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80th Anniversary Publication






In 2016, we will be celebrating our 80th anniversary with a renewed commitment to educational excellence for achieving social justice. This special publication we have produced links our past, present, and future by tracing our historical legacy, highlighting the foundation of our contemporary work, and envisioning growth for tomorrow. Within the broad goal of social justice, there are enduring themes of education that are intricately woven in the tapestry of our school. They include: respect for diversity as a strength of the global community; a­ nity and rootedness in a Hawaiian place of learning; recognition of the transforming capacity of technology; and steadfast engagement with multiple partners who dream as we do. While the dream of social justice is anchored in the hearts of individuals who reside in their own homes, it is perhaps best ignited by the collective of people who form the village. We ask for your kokua in creating educational hallmarks for the strongest village that will malama the people of Hawai‘i, the nation, and our global community.


Noreen Mokuau
Myron B. Thompson Social of Social Work
University of Hawai‘i at Manoa



Social work is near and dear to me. My father was a professional social worker who, later in life, moved into university teaching. He eventually retired from the Social Work faculty at Loyola University in Chicago. I saw firsthand the positive contributions he made—both as a practitioner and a teacher.

When I came to Hawai‘i in 1977, one of my first connections was with Oscar Kurren, a UH Manoa professor of social work who helped me get situated for a one-year contract at the university. I never left.

So I convey warm personal congratulations to the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work on its 80th anniversary. As UH’s former Chief Information Officer, I am also delighted that the School’s Distance Education option lets students pursue MSW degrees across our islands. They are learning and interning in their home communities—because social work is near and dear to them, too.


David Lassner
University of Hawai‘i



On its landmark 80th anniversary, the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work deserves recognition for its many impressive accomplishments. Health sciences and social welfare are a central commitment of the university, and the MBT SSW is a key part of the increasingly important interdisciplinary research and inter-professional educational opportunities in these areas. As a UH Manoa school, they have the second highest enrollment percentage of Native Hawaiians. And Noreen Mokuau is the first Native Hawaiian to serve as the dean of a school of social work.

Even its home in stately Gartley Hall is a beacon of light. During ceremonies for the renovated building’s grand opening and blessing in November of 2014, guests marveled at the modernization of instructional and office facilities, which had been done in an energy-efficient, sustainable manner.

To social workers past, present and future—who proudly call or will call the school their beloved alma mater—we convey a heartfelt aloha.


Robert Bley-Vroman
University of Hawai‘i at Manoa



Myron B. Thompson
School of Social Work
University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
Gartley Hall
2340 Campus Road
Honolulu, HI 96822


Noreen Mokuau, DSW
Dean and Barbara Cox-Anthony
Endowed Co-Chair in Aging


Theresa Kreif, MSW, LSW
Assistant to the Dean


Dean’s Advisory Council


Claire L. Asam PhD
Trustee of the Queen
Lili‘uokalani Trust and Executive
Director SchoolRise, Hawai‘i Division


Suzanne Chun Oakland
Senator, State of Hawai‘i Legislature


Claire K. Hughes DrPH, RD
Health Advocate


Caroline Wade Oda PhD
Transformation University


Janis Reischmann MSW, MBA
Executive Director of Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation


Laura Lucas Thompson
Community Volunteer


Sharlene Tsuda
Vice President,
Community Development,
The Queen’s Health Systems


Pacific Basin


Sharon Spear


Kathryn Drury Wagner
Darin Isobe
Creative Services Director


Wes Funai
Assistant Creative
Services Director


David Croxford
Senior Staff Photographer


Odeelo Dayondon
Assistant Staff Photographer


Chuck Tindle
Circulation Director





Social Work Education

From Hale (House) to Kauhale (Village)


Social work supports people in need. The people who benefit from social work are our ‘ohana and neighbors who experience devastating problems of poverty, homelessness, and domestic violence; debilitating illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and dementia; and traumatic natural disasters. Social work will reach people in their homes and communities to foster personal growth, community enrichment, and social justice. We believe that when we lift the most vulnerable among us, we lift the entire global community. In this manner, social work lives the Hawaiian meaning of kakou – an inclusive word that refers to “collective, ours, we.”

At the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, we are committed to educational excellence that grows social work to address complex human needs. As a land-grant institution, we hold a special kuleana (responsibility) for building the educational capital and workforce that prioritizes social justice for our local and regional communities, but also has relevance for the global enterprise. Inherent in our kuleana is the deep appreciation of diversity as core to achieving an inclusive and enriched learning environment. Seventy percent of our students are residents of Hawai‘i, from more than 20 racial/ethnic groups, with Caucasians and Native Hawaiians as the largest groups. The overwhelming majority of our students return to their communities in Hawai‘i to contribute to the amelioration of social problems. Similarly, our faculty and staare racially/ethnically diverse in ways replicating Hawai‘i’s population. The work of our faculty in instruction, research, and service contributes heavily to new knowledge in social work that is rooted in the mission of social justice and is culturally-focused, community-based, and interdisciplinary in scope.

Some hallmarks of the school:

  • We are the only school of social work in the Pacific Basin with three educational programs articulating undergraduate and graduate education – BSW, MSW, and PhD.
  • In 2012, we ranked in the top third of all accredited masters’ programs in the United States, and our distance education option is ranked among the top 10 online social work programs.
  • In 2014, we collaborated with senior partner, the John A. Burns School of Medicine, and acknowledged our largest National Institutes of Health research grant award of $15 million on health disparities in Hawai‘i.
  • In 2013 and 2015, we received our first two endowments: the $1 million Richard and Rose Takasaki Endowment in Social Policy, and the $2 million Barbara Cox Anthony Endowment in Aging.
  • In 2014, we became the new stewards and tenants of the historic Gartley Hall, a building that has a Certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) providing an energye efficient platform.

We stand pa‘a (steadfast) in our commitment to grow social work through educational excellence, and we strive to do this by expanding our hale (house) to become a kauhale (village). At UHM, the kauhale now includes the Office of Public Health Studies and the Center on Aging, and in our communities, it remains the multitude of partnerships that we are privileged to be a part of. The success of our kauhale is predicated on connecting with our historical legacy, creating the bold strategy to foster educational excellence, and investing in a future that grows the next generation of social workers.


Our Story

From our founding in 1936 to today, the School of Social Work has been serving the people of Hawai‘i—and people across the Pacific region.


Social need among vulnerable populations was high in early 20th century Hawai‘i. There had been dramatic changes after the overthrow of Queen Liliu‘okalani and subsequent illegal annexation of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i to the United States. While social service and charity agencies were proliferating within the Islands, there were few people who were actually trained in social work. Recognizing the need for skilled workers, the Sociology Department of the University of Hawai‘i began offering social work classes in 1922. From the very beginning, these courses required fieldwork, focusing on how students could give back to vulnerable communities while also receiving training. Administrators soon saw the benefits that the social work courses were providing.

In 1948, a one-year certificate program was accredited by the American Association of Schools of Social Work, and by 1950, a two-year masters in Social Work program was approved. The early curriculum focused on case management approaches, and as the course offerings grew, more courses examining the social conditions and cultural aspects of social work practice with a diverse community were included. Priority in enrollment was given to people already working in social service jobs in the community and who could most directly pass on the benefits of their education to their clients. Leaders of social service agencies, state public health agencies, and local scholars all taught classes and contributed to the social work curriculum. The school also maintained its commitment to the community in return, collaborating with Queen’s Medical Center to bring medical social work content into the curriculum, with Palama Settlement to give students experience with group work, and with Child and Family Service and Catholic Charities, among other partners, to enhance case management training. From its inception, the school also had a strong focus on research, including studies of the social conditions of different racial/ethnic groups, housing, juvenile delinquency, and social work practice efficacy. The commitment to understanding diversity and the importance of culture in social work practice continued to develop into the 1960s and received national attention.

In the 1970s the school recognized the need in the community for entry-level professionals with applied training, and created an undergraduate degree program. The program was approved by the Board of Regents in 1976 and welcomed its first cohort of students in 1977. From the early decades, when cohorts were just 30 students per year, the school has grown to over 200 students per year. With the social changes brought by the 1960s and 1970s regarding Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, and the “War on Poverty,” the social work curriculum also changed to include more community-based and policy-focused courses. These changes shifted the focus on social workers being “technicians” who delivered social services, to leaders in social welfare services and policies. In the 1970’s and onward, research at the school emphasized the effectiveness of clinical practice with a focus on accountability and evaluation.

The 1970s were a time of great social movement in Hawai‘i as well, with the emergence of what is now called the “Hawaiian Renaissance,” the movement advocating for the recognition of the rights and value of Native Hawaiians and their cultural practices. Recognizing that the more Western style social work methods were not always effective with Native Hawaiian clients due to deep and pervasive structural and social inequalities and cultural misunderstandings, alumni of the School of Social Work, such as Myron B. Thompson, worked to uncover, teach, and bring indigenous healing practices into the field of social work.

Since the 1980s, the school has broadened its focus to include not only the people of Hawai‘i, but also the places where many of Hawai‘i’s people have come from, becoming a school with an emphasis on international and cross-cultural exchanges. Many of the problems encountered by the people of Hawai‘i were also being shared by peoples across the Pacific. By examining these social issues in a larger frame, the school can do more to train a workforce to challenge and change the social conditions that impacted a much broader set of people, while ultimately supporting and reinforcing those changes in Hawai‘i. In particular, the MBT SSW retained its focus on the Pacific, creating teacher exchanges, research opportunities, and community connections with various nations, including Western Samoa, Palau, China, Korea, Japan, and Cambodia, among others. The MBT SSW has also deepened the commitment to honor and preserve the knowledge of indigenous peoples, with a focus on Native Hawaiians, through programs such as the Hawaiian Learning Program and the Native Hawaiian Interdisciplinary Health Program, which offer the opportunity for students to learn more about indigenous healing practices and approaches.

In response to the need for more highly trained researchers of social welfare issues and problems in a local and global context, the PhD program was created in 1991. At the same time, the MBT SSW continued our excellence in research in areas such as gerontology, social policy, work with vulnerable children and families in child welfare and/or juvenile justice settings, and health disparities among vulnerable populations in the state.

The MBT SSW has roots embedded deeply within Hawai‘I, and has grown and changed alongside the communities it serves. But our focus has never wavered from providing the highest quality social work training and research that blends an understanding of individual concerns within the challenging social contexts and structures that make up the unique experience of living and working in Hawai‘i.


Historical Timeline

1922: Romanzo Adams initiates two courses in social work at what was then the College of Mechanic Arts.

1931: Sociologist Andrew Lind offers social workers a class called “Personality and Culture.”

1936: Eileen Blackey is hired to give direction to the “Social Work Training Course.” Its first home is in Blackey’s office in Hawai‘I Hall.

1939: Blackey publishes an article in Social Process, “Cultural Aspects of Casework in Hawai‘I,” and proposes that social work students need to understand the meaning of culture.

1940: Ferris Lane becomes the new director of social work training, a step toward the creation of a full-fledged school of social work.

1941: The UH catalog announced a one-year graduate program in social work. The program is provisionally accredited in 1942.

1945: Gladys W. Goettling becomes the director of the School of Social Work.

1947: Katharine N. Handley becomes the director of the School of Social Work. She adds a social group work sequence, as well as courses in public welfare and psychiatric and medical information, and requirements for a thesis and oral comprehensives.

1948: The School of Social Work achieved full accreditation. Two new faculty appointments bring the total faculty to five. There are also eight field supervisors from local agencies.

1950: Accreditation as a two-year school.

