Curriculum Studies is proud of our graduates, who are transforming the field of education. In 2022, PhD C&I student and former Curriculum Studies (CS) Masters graduate Whitney Aragaki became Hawaiiʻs 2022 State Teacher of the Year and was one of four finalists to be the National Teacher of the Year. Aragaki is one out of the many excellent teachers that the CS department had the privilege of contributing to the outstanding work of its talented alumni.
The CS department is one of the five academic units in the College of Education at the University of Hawaiʻi (UHM). Its strengths derive from its strong commitment to teacher education, as exemplified in its diverse program offerings, culturally-relevant curriculum, and dedicated faculty and staff. Moreover, its external relationships with the other units within UHM and community partnerships also work to ensure its sensitivity to the ever-changing needs of its students and all of its stakeholders. CS department chair, Professor Patricia Halagao asserts, “Our Curriculum Studies department creates exemplary teacher leaders, who are committed to serving the community and creating a more socially just, sustainable, and equitable society.”
This commitment to teacher success throughout the years is why, not surprisingly, many former graduates of the CS department have been able to raise teaching excellence in the communities they served. Milken Awardees elementary teacher Sara King (2018-2019) and secondary teacher Michael Sana (2015-2016), Milken Teachers of Promise Awardee Bella Finau-Faumuina (2019), American Samoa Territorial Teacher of the Year winners Sabrina Suluai-Mahuka (2020) and Edney Gasmig Apulu (2019), and Complex Area Teacher of the Year Ululani Russo (2019) are but some of the CS department’s other proud alumni that showcase exactly what the CS department is all about.
The department’s success is intertwined with the achievement of their graduates. The CS department hopes to contribute to teacher success not only in the number of teacher leaders that graduate, but ensuring each of them are able to teach at the highest caliber now and into the future.