I was born and raised in Hawai’i, on a farm tended by my grandparents and father. My neighbors were family – three sets of aunts and uncles, and 13 cousins. My childhood was idyllic, but I left after high school to attend Northwest College (now Northwest University). After graduation I accepted a position teaching English in Kamakura, Japan. I spent five years teaching, training new teachers, and traveling Japan for corporate work. While I fell into teaching English language, I grew to love the field. I realized I needed to further my education and returned to the U.S. to attend the School for International Training to study for an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. I eventually made my way back to NU as a faculty member. I started teaching full time in 1996 and have enjoyed being back at my alma mater, working with international students, and with students who want to teach English language, but again felt the need to further my studies. In 1999 I began my Ph.D. work at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a state university outside of Pittsburgh. I continued in the field of English language teaching, but mainly focused on issues of language and culture, particularly language revitalization in Hawai’i. At Northwest University, I teach courses in multicultural education, literacy, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). My areas of interest in education focus on multicultural education, language and culture, literacy, and faculty development.
My personal interests include traveling, music (Latin, Hawaiian, 70s, Classical), foreign language study (Japanese, Spanish, and Hawaiian), sports (collegiate and professional), and reading.