Pacific Islander Initiative

The UVU Pacific Islander Initiative is committed to furthering the educational aspirations of our current and prospective Pacific Islander (PI) students.

Pacific Islander Initiative

Our main goal and purpose is to serve our current and prospective Pacific Islander (PI) students and implement programs that contribute to their academic and collegiate success at UVU, while also establishing a connection to their culture and identity that will continue to validate PI ways of knowing, learning, and being.

Launched in the summer of 2015, the Pacific Islander Initiative at Utah Valley University received its start through a grant funded by the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) and StepUP Utah, in partnership with UVU Multicultural Student Services. Through the efforts and programs stemming from this grant, we are continuing to build relationships with community partners and organizations to better serve our PI students while striving to collectively promote and advocate for academic and cultural success among our PI students within UVU and the community. 

Engagement with our current and prospective PI students and the community is vital to the success of our initiative, and because of these strong relationships, we are able to bridge the gaps collectively that prevent our PI students from obtaining higher education opportunities. 

  • People of the Pacific (POP):

    • Created in 2013 and led by Hema Katoa, the People of the Pacific (POP) program was a collaborative effort between stakeholders in the following school districts: Granite, Jordan, Salt Lake, Canyon, Alpine; community leaders and organizations, the UVU School of Education, and the UVU Multicultural Student Services department. While the curriculum is housed online through UVU, UVU assists in the facilitation of the program under the guidance and in collaboration with committee members from the various school districts and communities. 
      • People of the Pacific (POP) Curriculum*
      • People of the Pacific (POP) High School Conference (February)
        • The leadership conference is an opportunity for students involved in the POP classes within their high school classes to come together and engage in workshops that will develop their leadership skills, understand/share PI cultural nuances and traditions, and better understand how to prepare for higher education. 

UVU does not own the POP program or curriculum; it is meant to be shared by those interested in developing a POP program within their schools, or in better understanding how to connect PI pedagogy and epistemology with mainstream academic content.