1953: Myron B. Thompson—the school’s future namesake—receives his MSW from UH. He went on to become a noted humanitarian and leader.

1961: The University establishes the College of Health Sciences and Social Welfare. Katherine Handley becomes the first dean of the School of Social Work.

1967: Handley retires and the former dean of the New York School of Social Work, Fred DelliQuadri, is named as her successor.

1969: Herbert H. Aptekar is named dean when DelliQuadri leaves to become Chief of the U.S. Children’s Bureau. He places a strong emphasis on cross-cultural concerns.

1972: The book Human Sexuality and Social Work is published by Harvey Gochros, a professor for 29 years, and colleague Leroy Schultz.

1975: The school starts cohort 1 of the federally funded Hawaiian Learning Program.

1977: The Baccalaureate program begins. It grew from a desire to provide a continuum of social work education, as well as a need in the community for line-level practitioners.

1980s: The school establishes links with educational institutions throughout the Asia-Pacific Region.

1982: One of the profession’s most notable authors, Joel Fischer, publishes Evaluating Practice: Guidelines for the Accountable Professional.

1982: The school’s future dean, Noreen Mokuau, becomes the first Native Hawaiian woman to earn a doctor of social work degree.

1988: Visions for the Future: Social Work and Pacific-Asian Perspectives is published.

1988: The MSW Distance Traveling program begins.

1991: PhD Program in Social Welfare is established. It is the only doctorate degree offered by a U.S. accredited, Pacific Basin based school of social work.

1991: The Department of Health/Adult Mental Health Division/Hawai‘I State Hospital collaboration, Pulama I Ke Ola Project, is established.

1995: Faculty member Susan Chandler is named director, Department of Human Services.

1998: Title IV-E Hawaii Child Welfare Education Collaboration established.

1999: MBT SSW Co-sponsored the 13th Annual Counseling and Treating People of Colour: An International Perspective. Permanent sponsors the Health Sciences Center of SUNY Stony Brook and Human Resources Development Institute, in Chicago.

2003: Social Work Seminar in Hawai‘i/Univers Foundation held.

2006: MBT SSW celebrates its 70th anniversary by honoring five individuals for their remarkable contributions to social justice in Hawai‘i: (from left) Masaru Oshiro, Haunani Apoliona (MSW ’76), Ah Quon McElrath (BA ’38), Patti Lyons, Lynette (MSW ’66) and Richard Paglinawan (MSW ’62).

June 4, 2007: First Indigenous Voices in Social Work Conference, held in Makaha, Hawai‘i.

2008: Hawaiian Learning Program Cohort 2 begins, supported by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Queen Liliu‘okalani Children’s Center and MBT SSW.

Sept. 19, 2008: The Board of Regents unanimously approves the naming of the school as the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work.

2010: Kelly Anne Beppu MSW ‘10 and Brandee Aukai MSW ‘10 HLP alumni, under the guidance of kumu Randie Fong, composed the MBT SSW Mele Aloha in honor of Myron B. Thompson, also known as “Pinky.”

2010: The Journal of Indigenous Social Development debuts. The journal is published through Le‘a Publications, established through a generous gift from Sally Lampson Kanehe.

2012: The school is ranked in the top third of all accredited masters’ programs in the United States, and the distance education option is ranked among the top 10 online social work programs.

2013: First Cohort of Distance Education Guam Option MSW Program through the University of Guam begins

2014: The school receives our largest National Institutes of Health research grant award of $15 million, with senior partner, the John A. Burns School of Medicine, to examine health disparities among Native Hawaiians and other populations in Hawai`i.

Nov. 2014: We become the new stewards and tenants of the historic Gartley Hall.

In 2013 and 2015: We receive our first two endowments: the Takasaki Endowment in Social Policy, and the Barbara Cox Anthony Endowment in Aging, to further work in social policy and aging.



Meet The Deans

These talented men and women shaped the
Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work by serving as dean.


Katherine N. Handley (1946-1967)

  • First dean of the School of Social Work;
  • Achieved the school’s first accreditation;
  • Developed the “Cultural Factors” course;
  • Established a Medical Social Work Sequence;
  • Began a work study program for employed social workers;
  • Published “Our Standards are Different: Four case studies in Hawai‘I, Intercultural problems and practices of social work.”


Fred DelliQuadri (1967-1968)

  • Left School of Social Work to become chief of the U.S. Children’s Bureau.


Herbert Aptekar (1969-1974)

  • Developed a short-term training project for students in the Philippines;
  • Engaged in joint consultation in the Trust Territories and several Pacific and Asian Countries;
  • Enrollment quadrupled from 1964 to 1974.


Daniel Sanders (1974-1986)

  • Founder of the first school of social work in Sri Lanka;
  • Served as the UH Manoa Director of International Studies;
  • With the National Institutes of Mental Health, began the Hawaiian Learning Program;
  • Increased the focus on Native Hawaiians and service to the State of Hawai‘I;
  • Focused on the continuum of social worker education, resulting in the creation of the BSW program;
  • Published Peace and Development: An interdisciplinary perspective (Sanders and Matsuoka, 1989);
  • Chair, CSWE Committee of International Social Welfare Education;
  • President, Inter-University Consortium for International Social Development;
  • Consultant, United Nations, UNICEF, etc.


Patricia Ewalt (1986-2000)

  • Became president-elect of National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work;
  • Editor of Social Work from 1993 to 1997;
  • Editor: Multicultural Issues in Social Work: Practice and Research;
  • Champion for the School’s PhD program, which was established by Dr. Velma Kameoka;
  • Along with MBT SSW Faculty, established the Traveling Distance Education Program to meet workforce shortage on the Neighbor Islands;
  • Prioritized development of partnerships with community based organizations, including Queen LilI’uokalani Children’s Center, Department of Corrections (Division of Mental Health), and The Queen’s Medical Center.


Jon Matsuoka (2000-2010)

  • Global and Pacific Asian agenda that included agreements with the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs, and universities/organizations in the Philippines, Japan, Thailand and Korea;
  • Kupuna Council to confer and receive the wisdom of Native Hawaiian elders in the field of social welfare;
  • Dean’s Advisory Council composed of civic and business leaders in Hawai‘I;
  • Expansion of Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program: DHS Eligibility Center and Pacific Center for Program Evaluation;
  • First Indigenous Voices in Social Work Conference, which took place in Makaha, Hawai‘I;
  • Council on Social Work Education, alternative affirmation and reaccreditation for 7 years until 2018;
  • “Indigenization” defined for the purpose of decolonizing social work education;
  • Journal of Indigenous Social Development first published;
  • Hawaiian Learning Program re-established;
  • Established the Distance Education Web-based MSW program offered to Neighbor Islands in the State of Hawai‘i.

Noreen Mokuau (2010-present)

  • Stewardship of the renovated Gartley Hall as our new hale (home);
  • Improving student success as demonstrated by timely graduation and high graduation rates;
  • Filling the extraordinary demand for social workers, with the support of distance education, so that the majority of our students return to their communities in Hawai‘I to work in child and family, behavioral health, health, and gerontology;
  • Deepened the roots of a Hawaiian place of learning, increasing the number of Native Hawaiian students. We now have one of the highest percent census of Native Hawaiian students at UHM;
  • Affirming global partnerships in social justice, particularly in China, South Korea, the Philippines, Japan, and Guam;
  • Expanding our ‘ohana (family) with the potential reorganization of the Office of Public Health Studies and the Center on Aging into the MBT SSW;
  • Advancing a research agenda with federally funded support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Aging (Ha Kupuna); and the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (RMATRIX II);
  • Leading education with high-caliber faculty, practicum instructors, and staff who are committed to training the next generation of social workers;
  • Engaging with community partners who have invested with contracts and grants in social work education such as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center, the Consuelo Foundation, the Queen’s Health Systems, and the Prince of Peace Foundation.



Pinky’s Lasting Influence

An Interview with Laura Thompson and Patrick Neves


As the school moves forward into the next millennium we recognize our kuleana to the well being of all Hawai‘i’s people. For 80 years the school has responded to community needs through the production of new and innovative ways of working with individuals, families, and organizations, and by producing social workers that are theoretically grounded, culturally competent, and caring practitioners. More than simply “in touch” with the community, the school is a part of the community. As the school expands, incorporating the Office of Public Health Studies and the Center on Aging, we recognize that it is about more than our own hale or house; it is about the kauhale, the village.

Two of our faculty, Theresa Kreif and Michael DeMattos, met with Laura Thompson, matriarch of the Thompson ‘ohana, and Patrick Neves, a longtime family friend, to discuss family, friends, and community. Growing up in the Thompson family is more than a last name. It is a commitment to each other. This is best reflected I fact that the Thompson household is not just filled with children and grandchildren but also with friends and neighbors. It makes sense then–with our expanding commitment to community–that we turn to the family of our namesake and his family as a living example.

Keiki from the neighborhood often became lifelong friends and members of the Thompson ‘ohana. Patrick Neves is a classic example. Eighteen years Pinky’s junior, the two shared a lifelong friendship that often revolved around working together on various projects. Pinky Thompson was a deep and rich thinker, but he was also a doer. Here, Laura and Patrick share some stories from Pinky’s life, and his lasting influence.

Theresa Kreif: We wanted to look at the legacy of you and Pinky from a little different perspective. From the homefront.

Michael DeMattos: When we think of social workers, we think about reaching out to others. Extending the family. That’s what we try to do at the school.

Laura Thompson: Well that was Pinky’s legacy. That was the legacy of other social workers too, like Millie (Sikema) and Masaru Oshiro. Social work reaches out across to others and to other cultures. Pay attention to that.

MD: There are things with living on family property like this that lends itself well with carrying on family traditions. Making sure kids don’t lose sight of where they are from. Is that one of the pieces that keeps the Thompson family close and the kids grounded?

LT: Not consciously, we just do it. We just live it. Pinky and I had three kids in three years, with family help of course. We had horses and calves and so it was just an attractive place for kids to come and so they did. One of the kids, Patrick, who came by eventually became a good friend over the years. He and Pinky became buddies. They learned so much from each other.

Patrick Neves: Pinky always had a project going on: Fixing a fence, building a stone wall, overhauling a truck. He just handed us the job. I’m not sure he knew what he was doing, but we didn’t know either. We took things apart, put them back together and they worked. He kept us busy.

MD: You lived next door.

PN: I lived down the road and I would hop the fence and we would do this and that. Ended up we made a field down there. We moved the stones, brought in sawdust, planted grass, and watered the fields. We had about 20 kids who would come around. We made high jump, broad jump, and pole vault pits.

LT: We had a volleyball court.

PN: We made our own vault poles out of bamboo. This was in the late 1950s.

PN: I moved out, moved to Moloka‘I, but we never lost touch. When they had the hui nalu race in Moloka‘I he would come by and make all the drinks for the paddlers. We would sit and talk story.

MD: You talked about all the kids around here…

LT: The neighborhood kids were intrigued because we had all these animals. We had cattle, bull calves, heifers for milk, all kinds.

MD: It was a different world back then.

LT: Yeah, it was a wonderful.

MD: When people think about Pinky they think about Kamehameha Schools, Pacific Voyaging Society, Department of Human Services, but his legacy is also in the day-to-day living stuff he did: building fields, and courts, raising animals and having the neighborhood kids come over to work and play.

LT: That’s right.

PN: He was a man of few words. We just got to work. We had a lot of questions and his answer was always, “Well, we’ll see.”

TK: When you think of Pinky, what do you feel is his legacy for you?

PN: “Have no fear.” Kids would run away and they would have guns and knives and he would tell them “Come on, let’s go home.” He had no fear. To me, he was a good social worker.

