Educational Psychology PhD Student
"I have had opportunities to learn about culture-based education and indigenous pedagogy at the college, which has stimulated me to think about an education program for Okinawans."
Kadena, Okinawa, Japan
- PhD, Educational Psychology
What is your current position?
I am an office manager for the Graduate Student Organization (GSO).
How did you become interested in the field of educational psychology?
After I came to Hawaiʻi and spent several years in my exchange and master’s degree programs, I realized that my Okinawan identity became more salient within me than before. This phenomenon happened not only to me, but also to other Okinawan international students. I wanted to examine factors that influence Okinawan international students’ identity through learning and activities in Hawaiʻi. This academic interest fit in the field of educational psychology, so I decided to do my research here.
Why did you select the UHM COE?
The COE provides excellent courses and environments to learn about education in general as well as education related to Hawaiʻi. I have had opportunities to learn about culture-based education and indigenous pedagogy at the college, which has stimulated me to think about an education program for Okinawans.
How has the EDEP program helped you along the way?
EDEP provides courses and an environment through which I can enhance my research and pursue my academic interests. I took Identity and Learning as well as Psychology and Culture courses to learn about identity development and psychological colonialism, which was beneficial to conceptually improve my research. Also, the program offers qualitative and quantitative methods courses that are essential for me to conduct my research in a scholastic way. Furthermore, the faculty members are really supportive and create an intellectual atmosphere where I can enhance my research with their assistance.
What are your future plans?
My future plans are to continue my research on identity development and saliency among Okinawans as well as to establish an educational program for Okinawans. I strongly believed that what I have learned from the EDEP program and UHM COE will be helpful for me to achieve these future plans.