EdD Alumnus

Mary Hattori

"This program [...] is a path with heart, a good path, a joyful journey that made me stronger personally and professionally."


Dededo, Guam


Educational Administration

Related Degrees

  • EdD, Professional Education Practice

Current Position

I am an associate professor of information technology and the coordinator of the Center for Excellence in Learning, Teaching, and Technology at Kapi‘olani Community College. At the COE, I teach educational technology courses for the COLT program and the EdD program.

On being selected by the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) as a “model EdD student”

It is an honor to represent the College of Education, the EdD program, my home island, and my heritage.

Why did you choose to pursue an EdD?

This degree was a logical next step in my professional development. Prior to entering the program, my career included over a decade of college and university teaching and leadership experience. With an awareness of problems of practice at all levels of an educational system, this program offered a holistic and experiential approach to resolving such problems. It provided opportunities to gain skills and information which I could apply to analyzing, articulating, and addressing challenges in the field. This program resonated with my Indigenous Chamoru heritage because it promotes learning that can be applied toward helping others, which is a cultural imperative. I was drawn to this program because it is grounded in an ethos of empowering its students to make positive contributions to society and demonstrates a commitment to improving the state of education in our islands.

How has it helped you in your job(s)?

The EdD degree program brings together seasoned professionals and surrounds them with a support system of dedicated and brilliant coordinators, faculty advisors, field mentors, and assistants. This access to resources – human, material, and intellectual – was useful for addressing problems in my job, for example, in applying solutions that were proven to work at other institutions or creating mutually beneficial partnerships. We opened our workplaces to each other, we hosted campus visits, and we shared our organizational practices. This included giving presentations at each other’s schools; co-presenting at conferences; and travelling together to other islands, other states, and other countries. All of these activities expanded our professional networks far beyond our shores and provided positive exposure for our institutions.

What would you tell a prospective EdD student?

The decision to enter a doctoral program is a weighty one that will impose demands and impact many aspects of your daily life, especially if it is a full-time cohort program of limited duration. When pondering my decision to pursue this degree, I was led to this Carlos Castaneda quote: “Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long, long paths, but I am not anywhere. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn’t. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.” Having completed the program, this quote is even more apt. This program was as enriching as it was arduous; it is indeed a path with heart, a good path, a joyful journey that made me stronger personally and professionally.

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