Islands of Opportunity Alliance—LSAMP

The world of Oceania is not small; it is huge and growing bigger every day. Epeli Hau‘ofa, "Our Sea of Islands."

The National Science Foundation's Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Program

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program was mandated by Congress in 1991 and was designed to facilitate historically underrepresented students pursuing baccelaureate and graduate degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Today, there are 39 LSAMP Alliances across the United States with more than 500 participating institutions throughout the country. The Islands of Opportunity–LSAMP (IOA–LSAMP) represents the only LSAMP Alliance serving the entire US-affiliated Pacific region.IOA Logo
IOA-LSAMP is committed to increasing the number of underrepresented minority students—especially students of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander ancestry—graduating with two- and four-year degrees in STEM disciplines. The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo serves as the lead institution in an Alliance that comprises 10 partner institutions across the Pacific, including: American Samoa Community College, College of the Marshall Islands, College of Micronesia—FSM, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Guam Community College, Hawai‘i Pacific University, Northern Marianas College, Palau Community College, University of Guam, and University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

Student Eligibility

  • Be an underrepresented racial/ethnic minority as defined by NSF: Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, African American, American Indian, Alaskan Native;
  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident of the US or its possessions;
  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate major in a STEM discipline.

Recent Graduations

Kainalu Steward (pictured above) graduated with a B.A in Hawaiian Studies and a minor in Agriculture. He was also awarded a certificate in the Marine Option Program (MOP). In fall 2020 he will enter graduate studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo in the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science program.

"I am humbled and grateful to have been a part of the Keaholoa STEM program and for all the people that have come before me to create this space. Keaholoa has helped me reach my aspirations by being a vessel that has guided and allowed me to conduct research that aligned with my culture, values and goals. I would not be pursuing this path if it weren't for the support system and genuine relationships that I have gained through the Keaholoa program." —Kainalu Steward