Te Piringa Māori – the Māori program at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa – has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence for the 2012-2013 academic year, inviting one of the first cohorts of a Māori language immersion program to teach at the university.
Te Raukura o te Rangimārie Roa (or Dr. Raukura Roa for short) is among the few who are ethnically Māorian and speak Māori fluently. “I arrived in 2008 and have been trying to build the program ever since I’ve arrived,” said Mary Boyce, the Māori program coordinator. “So getting a young Māori scholar who is ethnically Māorian will be great for the program.”
The university hopes Roa’s expertise in traditional and contemporary performing arts will enrich the small program.
Roa will arrive in early August and stay until mid-May. During the Fall 2012 semester, she will be teaching MAO 384, a course that will focus on Māori songs, kapa haka (a dance of the Māori people) and other performing arts.
“She will be introducing students to various aspects of song, contemporary music composition and the competitive world of kapa haka,” Boyce said. “Usually the course has a language prerequisite, but we will waive it for next semester.”
Roa will also be teaching IP 273 (D) in the fall, which is an Indo-Pacific language and culture course that focuses on Polynesia. Plans for what courses she will teach in spring of 2013 are not finalized, says Boyce, who plans to visit Roa in New Zealand in June to further discuss teaching options with her.
According to Boyce, this is the first time that the university has applied for the Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program, but the endeavor was successful due to the support of other departments at UH.
“I applied for this scholarship, but I had to get the support from my department and dean,” she said. “They have been very supportive, along with other departments who were interested in working with Dr. Roa when she arrived here.”
Roa will also be planning a series of public lectures and community outreach events, which will be announced in detail at a later date.
For more information about courses that Dr. Roa will be teaching, email Māori program coordinator Mary Boyce at firstname.lastname@example.org.