EDUCATION

University of Utah granted $1M for Pacific Islands Studies Program

Mar 29, 2022, 4:51 PM
University of Utah...
FILE PHOTO: Campus of the University of Utah. Photo credit: Jordan Allred, Deseret News.

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah received a $1 million grant from the Mellon Foundation. The School for Cultural and Social Transformation, known as Transform, will use the grant to support its Pacific Islands Studies Program. 

The U. said it would use the grant to expand the program with a graduate certificate, new faculty members, and a Center for Pasifika and Indigenous Knowledges.

“In a word, we’re overjoyed,” said Kathryn Bond Stockton, dean of the School for Cultural and Social Transformation. “This tremendous ongoing support from the Mellon Foundation will allow PI Studies faculty, staff, and community members to realize collective visions for how Indigenous knowledges will shape and enrich all who embrace them.”

The University of Utah and the Pacific Islander community

The university said it is in a unique position to support the Pacific Islander community, citing the size of the community in Utah. Salt Lake City has the highest proportion of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders of all U.S. cities, according to the Utah Department of Health.

“It is an immense privilege to be at an institution where none of us– students, faculty or staff –is the only Pacific Islander,” said Maile Arvin, co-principal investigator and director of Pacific Islands Studies.

“When we don’t have to prove to others that we exist or that the issues impacting our communities are not marginal, we have so much more space to pursue what interests us. The success of our program lies in the mutual support and relationships we continue to grow across our campus, our local communities, and our international networks,” Arvin said.

How the Mellon grant helped before

A Mellon grant helped move the PI Studies initiative forward in 2018, according to the school. 

The university said it hired five new faculty members that focus on PI Studies since beginning the initiative. It also developed an official interdisciplinary PI Studies Certificate that is available to students of any major according to the school.

Students outside of the program also have had the chance to engage in PI Studies in other ways.

A five-day intensive summer program, the Pasifika Scholars Bridge Program, is aimed at first-year and transfer students. The program sprouted the Pasifika Scholars Institute, which is a webinar series that runs through the school year.

What’s coming next

“We are excited to continue to offer Pacific Islands-focused programming for our students and PI communities near and far,” said Arvin. “One new venture will be producing a podcast that can highlight cutting-edge research and activism led by Pacific Islanders and other Indigenous peoples.”

Transform said it will use the next three years to build:

  • A graduate certificate; which the school said will help prepare students entering doctoral programs with a PI Studies focus.
  • A Center for Pasifika and Indigenous Knowledges; which the school said is the “next logical step” to organizing the PI Studies staff and students.
  • An International Network of Trans-Indigenous Scholars; which seeks to bring connection between PI and Native people.

“We warmly thank the Mellon Foundation for funding the meaningful work we’re extending with brand new plans,” Stockton said. “To be blessed with large and vital PI communities here—and expert faculty and staff to guide such communal exchange—is to be so grateful for a funding Foundation as eager as we are to deepen these ties.”

Related: BYU takes home National Landscaping Championship title

 

 

 

Today’s Top Stories

Education

USU Aviation The Utah State University Utah Women & Leadership Project (UWLP) created a series of r...
Michele Rowe

Flight instructor, student, die in crash of USU Aviation plane

Officials said a teacher and student affiliated with USU aviation were killed in a plane crash near Wellsville.
4 days ago
USU Aviation The Utah State University Utah Women & Leadership Project (UWLP) created a series of r...
Waverly Golden

Utah State University reports on Latina women’s status in Utah

The Utah State University Utah Women & Leadership Project researched disparities between Latina Women and all women in Utah.
12 days ago
Utah Valley University March 23, 2020.  (Gabriel Mayberry/ UVU Marketing)...
Martha Harris

Utah adults struggling in their civics knowledge, a UVU study said

Utah adults get an almost failing grade in their civics knowledge, according to a study from Utah Valley University.
20 days ago
The Utah State Board of Education building. Utah schools give out a risk prevention survey every tw...
Aimee Cobabe

Utah State Board of Education drops support for risk prevention survey

Utah schools have given kids a health and risk prevention survey since 2003, but the State Board of Education recently pulled its support for the survey.
20 days ago
utah student achievement COVID-19...
Simone Seikaly

Utah student performance knocked down during COVID-19 restrictions

A review of multiple Utah student performance exams found "significant impacts" in mathematics achievement across grades.
26 days ago
A student was arrested after bringing a gun and ammunition to East High School....
ELLIE COOK and MARK JONES

East High students walkout in support of gun control, honor Texas shooting victims

Students at East High held a walkout Friday morning in support of more gun control and to honor the victims of the recent school shooting in Texas.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
University of Utah granted $1M for Pacific Islands Studies Program