Title

Motivational Factors and Opportunities to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors among Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders (NHPI)

Date

11-8-2021 1:30 PM

Abstract

Higher education is a contentious space that poses challenges and barriers to the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. This study explores the motivational factors and opportunities to STEM fields among Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders (NHPI). A qualitative method was used in this study, examining public archival data (e.g., videos, recordings, digital information, etc.) of self-identified NHPI scientists, scholar-activists, leaders, and their narratives of entering the STEM fields. Specifically, the portrayal of needs and promotion of NHPI representation and access were examined, including messages that inspire and encourage STEM interest among NHPI youth. This study explores motivation, opportunities, and challenges to decolonize STEM education and community-based work offering unique perspectives of Pacific Islanders visibility in STEM-related careers. Implications on culturally responsive strategies and approaches for NHPI in STEM will be discussed.

Biographies

Shanthia N. Castro Espinosa, Public Health Studies; Minor: Child, Youth, and Family Studies

Shanthia N. Castro Espinosa is majoring in Public Health Studies with a concentration in Community Health Promotion and minoring in Child, Youth, and Family Studies. As a first-generation Chamorro-Mixed race, she was raised on Saipan, a small island a part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Shanthia is currently a BUILD EXITO and McNair scholar, working alongside Dr. Alma M.O. Trinidad at Portland State University, School of Social Work. Currently, Shanthia is interning in Dr. Lisa Marriott’s lab at Oregon Health and Science University, School of Public Health. She previously interned at the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network under Dr. Melinda Davis’s lab. Shanthia is dedicated to improving public health concerns among youth and families, and Pacific Islander (PI) communities. Her research interests include examining social determinants and health disparities among underrepresented minorities and PI populations, community health, and social change. In the future, she intends to pursue a dual degree in Public Health and Social Work (MPH-MSW) to broaden her experience in exploring equity and accessibility, integrating both public and social concerns of underrepresented and PI communities.

Dr. Alma Trinidad, Faculty Mentor, School of Social Work

Alma M. Ouanesisouk Trinidad, Ph.D., MSW is an associate professor in the School of Social Work at Portland State University (PSU). As a first generation college graduate and professional, born and raised on the island of Molokai, Hawai’i with family roots of Filipino immigration through the sugar and pineapple industries, she describes her voyage of serving the people and community as becoming a Pinay (Filipina) scholar warrior and guardian of kapu aloha (sacred love)/mahalaya (love and freedom). She earned her Ph.D. in social welfare from the University of Washington, Seattle, her MSW from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and her BSW from the University of Hawai’i, Manoa. She is a macro social worker and scholar activist. She brings an array of scholarly work and practice in community development and organizing, policy analysis, organizational culture and processes, and collective impact in the areas of health promotion and education among diverse communities, and building strong children, youth, and families. Her scholarly work focuses on critical Indigenous pedagogy of place youth empowerment, social determinants of health and education, youth and family participatory action research, social movements, and leadership and mentorship for social change. Other research and teaching interests include critical humanist design thinking, community practice, and culturally responsible research methods. Alma has passion for the arts, creative work, nature, and spirituality. Having mentored, informally and formally, youth to new colleagues in the field, Dr. Alma finds this work to be life changing and relational, always striving to build strong communities.

Disciplines

Social Work

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/36202

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Aug 11th, 1:30 PM

Motivational Factors and Opportunities to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors among Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders (NHPI)

Higher education is a contentious space that poses challenges and barriers to the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. This study explores the motivational factors and opportunities to STEM fields among Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders (NHPI). A qualitative method was used in this study, examining public archival data (e.g., videos, recordings, digital information, etc.) of self-identified NHPI scientists, scholar-activists, leaders, and their narratives of entering the STEM fields. Specifically, the portrayal of needs and promotion of NHPI representation and access were examined, including messages that inspire and encourage STEM interest among NHPI youth. This study explores motivation, opportunities, and challenges to decolonize STEM education and community-based work offering unique perspectives of Pacific Islanders visibility in STEM-related careers. Implications on culturally responsive strategies and approaches for NHPI in STEM will be discussed.