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Mellon-Hawaii doctoral and post-doctoral fellows announced

Updated: 
August 23, 2016 - 12:05am

KAMUELA — The Kohala Center has selected three Native Hawaiian scholars for the ninth cohort of its Mellon-Hawaii Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship program. They join 32 Native Hawaiian scholars who have pursued original research and advanced their academic careers through the program.

No’eau Peralto is a Ph.D. candidate in the indigenous politics program in the department of political science at UH Manoa. A resident of Paauilo, his research focuses on the continuity and resurgence of Native Hawaiian aina restoration and stewardship practices in two ahupua’a, ancestral land divisions in the Hamakua District. Through his research, Peralto seeks to contribute to deeper understandings of indigenous, place-based land tenure practices and governance structures as models of community resurgence and independence.

Kealoha Fox is pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical research at the University of Hawaii at UH Manoa. Her dissertation investigates uplifting health in Native Hawaiian communities by reconnecting with the traditional Hawaiian health system and revitalizing ancestral assessment, diagnostic, and treatment practices.

The third recipient, Dr. Kiana Frank, received her Ph.D. in molecular cell biology from Harvard University in 2013. Her postdoctoral fellowship will enable her to focus on manuscripts exploring the intersection of ancestral and contemporary science by investigating the biogeochemical drivers of microbial processes in Windward Oahu’s He’eia Fishpond and correlating them to the pond’s cultural history and management practices. She hopes that her work will help inspire a shift in how science is perceived in both indigenous and scientific communities by demonstrating how place-based knowledge and traditional management practices can complement and enhance contemporary technology and scientific knowledge systems

The Mellon-Hawaii Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship launched in 2008. The 2016–2017 cohort is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Kamehameha Schools and the Deviants from the Norm Fund.

Since its inception, the program has awarded $1.48 million in fellowship support to 35 Native Hawaiian scholars.

“The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s investment in this fellowship program has had a profound impact not just on the lives of Native Hawaiian scholars, but on future generations of keiki who will be inspired by these intellectual role models to pursue meaningful careers and strive for excellence — for Hawaii and the world,” said Robert Lindsey Jr., a member of The Kohala Center’s board of directors and chairman of the program’s selection committee. “We are deeply grateful for The Foundation’s support over the past nine years, and we are hopeful that new partners will join with Kamehameha Schools and the Deviants from the Norm Fund and enable us to continue to offer these fellowships to Hawaii’s emerging intellectual leaders.”

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