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The Provost’s Strategic Investment Initiative is a campus-wide competition 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. The inaugural competition, launched in 2017, provided start-up funding for a diverse set of initiatives, including the Center for Microbiome Analysis through Island Knowledge and Investigation (C-MĀIKI), which was funded with an initial investment of $700,000. Since that initial investment, C-MĀIKI has generated more than $11 million in extramural funding to support research and curriculum development. The second competition in 2019 focused on innovation in lower-division course delivery and integrating the university’s top faculty and researchers into the undergraduate experience. The focus of this year’s competition was Building on Lessons Learned through the Pandemic. We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 competition!

2022 Strategic Investment Initiative Winners

‘Ahahui Noi‘i No‘eau ‘Ōiwi (ANNO) – Research Institute of Indigenous Performance: 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 ma‘awe to achieve its goals: Ma‘awe Mua (Scholarship and Publication), Ma‘awe ‘Elua (Curriculum and Archive), and Ma‘awe ‘Ekolu (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. (CALL, Hawaiʻinuiākea, Education, Social Sciences; Hawaiʻi Department of Education’s Office of Hawaiian Education, Halele‘a 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 – The overarching challenge facing graduate programs is that we have not yet invested in our broad messaging around 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. (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. 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. 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. (Library Services, UH Press, Hawaiʻinuiākea, 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. This initiative consolidates the teaching talent, resources, and facilities spread across the School of Life Sciences, the UH Cancer Center, and JABSOM to create new teaching spaces and lab courses that meet the demand for undergraduate biomedical research training. There is great need for new UHM 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, UHM 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. (Natural Sciences, UH Cancer Center, JABSOM)

Finding Why: Bringing Life Design to UH Mānoa and Hawaiʻi High Schools – Each year, thousands of high school graduates enter college as “the next their 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. (College of Education and the Mānoa Advising Center)

He Hulu Makua: Preserving & Documenting Hawaiian Language Translation Mentoring Approaches – 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. (Native Hawaiian Place of Learning Advancement Office, CALL, Hawaiʻinuiākea)

Ho‘ola Lako Pono: Restoring Holistic Abundance at Waiale‘e, Oʻahu – This project seeks to build upon robust collaborations at Waiale‘e, Oʻahu, a 135-acre coastal land area owned by UH, to develop Waiale‘e as a site of resurgent education, research, and resilience for the North Shore community and beyond. Cross-disciplinary programming for Waiale‘e 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.  Waiale‘e demonstrates how the university of Hawaiʻi can meet its vast kuleana to ‘āina through community-based and community-supported work. (SOEST, North Shore Community Land Trust, Social Sciences, CTAHR, Hawaiʻinuiākea, CALL, Engineering, Architecture)

Keala: Educational Career Pathways – 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. (Social Sciences, Hawaiʻinuiākea)

Legal Pathways Program (LPP) – Designed for underrepresented undergraduate students considering law school, LPP will focus on exposing students to the benefits and possibilities of attending Richardson 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. (Richardson School of Law, Social Sciences)

Mauli Ola Initiative (MOI) – A collective opportunity to nurture mauli ola of the UHM 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 UHM faculty, students, and staff with disabilities and their caregivers. To address health disparities among the focus populations, we return to ‘āina as a way to restore mauli ola. Through a series of hybrid (virtual and ‘āina-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 ‘āina, and across our areas of study and practice; (Re-)learn ‘āina-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. (Education, JABSOM, UH System Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity, Hawaiʻinuiākea, School of Law)

Micronesians Advancing in the Health Professions – 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 Hawaii 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. (Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health, JABSOM)

Mo‘olelo Honua: A Hawaiian Language Immersion Earth Science Course for Kama‘āina Communities Across the Hawaiian Islands – 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 kama‘āina 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 mo‘olelo 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. (SOEST, Hawaiʻinuiākea, Education, Outreach College, Honolulu Community College, Windward Community College)

Pathways for Advancement of Pacific Islanders – 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. UHM 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. (JABSOM, Office of Multicultural Student Services/Student Equity, Excellence & Diversity, Student Academic Success/Online Learning Academy, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health)

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