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Department of English Faculty

Kirsten Mollegaard

Professor & Chair, English

Contact: Tel: (808) 932-7226, Email

Area of Specialization/Research:

Folklore, Oral traditions, Literature and Film Studies, Gender and Women Studies


B.A. Cultural Anthropology (UH Hilo),

B.A. English (UH Hilo),

M.A. English (UH Mānoa),

Ph.D. English (UH Mānoa)

Latest Publication: "Narratives of Place in Literature and Film"

Seri I. Luangphinith

Professor, English

Contact: Tel: (808) 932-7217, Email, Website

Area of Specialization/Research: Asian film and Television


B.A. Political Science and English (UH Mānoa),

M.A. English (U of Oregon),

Ph.D. English (Specialization in Post Colonial Literature and Theory).

Publication: "The Paths We Cross: Lives and Legacies of Koreans on the Big Island

Award: Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2004)

Mark T. Panek

Professor, English

Contact: Tel: (808) 932-7242, Email

B.A. in History from Colby College,

M.A., Ph.D. in English from UHM.


Creative Writing, Composition Pedagogy, Literature of Hawai’i, Autobiography, American Literature, Modern English Grammar, Composition, Advanced Composition.

Latest Publication:

Hawai’i: a novel, won the Ka Palapala Po’okela Award for Excellence in Literature, and led to my selection for the Elliot Cades Award—the two highest honors for local lit.


2008 UH Board of Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching
An Island In Waikiki,” won the Bamboo Ridge Editor’s Choice Award.
The biography Big Happiness: The Life and Death of a Modern Hawaiian Warrior, won the Ka Palapala Award for Excellence in Nonfiction.

Both Big Happiness and Hawai’i were selected for the juried list of 50 Essential Hawai’i Books compiled in 2018 by Honolulu Magazine.

Francis Dumanig

Assistant Professor, English; Program Coordinator, TESOL Certificate, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Contact: Tel: (808) 932-7936, Email, Website

Area of Specialization/Research:
Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language
Southeast Asian Englishes
Discourse Analysis (Language and Identity)
Language Planning and Language Policy

Ph.D. Linguistics - Sociolinguistics (University of Malaya)
M.A. English (Philippine Christian University)
B.A. English (Saint Paul University Surigao/San Nicolas College)

Selected Publications:
2017-2019 Publications
1. Dumanig, F., David, M..K., & Manan, S.A. (submitted). Transporting and Reconstructing Identities through Language Use in the Workplace: Focus on Filipinos in Malaysia.
2. Dumanig, F. & David, M.K. (2019). Linguistic Landscape as a Pedagogical Tool in Teaching and Learning English in Oman. Modern Journal of Studies in English Language Teaching and Literature - MJSELT 1. 1-13.
3. Manan, S., David, M.K., Channa, L. & Dumanig, F. (forthcoming). The monolingual bias: A critique of idealization and essentialization in ELT in Pakistan

4. David, M.K & Dumanig, F. (forthcoming). The Power of Language. In F. Floris & W. Renandaya, Inspirational Stories in English Language Classroom. TEFLIN Publication.
5. Dumanig, F. (2019). Bilingualism and multilingualism in primary education in the Philippines. In Lorraine P.S., Maria Teresa T., & Ian M. (Eds.). Education and Childhood Studies. Bloomsbury Publishing. DOI: 10.5040/9781474209472.0016
6. Dumanig, F. (2019). Bilingualism and multilingualism in lower and upper secondary education in the Philippines. In Lorraine P.S., Maria Teresa T., & Ian M. (Eds.). Education and Childhood Studies. Bloomsbury Publishing. DOI: 10.5040/9781350995932.0022
7. Zainuddin, S., Pillai, S., Dumanig, F., & Philip, A. (2019). English language and graduate employability. Education + Training, https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-06-2017-0089

8. Dumanig, F. (2018). Linguistic Landscape as a Tool in Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language. The Word 27 (3). 4-6.
9. Manan, S., David, M.K., Dumanig, F., & Chana, L.A. (2017). An Englishized Linguistic Landscape: Glocalization of English in Pakistan. World Englishes. doi: 10.1111/weng.12213
10. David, M.K & Dumanig, F. (2017). Language Policy and Research on Technological Advancement in English Language Teaching in Malaysia. Language in India. http://languageinindia.com/feb2017/dumaniglanguageteachingmalaysia1.html
11. Dumanig, F., David, M.K, Hanafi Hussin, Orcullo, D. & Jubilado, R. (2017). Religious and National Identities represented in the Narratives of Migrant Filipino Muslims in Malaysia. Borneo Journal, 10. 93-110.

