Aiko was raised in Kāneʻohe and her families were raised in Kāneʻohe, Puʻunēnē, Yanbaru, and Agaña Heights. She has taught decolonial Pacific literature and community-engaged poetry for the UH Mānoa English Department as well as in partnership with community organizations and events, and has worked as an editor, researcher, and event planner for the Center for Biographical Research. She has a PhD in English from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Aiko is a former Board President of Hawai‘i People’s Fund, and has worked as a peacebuilder with Women’s Voices Women Speak. She coedited The Value of Hawaiʻi 2: Ancestral Roots, Oceanic Visions (UH Press, 2014), and her poetry and essays can also be found on Ke Kaupu Hehi Ale, blackmail press, Spiral Orb, and on the radio with It’s Lit with PhDJ. Aiko is grateful for jam sessions, pool tables, over-easy eggs, Okinawan dance, the Koʻolau mountains, the richness of our shared ocean, the strength of nā pua, and all of their protectors.
Meda has been with HIHumanities since March 2016; she has a versatile background in accounting and office management. She has held a variety of administrative positions with organizations in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Originally from Oregon (Portland and Eugene), she moved to Honolulu in 2009. Meda earned a B.S., Anthropology/Special Education minor, from the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR; A.A., Business/Accounting, Lane Community College, Springfield, OR; Salesperson, Real Estate License; Honolulu HI 2014–2020. Meda strives to be a good listener and to exemplify an efficient work ethic. Her favorite story is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery, favorite song “It’s A Wonderful World” Louis Armstrong, favorite wonder of the world is butterflies *Monarch miracle*
Rob, who was born and raised on Kauaʻi, moved to Oʻahu to attend the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa to pursue his degree in Hawaiian Studies. Rob graduated from UH-M in 1997 and became a part of the HIHumanities family in 1999. As the Director of Reading and Discussion Programs, Rob is able to pursue his desire to provide outreach to underserved communities by implementing programs such as Motheread/Fatheread© , Literature & Medicine©, and Standing Down© , and piloting programs such as Try Think. Rob loves to engage in meaningful discussion about these programs, the humanities, or local music in between bodysurfing sessions with his young son, or simply over a good plate lunch.
Shannon Cristobal was born and raised in Kalihi and ‘Ālewa Heights. She is a Ph.D. student in the College of Education-Department of Educational Foundations at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her work is interdisciplinary and research interest include Critical Pedagogy, Memory/History, Oral History, Decolonial Pedagogy & Praxis, Ethnic Studies, Critical Food Studies, Foodways Pedagogy, Filipino American History & Literature, & Contemporary Literature of Hawai‘i. She is a passionate Pin@y scholar, educator, and advocate in the decolonial process that aims to educate and strengthen families, communities, and educational institutions in Hawai‘i. Shannon also enjoys coaching cross country and track, singing in the choir, cooking and eating, and spending time with her family and cat, Yaoyao.
Stacy has been working on grant-making and community engagement projects with the Council since 2011. He has participated in the local arts & culture and humanities community in various capacities. Stacy was born and raised in Honolulu, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in art history from University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and a Master’s degree in visual culture: museum studies from New York University.
Robin Jones was born in Boulder, Colorado and lived in the midwest and the southwest before moving to Hawaiʻi. She attended St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM and received her Ph.D. in American literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder. After teaching for fourteen years, she turned to not-for-profit work in community development, education, and historic preservation. Joining the Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities enables her to combine these experiences in order to support the many diverse communities of Hawaiʻi.
Devin Makizuru was born in Honolulu and was raised in Kapolei. He received a B.A. in Geography and an M.A. in Education from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Devin is currently assisting in the History Day program. He hopes that through the History Day program, young scholars will become engaged in the process of discovering, learning, and understanding history, and that they will take an active role in shaping a brighter future. In his free time, Devin enjoys traveling, reading, and volunteering.
Lyz Soto was born on the Hāmākua coast on the island of Hawaiʻi and raised on the islands of Maui and Oʻahu. She has worked with Youth Speaks Hawaiʻi and Pacific Tongues teaching spoken word and poetry to youth in Hawaiʻi, Aotearoa, Papua New Guinea, and the Marshall Islands. Lyz has worked in construction for nearly twenty years and has also taught 20th century American poetry, spoken word, and Pacific Island literature for more than ten years. Her chapbook Eulogies was published in 2010 by Tinfish Press and her book Translate Sun/Son/Sum was published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press. Her poetry theater show, Her Bodies of Stories, premiered in December of 2016 at the Doris Duke Theatre. Lyz is always looking for the best moments in between the lines.