Melonie Leihua Stewart, MEd Curriculum Studies Alumna

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Melonie Leihua Stewart
“Growing as an indigenous leader is my way of honoring our kūpuna (ancestors), and in many ways, this is culturally top of mind.”
Hometown:

Kū'au, Maui

Department:

Curriculum Studies

Degree:

MEd in Curriculum Studies: STEMS²

Where do you work?
I am the co-founder and CEO of E Ala E Hawaiian Cultural Center (Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia).  I am also a Resource & Operations Manager, RMCP® at Tenable® | The Cyber Exposure Company in Columbia, MD

Why did you choose the College of Education?
Our children deserve better!

How did you become interested in STEMS²?
Polynesian Voyaging Society Crew Member Linda Furuto traveled to the East Coast (Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia) on Hōkūle‘a during the Mālama Honua Journey.  She shared the program with me, and at that very moment, I was hooked!

What was the best part of the program for you? 
Being on ‘aina for three weeks is the best part of the program.  The experiences are unparalleled and the people are not only genuine and supportive, they are innovative game-changing educators who are passionate about what they do.

How did the people/program in the COE help you along with your career? 
As a kanaka maoli living in the Americas, I yearn to connect back to the piko (Hawai‘i).  The COE not only provides the opportunity to connect, it is giving me wings to soar.  Growing as an indigenous leader is my way of honoring our kūpuna (ancestors), and in many ways, this is culturally top of mind.

In what ways do you hope to make a difference using the knowledge you have gained? 
With the knowledge gained, I plan to add STEMS² programs/events to the non-profit that I co-founded E Ala E Hawaiian Cultural Center.  The mission of our center is to preserve and perpetuate Native Hawaiian culture by educating, engaging, and connecting.  In short, I plan to take STEMS² along our global journey; expanding its reach and exposure is paramount.

What are your future plans? 
In my quest for continuous learning, I plan to pursue my Doctorate in Education, and kōkua my STEMS² ‘ohana in any way to ensure its success and growth. I MUA!