MD: That’s how we think of him: As a great social worker and community organizer.

LT: He was a very good caseworker, too! When he first started out he would go around the island once a week to visit the kids. He did really well with the kids. All very successful.

TK: He had the ability to create trust with people.

LT: Yes, no BS with Pinky.

PN: He shot straight from the hip.

LT: That’s what so exciting about social work; it opens up your mind and allows you to go out and learn and to be and do the work in community. You can’t treat it as a job. You live it.

MD: This is true now, but it was true then too, when Pinky was a social worker. I was rereading Mary Kawena Pukui’s Nana I Ke Kumu (Look to The Source) this morning and in the acknowledgments, there was Masaru Oshiro and Likeke Paglinawan, and Pinky, too.

LT: And Jack Haertig. That was an incredible time when all those minds came together and opened up each other’s minds. I am so glad that you want to talk about this aspect of Pinky’s life.

TK: How are you preparing the grandchildren in terms of helping them continue the Thompson legacy?

LT: Like anyone else, I am just around when they need something. Tia lives right over there, Nainoa lives right over there (next door) with his two wonderful kids. Lita lives there with Bruce and her son. We are all just together. I don’t do anything.

MD: It sounds like there have also been good additions to the family. Each of your kids have wonderful partners in life.

LT: They are super, just super.

MD: You’ve done well. Good parenting.

LT: I don’t know about that. I think the kids are wonderful. They are kind. If you are around here you gotta be kind.

MD: Or they hear from you.

LT: That’s right.

MD: To what degree do those who join the family come in with the values we are talking about and to what degree do they learn the values from the Thompson family? There is a spirit that emanates from the environment here.

LT: True. But you have to be receptive to it. There has to be a seed there. It has to be a value to you. If the value is there, it can be nurtured.

TK: The ahupua’a is different everywhere whether Kane‘ohe or Wai‘anae; it’s the same with nurturing that seed. I think that is a value of the school. Focusing on a Hawaiian place of learning; following in the traditions of building community from a “sense of place.” Our students return home to their local communities but also reach out nationally and internationally.

LT: Well, the evolution of the school is exciting, it’s awesome. It is growing so much. Now you have Public Health and Gerontology all with social work at the school. Bringing all that where it belongs. Pinky would do that.

TK: Pinky was doing that! Doing community work, looking at all the pieces and bringing in people not because he’s their social worker but because of who he is.

LT: Bringing in people to make sure that this youngster gets the kind of service he needs. It starts with the child.



“That’s what so exciting about social work; it opens up your mind and allows you to go out and learn and to be and do the work in community. You can’t treat it as a job. You live it.”





About A Visionary

Myron B. Thompson’s longtime friend Pat DeLeon talks about his lasting legacy.



Patrick DeLeon, PhD, JD worked with Sen. Daniel Inouye for over 38 years, including as the senator’s chief of staff. He’s also an alum, having received his MPH in health services administration in 1973 from the University of Hawai‘I at Manoa.

“We worked closely with Pinky for over three decades on a wide range of Native Hawaiian issues. Every time we would go to O‘ahu we would have dinner with him and his family. Both my son (a social worker with Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center) and daughter (a prosecutor in Kona) have Native Hawaiian middle names that he and his wife, Laura, provided for us. His photograph is on the wall above my computer—I think of him every day. No one has done more for the Hawaiian Renaissance than Pinky – he was the source for, and implementer of, almost all of Senator Inouye’s Native Hawaiian legislation.” When he thinks of Pinky, DeLeon says three things come to mind: His style of community engagement; the legacy he left for future generations of social workers; and his outreach. “Pinky ‘saw’ technology would have an impact on social work practice and practitioners. He believed technology coupled with interpersonal skills would provide opportunities to reach more people. Pinky focused on reaching out, connecting people with new roles, teaching skills. Pinky’s contributions were for the betterment of society and for the future of society.”

Pat believes MBT SSW mission ensures the “development of future leaders, while giving them a sense of vision and hope.” The school provides opportunities for “the next generation of leaders across the Pacific” and beyond. “Pinky saw opportunity where others saw a wall.”


Amazing Alumni

Our alumni’s varied career journeys show the many opportunity paths in the field of social work.


Masaru Oshiro MSW ’54 and Leah Chang MSW ‘85

Masaru Oshiro received his MSW in 1954. He and Myron B. “Pinky” Thompson worked closely together for five years at Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’ Center. His daughter, Leah Chang, is the branch chief at the Honolulu Guidance Center for the state Department of Health’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division. She received her MSW in 1985. Chang’s career started with private social service agencies in Hawai‘I and in Seattle, then with the state Health Department where she was also a practicum instructor. She has served as vice president for the National Association of Social Workers, Hawai‘I chapter and chaired its By-Laws Committee for a number of years. She is a Red Cross-trained disaster responder and assisted with Kaua‘i’s Hurricane ‘Iniki recovery.


My dad was inspired by Pinky’s visionary approach to social work practice by encouraging innovation, creativity and even risk-taking in dealing with interpersonal conflicts. One of Pinky’s initiatives was the publication of Mary Kawena Pukui’s book Nana I Ke Kumu (“Look to The Source”). It described Native Hawaiian healing practices which aided the center’s work with Hawaiian families, whose concepts apply to understanding issues among all local families.

Since retiring from the Dept. of Health in 1995, my dad volunteered for the Hawai‘I Chapter, American Red Cross. His service as a disaster mental health responder spanned nearly 17 years until a “second retirement” in 2012. “Assignment to disaster sites had me traveling to places I never thought of seeing, like Pascagoula, Miss.; Birmingham, Ala.; Jackson, Tenn.; and Guam,” he says. To keep fit, he plays volleyball with me and my husband and friends once a week, and exercises with a group doing the Chinese Luk Tung Kuen.

For me, a childhood of living in a household where my dad was the primary care-giver to his aging mother, and nurturing me and my brother, and to extended family members, I saw his innate nature of helping others. It influenced my decision to enter the social work profession. My father is my role model as I seek to balance family life and career growth. I am proud to be a second generation social worker in our family.


Uncle Richard “Likeke” Kekumuikawaiokeola Paglinawan MSW ’62 and ‘Anake (Aunty) Lynette Kahekili Kaopuiki Paglinawan MSW ‘66

Uncle Richard “Likeke” Kekumuikawaiokeola Paglinawan and ‘Anake Lynette Kahekili Kaopuiki Paglinawan first met at UH Manoa in the mid 1960s. Both went on to pursue their MSWs and in the process formed a relationship dedicated both to each other and the health and well-being of all the peoples of Hawai‘I, but most especially Native Hawaiians. Uncle Likeke passed away in July, 2015.


The two realized very early on that Native Hawaiians were grossly underrepresented in several key measures for well-being and were instead over-represented in critical negative health and social statistics like mortality, teen pregnancy, chemical dependency, and poverty. They also noted in their practice as social workers that many kanaka maoli were distrustful of Western healing models. This they presumed was the direct consequence of ongoing colonial processes that dispossessed Native Hawaiians of lands, spiritual practices and their cultural identity. In addition to the historical trauma associated with colonization was the fact that most Western models failed to acknowledge the connection between na kanaka (mankind), ‘aumakua/Akua (spirit ancestors/God) and the ‘aina/lani/moana (environment).

Together, Uncle Likeke and ‘Anake Lynette have served as role models for social workers and other helping professionals throughout the state and the nation. They don’t simply talk about Native Hawaiian values, they live them; and at the core of their practice is ho‘oponopono. Practiced regularly until Western contact, ho‘oponopono created a sacred space for Native Hawaiians to resolve conflicts within family systems and the community. Uncle Likeke and ‘Anake Lynette, under the tutelage of Aunty Mary Kawena Pukui recentered ho‘oponopono and in the process helped those they served recognize the connection between an kanaka, ‘aumakua/Akua, and the ‘aina/lani/moana. Ho‘oponopono provided the missing spiritual link for many Native Hawaiian families.

In 2008 ‘Anake Lynette was named the first director of the newly re-established Hawaiian Learning Program. Together with Uncle Likeke she has assured that Hawaiian values inform all of our school initiatives and that Hawaiian healing methods are part of the school’s pedagogy. Living legends, cultural icons, Native Hawaiian healers, Uncle Likeke and ‘Anake Lynette serve as perfect examples of living pono and the value of culture to both our personal and professional lives.


Dean Jeanette Takamura MSW ‘72

Dr. Jeanette Takamura is the first female dean at Columbia University’s school of social work. She was the second assistant secretary for aging at the Administration on Aging within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under President Clinton.


As a student at the UH School of Social Work in the early 1970s, I would like to pay tribute to three women who were extraordinary educators, leaders, and mentors: Marilyn Caulfi eld, who provided significant leadership as an assistant dean and nurtured many students over the decades; Dr. Kazuye Kumabe, at that time the only woman of color to achieve the rank of full professor; and Miyoko Kunioka, whose expertise as a clinical practice faculty member can only be described to this day as unrivaled. All three women stood for excellence and embraced the importance—before they became de rigueur—of scientifically derived evidence, critical analysis, and professional social work values. In their commitment, they were unrelenting and contributed much to many who are professionals today. Hopefully, the school’s anniversary celebration will remember their legacies and their talents.


Sally Lampson Kanehe MSW ‘77

Sally Lampson Kanehe was admitted with advanced standing to the MSW program in 1974.


I found my calling primarily as an educator in the UH system, working with the community college students in sociology and occasionally lecturing in social work on the Manoa campus. I formalized my longstanding interest in Hawai‘I and the Pacific Islands by doing concurrent scholarship at UHM’s Center for Pacific Island Studies. I took leadership positions in our alumni chapter of the SSW and helped implement a student mentoring program designed by professor Lana Ka‘opua. I developed a system-wide speakers’ bureau under the umbrella of the SSW; students, faculty, and interested community members could come to hear timely topics of interest. I endowed scholarships at various universities, but primarily at the MBT SSW. Because of my belief in advancing knowledge, I became interested in establishing Le‘a Publishing, named after my younger daughter. As a result, The Journal of Indigenous Social Development came into being online under the fine editorship of professor Paula Morelli.

Haunani Apoliona MSW ‘76

  1. Haunani Apoliona, MSW, is an OHA Trustee. She completed her undergraduate studies at UH in 1974, her UH graduate studies in 1976, and became a distinguished UH alumni in 1992. She has served Alu Like, Inc. from 1978 to 1997 (1991 to 1997 as president/ CEO). She was elected OHA trustee at- large 1996 to present, and was the longest serving OHA chairperson, from 2000 to 2010. She is also an accomplished musician, in Kaimana, 1977, and Olomana, 1982, to present. See more at


“E nana aku I ke kumu, e ho‘olohe mai, pa‘a ka waha, e hana me ka lima. E ho‘ola e, e ho‘ala e, e ola mau ka hana pono no na Hawai‘i. Me na mea ‘oi loa mai na wa mamua e holomua kakou I keia ao. Ua hiki mai ka wana‘ao no ka ho‘ola a me ka ho‘ala hou.”

By our direct actions let us bring health and well-being to our communities. With the best from our past let us move forward to our future for renewal and reawakening is ever present. Celebrate our School of Social Work’s 80th year. Serve and empower Native Hawaiians and ALL who call Hawai‘I home. ‘Oia ka mea nui.


Marty Oliphant BSW 95, MSW ‘05

Marty Oliphant is an alumni of the BSW (1995) and MSW (2005) programs at the MBT SSW. He has served in different roles such as case manager, trainer, investigator, supervisor, administrator, and adjunct faculty. Between 2011 and 2014 Marty served as the executive director of the National Association of Social Workers – Hawai‘I chapter.