ENG 484: ESL Materials and Methods
ENG 422: ESL Teaching Practicum
ENG 388: Global Englishes
ENG 350: Second Language Acquisition Theory
ENG 225: Writing for Science and Technology
ENG 100T: Composition with Tutorial
FIL 101: Filipino Language and Culture

Leanne Day

Assistant Professor, English

Contact: Tel: (808) 932-7423, Email

Areas of Specialization/Research: Settler Colonial Studies, Asian American Literature and Cultural Studies, Hawaiʻi Literary and Cultural Studies, Pacific Island Literatures, Ethnic Studies

B.A. English, Scripps College
M.A. English, University of Washington
Ph.D. English, University of Washington

Latest Publication: Plantation Housing Isn’t the Answer to Homelessness in Hawaiʻi

Suzanne Romaine

Affiliate Professor, English

Contact: Tel: (808) 932-7216, Email

Justina Mattos

Assistant Professor, Performing Arts

Contact: Tel: (808) 932-7491, Email


B.A. Liberal Studies (Theatre Emphasis), Certificate (Hawaiian Culture) at UH Hilo
M.A. Theatre at University of Oregon
Ph.D. Theatre at University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

Area of Specialization/Research:
Drama of Hawaiʻi

Alicia Takaoka


Contact: Tel: (808) 932-7223, Email

Areas of Specialization:

Women in STEM, writing across disciplines, ethics and information literacy, social informatics and human-computer interaction


B.A. Sociology (minor: English), UH Hilo

B.A. Philosophy, UH Hilo

M.A. English (focus: Scientific and Technical Writing), Bowling Green State University.

PhD Communication and Information Science (in progress, expected graduation 05/20), UH Mānoa.

Writing for Science and Technology
Writing for Business
Popular Fiction

Latest Publication: HCII 2019 Conference

Kimberly Russell

Instructor, English

Contact: Tel: (808) 932-7224, Email

Area of Specialization/Research:
TESOL, Curriculum/Materials Design

B.A. Sociology (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
M.A. TESOL/Linguistics (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)

Patsy Y. Iwasaki

Instructor, English

Contact: Tel: (808) 932-7074, Email


Introduction to News Writing and Reporting
Advanced Multimedia Journalism
English composition
Introduction to Rhetoric
Writing for Business and Writing for Science & Technology.


Learning design, media and professional writing, online education, digital media platforms, Japanese American immigrant history in Hawai’i.


Hāmākua Hero: A True Plantation Story (a graphic novel)

Award: UH Hilo 2018 Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi Award for Excellence and Innovation.


B.A. Journalism (minor: Asian Studies), UH Mānoa

M.Ed. Education, UH Hilo

Ph.D. Learning Design and Technology (expected graduation 12/19), UH Mānoa

Lauri R. Sagle

Instructor, English; Director of Composition

Contact: Tel: (808) 932-7225, Email


B.A. University of California, Santa Barbara: English
M.A. Washington State University: American Studies, American Lit emphasis
Ph.D. work (ABD) University of New Mexico, Albuquerque: American Studies

Areas of Specialization/Research:
First-year writing, Human Rights, Popular culture of Hawai‘i

Femme Noire: The Dangerous Woman of Color in Popular Culture,” co-written with Jane Caputi
Reclamation of an Historically Contextualized Identity, Even Though All I Asking for Is My Body
Toxic Betrayal in the Digital Age” (Maria Chavez and environmental activism in New Mexico)
Cancel My Subscription to the House of Detention” (Lenny Foster and Native religious freedom in the New Mexico state prison system)

UH Hilo Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, 2011

Susan Wackerbarth

Instructor, English; Creative Writing Coordinator

Contact: Tel: (808) 932-7227, Email

Area of Specialization: Creative Writing/Fiction


M.A. English Literature (University of Washington),

M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Goddard College).

Publication: "No Place Like Home" (In Process)