I was non-traditional student who returned to school at the University of Hawai’i after moving to Honolulu from Florida. I have always been interested in history and culture, but I wanted a contemporary edge to these interests; the American Studies Department curriculum offered this perfect combination. For my senior capstone project, I have chosen to analyze the commemoration of Hawai’i’s 50th anniversary of statehood. This project involves an investigation of Hawai’i’s history, Native Hawaiian issues such as land rights and sovereignty, and how statehood has benefited, or not benefited, the people of Hawai’i. After graduation, I hope to attend graduate school on the east coast and pursue a career in education.