KAMUELA, Hawaii - Kula resident Katrina-Ann R. Kapa'anaokalaokeola Oliveira is one of three Native Hawaiian scholars who were recently awarded a Mellon-Hawai'i Fellowship to advance their academic careers.
Oliveira, who holds doctorate and master degrees in geography and a bachelor's degree in Hawaiian language and Hawaiian studies, all from University of Hawaii at Manoa, received a $50,000 post-doctoral fellowship.
Now in its fifth year, the Mellon-Hawai'i Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is designed for Native Hawaiian scholars early in their academic careers, and for others who are committed to the advancement of knowledge about the Hawaiian natural and cultural environment, Hawaiian history, politics and society.
"The fellows continue to impress us with their exceptional degree of productivity, creativity, passion and commitment," said Matthews Hamabata, executive director of The Kohala Center and senior support staff to the Mellon-Hawai'i Fellowship Program. "Given the global interest in indigenous perspectives, we are honored to support the development of new knowledge from Hawaii - for Hawaii and the world."
Each fellow works with a mentor, who is a leader in the fellow's fields of research. Oliveira is mentored by Noenoe K. Silva of UH-Manoa's Department of Political Science.
Oliveira's book, "Naming Maui: Mai Kekahi Kapa a Kekahi Kapa Aku," will address the importance of place and street names on Maui to Hawaiian history, including the impact of the Hawaiian monarchy era and colonization on naming practices.
"My life goal is to increase the number of Hawaiian language speakers," Oliveira said. "I am hopeful that my work on Hawaiian street names will appeal to the general public as a means of increasing awareness of the meanings of Hawaiian words, and increase understanding of and interest in Hawaiian history."
The application deadline for the 2013-14 program year is Feb. 11. For more information about the Mellon-Hawai'i Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, visit www.kohalacenter.org.