UH West Oʻahu Humanities students presented their senior projects and practica during a series of panels at “The Capstone Experience” Humanities Conference on April 29. The student presenters completed semester-long projects and practica under the direction of a Humanities faculty advisor. During the conference, the students discussed their findings and experiences, and answered questions from faculty moderators. All UH West Oʻahu students are required to complete a senior project or practicum prior to graduation.
Creative media student Ken Tom discussed his senior project designing a new Laulima mobile app for students to navigate the online learning platform using fewer clicks and accessing information through a more intuitive, user-friendly interface.
After analyzing literary works from immigrant writers like “Jasmine” by Bharat Mukherjee and “Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories” by Hisaye Yamamoto, English student Tiffany Shelton proposed that Americans are “blinded by the melting pot” ideology and under the false impression that American society accepts and celebrates cultural differences when in reality this is not the case.
History student Tyrus Kalani discussed Japan’s geisha from the origin of the profession to current day, and how it both empowered and subjugated women, and has served to preserve Japanese cultural practices for generations.
Kuʻualoha Kauanoe-Luda completed her English concentration senior practicum working as a legislative assistant for Representative Andria Tupola writing electronic newsletters and mailers, and responding to constituent inquiries. Her conference presentation “What’s an English Major for? Acquired Skills and Real World Experience Debunk Rumors of a ‘Useless Degree'” focused on how she was able to directly apply skills learned through her English concentration coursework to her senior practicum experience in a very real and tangible way.
“There was a huge traffic jam out until Waiʻanae Comprehensive Center and it was backed up on a Saturday for hours and we had lot of community members complain and just ask like why is this happening and what is going on,” said Kauanoe-Luda. “So using my human insight and imagination (concepts learned through English concentration coursework) I was able to write an article letting them know what actually happened out there when it was happening. It was like road construction that was poorly planned or something, and then I was able to give them advice and tips on future close downs so they could be better prepared.”
When asked how she believed the English concentration could be more effectively marketed to future students Kauanoe-Luda noted, “I definitely think that it (marketing) should start when they (students) are in high school, just letting them know, it’s an English major and yes, there will be reading and writing and doing lots of analyzing but you can apply it to actual professions.”
The following Humanities students presented at the conference:
- Kauluwehi Kato – “Lights, Camera, An Experience of a Lifetime”
- Ken Tom – “Laulima: Can it Get Any Better (Designing a Mobile App)”
- Dexsie Marcos – “‘Are you a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?’: The Role of the Monstrous Woman”
- Tiffany Shelton – “Understanding Difference: The Myth of Diversity”
- Kuʻualoha Kauanoe-Luda – “What’s an English Major for? Acquired Skills and Real World Experience Debunk Rumors of a ‘Useless Degree'”
- Pikake Kamaunu – “Working at the Bishop Museum’s Cultural Collections”
- Stephanie Launiu – “Kamehameha’s Four Uncles”
- Hope Paishon – “Family Ties to Waipiʻo Valley”
- Bonnie Howland – “Children’s Book on Waimea Valley”
- Chelsea Olivera – “Working at Loko Ea Fishpond”
- Haunani Haia – “Lāhainā, i ka Malu ʻUlu o Lele: Winds and Rains of Lāhainā”
- Samuel Welaahilani Wāhilani – “Ka Makua Mau Loa Church: Rebuilding a Culture”
- Tyrus Kalani – “Geisha: Through the Historical Looking Glass”
- Sarah Nord – “Taking Flight: An Internship at the Pacific Aviation Museum”