Instructor, Department of Special Education
"I became interested in the field of Special Education after both my sons were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. I wanted to have more tools to help my children in education, and to give back to the communities in Hawai'i."
What is your current position?
I am an instructor in the Department of Special Education. I teach special education courses and supervise teacher candidates on all islands via a variety of delivery modes (in-person, distance); serve as cohort coordinator of special education teacher preparation/licensure programs; provide services to the department and college.
How did you first become interested in the field of special education?
I became interested in the field of Special Education after both my sons were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. I wanted to have more tools to help my children in education, and to give back to the communities in Hawai’i.
What is your philosophy of teaching?
As an alumni of Kanu o ka ‘Āina, New Century Public Charter School, my philosophy of teaching, coined by the founder Dr. Ku Kahakalau is the Pedagogy of Aloha or Education with Aloha.
What types of candidates do you hope/recommend to pursue our special education licensure programs?
The candidates I hope to pursue licensure in special education would be anyone who is passionate about helping children reach their highest potential through learning skills that will make them as happy and independent as possible.
How does our program best support and prepare its students?
I believe the special education teacher licensure program at the UH Mānoa will best support and prepare its students by developing their knowledge and skillset to help students with a variety of different abilities through in depth coursework and fieldwork.
Describe your own road to higher education.
My road to higher education was not a traditional road. I received an associates in Liberal Arts and transferred to UH Mānoa to drop out my junior year. Six years after leaving , I returned back to college and changed degrees and received a bachelors in Psychology, then a masters in Exceptional Student Education and Applied Behavior Analysis, then detoured to get a advanced certificate in special education and teacher licensure. I also did my Behavior Analysis fieldwork & intensive practicum at UH Mānoa, to later become a licensed Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
What are your research interests?
The quality of life for parents of children with disabilities, student outcomes in public education when students receive applied behavior analysis, and culture-based education and student outcomes.