The programs’ rich curriculum coupled with the practicum experience ignited my passion for the social work field and expanded my vision for my career. The generalist approach prepared me to work in both prevention and intervention programs. I have worked in nonprofits and government agencies where the skills and knowledge I acquired through MBT SSW allowed me to assist clients in achieving their goals. MBT SSW shaped my interests in program development, advocacy, and leadership. If not for the support of multiple mentors and peers through the MBT SSW faculty, staff, and colleagues, I would not have become the social work professional that I am today. Thank you, MBT SSW for guiding my career choices.


Kaipo Kukahiko MSW ‘11

A graduate of the Hawaiian Place of Learning and MSW program in 2012, Kaipo is now the executive director at the KEY Project. The mission of KEY Project is to nurture and promote the cultural, environmental, social, economic and recreational well-being of the Kualoa-He‘eia area.


Hawaiian Place of Learning was and continues to be instrumental in my development as a Hawaiian social worker. In a field dominated by Western framework and institutions, the program has helped me navigate while maintaining my identity and honoring the legacy of my kumu and my kupuna.


Palama Lee PhD ‘12

Palama Lee has been a guest lecturer for the MBT SSW for three years, a practicum instructor for over 10 years, and is the past president of the National Association of Social Workers Hawai‘I Chapter. He is the system facilitator at Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center, Queen Lili‘uokalani Trust.


He mai‘a ua pa‘a I ke ko‘o or a banana tree stands firm by the support of surrounding trees (‘Olelo No‘eau #781). This ‘olelo no‘eau or wise saying reminds me that it is because of those around me, I can stall tall and proud as a Native Hawaiian social worker. Throughout my social work journey, many have contributed to my learning, and here are a few: Poka Laenui and Puanani Burgess from Hale Na‘au Pono or Wai‘anae Coast Community Mental Health Center; Noreen Mokuau, Paula Morelli and Steven Onken from the MBTSSW: and Kupuna Lilia Hale, Aunty Malia Craver, and Aunty ‘Ulu Garmon from schools of ancient wisdoms. Spanning the non-profit, academic, and Hawaiian communities, my mentors gifted me three simple lessons: a) know thyself and your values will guide you justly throughout your career; b) remember that relationships are infinite so treat people with kindness and respect as if they will always be part of your life; and c) listen to the wisdom and truth in every person, this is where hope resides.

In 2011 as my doctoral study in Social Welfare from the MBT SSW was ending, my career with the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center began. I am blessed to offer the administration, research, and planning knowledge and skills reinforced in my doctoral program to the Children’s Center, a benevolent trust established by Queen Lili‘uokalani to improve the lives of orphan and destitute children with preference given to those who are Hawaiian. It is perhaps because of the Queen’s servant leadership that Aunty Malia Craver inspired many beneficiary children with her saying, “hana kau hana, e waiho I ka ho‘oilina” or “get a grip, and leave a legacy!”

My social work career has been led by the lessons of the great trees that stand around me, speaking to me, shading me with their wisdom, and rooting me in the responsibility to nurture the opu‘u or young trees who are reaching for the light.


Sonja Bigalke-Bannan MSW ‘14


I was honored to be hired, a few months after graduation and sitting my licensing exam, as the executive director of the National Association of Social Workers, Hawai’I Chapter. I am also the executive director of Heart Horses, a non-profit organization offering equine assisted psychotherapy and therapeutic horseback riding.

I went back to graduate school in my 30s and chose to attend UH because the social work program offered all the core classes for the MSW program both during the day and at night, for those of us who needed to work full time while being in school. Completing my MSW allowed me to pursue my passion for helping people who have been marginalized and making a difference in the community. My concentration was mental health and I appreciated the flexibility in choosing my electives, letting me add courses from the psychology department, public health, and public administration departments to individualize my educational experience.

Faculty and staff were very approachable and supportive and I especially appreciated the interactions with the lecturers, who were social workers out in the community in the areas in which they were lecturing. Having interactions with professionals in the field allowed me to broaden my interest beyond a singular focus in clinical social work and to consider the intricacies of macro social work, where I find myself spending a majority of my time.


Josie Howard MSW ‘14

A native of Onoun Island in Micronesia, Josie Howard studied at UH Hilo and later received her MSW from the MBT SSW. She is the program director for We Are Oceania, an advocacy group which just received a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Dept. of the Interior to establish a one stop shop for citizens of Compact of Free Association nations. The grassroots group helps new migrants navigate the new education, housing, employment, nutrition and medical systems they encounter in Hawai‘i.


My work at the MBT SSW prepared me for my current role by equipping me with the necessary tools, including knowledge, experiences, wisdom, and relationships, that a social worker should have in helping their communities. It taught me the fundamental values to understand both the social work code of ethics and personal principles of what it means to be a Chuukese social worker in America.



Inside Our New Home



In Nov. 2014, historic Gartley Hall was reopened as the new home of the MBT SSW. Gartley Hall was originally built in 1921, making it the second oldest building on the UH Mānoa campus. Its namesake, Alonzo Gartley, was the first chairman of the Board of Regents at UH. The renovation of the of the 24,480 square foot, three-level building followed preservation guidelines to minimize the impact of the historic features of the building, which appears on the Hawai‘I Register of Historic Places.

The $14 million renovation brought Gartley Hall into the 21st century with a highly energy efficient design that includes solar tube skylights for natural lighting, photovoltaic panels to provide power, and the use of recycled materials. Inside, the design features “clusters” in the basement and on the second floor, mixing the faculty offices into the common areas to facilitate communication and interaction among faculty, staff and students. A recycling center and designated space for lactating moms are further nods to today’s societal needs.

The newly refurbished Gartley Hall represents “the modernization of instructional and office facilities in an energy efficient, sustainable manner,” says Robert Bley-Vroman, the interim chancellor, at UH Mānoa. “And we have a LEED Silver Certificate to prove it. A great accomplishment and a model for our renovations of our future.”



A Hawaiian Place of Learning



The ‘olelo no‘eau below describes what would be said of a very close relative. Through countless mo‘olelo (stories) of the kanaka maoli (Native Hawaiians), it is apparent that perhaps no other relationship could be described as close as the one our kanaka (people) have with the ‘aina (land), moana (ocean), and lani (heavens). Understanding this inseverable genealogical connection to the elements is paramount to understanding the kanaka maoli worldview, as well as the key to healing our lahui (nation).

The cultural trauma through colonization, the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and the loss of land and other natural resources, has negatively impacted the wellbeing of Native Hawaiians, who have suffered a significant amount more in regards to their health and socioeconomic status in comparison to other ethnic groups in their own homeland.


Ua lehulehu a manomano ka ‘ikena a ka Hawai‘i.
Great and numerous is the knowledge of the Hawaiians. (Pukui, 1983, #2814)

In order to mitigate these health and socioeconomic disparities, in 2011, the MBT SSW made a commitment to prioritize itself as a “Hawaiian Place of Learning.” This strategic move meant that the school will promote and support the lived values of our homeland and its indigenous people to create culturally responsive social workers in the community. The school is able to accomplish this by providing grounding in the culture and history of Hawai‘I throughout the school’s curriculum; implementing special programming tailored to kanaka maoli students enrolled at the school; and creating place-based learning opportunities for faculty, staff and students year-round. “Our first priority is social justice,” says Dean Noreen Mokuau, “And we believe that by advocating for, and lifting up, Native Hawaiians, we lift all the people of Hawai‘i.”


He ali‘I ka ‘aina; he kauwa ke kanaka.
The land is chief; man is its servant. (Pukui, 1983, #1957)

The concept of place-based learning is not a new one; it pays respect to the ways our kupuna (elders) lived and learned. The Hawaiian Learning Program is the proud centerpiece. It is an intensive, immersion enhanced practicum program for master’s level students with special attention to integrating Hawaiian knowledge and principles. The goal? To exemplify social work practice that is respectful to kanaka, ‘aina, na kini akua (spirits) and na ‘aumakua (ancestors).

Much of the program is time spent out of the traditional classroom, working instead in the community. HLP firmly believes in the ‘olelo no‘eau, “Ma ka hana ka ‘ike,” which means, In doing, one learns. Each year, students journey within their own communities to learn from cultural practitioners. They are able to involve themselves deeply in the mele (songs), mo‘olelo (stories) and the ‘ike kupuna (traditional knowledge) of that geographical region to enhance their overall learning.

Reconnecting the students with wahi pana (sacred places) and the history of their people not only serves to strengthen their sense of self, but also their roles as social workers. Their experiences and learning have a critical effect overall on how they work with their clients and communities. “HLP was vital in helping me understand how culture plays a role in the healing process of our population,” says Kanoe Enos, a graduate who is now a social worker at the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children‘s Center. “I was afforded the insight into how cultural historical factors affect the well-being of today‘s lahui. Every day, I integrate the practices I learned into my current work.”


Lawe I ka ma‘alea a ku‘ono‘ono.
Take wisdom and make it deep. (Pukui, 1983 #1957)

Ancestral ‘ike (knowledge) has always been there, surrounding us, and guiding our path. It is our kuleana (responsibility) as social workers to honor the past by bringing the teachings of our kupuna to the forefront, integrating them into our lives, and becoming stewards so that we may pass them down to the next generation. We must do this in order to heal the deep wounds caused by the trauma of our tumultuous history and to ultimately move our lahui forward.



Global Social Justice

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has a goal to increase “international perspectives in U.S. social work education and collaboration with social work education and practice worldwide.” MBT SSW highly values this goal, and our faculty has collectively established global social justice as part of the school’s mission statement. We aim to further develop international collaborations to fulfill this mission.

The Power of Two
Our collaboration with Ewha Women’s University, Department of Social Welfare, benefi ts both institutions.

Ewha Womens University is the world’s largest female educational institute and one of the most prestigious universities in South Korea. The Ewha Department of Social Welfare started the first formal social work education in South Korea in 1947. MBT SSW established a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Social Welfare at Ewha in 2014.

MBT SSW and Ewha Department of Social Welfare are eager to expand international collaborations between the two institutions through joint research, such as the promotion of seminars, symposia and research conferences; the exchange of information; seeking research grants together; the collection of research materials and data; and publishing research findings. Student exchange is also key, including participation in research projects, academic training activities, and international practicums.

“This international collaboration is very exciting because our department was awarded a Brain Korea (BK) 21 PLUS grant from Korean government to train our graduate students for their academic success. I believe that our global relationship will provide students from two institutions great opportunities to grow as global leaders,” says Dr. Soondool Chung, lead principal investigator of BK 21 PLUS project, professor at Ewha Dept. of Social Welfare.

The first collaborative seminar was held at Ewha, celebrating its 128th Anniversary on May 29th, 2014. The theme was “Culturally Responsive Approaches in Health: Asian and Pacific Islanders.” Dean Noreen Mokuau gave a talk on culturally appropriate family focused interventions to deal with cancer among Native Hawaiian women. Dr. Seunghye Hong presented on immigrant heterogeneity and contextually sensitive approaches to health promotion. The seminar provided an opportunity for enhancing Ewha’s scholars and graduate students’ understanding on culture and immigration among Asian and Pacific Islanders.

A master’s student from Ewha, Keumji Ko, visited Hawai‘I in spring of 2015 and successfully finished her practicum at the Susannah Wesley Community Center, focusing on immigration and social work. And, MBT SSW is developing field placements in South Korea to provide students with experiences fully immersed in a different culture, allowing them to navigate as social workers in international contexts.


