ALL NEWS

University of Utah granted $1M for Pacific Islands Studies Program

Mar 29, 2022, 4:51 PM
University of Utah...
FILE PHOTO: Campus of the University of Utah. (Jordan Allred/Deseret News)
(Jordan Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah received a $1 million grant from the Mellon Foundation. The School for Cultural and Social Transformation, known as Transform, will use the grant to support its Pacific Islands Studies Program. 

The U. said it would use the grant to expand the program with a graduate certificate, new faculty members, and a Center for Pasifika and Indigenous Knowledges.

“In a word, we’re overjoyed,” said Kathryn Bond Stockton, dean of the School for Cultural and Social Transformation. “This tremendous ongoing support from the Mellon Foundation will allow PI Studies faculty, staff, and community members to realize collective visions for how Indigenous knowledges will shape and enrich all who embrace them.”

The University of Utah and the Pacific Islander community

The university said it is in a unique position to support the Pacific Islander community, citing the size of the community in Utah. Salt Lake City has the highest proportion of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders of all U.S. cities, according to the Utah Department of Health.

“It is an immense privilege to be at an institution where none of us– students, faculty or staff –is the only Pacific Islander,” said Maile Arvin, co-principal investigator and director of Pacific Islands Studies.

“When we don’t have to prove to others that we exist or that the issues impacting our communities are not marginal, we have so much more space to pursue what interests us. The success of our program lies in the mutual support and relationships we continue to grow across our campus, our local communities, and our international networks,” Arvin said.

How the Mellon grant helped before

A Mellon grant helped move the PI Studies initiative forward in 2018, according to the school. 

The university said it hired five new faculty members that focus on PI Studies since beginning the initiative. It also developed an official interdisciplinary PI Studies Certificate that is available to students of any major according to the school.

Students outside of the program also have had the chance to engage in PI Studies in other ways.

A five-day intensive summer program, the Pasifika Scholars Bridge Program, is aimed at first-year and transfer students. The program sprouted the Pasifika Scholars Institute, which is a webinar series that runs through the school year.

What’s coming next

“We are excited to continue to offer Pacific Islands-focused programming for our students and PI communities near and far,” said Arvin. “One new venture will be producing a podcast that can highlight cutting-edge research and activism led by Pacific Islanders and other Indigenous peoples.”

Transform said it will use the next three years to build:

  • A graduate certificate; which the school said will help prepare students entering doctoral programs with a PI Studies focus.
  • A Center for Pasifika and Indigenous Knowledges; which the school said is the “next logical step” to organizing the PI Studies staff and students.
  • An International Network of Trans-Indigenous Scholars; which seeks to bring connection between PI and Native people.

“We warmly thank the Mellon Foundation for funding the meaningful work we’re extending with brand new plans,” Stockton said. “To be blessed with large and vital PI communities here—and expert faculty and staff to guide such communal exchange—is to be so grateful for a funding Foundation as eager as we are to deepen these ties.”

Related: BYU takes home National Landscaping Championship title

 

 

 

Today’s Top Stories

All News

After six years leading USU, and an overall 32 year career with the school, President Noelle E. Coc...
Simone Seikaly

USU President Noelle E. Cockett will step down

USU President Noelle E. Cockett has been part of the college's community for 32 years.
9 days ago
A national survey finds Utah the third safest state when it comes to drunk driving fatalities....
Simone Seikaly

Utah one of the leading states for low levels of drunk driving

SALT LAKE CITY — Forbes Advisor has ranked American states to determine which have the highest number of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes. Their results put Utah third in the nation for the lowest rate of drunk driving. The District of Columbia and New Jersey each ranked higher than Utah when considering this data. […]
9 days ago
free transit rides...
Elizabeth Weiler

Free public transit rides come to Heber Valley

HEBER CITY, Utah — In the summer of 2022, Wasatch County Council approved a sales tax which is now providing funding for free public transit rides throughout Heber Valley.  Wasatch County and High Valley Transit entered a three-year, $3 million agreement to offer public bus transit services between Wasatch and Summit Counties, along with micro-transit […]
9 days ago
carbon monoxide poisoning...
Ali Litzinger

Carbon monoxide poisoning on the rise in winter months

SALT LAKE CITY — Winter is approaching and officials want people to know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Last year, nearly 200 Utahns were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.  The flame in a gas appliance should generally be blue, with some orange. If the flame is mostly yellow, it’s giving off excess carbon monoxide.  […]
9 days ago
nichole olsen was shot and killed outside a nightclub in dowtown salt lake city over the weekend....
Elizabeth Weiler

Man arrested for murder in weekend shooting outside nightclub in Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY — A Southern Utah man has been arrested and booked into jail in connection with the shooting death of a Salt Lake City woman over the weekend. Nichole Olsen, 29, was shot and killed outside a nightclub near 300 S. West Temple in Salt Lake City around 2 a.m. Sunday. Police have […]
9 days ago
A “for sale” sign is displayed outside of a house in Layton. 
Photo: Shafkat Anowar, Deseret Ne...
Adam Small

Salt Lake seeing highest drop in home sales, national report finds

Utah's home sales are dropping fast according to a new national report. Prices have dropped by 48% in the last 12 months.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
University of Utah granted $1M for Pacific Islands Studies Program