Damien Cie To Speak in Person About STEM Education for Hawaiians

Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce

Hosts General Meeting on August 12


KAHULUI, HI – Damien K. Cie, program director for University of Hawai’i Maui College’s (UHMC) Kahikina O Ka Lā program, will speak in person at the next General Meeting of the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, August 12 at the Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu. He had previously planned to participate by teleconference, but recent weather events disrupted his travel schedule, enabling him to attend the dinner meeting.

Ka Hikina O Ka Lā is a collaborative program between the Native Hawaiian community, UHMC, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). It combines modern scientific technology and instruction with cultural knowledge and practices to increase Native Hawaiian participation in higher education in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields.  The program is funded by the NSF in response to the application to build the Daniel K. Inouye (formerly known as the Advanced Technology) Solar Telescope on the summit of Haleakalā.

Ka Hikinā O Ka Lā features three main areas - High School Summer Bridges, Community Outreach, and College Cohort. This combination reaches students from kindergarten through graduate school including staff and faculty instructors. The program also works with numerous cultural educators to infuse lessons and activities with Hawaiian culture, meaning, and practices. 


Damien Cie is a Maui boy, born and raised in the small village of Keanae until he entered seventh grade when his family moved to Southern California. After attending various community colleges, he earned his A.S. degree and became a firefighter for the California Department of Forestry. Later he served four years in the Army and then returned to school. He earned his B.S and M.S. degrees in marine ecology from San Diego State University.  Later he pursued a joint doctoral degree at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Rady School of Management at UCSD. He was a recipient of a prestigious National Science Foundation grant and the first Tribal Membership Scholarship for Native Americans, Alaskans and Hawaiians, awarded by UCSD’s Office of Graduate Studies. Last year, UHMC recruited Cie to return home to Maui to head the Ka Hikina O Ka Lā program


In addition to networking, the event includes a buffet dinner. Cost is $20 for members, $25 for non-members. To make reservations, visit www.mnhcoc.org or call 808.874-2426.

MNHCoC’s mission is “to promote and sustain Hawaiian values and culture, and enhance the socio-economic status of Native Hawaiians in business and as individuals.”  Membership is open to anyone with an interest in perpetuating the spirit of Aloha through commerce, culture and community.

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