Visiting Scholars

The MBT SSW has welcomed several foreign scholars, which led to the collaborative development of research projects such as: A cross-national study on burnout among care workers working at long-term care settings in Japan, South Korea, and the U.S.

Family policy in East Asia Public long-term care insurance between Japan and South Korea Social work and social service development in China.

These rewarding relationships between scholars led to the publication of several peer-review journal articles and professional presentations of findings.


Leading and Learning
The summer service-learning program at the Prince of Peace Children’s Home (POPCH) in China allows students to gain experience and insights.

The POPCH is dedicated to serving orphaned children with special needs. It’s a partnership with U.S.-based POP’s Foundation, the Civil Affairs Bureau of the Wuquing, and World Vision China. The founder of POP’s Foundation, Ken Yeung, has played a key role in bridging the relationship between the MBT SSW and Ministry of Civil Affairs of China, and has been a strong supporter through a POPCH educational grant.

Yeung is an alumnus of the MBT SSW, which he attended in the 1970s. Although Yeung has been a successful businesses man since the 1980s, he continues his commitment and dedication in the field of social work. He founded POPCH in 2003, when it became the fi rst officially foreign run children’s home in China. Today, POPCH is a training hub in the areas of special education, rehabilitation and social work service.

International practicum director, Ron Matayoshi, and Jing Guo have been the leading faculty in coordinating and supervising the POPCH China project. The project has run either 10 weeks (2012) or 5 weeks (2013 and 2015), and is open for all BSW and MSW students. Students work with teachers and caregivers providing services to children who have resided in the orphanage most of their lives. They lead classes, and take responsibility for special projects, such as reviewing and updating fire drills, or developing transitional plan for older children. Students bring in their social work values, knowledge and skills to the POPCH, while learning about Chinese child welfare practices and culture.

The POPCH program has been a life changing experience for students. “The POPCH program has opened my eye on orphan care in China, helped me understand my Chinese heritage, and deepened my understanding of cultural competency,” says Sandra Ng, a MSW student who attended the program. She joined the Peace Corps after graduation, and says, “the POPCH program prepared me for my adventures in social services and global justice.”


To Beijing and Back
Partnership with the Beijing College of Social Administration leads to an exchange of ideas and experts.

Since 2008, MBT SSW have been promoting the development of our Asian and Pacific institutional collaborations, particularly in China. One example is the relationship with the Beijing College of Social Administration, a college and a training center affiliated with the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the central government of China. In 2009, the MBT SSW signed a MOU with the college and developed a social work training program for a delegate of 13 civil affairs officials from China. Since then, the two institutions have been welcoming school leadership and hosting faculty visits back and forth.

Dean Noreen Mokuau visited the College in 2013 and signed a memorandum of agreement (MOU) with the College. The goal is to create collaboration and exchange opportunities between two institutions including faculty and student exchanges, joint research, and training.

Jing Guo has hosted six visiting scholars from the College in the past three years. The scholars’ research are in a range of social welfare issues affecting China, such as child welfare policy and practice; community and nonprofit development; adoption policy and practice; as well as social services and social work education. This has created opportunities for faculty and students in both institutions, through presentations and guest speakers, as well as collaborative research.



Why Technology Is A Priority
Creating tech-savvy social workers is one of our important initiatives.

When people think about social work, they do not often simultaneously think about technology. However, social work is an increasingly technology-driven profession. That’s due to the growth in the use of electronic medical records, telehealth programs that use online communication to bring assistance to rural and remote clients, and the increasing use of online tools and social media products to promote services and reach vulnerable clients. In adopting technology as one of the strategic priorities at the MBT SSW, we are acknowledging and prioritizing these skills as a part of our efforts to train the emerging 21st century workforce.

We have invested in a Distance Education program that provides opportunities for people in the rural counties of Hawai‘I and from the Territory of Guam to attain MSW-level degrees while staying and working in their home communities. We have also invested in a simulation room (to offer the ability to practice while being videotaped for later evaluation), and a computer lab, where students can learn the skills necessary for creating online needs assessments and analyzing data from clients and communities. Students are also gaining the skills necessary to be active and engaged learners for the duration of their careers in social work by familiarizing themselves with the experience of taking trainings and professional development opportunities online. They learn to prepare presentations and trainings for online delivery to be able to share their know-how as they develop as professionals. During their practicum experience, students use an online evaluation system, where they monitor their own progress, complete practice notes, and receive feedback from their supervisors and instructors. This online system prepares them to be able to navigate the complex information coming from multiple sources and professions that is so prevalent in today’s social work environment.



Connecting: Our New Computer Lab

The University of Hawai‘I School of Social Work computer lab started out as a small, unused office space in the old Henke Hall with termite damage so bad you could see through the floor. With the newly renovated Gartley Hall, a spacious—and termite-free—computer lab has become a valuable asset.

In an age where smartphones, tablets and laptops are so prevalent, you might think a central computer lab would be obsolete. But the School of Social Work has made the computer lab an important part of its educational process, and is preparing future social workers for the technology demands of the 21st century workplace.

Faculty utilizes the computer lab to teach students how to process statistical data in their research classes. The lab is also used for the Distance Education programs. Faculty can teach classes where some of their students are right in front of them, and others are miles away, but in the same virtual classroom.

The computer lab has the resources the students need for research and to complete their assignments, and also offers something that is a key component to being a social worker: communication with others. A sense of community has developed with many of the students who use the lab, adding additional value. Students discuss their class work, practicum placements, and most important, the well being of their fellow students, which lays the groundwork for a strong social work practice.



Inside the Simulation Room

Most social work students come into the program as established helpers. BSW-level students are often seen as resources in their families, among their friends, and in their community, while our graduate students are frequently “coming back” to school after years in the field. But helping others as a professional social worker is different from helping a friend or family member. And one’s experience in the fi eld, while valuable, is a starting point for a more comprehensive education offered at the MBT SSW.

The Simulation Room in Gartley Hall provides students with the opportunity to practice the numerous intervention methods covered in class. And thanks to two-way mirrors and recording equipment students gain valuable feedback from their colleagues and instructors—without the pressures of performing in front of a large audience — and can self reflect on their own skills. Being sensitive to our clients’ feelings, exploring the thinking behind behavior and resolving ethical dilemmas are critical to effective social work. The Simulation Room provides the needed space for students to unpack issues that may interfere with the social worker/client relationship and to develop needed skills.



Barbara Cox Anthony Chair In Aging

A generous endowment supports the university’s research, instruction, and service activities in gerontology. In 2008, the Barbara Cox Anthony Chair in Aging was established with a $2 million gift to the University of Hawai‘I at Manoa (UHM). The chair’s responsibility is in leading the Center on Aging (COA) and fostering innovative and interdisciplinary work that enhances the lives of older adults and their families. The COA was established by the UHM Board of Regents in 1988 to address research, education and service in aging.

In 2015, two of UHM’s gerontology scholars were selected as co-chairs for the Endowment: Dr. Kathryn L. Braun, professor and director of the Office of Public Health Studies and Dr. Noreen Mokuau, Dean of the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work. Under their leadership, the COA will shape research, education and service across multiple disciplines in the area of aging. Dr. Braun has had a long history with the COA. Her involvement with the COA began in 1988 with telecourse development in aging, but her greatest impact came as director from 1995-2009 as she secured numerous federal and state grants and contracts that fostered interdisciplinary and community-based work in aging. Dean Mokuau’s specific contributions focus on the cultural lens for exploring issues in aging with relevance for Native Hawaiian historical trauma, care-giving, and the perpetuation of cultural legacy through generational relationships. As co-chairs, Drs. Braun and Mokuau state “Our vision for the Center on Aging is to be a catalyst of academic excellence in gerontology.”

Of the 50 U.S. states, the population of Hawai‘I has the longest life expectancy. About 14 percent of the population is aged 65 or older, compared with 12 percent nationally. This generous gift of the Barbara Cox Anthony Endowment inspires a commitment to improving the health and quality of life of older adults in Hawai‘i.



Richard And Rose Takasaki Professor In Social Policy

A vision to impact social justice is evident in a generous endowment to strengthen instruction, research and service in social policy. In 1995, a bequest establishing the Richard S. and T. Rose Takasaki Professorship in Social Policy was made to the University of Hawai`I at Manoa School of Social Work. In 2013, the realized bequest of $1 million was accepted to support a professorship in scholarly and research activities in social policy.

In 2015, Dr. Colette Browne was selected to be the school’s first Takasaki Endowed Professor of Social Policy. In announcing the selection, Dean Noreen Mokuau, stated, “I know that Dr. Browne will fulfill Richard and Rose Takasaki’s legacy to advance social justice and social policy in ways that benefit our students, our communities, and the global enterprise.”

Dr. Browne holds advanced degrees in social work, public health, and educational psychology. She serves as the chair of the gerontology concentration in the school’s Master of Social Work program and has taught social policy courses in the school’s BSW, MSW and PhD levels. Dr. Browne is the principal investigator for the federally funded Ha Kupuna, National Resource Center for Native Hawaiian Elders, Administration on Community Living/ Administration on Aging, has won numerous awards from the University of Hawai‘I and national and community organizations, and has published extensively in the area of gerontology.

“It is an honor, a privilege and a responsibility to be appointed to the Richard S. and T. Rose Takasaki Endowed Professorship in Social Policy,” says Dr. Browne. “The Takasakis were role models for their community work on behalf of Hawai‘i’s citizens. Their generosity will allow me and my colleagues to examine policy questions related to equity-related concerns of diverse groups in the U.S. With the assistance of colleagues and students at UHM, we pledge to meet Mr. and Mrs. Takasaki’s vision through collaborative and interdisciplinary research, conferences, and teaching.”



A Pledge…Queen Lili‘uokalani Distinguished Professorship in Native Hawaiian Culture

In 2015, the Trustees of the Queen Lili‘uokalani Trust (QLT) pledged to establish an endowment at the University of Hawai‘I at Manoa Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work in honor of the life and legacy of Queen Lili‘uokalani. Queen Lili‘uokalani (1838-1917) was the last monarch and only queen regnant of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i. She is remembered for her formidable intelligence, unwavering resilience, and staunch commitment to her people. The strength of her character is reflected in her composition “Ke Aloha O Ka Haku” (Queen’s Prayer) in which she speaks of forgiveness and peace during the overthrow of the monarchy and her imprisonment – “Ko makou maluhia a mau loa aku no” (Let peace be our portion now and forever more).

The holder of this professorship will create an educational program anchored in Native Hawaiian cultural knowledge, practices and values that will strengthen the training of social work and other allied professionals in working with Native Hawaiian children, families, and communities. It is believed that by building a workforce educated in Native Hawaiian culture, we can improve the health and well-being of this population.

Hawai‘I is easily recognized for its racial and ethnic diversity, with Native Hawaiians comprising approximately 20 percent of the 1.4 million people who live here. As the people indigenous to Hawai‘I, Native Hawaiians have multiple strengths, but continue to experience health disparities and social inequities. The pledged gift from the QLT will strengthen the school’s advocacy and obligation to work on improving the circumstances of Native Hawaiians. It is a commitment that reflects Queen Lili‘uokalani’s motto “‘E ‘Onipa‘a Kakou” (Be Steadfast).

This professorship is subject to final authorizations and the approval of the University of Hawai‘I Board of Regents.





