Meet our Ka Leo o ka Uluau hosts:
Leilani’s story began with her ancestors from Hawaiʻi, North America, Europe, and continued on the island of Oʻahu where she grew up, before moving to Hawaiʻi Island where she now resides with her family. It is here, especially in the ahupuaʻa of Waiākea, that her connection with Hawaiian culture and the ʻāina deepened. She learned more of her kūpuna, their places, and practices, which inspired her to pursue an AA in Hawaiian Lifestyles – Kapuahi at Hawaiʻi Community College, and subsequently a BA in Hawaiian Studies with a focus on Continuing the Culture from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Leilani also has an AAS in Business Technology from Hawaiʻi Community College and is passionate about education, culture, and enjoys volunteering in her community as often as possible.
Drewʻs story began through his ancestors in the foothills of the magical Karpaty, the Carpathian Mountains, of Eastern Europe, and continued in the cities and woodlands of Massachusetts and Connecticut where he grew up. He was a university student in Montréal in Canada, Firenze in Italy, and Mexico City, and graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Italian. Drew worked for an international student exchange organization in Washington DC and NYUʻs art library in New York City before he moved to Honolulu to earn a degree in Geography at UH-Mānoa. He began teaching Geography at Hawaiʻi-CC and UH-Hilo in the late 1990s, and has had the privilege of residing in the forested, volcanic uplands of Puna since. While teaching, he earned a degree in Hawaiian Studies from Hawaiʻi-CC, and has been involved in the Kūkūʻena hula cohort bridging the Hilo campuses, in the Uluākea faculty development program, is an advocate of UH Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao, of ʻāina-based learning and sustainability, and engaged in ahupuaʻa research with our students, while serving as a Geography Professor at Hawaiʻi-CC. He is grateful to be involved in any project committed to the well-being of our Hawaiʻi cultural-environmental communities.
Meet our Inoa Matters host:
Bruce Torres Fischer
Bruce is the producer and audio engineer for Ka Leo o ka Uluau, and the host of the mini-series Inoa Matters. He lives in ʻŌlaʻa with his ʻohana and spends most of his time on projects pertaining to Hawaiian language revitalization, going on various huakaʻi, volunteering on the ʻāina, and of course producing and co-hosting podcasts promoting all things Hawaiian. He recently graduated with his B.A. in Hawaiian Studies and Linguistics, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Hawaiian Language and Literature at UH Hilo. In his free time, he enjoys listening to and playing Hawaiian music, among other things.