CDS Graduate Assistant
"I'm very interested in the intersection between climate change and the rights of persons with disabilities."
Center on Disability Studies
William S. Richardson School of Law Student
What are you doing at the Center on Disability Studies (CDS)?
I am a graduate assistant working with STEMD2 on grant writing. I began with CDS in 2012 as part of the Maui Aquaponics Workforce Development program, teaching people with disabilities aquaponics as a form of vocational rehabilitation.
In mid-2014, I moved to O‘ahu to attend law school and began administratively assisting CDS with a number of projects, ranging from disability benefits planning education to studying the role of incentives in diabetes treatment.
How does your life as a law student and as a CDS graduate assistant intersect?
While I am not formally enrolled in a COE program, I have taken disability studies classes to help me better understand the field. As an administrative assistant, studying law helped me understand the fiscal policies and procedures of UH better as well as grant requirements.
I’m very interested in the intersection between climate change and the rights of persons with disabilities. I wrote my second year seminar paper on the application of the International Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to climate migrants with disabilities. I had the honor to present my paper at the International Pacific Rim Conference on Disability and Diversity in April 2016.
Describe your role on the floor of Congress’s International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
As part of Professor Denise Antonlini’s IUCN Motion’s class, I and several other students will be representing the Environmental Law Program at the William S. Richardson School of Law as a voting member of the IUCN. About a dozen of the 99 motions that the Congress is considering will be voted on on the floor of the congress.
Working with a partner, I was responsible for researching and drafting our position statements for two of the motions regarding Natural Capital and Corporate Biodiversity Reporting, which I hope to present on the floor.
What are your future plans?
In Spring 2017, I will be spending a semester abroad at Jindal Global Law School, located in Sonnepat, India, and pursuing an internship with the National Green Tribunal (NGT). I will be the first student from our law school to spend a full semester at Jindal, which is part of a deepening relationship between the universities.
Similarly, through the development of Hawai‘i’s environmental court, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court has a strong connection to India’s NGT, a court dedicated exclusively to the review of environmental issues that is chaired by a former Chief Justice of the India Supreme Court, the Honorable Mr. Justice Swatanter Kumar.
I will be graduating from Richardson in May 2017 and taking the Hawai‘i State Bar Exam the following July. In the long term, I hope to work at the intersection of environmental and human rights law. In 2018, I intend to clerk at the Hawai‘i Supreme Court for the Honorable Associate Justice Sabrina S. McKenna.
I’m interested in learning more about a degree or certificate from the College of Education.