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New director at the College of Hawaiian Language

Keiki K.C. Kawai‘ae‘a

University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikolani College of Hawaiian Language changed leadership in January. Keiki K.C. Kawai‘ae‘a is the college’s new director, as former director Kalena Silva returns to an instructional role.

Kawai‘ae‘a has big shoes to fill. Under Silva’s guidance, the college developed a world renowned indigenous language immersion program of education from pre-school through a doctoral program. Kawai‘ae‘a is ready to lead the college into the future with a new building currently under construction.

Rendering of Haleʻōlelo, the new College of Hawaiian Language building now under construction.

“We are elated about the upcoming completion of our new building Haleʻōlelo and the many opportunities ahead to expand and improve our programs and outreach in Hawaiian language and culture, linguistics, immersion and mauli ola education P-20,” she says.

Kawai‘ae‘a has been with the college for some 20 years. Among her many accomplishments at UH Hilo, she is the founding director of the Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education Program and is a past director of the Hale Kuamo‘o-Hawaiian Language and Culture Center. She has been principal investigator on numerous grants to the college and has a distinguished record of research and artistic endeavors.

Earlier this year, she completed her doctorate at Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, Ohio, with a specialization in indigenous education.

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