Alumni and Friends of the School of Social Work Endowed Scholarship
Betty Lyle Anderson Scholarship

Gordon and June Ito Foundation Social Work Scholarship
Kahala Nui Gerontology Scholarship

Sentaro and Laurel T. T. Kaneda Endowed Scholarship
Oscar and Gaile M. Kurren Scholarship

Fred Markham Lampson Endowed Scholarship
Jensen Lampson Memorial Endowed Scholarship

Sally Kanehe Lampson Endowed Scholarship
Murabayashi Foundation Scholarship

Daniel Selvarajah Sanders Endowed Scholarship
Richard S. and T. Rose Takasaki Endowed Scholarship

Elaine K. Tamashiro Endowed Fellowship
Myron B. Thompson Endowed Scholarship



Faculty and Staff Notes
Our internationally renowned faculty and staff share some of what they are working on. It’s been a busy year of publications, presentations, conferences and promotions.

Elizabeth Aparicio, MSW, PhD, Assistant Professor. Her current work includes researchpractice partnerships on (1) teen pregnancy/parenting among Native Hawaiian youth and (2) reducing intergenerational child welfare involvement via evidenced-based teen pregnancy prevention and teen parenting support. This year, Dr. Aparicio also launched the Future Leaders Optimizing Well-being (FLOW) program.

Robin G. Arndt, MSW, LSW, recently presented “The Process Recording: An Old Tool in a New Age,” at the Social Work Distance Education Conference, held in Indianapolis. Arndt is an instructor with the MSW Distance Education option and coordinates the school’s continuing education and professional development opportunities. He is president-elect of the National Association of Social Workers-Hawaii Chapter and Chair of the Continuing Education Committee.

Katie Bennett, JD, MSW, was recently promoted to Assistant Specialist. In addition to her ongoing work in child welfare and family conflict resolution, Bennett is partnering with the Trafficking Victims Post Conviction Advocacy Project at the Women’s Law Center of Maryland. She’s assisting survivors of sex trafficking, helping them vacate a prostitution conviction, pursuant to a recently enacted Hawai‘I law. She continues to serve as president of the board of directors for Mental Health America of Hawai‘I and attended the national Mental Health of America conference in June of 2015.

Professor Colette Browne, MA, MSW, MPH, Dr.PH, chairs the school’s gerontology program. She continues as principal investigator, together with co-principal investigators Drs. Noreen Mokuau and Kathryn Braun, of Ha Kupuna National Resource Center. Dr. Browne and her colleagues recently published “Listening to the Voices of Native Hawaiian Elders” and “‘Ohana Caregivers: Discussions on Aging, Health, and Care Preferences” in the Journal of Cross Cultural Gerontology; and “Research on Indigenous Elders: From Positivistic to Decolonizing Methodologies” in The Gerontologist. She works on two national boards: The American Society on Aging, and the National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative.

Michael C. DeMattos, MSW, is currently, BSW Program Chair. In 2008, he received the coveted Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. He is committed to extending educational access to underrepresented populations, indigenous ways of knowing, and culturally relevant practice. Current research focuses on racial and ethnic formation in Hawai‘I, in particular the racialization of the Portuguese at the turn of the 20th century.

Associate Professor, Meripa Taiai Godinet, MSW, PhD, is the MSW Program Chair and Author of Pacific People and Transnational Social Work: Dancing to the beat of a different drum. Her scholarship focuses on social and adjustment issues of Pacific Islander adolescents, and the juvenile justice and child welfare experience. Additional publications include: “Early childhood maltreatment and trajectories of behavioral problems: Exploring gender and racial differences”; “Protective factors among families with children at risk of maltreatment: Follow up to early school years”; and “Community, Neighborhood, and Peer Influence on Samoan American Youths.”

Jing Guo, MA, PhD, was recently tenured and promoted to Associate Professor. Her research focuses on comparative family policy, population (im)migration and child education. Currently, Dr. Guo is conducting an Asian Immigrant Family Study in Hawai‘I, which examines Asian immigrant parenting in relation to their cultural values and immigrant experiences.

Associate Professor Seunghye Hong MA, PhD, published several new articles, including “Neighborhoods and Mental Health: Exploring ethnic density, poverty, and social cohesion among Asian Americans and Latinos,” in Social Science & Medicine. Dr. Hong also received a RMATRIX-II Pilot Project Grant, funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, for feasibility testing a web-based weight loss program for Native Hawaiians and other Pacific peoples.

Lana Sue Ka‘opua, MSW, PhD and ACSW, is Associate Professor and Chair of the MSW Health Concentration. She is also the co-director of Ha Kupuna National Resource Center for Native Hawaiian Elders and with the UH Cancer Center. Her enduring commitment is to advancing health equity and eliminating disparities in cancer/ HIV. As educator, she is active in development of indigenous Hawaiian and inter-professional pedagogies. She serves on the UHM Interprofessional Education Collaborative and co-convenes the Social Work & Health Inequalities Network.

Assistant Professor Bum Jung Kim MSW, PhD, focuses his research on mental health, suicide, and quality of life among older Asian immigrants. He was formerly the associate director of Center for Policy Research on Aging at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

Jaclyn Kanilehua Kim, MSW, LSW, joined the faculty in 2010. Her fields of interest are in Native Hawaiian health and well-being, and indigenous research and evaluation. She serves on the board of I Ola Lahui, which is a non-profit integrated behavioral health services provider for Native Hawaiians.

Theresa Kreif, MSW, LSW, is currently Faculty and Assistant to the Dean. Her recent work includes A Chuukese Canoe, in the book, Transnational Pacific Islander Americans and Social Work: Dancing to the Beat of a Different Drum. She coordinates the Guam Option MSW DE program with the University of Guam. Her presentation Continuing Education: Advancing Community, Faculty and Student Engagement and Collaboration will be delivered at the annual program meeting for the 2015 Council on Social Work Education.

Christine Langworthy, MSW, LSW, tenured Assistant Specialist, has been part of the Practicum Office since 1989, and is currently practicum coordinator for MSW Students. She oversees and coordinates field placements and continues to work with agency partners and social workers in the community to develop new practicum opportunities for students. Her areas of interest are gerontology and behavioral mental health.

Ron Matayoshi, MSW, LSW, began the school’s international field exposure programs in 2000. Countries include: Japan, the Philippines, China, Thailand, Eastern Tanzania, New Zealand, and the Dominican Republic. Ongoing international collaboration with: Univers Foundation, Japan; Okinawa International University, Okinawa; Prince of Peace Foundation, China, and the Consuelo Foundation, Philippines. Ron is the lead MBT SSW faculty to the Maternal and Child Health, Leadership Education Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and related Disorder program. In addition, he was the lead integrator for the SWITCH pilot program at Kaiser Permanente.

Paula Toki Morelli, MSW, PhD and PhD Program Chair. Her research includes Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center, “Papawai Nurturing ‘Ohana”; and Administration Native Americans, “Na Kamalei Early Education”. She is the Director of the Moloka‘I Child Abuse Prevention Pathways. Recent publications include “Asian- Americans: Filipinos,” in the Encyclopedia of Social Work; and “Shifting paradigms: New directions for non-profits and funders… diminishing resources,” published in Social Business.

Assistant professor Susan Nakaoka, MA, MSW, PhD, joined the school in January of 2015. She is co-investigator on a study examining the impact of a racial justice MSW curriculum on social work practice. In October 2015, she will be presenting her paper “Race and Emergency Services: The story of Seattle’s International District Emergency Center,” at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting.

Director of Student Services, Mari Ono, MSW, chairs the Indigenous Affairs Committee within the SSW and will serve as Chair of the UHM Academic Procedures Committee. Ono co-presented at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), Region 9 Conference: “Where’s the Aloha? De-Stigmatizing the Helicopter Parent.” In October 2015, she is co-presenting, “What Happens in Advising Stays with Students and Their Families,” at the NACADA National Conference.

Laura Puakina Paul, MSW, LSW, runs the Hi‘ilei program which provides field integration seminars in children’s mental health and practicum placement in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division. She also provides technical assistance to Project Kealahou, a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant for adolescent girls who have experienced trauma.

Associate Professor, and Director of Distance Education, Rebecca Stotzer, MS, MSW, PhD has been selected as an Honors Program faculty (2014- 2016). Her research addresses antecedents and consequences of stigma, including bias crimes, discrimination, and harassment, with specific attention to issues impacting sexual and/or gender minority people.

Jill Sur, MSW, is the current Program Coordinator for the Distance Education option of the MSW Program. In April 2015, she presented “Preparing students in distance education programs: A student orientation model” at the inaugural Social Work Distance Education Conference held in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Aimee Sutherlin, MSW, has assisted in coordinating the BSW practicum program by placing students at field sites in the community and facilitating the Field Integration Seminars. She also provides instruction for BSW practice and policy courses.

An alumni of the School of Social Work and of the Hawai‘I Child Welfare Education Collaboration, Cheri Tarutani, MSW, LCSW, has a background working on issues surrounding child welfare and the courts, but her current interest is in restorative justice practices.

Emeritus Faculty

Paul L. Adams, MA, MSW, DSW

Harvey Gochros, MS, DSW

Harold Jambor, MSW, DSW

Larry H. Lister, MSW, DSW

Mildred Sikkema, MSS, PhD

Our Staff plays a vital role in carrying out the mission of the MBT SSW, and in helping to position our school as a leader in higher education in social work. The staff stands side by side with faculty, university colleagues, and community partners in creating an environment that nurtures the educational growth of our students. They hold diverse roles and responsibilities related to areas such as student affairs, grants and contracts management, fiscal and budget administration, and human resources. In many ways, they represent that “glue” that holds the operations of the MBT SSW intact so that we can aspire to providing education that meets the social work needs of our families and communities.




Our Programs
The MBT SSW is an educational leader in social work with growing outreach in the Asia-Pacifi c region.

Bachelor of Social Work

Over the past five years, BSW enrollment has increased by 33%. This unprecedented growth can be attributed to the dedicated work of past and present faculty; recognition of the BSW degree as valuable to both the community and students; and innovative and inventive programming designed to address the changing needs of both our students and society.


Over the past five years
BSW program enrollment
has increased by 33%.

The BSW program is committed to increasing students’ access to an affordable and excellent education. Toward this end, the program has solidifi ed relationships with UH system of community colleges to establish pathways from two-year institutions in rural areas of O‘ahu into the MBT SSW. In 2012, the BSW Program partnered with the Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence at the School of Medicine to form the Native Hawaiian Interdisciplinary Health Program, to recruit and retain Native Hawaiian students. Finally, the BSW Program is developing an Honors Tract for high-performing students hoping to conduct independent research.

Nearly half of all BSW graduates go on for their MSW degree, while many others enter the social service field directly. Our students are making a difference here in the Islands, on the Continent and across the globe.


The category of community and social service occupations is expected to be one of the fastest growing occupational groups, with a predicted growth of 24.2% from 2010 to 2020.

-U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Master of Social Work

Our MSW program is anchored in our commitment to social justice, well-being, and diversity. This commitment is reflected in the profession’s contribution to prevention and resolution of critical social problems in an increasingly multicultural world. Within this commitment, our unique focus is on indigenous wisdom and perspectives with an emphasis on Native Hawaiians and strong consideration of other Pacific Islander and Asian people living in the Asia- Pacific region. The School is directed towards increasing the educational capital and workforce of Hawai‘I to achieve social justice and improve the well-being of current and future generations.

The Social Welfare Doctorate Program

Doctoral leadership in social welfare provides significant efforts toward alleviating effects of poverty, war, social injustice, and political instability. Through research, teaching and service, doctorate servant-leadership advances healing, social justice and global understanding. Students may prepare for careers as academicians, researchers, policy analysts, leaders and administrators in welfare and allied areas.

Thirty-nine percent of our graduates hold faculty or administrative positions at local, national and international universities; 22 percent are instructors at universities and other educational settings. The remaining 39 percent contribute to research, clinical or consultancy roles within various non-governmental and governmental organizations, or private practice.

