pandemic,” and 13 programs were selected from 39 entries. More than $2 million has been awarded to the winning programs.

The competition is designed to increase cross-unit and cross-disciplinary collaboration in strategic areas that, with start-up funding, have a strong possibility for success in building on UH Mānoa’s strengths while also addressing challenges.

“This competition is just another reminder of the incredible people that make UH Mānoa one of the best universities in the world,” said UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno. “These projects reflect the very innovative approaches that our faculty and staff are using to address some of the most pressing issues facing Hawaiʻi, and to advance on our mission of E hoʻomālamalama i kō mālama, cultivating the potential within each member of our community.”

The first Provost’s Strategic Investment Competition launched in 2017 and provided start-up funding for a diverse set of initiatives, many of which have become ongoing programs that elevate the quality and impact of the university’s work. The previous winners from 2020 addressed innovation in lower-division course delivery and integrating the university’s top faculty and researchers into the undergraduate experience. This year’s winners are listed below.

The winners

ʻAhahui Noiʻi Noʻeau ʻŌiwi (ANNO) - Research Institute of Indigenous Performance

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This new research institute will build on lessons learned through the pandemic including addressing underrepresented worldviews and curriculum by online and hybrid accessibility to knowledge systems of Indigenous peoples in the Pacific. The work embodies three strands or maʻawe to achieve its goals: Maʻawe Mua (Scholarship and Publication), Maʻawe ʻElua (Curriculum and Archive), and Maʻawe ʻEkolu (Outreach and Recruitment). Through partnerships with faculty and leading Indigenous performance scholar-artists, ANNO will develop teaching modules on Indigenous performance studies similar to the Teaching Oceania series. To reach younger learners in our archipelago, ANNO will partner with the Office of Hawaiian Education and develop Hana Keaka (Hawaiian-medium theatre) curriculum. This effort will support Hawaiian language revitalization, sustain knowledge systems and cultural practices.

Collaborators: College of Arts, Languages & Letters, Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, College of Education, College of Social Sciences; Hawaiʻi Department of Education’s Office of Hawaiian Education, Haleleʻa Arts Foundation, the Hula Preservation Society, and the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at the Graduate Center of City University of New York (CUNY)

Assess & Improve Graduate Enrollment Marketing & Communication

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The overarching challenge facing graduate programs is that we have not yet invested in our broad messaging around UH Mānoa’s value proposition and the pursuit of a graduate education. This project will engage services of an external enrollment management firm to assess and assist us with building long term strategies focused on graduate enrollment marketing and communication.

Collaborators: Graduate Division, Office of the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management

Building an Open Access Corpus of Native Hawaiian (Kanaka Maoli) Scholarship to Support Student Learning, Remote & Hybrid Delivery of Instruction, & Reduction in Cost of Degree Completion

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This initiative will create an open access collection of Native Hawaiian published scholarship in monograph form, and build a search and discovery portal to showcase the collection so that Native Hawaiian scholarship is easily discoverable and organized according to a Native Hawaiian ontology (classification and explanation). This open access collection will support student success, online education, and centering Native Hawaiian scholarship as a key and important part of UH Mānoa’s commitment to being a Native Hawaiian Place of Scholarship.

Collaborators: Library Services, UH Press, Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, Office of the Assistant Vice Provost for Student Academic Success, Native Hawaiian Place of Learning Advancement Office

Curriculum-Based Biomedical Research Training Labs for Undergraduates

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This initiative consolidates the teaching talent, resources and facilities spread across the School of Life Sciences, the UH Cancer Center and the John A. Burns School of Medicine to create new teaching spaces and lab courses that meet the demand for undergraduate biomedical research training. There is great need for new UH Mānoa lab courses that engage students in a semester-long biomedical research project that leads to real, novel findings with potential therapeutic implications. By focusing on real research questions in the teaching lab, UH Mānoa can continue attracting top STEM students who expect a high-caliber education that prepares them for medical school or graduate studies and careers as biomedical researchers.

Collaborators: College of Natural Sciences, UH Cancer Center, John A. Burns School of Medicine

Finding Why: Bringing Life Design to UH Mānoa and Hawaiʻi High Schools

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Each year, thousands of high school graduates enter college as “the next step” without having first established clarity on precisely why it should be their next step, and without an ongoing process for self-understanding and personal wayfinding. This project will build and pilot a life design curriculum for Hawaiʻi high school students built on best practices from life design, purpose education and values education. We will leverage the strengths of the university to ensure that this curriculum is rooted in Hawaiʻi, built on an “intellectually safe community of inquiry” model, and uniquely tailored to the needs of Hawaiʻi high school students and future undergraduates.

Collaborators: College of Education, Mānoa Advising Center

He Hulu Makua: Preserving & Documenting Hawaiian Language Translation Mentoring Approaches

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There are two goals of this proposed project: to build capacity and increase access to Hawaiian primary source materials by documenting the training program for Hawaiian language translators; and to update the current Institute of Hawaiian Language Research & Translation website to fully ensure that this work is not lost with the passing of our mentors.

