Graduate Students

  • Atsuko Hayashi (M.A. 2011) Receives a Commendation from Toyoei Shigeeda, Consul General of Japan in Honolulu on March 31, 2015, for her work at the Central Identification Laboratory, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Command, Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, promoting mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Hawai'i.
Atsuko Hayashi (M.A. 2011) Receives a Commendation from Toyoei Shigeeda, Consul General of Japan in Honolulu on March 31, 2014, for her work at the Central Identification Laboratory, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Command, Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, promoting mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Hawai'i.
  • Rachel Hoerman (PhD candidate in archaeology) awarded $5,000 from the American Association of University Women Honolulu Branch for research in Malaysia.

  • Congratulations to Wyatt Gordon on his award of the Ann Dunham Soetoro scholarship.

  • Congratulations to Patricia Fifita and Crystal Copper on their award of the American Association of University Women AAUW-Honolulu Branch Postgraduate Scholarship for the Academic Year 2013-2014 in the amount of $5,000.

  • Congratulations to Heng Piphal (PhD student) who was awarded a National Science Foundation doctoral dissertation improvement grant for $22,653.00. The title of his project is, "Political Economy and State Formation of Pre-Angkorian Cambodia: A View from Thala Borivat."
Kelli with committee members Geoff White (chair), Cathryn Clayton, Barbara Andaya, and Matt Tomlinson
Ashley with committee members Eirik Saethre, Terrence Wesley-Smith, Andrew Arno, and Geoff White (chair)
Alexander with his committee chair, Terry Hunt
Kekuewa with his wife and mother


  • AUSA representative Alexandra McDougle has received UROP funding to conduct an archeological research project in the Philippines for the Summer 2015
  • Congratuatlions to Alma Herrera-Mendoza, 2013 recipient of the Arts and Sciences Student Research Award
  • Avalon Coley, Zach Hannah, and Linda Kozen named as the 2012 winners of the Carol Eastman Scholarship Fund
  • Emma Ching, Avalon Coley, Nicole Simon, Jacob Vandor, and Jane Wiegand inducted into Phi Beta Kappa honor society (2013)
Carol Eastman winners Avalon Coley and Zach Hannah enjoy kava at the 2012 Anthropology Department Year End Celebration and Awards banquet


  • Dr. Tom Holland, the Science Director over at JPAC (Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command) and one of our Affiliate Graduate Faculty recently was named by the U.S. Department of Justice to a national committee established to develop guidelines for crime scene and death investigations. Dr. Holland also was asked to chair a sub-committee focusing specifically on the use of forensic anthropology in the United States.

  • Congratulations to Forrest Young in being named anthropological representative to the Rapa Nui Nation at the May 2014 United Nations Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples!

  • Congratualations to Kelli Swazey for having her TedMed Talk featured on the Ted Talks website. In her talk, she explores the big, raucous funerals of Tana Toraja, Indonesia as a means of sustaining local communities and as a true reflection of the fact that relationships with loved ones don't simply end when breathing does.

  • In Tana Toraja, weddings and births aren’t the social gatherings that knit society together. In this part of Indonesia, big, raucous funerals form the center of social life. Anthropologist Kelli Swazey takes a look at this culture, in which the bodies of dead relatives are cared for even years after they have passed. While it sounds strange to Western sensibilities, she says, this could actually be a truer reflection of the fact that relationships with loved ones don’t simply end when breathing does. (Filmed at TEDMED.)
  • Congratulations to Linda Kosen (BA 2012) on her admittance to the University of Georgia’s PhD program in anthropology as well as their joint program in Integrative Conservation—her first choice of programs. She was nominated for and awarded an assistantship from the graduate school that carries a tuition waiver, full living stipend, and no TA duties for my first two years in the program. She hopes to develop a solid research proposal and get into the field as soon as possible.

  • Congratulations to archaeologist Mike Carson (Ph.D. 2002) who has published a major study on the first Austronesian expansion to Micronesia! Carson, Mike. T. 2014. First Settlement of Remote Oceania: Earliest Sites in the Mariana Islands. Springer: New York. Mike is currently a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Archaeology and Natural History at Australian National University.

  • Kamakana C. Ferreira (MA in Applied Archaeology in May 2013) accepted a Project Planner position with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA).

  • Stephen "Boboy" Acabado accepts tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Anthropology at UCLA.

  • Kelli Swazey's (M.A. 2008, Ph.D. 2012) TED Talk, "What happens when we welcome death in defining life?"

  • Sean Casey's (M.A. 2012) article "Okinawan Heritage and Its Polyvalent Appropriations" has been accepted for publication in Annals of Tourism Research. Expected publication in 2013.

  • Sean Naleimaile (M.A. 2007) appointed Hawaii Island archaeologist with the Historic Preservation Division in Hilo, Big Island, Hawai‘i.

  • Feriyal A. Aslam (M.A. 2006) completed her PhD in Culture and Performance at Department of World Arts and Cultures (WAC) at University of California at Los Angeles this Spring 2012. As a fulbright scholar she returned to Pakistan to work as staff anthropologist and faculty in M.Phil Development Studies program at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) where she will teach courses on "Gender and Development" and "Anthropology and Development." Her research areas at PIDE are: 1947 Partition Aftermath studies, Tourism and Development, and people-to-people diplomacy in regional peace studies.

  • Windy McElroy (M.A. 2003, Ph.D. 2007) featured in Hawaii Business News: "Archaeologist Windy Keala McElroy Talks About Her Job"


  • Congratulations to more than 20 undergraduate and graduate students who presented research and participated at the annual Society for Hawaiian Archaeology Conference! The meeting, held this year at Bishop Museum, attracted 125 archaeologists. It featured community-based field research and training programs involving students from both the Manoa and Hilo campuses, with studies on the Big Island taking center stage.

    Students combined “dirt archaeology” with research on Hawaiian oral traditions, history, and cutting edge science such as remote sensing and GIS. Fred Cachola, a kama’aina of the Kohala District and former Kamehameha Schools Director of the Education Extension Division, described the Manoa and Hilo programs as “a model for future research throughout Hawai’i.” Some of our students are shown here with their program leaders and supporting faculty in Anthropology and Hawaiian studies, including Kekuewa Kikiloi (UH-Manoa), Michael Graves (UH-Manoa Professor emeritus), Kathy Kawelu (UH-Hilo), Peter Mills (UH-Hilo), and Jim Bayman (UH-Manoa).