Vancouver Cohort: 1998 – 2003
Dr. Kamuela Ka'Ahanui is a proud SFU EdD Alumnus. Enrolled in the EdD program in 1998, Kamuela graduated from SFU in 2003. Since then, he has moved back to his native Hawai'i where he currently works at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa in Honolulu as part of the graduate faculty in teacher education. In his position, he is responsible for: core instruction, curricula development, clinical supervision of K-12 teacher candidates, and implementation and evaluation of graduate teacher preparation programs. These are two-year programs for certifying students with non-education majors as teachers in the Hawai'i public education system. When he first started the EdD program, Kamuela was a faculty member at the Center for Education at Antioch University in Seattle, Washington, a position he held until 2007 when he left for Hawai'i. Therefore, for Kamuela taking the EdD was a deliberate step towards advancing his career.
The most memorable times in the EdD program for Kamuela were times he spent with his cohort members after class, enjoying a glass of beer and having "brave" conversations, whose benefits are still very intangible! As a cohort, he felt that his colleagues behaved more like a family than classmates. He holds a great deal of respect for his fellow students coming from different parts of Canada and Sri Lanka.
Having previously studied in the US, Kamuela says that studying in Canada and particularly at SFU was better at presenting opportunities that honoured and acknowledged his identity as a native scholar. In addition, as a gay, indigenous, minority person, studying at SFU was an invaluable experience, where Kamuela was privileged to develop lasting professional relationships with other First Nations peers and world-renown scholars. He is thankful that the faculty at SFU valued him for his own scholarship and inquiry, often placing his academic goals above their own needs and ambitions.
Kamuela is keen to recognize the scholarship, generosity and compassion of the Faculty of Education at SFU, chief among them are: Dr. Carolyn Kenny, Kau'i Keli'ipi'o and his supervisor Dr. Cheryl Amundsen who provided him with the personal courage, wisdom and guidance needed to complete his studies. The experiences at SFU were very empowering and he says though undiscovered, studying in Canada offers unique and truly remarkable learning opportunities.