Collaborators: Native Hawaiian Place of Learning Advancement Office, College of Arts, Languages & Letters, Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge

Hoʻola Lako Pono: Restoring Holistic Abundance at Waialeʻe, Oʻahu

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This project seeks to build upon robust collaborations at Waialeʻe,, Oʻahu, a 135-acre coastal land area owned by UH, to develop Waialeʻe, as a site of resurgent education, research and resilience for the North Shore community and beyond. Cross-disciplinary programming for Waialeʻe, centers on place-based service-learning and engaged scholarship, where students, faculty, staff and affiliates grow their disciplinary knowledge by working and living in place. Waialeʻe, demonstrates how the university of Hawai‘i can meet its vast kuleana to ʻāina through community-based and community-supported work.

Collaborators: School of Ocean & Earth Science & Technology, North Shore Community Land Trust, College of Social Sciences, College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources, Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, College of Arts, Languages & Letters, College of Engineering, School of Architecture

Keala: Educational Career Pathways

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Creates new internships targeting underrepresented undergraduate students, particularly Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students, in receiving early career hands-on work experience. This program will provide paid-internships, student support and courses in five career pathways: urban and regional planning; public administration and non-profit; geospatial information science; anthropology and archaeology; and research and data.

Collaborators: College of Social Sciences, Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge

Legal Pathways Program (LPP)

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Designed for underrepresented undergraduate students considering law school, LPP will focus on exposing students to the benefits and possibilities of attending William S. Richardson School of Law and highlight the benefits of joining the Hawaiʻi legal community. With the goal of mimicking the law school experience to disabuse students of concerns or anxieties they may have about their capacity and capability to succeed, the mini-courses will be taught by our accomplished full-time faculty, both from Richardson Law and CSS. Students will be provided with important opportunities to meet and network with local leaders in the Hawaiian Bar and on the Bench. The summer intensive classroom, courtroom and community experiences will bolster self-confidence and academic preparedness for success in law school.

Collaborators: William S. Richardson School of Law, College of Social Sciences

Mauli Ola Initiative (MOI)

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A collective opportunity to nurture mauli ola of the UH Mānoa faculty, students and staff. Specifically, we focus on groups most devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic including Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Filipino faculty, students, staff and their families along with UH Mānoa faculty, students and staff with disabilities and their caregivers. To address health disparities among the focus populations, we return to ʻāina as a way to restore mauli ola. Through a series of hybrid (virtual and ʻāina-based) workshops, an inaugural Mauli Ola Summit, and funding for professional development opportunities, our primary goals with this Mauli Ola Initiative (MOI) are to: Foster and cultivate relationships with each other, with ʻāina, and across our areas of study and practice; (Re-)learn ʻāina-based practices as a method of restoring mauli ola; (Re-)establish support systems—social supports, emotional supports, physical supports, across the various realms of mauli ola—to maintain health and well-being as a practice.

Collaborators: College of Education, John A. Burns School of Medicine, UH System Center for Indigenous Innovation & Health Equity, Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, William S. Richardson School of Law

Micronesians Advancing in the Health Professions

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UH Mānoa is uniquely positioned to be the leading source of health and social welfare graduate education and training for the Pacific Region in order to increase the number of Micronesian health and social welfare providers both in Hawaiʻi and the geographic region of Micronesia. This proposal aims to develop and launch a needs assessment, resource mapping and a support structure to formalize pathways into the health and social welfare related degrees, particularly medicine, social work and public health.

Collaborators: Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health, John A. Burns School of Medicine

Moʻolelo Honua: A Hawaiian Language Immersion Earth Science Course for Kamaʻāina Communities Across the Hawaiian Islands

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The Hawaiian Islands are located in a unique geologic setting where Hawaiian language and knowledge are deeply connected to the natural environment. This proposed project aims to support kamaʻāina community engagement and student success in distance learning and outreach programs through the development and implementation of an online, Hawaiian language immersion Earth science course for Hawaiian language communities across the Hawaiian Islands. Exploring geosciences and moʻolelo (stories) of the Hawaiian Islands and Pacific region, this course will emphasize high quality, place- and culture-based sustainability research and education in the context of Hawaiian language.

Collaborators: School of Ocean & Earth Science & Technology, Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, College of Education, Outreach College, Honolulu Community College, Windward Community College

Pathways for Advancement of Pacific Islanders

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A program to boost enrollment, retention and graduation success of Pacific Islander undergraduate students, particularly in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine), and to integrate indigenous values into STEMM education and mentoring to foster inclusive excellence. UH Mānoa has invested heavily in programs aimed at increasing enrollment and graduation success of Native Hawaiian and Filipino students, resulting in significant gains. Similar initiatives to create opportunities for Pacific Islanders are urgently needed.

Collaborators: John A. Burns School of Medicine, Office of Multicultural Student Services/Student Equity, Excellence & Diversity, Student Academic Success/Online Learning Academy, College of Natural Sciences, College of Engineering, Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health

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