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U of U receives $1,000,000 for Pacific Islander Studies program

Pacific Islander program at U of U
Posted at 1:30 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 15:32:56-04

SALT LAKE CITY — University of Utah’s School for Cultural and Social Transformation  was awarded a $1,000,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to support its Pacific Islands Studies program.

Transform received a three-year, $600,000 Mellon Foundation grant in 2018 to jumpstart the PI program.

Utah has the largest number of Pacific Islanders per capita in the continental U.S.

This additional funding will expand current programming to include a graduate certificate, new faculty hires, and a Center for Pasifika and Indigenous Knowledges.

In December 2021, the school received over half a million dollars to help build a national network for intersectional studies.

“In a word, we’re overjoyed,” said Kathryn Bond Stockton, Dean of the School for Cultural and Social Transformation.

Since first beginning the program, five new faculty focused on PI studies were hired and an interdisciplianary PI Studies Certificate was developed.

“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.”

“Many of our students say that our classes are the first time they ever learned about their own histories and cultures at school.”

More about this grant and the PI program can be found in Transform’s newsletter, Transformative Perspectives.