Categorized | Education

Professors, staff member named NHEA Educators of the Year


Two Hawaii Community College professors and a longtime UH Hilo employee have been named 2013 Educators of the Year by the Native Hawaiian Education Association, one of the most prestigious awards in Hawaiian education.

Dr. Taupouri Tangaro, an associate professor and the chairman of the humanities department at HawCC; Kekuhi Kanae Kanahele KealiikanakaoleoHaililani, assistant professor and coordinator at HawCC’s I Ola Haloa Hawaii Life Styles Program; and Gail Makuakane-Lundin, executive assistant to the chancellor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, were honored at NHEA’s 14th Annual Convention, which took place March 21-22 at the Hawaii Island campus of Kamehameha Schools.

HawCC Chancellor Noreen Yamane said the University of Hawaii system is fortunate to have such dedicated educators working at HawCC and UH Hilo.

“Tangaro, Gail and Kekuhi have a deep understanding of Hawaiian culture and history, which is incredibly valuable for our students and our college community overall,” Yamane said. “Their knowledge is matched only by their dedication to ensuring that all students have a chance to succeed in our higher education system. I’m thrilled the NHEA is honoring them for their talent and hard work.”

Tangaro, Makuakane-Lundin and Kekuhi were nominated and selected by their peers for the NHEA Educator of the Year award.

Taupouri Tangaro

Taupouri Tangaro

Tangaro received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, his Master of Education from Heritage College, and his PhD from Union Institute and University.

He is a Kumu Hula (teacher of hula), receiving his training from Halau O Kekuhi, a traditional hula school known for the aihaa style of hula — a low-postured, vigorous, bombastic style reflecting the creative forces of the volcano.

Gail Makuakane-Lundin

Gail Makuakane-Lundin

Prior to her appointment as executive assistant, Makuakane-Lundin served as the director of several student support programs at UH Hilo, including the Kipuka Native Hawaiian Student Center, the Hawaiian Leadership Development Program, the Student Support Services Program and the Health Careers Opportunity Program.

“Aunty Gail” has been with UH Hilo for 29 years and is considered a leader in native Hawaiian student services on campus and within the UH system. She holds a Master of Science degree in public health from UH Manoa, a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from UH Hilo and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.

Kekuhi Kanae Kanahele KealiikanakaoleoHaililani,

Kekuhi Kanae Kanahele KealiikanakaoleoHaililani,

Kekuhi Kanae Kanahele KealiikanakaoleoHaililani has trained in the tradition of Hula Aihaa for 39 years and has been ritually elevated to the status of Kumu Hula, of Halau o Kekuhi by her mother, Kumu Hula Pualani Kanahele and her Aunt Kumu Hula Nalani Kanakaole. Under the direction of her mentors, Kekuhi has co-produced some of Halau O Kekuhi’s most significant contributions to oral and ritual arts performances.

KealiikanakaoleoHaililani volunteers her time as the executive director of the Edith Kanakaole Foundation, a family foundation dedicated to heightening and expanding indigenous Hawaii consciousness through oral and ritual arts and traditions and education, and research activities.

KealiikanakaoleoHaililani holds a Bachelor of Arts in Hawaiian Studies from the University of Hawaii at Hilo and a Master of Education from Heritage University. She will be pursuing a doctoral degree.

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