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By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the economy will require post-secondary education and training beyond high school. To prepare Native Hawaiian students pursuing degrees specifically in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines, Chaminade University of Honolulu (CUH) and Kamehameha Schools (KS) will formalize a partnership of agreement supporting students’ aspirations to enter the industry upon graduation.

“Chaminade University as a Catholic Marianist university is committed to providing access to education for Native Hawaiians and others of Pacific Island descent. Among the programs and curricula offered, supported by dedicated faculty and staff, are those designed to support a strong Hawaiian STEM nation, said Chaminade University’s president, Brother Bernard Ploeger, SM, PhD. “Marianist characteristics clearly align with Native Hawaiian cultural values around faith, family, education, justice, service and change. It is a privilege to work in partnership with Kamehameha Schools to achieve this vision.”

Kamehameha Schools’ CEO Jack Wong says “this landmark partnership will ensure Native Hawaiian students who are interested in pursuing STEM-related careers have a solid foundation.”

“Collaborating with a Native Hawaiian serving institution like Chaminade aligns with our strategic direction to improve post-high outcomes for Hawaiian students. Together, we see a workforce, prepared and poised to contribute to and lead their communities – locally and globally,” Wong added.

The partnership is rooted in five key areas – scholarship support, curriculum initiatives, research, outreach and wraparound services and support.

KS Vice President of Strategy and Innovation, Lauren Nahme, sees Chaminade University as a vital post-high incubator toward 4-year completion and readiness for career or further studies. “Both academic and non-academic support such as tutoring, mentoring, financial support, internships, and research opportunities will be integral to ensure programmatic strength and student success.”

The agreement between the two educational institutions marks the beginning of a formal partnership to create unprecedented leadership in industry opportunities for Native Hawaiian students attending Chaminade University.

“This exciting partnership between Chaminade University and Kamehameha Schools proposes to laser-focus its efforts in the development of a cohort of Hawaiian STEM leaders and professionals,” said Chaminade University’s director for the Office of Native Hawaiian Partnerships, RaeDeen Keahiolalo-Karasuda, PhD. Together we envision a Hawaiian STEM renaissance with the production of a new leadership cadre composed of MDs, PhDs, DPH, PharmDs, RNs and other highly qualified STEM professionals from the Hawaiian community for the Hawaiian community. A Hawaiian sense of place steeped in Hawaiian cultural practices will be the foundation on which the cadre of 21st century STEM professionals will be built.”

Helen Turner, PhD, Chaminade University’s dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics added, “The partnership with Kamehameha Schools has the potential to be truly transformative in Hawaiʿi’s STEM landscape. Our science students and research faculty at Chaminade are focused on Hawaii’s (and humanity’s) big questions: How do we stay healthy? How are we sustainable? How do we use science to achieve justice and equity? Kamehameha Schools shares our vision of a new generation of scientists, health practitioners and policymakers who are grounded in Hawaii and who are ready for the era of ‘big data’.”  ###

About Kamehameha Schools
Kamehameha Schools is a private, educational, charitable trust founded and endowed by the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Kamehameha Schools operates a statewide educational system enrolling over 6,900 students of Hawaiian ancestry at K-12 campuses on O’ahu, Maui and Hawai’i and 30 preschool sites statewide. Over 41,000 additional Hawaiian learners and their caregivers are served each year through a range of other Kamehameha Schools’ outreach programs, community collaborations and financial aid opportunities. Income generated from its Hawai’i real estate and diversified investment portfolio fund the Schools’ educational mission almost entirely. For more information, visit

About Chaminade University of Honolulu
Celebrating 60 years of educating students for life, service and successful careers, Chaminade University is a Catholic/ Marianist university offering programs of study grounded in the liberal arts with day, evening, online and accelerated courses. A Native Hawaiian serving institution, Chaminade is located at 3140 Waiʿalae Ave., Honolulu, HI 96816.  For more information, visit the Chaminade Web site at or call (808) 735-4711.

Media Contacts:

Elizabeth Ahana                  Kapono Ryan
(808) 534-3872                    (808) 735-4797
(808) 384-9610                    (808) 429-2972