Emerson Odango (PhD, 2015) Awarded 3 Million Dollar Grant from NSF for Geo-literacy Education in Micronesia

It is with great pleasure and pride that we announce that Emerson Odango has just been awarded a three million dollar grant from NSF for a project in the Freely Associated States (FAS) in geographic Micronesia: the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. A description of the project—Geo-literacy Education in Micronesia (GEM)—can be found here: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1612848&HistoricalAwards=false

(The dollar amount given in it is for the first two years of a five-year project.) Moreover, Ken Rehg (his then-supervisor) tells us that he got the award on his first try.

This project uses a community-based participation research framework to collaborate with communities in the FAS to explore geo-literacy—how one reads the skies, the lands, and the waters so as to make informed decisions that have positive impacts on the local community. GEM will create spaces for communities to investigate how Indigenous, local, and traditional knowledge systems co-exist with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The linguistic connections to GEM include documenting how language encodes the connections among these domains of knowledge and worldviews, and leveraging language—from the lexical to the ethnopoetic—with informal STEM learning.

Please stay tuned for an official press release from Pacific Resources for Education and Learning [prel.org]. Many, many congratulations to Emerson!

Kanjana Thepboriruk (PhD, 2015) Begins Tenure Track Position, Fall 2015

Kanjana Thepboriruk (PhD, 2015) will begin a tenure-track Assistant Professor position of Thai Language with the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL in the Fall 2015. She looks forward to teaching all levels of Thai language and various South East Asian Studies and Thai Studies courses as well as working with the Thai Community in nearby Chicago to develop a heritage language curriculum for the community-based language schools. Kanjana is very proud to be joining over 50 years of excellence at the Center for South East Asian Studies and the fantastic Thai Language program at NIU.

Jeju Island Project on KBS Documentary

The KBS station on Korea’s Jeju Island recently aired a two-part documentary on efforts to revitalize Jejueo and on the similarity of the situation there to the situation here with respect to Hawaiian. The documentary includes interviews with William O’Grady, Lyle Campbell, current PhD student Sejung Yang, PhD alumnus Kaliko (Chris) Baker, Larry Kimura at UH Hilo, and various others. Although part of the documentary is in Korean, many parts are in English.