COE Faculty and Staff > Educational Administration > Erin Kahunawai
Erin Kahunawai Wright
- Educational Administration
- 2003 PhD Higher Education UCLA
- 1997 MA Higher Education UCLA
- 1995 BA Hawaiian Studies UH Mānoa
Area(s) of Interest
- Native Hawaiian higher educational journeys, Indigenous student success
Brief BiographyI am Kanaka ʻŌiwi Hawaiʻi (Native Hawaiian) from Kalihi, Oʻahu raised on the land that has fostered my mother’s family for the last five generations. My genealogical ties extend to West O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Island, and Southern China. Currently, I serve as an assistant professor for the Educational Administration program in the College of Education at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Previously, I served as the founding Director of Native Hawaiian Student Services (NHSS) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, an award-winning program designed to support all Native Hawaiians interested in pursuing higher education in ways that are culturally-grounded and community-minded. My scholarly work focuses on understanding the intersections of Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Pacific Islander identities and higher education and the ways these insights inform educational environments and kuleana lāhui. My scholarly endeavors focus on centering Indigenous voices and epistemologies and prioritize partnerships, collaboration, justice, and relevance beyond academia. Thus, I've disseminated and utilized my research in a variety of ways including successful grant proposals, book chapters, technical reports, and journal articles. Among my most recent publications are two co-edited books, A Nation Rising: Hawaiian movements for life, land, and sovereignty (with Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua and Ikaika Hussey, 2014, Duke University Press) and Kanaka ʻŌiwi Methodologies: Mo‘olelo and Metaphor (co-edited with Kapā Oliveira, 2015, University of Hawai‘i Press).
- Wright, E. K. (2017). 'It was a process of decolonization and that's about as clear as i can put it': Kuleana-centered higher education and the meanings of Hawaiianness. In R. S. M. & H. J. Shotton (Ed.), Reclaiming Indigenous research in higher education. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Rutgers University Press.
- Saelua, N. A., Wright, E. K., Thornton, M. M., Lau, T. K., & Aina, I. P. (2016). Pacific Islander Education and Retention: The Development of student-initiated, student-run outreach at UCLA . In S. D. M. & D. S. Ching (Ed.), Focusing on the underserved: Indigenous, immigrant, and refugee Asian American and Pacific Islander students in higher education. Scottsdale, AZ: Information Age Publishing.
- Wright, E. K., & Balutski, B. J. N. (2015). Ka ‘ikena a ka Hawai‘i: Towards a Kanaka ‘Ōiwi Critical Race Theory. In K. R. K. N. Oliveira & E. K. Wright (Eds.), Hawai‘inuiākea Book Series IV: Kanaka ‘Ōiwi methodologies: Mo‘olelo and metaphor. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaiʻi Press.
- Wright, E. K. (2015). Kuleana Acts: Identity in Action. In R. S. M. & A. F. Chàvaz (Ed.), Indigenous Leadership in Higher Education. New York City, New York: Routledge.
- Wright, E. K. (2017). E Kūlike Kākou: Nation Building in the Academy. Presented at 42nd Annual ASHE Confrence: Power to the People, Houston, TX.
- Minthorn, R. S., Shotton, H. J., Waterman, S., Davidson, C., Wright, E. K., Keene, A., … Brower, P. (2017). Repositioning the Norms of the Academy: Collectively Reclaiming Indigenous Research in Higher Education. Presented at 42nd Annual ASHE Confrence: Power to the People, Houston, TX.
- Balutski, B. J. N., & Wright, E. K. (2017). A Hawaiian encroachment: Interrogating a liberatory education research agenda while trespassing on white property. Presented at Knowledge to Action: Achieving the Promise of Equal Education Opportunity 2017 AERA Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX.
- Wright, E. K., & Balutski, B. J. N. (2017). Lessons on trespassing the academy: Native Hawaiian doctoral graduates. Presented at He Manawa When Indigenous Research Conference, University of Waikato.
- Sponsler, L., Kniees, D., Waugaman, C., Funk, M., Salinas, C., Jr., & Wright, E. K. (2017). Launching your faculty career: Support, advice, and resources for the transition from NASPA's Emerging Faculty Leader Academy inaugural cohort. Presented at NASPA Annual Conference , San Antonio, TX.
- Wright, E. K., & Flux, U. A. K. N. (2017). Nā Māhū ʻŌiwi: Journets of Indigenous Trans People in higher education. Presented at NASPA Western Regional Conference, Seattle, WA.
- Minthorn, R. S., Shotton, H. J., Waterman, S., Davidson, C., Wright, E. K., Keene, A., … Brower, P. (2016). Reclaiming Indigenous research in higher education. Presented at ASHE Annual Conference, Columbus, OH.
- Wright, E. K., & Balutski, B. J. N. (2016). Lessons Learned from the journeys of Native Hawaiian doctoral graduates. Presented at ASHE Annual Conference, Denver, CO.
- Wright, E. K., & Balutski, B. J. N. (2015). Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian) identity formation in culture-based higher education. Presented at ASHE Annual Conference, Denver, CO.
- Wright, E. K., & Flux, U. A. K. (2015). Hānau ka mauna: Utilizing Hawaiian epistemologies to inspire and (re)connect ourselves to place. Presented at National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.
- Kumashiro, K., Su, K., Wright, E. K., Guevarra, A., Martell, M., Manzano, L., & Fugikawa, L. (2015). Navigating higher education as Queer Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Presented at National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.
- Wright, E. K., & Balutski, B. J. N. (2015). Toward a Kanaka ‘Ōiwi Critical Race Theory. Presented at AERA Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.
- Chávez, A. F., Minthorn, R. S., & Wright, E. K. (2015). Gathering wisdom: Insights on higher education from Indigenous leaders. Presented at NASPA Annual Conference , New Orleans, LA.
- Barnett, J. P., Cabingabang, L. D., Wright, E. K., Quirk, J. M., & Ka'io, M. (2015). Illuminating Native voices: Leadership, violence prevention, and education. Presented at NASPA Annual Conference , New Orleans, LA.
- Wright, E. K., Balutski, B. J. N., Wu, P. Z., & Quirk, J. M. (2012). Kōkua a Puni Native Hawaiian Student Services Initiative. Presented at NASPA Western Regional Conference, Waikaloa, HI.
- Wright, E. K., & Laanan, F. S. (2012). Critical issues for Pacific Islander students in higher education. Presented at Pre-Conference Presentation Series, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI.
- Wright, E. K., & Balutski, B. J. N. (2012). Mana Wahine: A focus on Native Hawaiian women in higher education in the University of Hawaiʻi System. Presented at ʻAha Wahine Conference , Leeward Community College, HI.
- Wright, E. K. (2012). 'Education for the Nation': Forging Indigenous identity in Native Hawaiian higher education. Presented at the Native Hawaiian Education Association Annual Conference , Windward Community College, HI.
- Wright, E. K. (2009). Student services as an act of nation building: The Development of the Native Hawaiian Student Services Kauhale. Presented at Unlearning the "American Pacific": A Symposium on Anti-Colonial Pedagogies Special Symposium, the University of California Los Angeles, CA.