Opportunities to participate in faculty research include: Health disparities among Asians, Native Hawaiians and Pacifi c-Islanders, behavioral mental health, child welfare, gerontology, immigration issues, indigenous research methodologies, and social development in indigenous communities.

In the Pacifi c Basin, University of Hawai‘i’s PhD in Social Welfare program stands alone, making it imperative to safeguard its future.


The number of currently enrolled PhD students, representing emerging leadership poised to serve the Pacific Basin, Asia, U.S, and other regions. Fifty-eight percent are local residents, 26% international (representing Japan, Korea, Philippines, and Singapore), and 16% U.S. continental.



Spanning the Miles:
The Distance Education Program

The issue of having enough social workers and services for Hawai‘i—particularly in the rural areas—has long been a concern. To address this shortfall, the MBT SSW started a distance education (DE) program in the 1980s, designed to visit one island at a time with cohorts of 30, and teachers fl ew out to students’ locations. This meant that only one cohort could be run at a time, so there was a maximum of 30 Masters of Social Work students every three years. Still, this version of the program graduated over 100 social workers on Kaua‘I, the Big Island, and Maui by the time it wrapped up in 2005.

In 2007, the DE program shifted to a technology enhanced model, allowing students from all of the rural islands to learn simultaneously, and allowing two cohorts to run at the same time. This doubled the potential MSW graduates, from 30 every three years to 60 every three years.

Since 2010, the MBT SSW DE program has graduated over 100 students, who have gone on to open private mental health services in Kahului; become leaders in nonprofit programs in Hilo; to serve our homeless veterans on Kaua‘I, and who have become child welfare workers helping vulnerable keiki on Moloka‘i. Students have put in more than 75,000 hours at field placements in 80 agencies in rural parts of the state, totaling over $1.5 million back in services to our Neighbor Island communities. Our program has been identified as one of the top 10 distance MSW degrees in the United States.

“Being able to stay on Maui and go to school was such an important opportunity for me,” says Nicole Galindo, class of 2011. “DE is special for so many reasons. I was able to continue working in social services while studying. This strengthened my connection to the community I serve and allowed me to really understand the services that are provided.” Another alumna of the DE program, Madeline Colon, class of 2010, says, “Since graduating, so many more doors have opened up for me which otherwise would have been shut. No longer do I feel like a paraprofessional. Returning to school after a 10-year gap it was daunting, but the DE faculty was supportive of all of us and were invested in our success in each step of the way.”

In 2013, the DE program entered into a cooperative agreement with the University of Guam to bring a MSW education to Guam, allowing students from both schools to tackle social issues that span the Pacific, as well as those issues that are most pressing in their home communities.


“Being able to stay on Maui and go to school was such an important opportunity for me. I was able to continue working in social services while studying. This strengthened my connection to the community I serve and allowed me to really understand the services that are provided.

Nicole Galindo, class of 2011



Service and Learning in the Philippines

Over the past 10 years, 29 social work and public health students have completed summer internships in the Philippines in partnership with the Consuelo Foundation. Jon Matsuoka, former Dean of the MBT SSW, is the current president and CEO of the Consuelo Foundation. Consuelo Foundation works with over 200 progressive non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that deliver assistance, treatment, education, socio-economic and community development opportunities aimed at the prevention of abuse, neglect and exploitation of families. The Consuelo Foundation Service Learning Internship has dual functions: 1) Learning: to advance skills related to international social work, community organization, and socio-economic development within disadvantaged communities, and 2) Service: to empower, protect, and improve the lives of impoverished women, children and families. The internship off ers students unparalleled opportunities in: Professional development in realworld settings, international networking, knowledge of cutting-edge practices in developing countries, organizational systems analysis, and career development in international social welfare and allied professions. Placement sites in the Philippines include:

  • Child and Family Services Philippines, Baguio City Consuelo Foundation Child Protection Projects and Initiatives, Dumaguete City, Negros OccidentalCF Project HOPE, Guiunan, Eastern SamarPangarap Foundation, in Pasay City, Metro Manila Little Children of the Philippines, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental Southville 7, Calauan, Laguna Calabarzon Western Samar Development Foundation (WESADEF), Calbayog, West Samar International Deaf Education Association (IDEA), Bohol Visayan Forum, Quezon City Child Hope Asia, Manila Social Action Center, Zamboanga.

Former students have discovered that there’s no “onesize- fits all” methodology for community work, and that their efforts must accommodate the social, cultural and political nuances of that community. They’ve also learned that genuine caring transcends cultural differences; the face of dire circumstances, communities can demonstrate remarkable resilience and resourcefulness. Several MBT SSW/Consuelo internship graduates joined the U.S. Peace Corp; worked in Africa with other NGO’s or returned to the Philippines as volunteers. Wherever graduates go, the CFSLI significantly influenced their appreciation of, and commitment to, global social welfare.



Supporting High Quality Health Care
How we team with The Queen’s Medical Center to the benefit of all.

The Queen’s Medical Center (QMC) is the largest private, non-profit hospital in Hawai‘i, and is renowned for its commitment to the health and well-being of all people. The legacy of the QMC is rooted in the resolve of Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV to establish a hospital at a time in Hawai‘i’s history when there was a devastating decline of the Native Hawaiian population from diseases. In a speech the King gave in 1860, he galvanized community support by stating, “….but let me remind you, that so long as sickness shall exist, there will be a duty imposed upon us.” To support high-quality health care, the QMC has partnered with us on several initiatives. Partnerships spanning decades occur in practicum, with students benefitting from on-site training at the QMC. QMC has also contracted with the School on professional development activities for social work staff, many of whom graduated from the School. Early and current collaborations emphasize the MBT SSW as a resource in health and providing Supporting High-Quality Health Care How we team with The Queen’s Medical Center to the benefit of all. NOREEN MOKUAU, DSW, DEAN AND PROFESSOR ROBIN ARNDT, MSW, LSW, INSTRUCTOR AND COORDINATOR OF CONTINUING EDUCATION seminars on topics that QMC assesses as critical for quality patient care. Most recently, the Queen’s Health Systems has generously sponsored the naming of one of the classrooms in Gartley Hall to augment the partnership on social work education in health care.



OHA and The Hawaiian Learning Program

The Hawaiian Learning Program (HLP) works with students to develop a hands-on, practice-based educational cultural curriculum that honors the ‘olelo noeau, “Ma ka hana, ka ‘ike” (in the doing comes the learning). The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) recently continued its long-term support of the MBT SSW Hawaiian Learning Program through a three-year grant. The grant will assist with student stipends as well as developing the school as a Hawaiian Place of Learning.

Statewide, HLP students have contributed 80,000-plus hours of internships at social service connected agencies. Dean Noreen Mokuau, an HLP alumni, says, “OHA’s strategic priorities include ho‘ona‘auao or education; we welcome the opportunity to continue our collaboration with OHA. HLP, which is led by esteemed kupuna and wellregarded faculty, is taught in both community and university settings, and places students in organizations that work with Native Hawaiian people, families and communities. It is an intensive, immersion-enhanced practicum program for students with special attention to integrating Hawaiian knowledge and principles in order to exemplify social work practice that is respectful to kanaka, ‘aina and akua. (man, the environment and the gods).”

The HLP Cohort 1: 1970s-1980s and Cohort 2: 2008-present, alumni include OHA trustee Haunani Apoliona. Support from OHA current and former CEOs and trustees has provided the opportunity for HLP to expand to the Neighbor Islands, enhancing the reach of OHA’s financial support. Technology allows Neighbor Island residents to stay connected and complete their internships in their home communities, creating robust centers of learning.

Ensuring HLP opportunities are available statewide is critical to the preservation and perpetuation of Native Hawaiian social work values.


Caring for Our Children
Through her Trust, Queen Lili‘uokalani ensured that the people of Hawai‘i would be cared for in perpetuity.

Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center (QLCC) is a premier social service agency embedded in Hawaiian values and practices, and dedicated to the care of orphan and destitute children throughout Hawai‘i. QLCC originates in Queen Lili‘uokalani’s steadfast aloha for the children and families of Hawai‘i – “it is for them that I would give the last drop of my blood; it is for them that I would spend, nay, am spending, everything belonging to me.” To further its mission, the QLCC has generously partnered with the school in multiple ways, with significant attention to a cultural immersion practicum program, the Hawaiian Learning Program.

The HLP is unique as it incorporates Hawaiian values and practices into social work practices, is led by renowned kupuna who have positions at both the MBT SSW and QLCC, and uses training sites at both the university and in the community. To date, the HLP has graduated over 100 social workers with many serving Queen Lili‘uokalani at the QLCC, and others shaping Western social service agencies in Hawaiian ways. Pinky Thompson, the namesake of the School, served as one of the Executive Directors of the QLCC. The reciprocity of relationships between our organizations has strengthened eorts to create the MBT SSW as a Hawaiian place of learning.



Toward a Healthier Hawai‘i
A five-year grant will improve the health of at-risk Island residents.

While Hawai‘i enjoys the status of being the “healthiest state” in the nation based on the population’s overall longevity, there are still many who struggle with poor health. RMATRIXII (2014-2019), the RCMI Multidisciplinary And Translational Research Infrastructure eXpansion program is a $15.4-million grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, that fosters research on health disparities among Island residents. The goal is to improve the health of those who su­ er disproportionately from poor health, with attention to Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and Filipinos. In Hawai‘i, poor health can include heart disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia, and involves social determinants such as access to health care and safe neighborhoods, and other socioeconomic conditions.

Funded through the John A. Burns School of Medicine, in collaboration with the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work, the multiple principal investigators Deans Jerris Hedges (JABSOM) and myself recognize the importance of pooling university resources with community partners to optimize health for the future. RMATRIX-II builds a cadre of investigators who invest in solving Hawai’i’s most serious health problems through clinical and translational partnerships that are interdisciplinary, culturally-anchored and community-based. Services include: pilot project funding and core infrastructure support from biostatistics, regulatory knowledge, clinical research resources and facilities, community-based research, collaborations and partnerships, and professional development.

This is one of only five funded grants in the nation, and we are proud to be affiliated with a program that continues to ho‘okahua (lay a foundation) for leading-edge research that promotes a healthier Hawai‘i.

The University of Hawai`i RMATRIX-II program is supported by award number 5U54MD007584-05 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.


“We recognize the importance of pooling university resources with community partners to optimize health for the future.”

– Noreen Mokuau, DSW, Dean and Professor



Advancing Public Health
Knowledge, discovery, engagement, inclusion, and leadership are the cornerstones at the Office of Public Health Studies.

The Office of Public Health Studies (OPHS) at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa offers the BA in public health, the masters of public health, the masters of science in public health, the doctorate of public health (DrPH) in community-based and translational research, and the PhD in epidemiology. All degree programs are accredited by the Council for Education in Public Health. Currently, the we have about 200 students; about two thirds are residents of Hawai‘i, and one third are of Native Hawaiian or other Pacifi c Islander ancestry.

The BA in public health prepares students for a wide array of careers and career paths in health. This degree option opened in 2014, and the fi rst BA graduates are expected in December 2015.

The MPH program emphasizes practice, policy and research with specializations in epidemiology, health policy and management, Native Hawaiian and indigenous health, and social behavioral health sciences. The DrPH in Community-Based and Translational Research and the PhD in Epidemiology prepare leaders in research and policy dedicated to resolving the most serious challenges confronting society. Since 1960, more than 3,850 individuals have graduated with masters or doctoral degrees in public health.

