Saturday, October 26, 2013

Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders recognized as underrepresented in articles, by universities, and grant programs

A quick read of our Google News feed provided us with a nice list of universities, grant programs, and articles recognizing Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders as an underrepresented minority group.  This was refreshing, especially paired with the wonderful progress  being made by underrepresented minority scholarships and fellowships who are choosing to include Pacific Islanders. Here are a few of those articles:

Using a new federal demographic classification for the past four years, the University has been able to track data on race and ethnicity. Under these guidelines, the number of underrepresented minority freshmen — which include African American, Hispanic American, Native American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students — saw a slight increase 10.6 percent this year, 0.6 percent more than last year.

 University of Washington: Largest freshmen class ever
The freshman class includes 181 African Americans, 1,794 Asian Americans, 74 Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, 77 Native Americans and 455 Hispanics/Latinos. Overall, the numbers and percentages of under-represented minorities have increased over last year.
Alice Echo-News Journal: University receives grant to help increase Graduation Rate of Minority Students

The Island University partnered with other universities in the Texas A&M System to complete the proposal for the grant. Five doctoral-granting institutions form the central partnership: Prairie View A&M University, Texas A&M University, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and West Texas A&M University. The goal of the university partnership titled, “Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate” (AGEP), is to increase numbers of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders entering and completing graduate programs. 
The hope for this master plan is that these underrepresented students will enter graduate and postdoctoral training in STEM fields. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Buffalo University Graduate Fellowship Recognizes Pacific Islanders as Underrepresented

Since completing our national study on Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander access to underrepresented minority scholarships and fellowships, our little nonprofit has focused primarily on contacting those programs, and sharing information about why Pacific Islanders should be eligible. During this time, eleven of those programs have either changed their policies (choosing to include Pacific Islanders) or clarified that while it wasn't advertised, they always intended to include them.

Today we are pleased to announce the twelfth program to make that switch: after hearing from the PacificIslander Access project, the University at Buffalo's Aurthur Schomburg Fellowship Program has clarified it's policy towards Pacific Islanders. Reflecting over twenty years of data on the subject, this prestigious program will accept applications from all qualified Pacific Islander applicants.

 To learn more about the Aurthur Schomburg Fellowship Program, which supports graduate students across various disciplines at Buffalo, click here: LINK


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Native Hawaiians in the U.S. Civil War

Thanks to all the great news regarding underrepresented minority scholarships opening their doors to Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, we haven't had as much space as usual to blog about news and commentary on America's growing Pacific Islander community. Last month, I really wanted to share an interesting column on Native Hawaiian participation in the U.S. Civil War.

While Hawaii is now the 50th State, at the time of the U.S. Civil War it was an independent constitutional monarchy located thousands of miles away from the American battlefields. Nonetheless, the author (a professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo) showed that Hawaii's people, including its indigenous people,  played a notable role.

Considering the confusion over how Pacific Islanders for into America's larger racial classification system, it was interesting to read about how some Native Hawaiians fighting in the U.S. Civil War were segregated into the "colored" units, while others fought in the White units. (I've pasted one of the paragraphs about that below my signature line.) I was also reminded of other posts we've written regarding the high levels of U.S. military service among Pacific Islanders.

In my opinion, it's definitely worth a read. See more here: LINK

And please let us know if you've seen any other stories on Pacific Islanders in the U.S. Civil War!


Here's an except that caught my attention:

However, unlike the white Armstrong, native Hawaiians who fought for the Union risked segregation because of their skin color. One volunteer, Prince Romerson, served in the Fifth Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry, an all-black regiment, and mustered out as a sergeant. Exceptions did occur, though: Henry Hoolulu Pitman, son of the Hawaiian Chiefess Kinoole O Liliha, was a private in the 22nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, a white regiment, who was captured and died in Richmond’s Libby Prison.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Full-Ride Engineering Scholarship for Underrepresented Minorities Clarifies Policy, Now Available to Pacific Islanders

Since we posted our original "honor roll" of underrepresented minority scholarships and fellowships that chose to open their programs to Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders after hearing from our nonprofit, that number has more than doubled. The latest good news comes from the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), which operates the SRC Masters Scholarship Program, which recently clarified its eligibility policy and committed that Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are eligible to apply!

The MSP Scholarship, intended to address underrepresentation in engineering, pays full tuition and fees for two years of masters level studies, along with an unrestricted $2,000 living stipend. After completing our national study, the Pacific Islander Access project reached out to SRC, as we have with dozens of other underrepresented minority programs.  While SRC's stated eligibility policy did not include Pacific Islanders, a representative from the SRC Education Alliance confirmed that Pacific Islanders are a recognized eligible group. The eligibility requirements on their website have been updated.

We commend and thank the SRC Education Alliance for recognizing Pacific Islanders, and for updating their public eligibility policy. We encourage Pacific Islanders considering a career in engineering to take a look at this generous full ride scholarship.

Click here to learn more about the scholarship: LINK