See the latest Aloha ʻĀina Action here!

Graduate Research Assistants

Pua Souza is from Honomakaʻu, Kohala and is currently pursuing a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where she also received her bachelors degree in Hawaiian studies and masters degree in social work. Pua works as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Pūnāwai Research Lab at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies. Her research interests focus on utilizing ʻāina-based and Indigenous research methodologies in the creation of intergenerational and regenerative curriculum models.
Mahina is from Koʻolaupoko, Oʻahu and is currently pursuing a PhD in Indigenous Politics at UH Mānoa. She is a graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law, with certificates in Environmental and Native Hawaiian Law. She has worked at several non-profit, state, and federal agencies and currently serves on the State Environmental Council. In addition to her work in the research lab, Mahina is a Post-Juris Doctor Research & Teaching Fellow at Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, where she coordinates legal trainings for state and county decision-makers, facilitates water law workshops for ʻŌiwi communities, and assists with various scholarship projects aimed at evolving the law and advancing justice for Kānaka Maoli and other Indigenous Peoples.
Born and raised in Windward Oʻahu, Kawena is a third-year PhD student in the Department of Geography and Environment. In her studies, Kawena focuses on indigenous economic development issues in Hawaiʻi. This interest stems from an overall goal of engaging with economic activity from a Kanaka ʻŌiwi perspective to build capacity and install generational sustainability. She received a BA in Indigenous Resource Management, and an MA in Hawaiian Studies from UH Mānoa.