The OPHS faculty maintains a diverse and extensive research portfolio. About 90 percent of tenure-track faculty served as either a principal investigator or a co-investigator on an extramurally-funded research project during each of the last three years. Faculty research interests range from infectious and chronic disease epidemiology, to pain control, health economics, health care access, violence prevention, health behavior change, and reasons for and ways to decrease health care disparities. Research populations range from infants and children to adolescents, adults, and elders. Sixty-six percent of all externally-funded research projects conducted over the last three years were community-based, the majority of which were conducted with indigenous, immigrant, and minority communities. The faculty averages four peer-reviewed papers and two conference presentations per year.



Ha Kupuna National Resource Center for Native Hawaiian Elders

Ha Kupuna, the National Resource Center for Native Hawaiian Elders, is located in the MBT SSW at UH Manoa. Ha Kupuna’s work speaks to the giving of ha, or breath of life, from the older to younger generations. In Native Hawaiian culture, kupuna (elders) traditionally are recognized as the major sources of wisdom, and the transmitters of knowledge and training to younger generations. Established in 2006, the goal of Ha Kupuna is to improve access to, and delivery of, services to Native Hawaiian elders and their caregivers through the development and dissemination of knowledge around health and long-term care patterns and preferences.

Ha Kupuna is funded by the Administration on Community Living/Administration on Aging (ACL/ AoA), Department of Health and Human Services. It is a university-community partnership committed to building the knowledge base on Native Hawaiian elders’ (kupuna) health and care preferences that can translate to more effective policies and practices. Ha Kupuna is governed by an advisory council composed of native elders and native leaders, leaders in the gerontology community, and administrators from the ACL/AoA Title VI programs. Our faculty include Drs. Noreen Mokuau, Colette V. Browne, Kathryn L. Braun, Lana Sue Ka`opua, and Bum Jung Kim.

Over the past ten years, Ha Kupuna researchers implemented a multi-method research study that identified health and long-term care needs of Native Hawaiian elders and their ‘ohana (family) caregivers.Issues that surfaced included: disparities in longevity compared to other major ethnic groups in Hawai‘i, a strong respect for kupuna, care preferences for affordable and culturally informed health and long-term care services, and the need for service providers to be culturally grounded and responsive. In 2015, Ha Kupuna was awarded the 2015 award for Excellence in Multicultural Aging from the American Society on Aging, the nation’s largest professional association in gerontology. “We are thrilled by this prestigious national recognition,” said Dean Noreen Mokuau. Colette V. Browne, added, “Recognition of the work of Ha Kupuna, National Resource Center for Native Hawaiian Elders, signals an increased awareness of the social and health disparities faced by native elders, and the need for continued research and policies to alleviate them.”



The percentage of older adults in Hawai‘i, making it one of the nation’s fastest growing older adult populations. By 2035, 30 percent of the state’s residents will be in that age group.





Including Our Elders
The Center on Aging is developing and leading ways to improve the quality of life of older adults and families.

The health and quality of life of older adults in Hawai‘i is a vital concern in this changing demographic and economic climate. To enhance the well-being of older adults, the University of Hawai‘i Center on Aging (COA) is committed to building interdisciplinary and collaborative efforts in research, educational programs, and providing service to the community. “The Center on Aging has served as a gathering place for faculty and students interested in aging; as an incubator for gerontological research in various disciplines; and as the hub for developing new courses,” says Anthony Lenzer, Ph.D., the first Director of the UH Center on Aging (1988-92), and professor emeritus, UH Manoa.

In the past few years, COA has focused on opportunities to strengthen the community and care systems for older adults and their families. One example is Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s ongoing Honolulu as an Age-Friendly City Initiative, in which COA serves as consultant. The initiative envisions inter-connected communities that will embrace older adults who want to remain socially involved and physically active; a city infrastructure that will remain responsive to the capabilities and safety of our people; equitable services; robust opportunities for intergenerational exchanges; and thriving quality of life among all residents. COA was responsible for gathering and synthesizing public feedback, research, and development of the Action Plan and will support the implementation process.

A second example is COA’s partnership with MBT SSW on a caregiver support project that recognizes the role individuals and families as essential partners in the care planning process. The evidence-based, Tailored Care (T-CARE) model uses trained care managers to assess caregiver needs through a structured assessment and tailors care recommendations to the needs of caregivers, including their own health and wellness. COA and MBT SSW are evaluating the effectiveness and feasibility of this pilot program to determine whether this evidence-based program can be adopted statewide to benefit caregivers in Hawai‘i.

Re-examining and re-inventing the role of older adults and family in health care, social services, and community initiatives is critical and will have a profound impact on the efficiency of care in our community. From research, program development and evaluation to policy analysis, the COA is developing and leading collaborations to improve the quality of life of older adults and families and to ensure Hawai‘i’s communities are age-friendly for all.


Re-examining and re-inventing the role of older adults and family in health care, social services, and community initiatives is critical and will have a profound impact on the efficiency of care in our community.



Innovations in Interprofessional Education

In IPE, many hands are working together.

Interprofessional Education (IPE) involves interactive learning between two or more students from diverse professions. Faculty work together to facilitate interprofessional exchange among students who learn with and from each other. At MBT SSW, we are actively involved in IPE with our partners from the UH Schools of Medicine, Nursing/Dental Hygiene, Pharmacy, and Office of Public Health Studies. Through Team Laulima—the UH IPE innovation—we aspire to prepare the healthcare workforce for interprofessional collaboration on the triple aims of healthcare transformation—namely, greater access to care, enhanced quality of care, and better health outcomes for persons and populations.

“A driving force behind healthcare providers’ transition from soloists to members of an orchestra is the complexity of modern healthcare, which is evolving at a breakneck pace,” reported the Institute of Medicine. The US health care system is among the most costly in the world, with costs rising as chronic health conditions proliferate, the population ages, and increasingly complex demands are placed on health and social service providers. IPE is regarded as an educational innovation essential to advance changes in healthcare delivery.

While teamwork is important, achieving interprofessional collaboration remains a challenge. There is a clear


“Participation gave me insights into how healthcare providers can work together. You have to know your stuff and how to work with others. The experience grew my confidence as a social worker and team player!”

–An IPE student


pecking order in the hospital setting and the social work perspective is often underrepresented. We need to emphasize that everyone brings something to the table—all are necessary to ensure the best and most comprehensive quality of care.

True collaboration is born from trust, and this trust can only be nurtured through ongoing opportunities to learn how to effectively communicate and collaborate with other disciplines.

IPE Collaboration at UH

IPE complements disciplinary-specific training through curriculum and activities which articulate a common core of competencies in communication, ethics, and team-based work. Such competencies promote interprofessional understanding and trust. MBT SSW is involved in several IPE collaborations which notably, includes Maternal and Child Health Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (MCH LEND) and Hawai‘i Interprofessional Team Collaboration Simulation (HIPTCS). Student participants in these IPE activities report being challenged to stretch beyond their comfort zone and are enthusiastic about ‘how’ and ‘what’ they learned.

SSW continues collaboration with other UH professional schools—refining IPE activities, extending outreach to the greater health and social services community, and building the organizational infrastructure necessary for sustainability. Such efforts offer the hopeful prospect of better health care for all.



Staying Current

Our school’s responsibility for education does not stop with the issuance of a degree.

Social workers, like other professionals, have a responsibility to remain knowledgeable about advances in their respective discipline. It may be true that the foundations of relationship building haven’t changed much over the course of several decades, but the interventions that are considered best practice have. As time continues to progress, so too does knowledge. Things that were once considered a well-established intervention are deemed ineffective. Subtle changes to how a practitioner works with a client could reduce recovery time. Changes in policy alter how services need to be delivered.

The passage of a recent law requiring licensed social workers in the state of Hawai‘i to complete hours of continuing education during each licensing period has solidified the necessity for continued learning. This law aligns with the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers in that each social worker should participate in continuing education to keep current with emerging social work practice.

As an essential component of the only public flagship research university in the state, MBT SSW holds firm on its responsibility to provide opportunities for professionals to advance their knowledge. Through the development of partnerships with community organizations to provide training, and the creation of a yearlong series of workshops and seminars, MBT SSW will be promoting excellence and competence in the field.

The Continuing Education and Professional Development (CEPD) program will begin engaging soon-to-be graduates through a journey to licensure program, which describes the process and invites students to learn more about the importance of a license to their career. CEPD has also distributed a comprehensive needs assessment to working practitioners, to understand the educational needs of the community and respond to them. Via short Internet-based webinars, and longer workshops, professional social workers can partner with MBT SSW on their journey of lifelong learning.


MBT SSW holds firm on its responsibility to provide opportunities for professionals to advance their knowledge.

– Robin Arndt, MSW, LSW, Instructor and Coordinator of Continuing Education



A Message from the Director of Development


Aloha and thank you for your support of the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work. Your generosity is evident when we look at the tax-deductible donations that we have been receiving ever since the school was founded in 1936.

The work we do in the Development Office is multifaceted and touches all parts of the school. Mainly, we are here to help develop relationships, help donors and their families to create and leave their legacies, and to provide confidence that their wishes will be carried forward now and into the future.

There are many areas where you can support the MBT SSW. A few include:

Gartley Hall Naming Opportunities

We can provide our friends and partners an opportunity to name “spaces” in our new home, historic Gartley Hall, for specific funding levels for a 10-year term. There are a variety of spaces that can be named that have instructional, research, community engagement, and administrative functions. The naming of spaces is a significant, highly visible and enduring honor that can catalyze teaching and research. Funding is to be used for diverse school needs, with attention to technology and special projects.

Student Scholarships

Student scholarships provide financial support to students who are interested in social work. Many of the MBT SSW students are the first in their family to attend college or obtain a degree in higher education. Through scholarships, we can provide access to the brightest students who might not otherwise have the financial means to pursue higher education. Scholarships can be supported by a named endowment that will continue in perpetuity or by annual gifts.

Endowed Professorships and Endowed Chairs

Endowments for Professors and Chairs have different funding levels, and are intended to attract and retain distinguished leaders to fulfill the mission of social work and match the priority interest of donors. Examples may include social policy, aging, Native Hawaiian health, international social work, and community engagement. Funding supports the endowed faculty in achieving excellence and can include leadership development, research, student support, and community engagement.

Please email or call me if you have any questions about how you can support our students and programs. Or if you just want to explore some ideas and discuss how you might leave your legacy. I would be happy to talk with you.

Mahalo nui for helping to grow our kauhale,

Mark Fukeda,
Director of Development
(808) 956-7988


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Mele Aloha

Akea ka moana nui

Ho‘olalani ‘ia o ‘Iwikuamo‘o

E pulama i mohala na pua

A ku i ka mana

E kupu a liko a‘e

E ulu a ola mau

A kau i ka puaaneane

E ola mau Ka Lahui!

The immense ocean of Kanaloa

Aligned is ‘Iwikuamo‘o

Cherish them so they may blossom

Fed by the elder, the younger retains the knowledge

Bud forth and grow

Increase and thrive

To live a full life

Long live the Nation!



Written by Brandee Aukai and Kelly Anne Beppu under the guidance of kumu Randie Fong.

This mele (song) was written in honor of Myron B. Thompson, also known as “Pinky.” We worked together with his ‘ohana and close friends to compose this mele. Though we both did not have the honor of meeting him, he left a legacy that touched us greatly. Pinky was a man of few words, though his actions were great. He loved his people, his culture and the ocean, which he used as a common thread to unite all people. Through this oli we hope that Myron “Pinky” Thompson and his vision for his beloved people will be perpetuated by the school of social work that carries his name.

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