Born in Hilo and raised in a sugar plantation town, Pahala, in Kaʻū, I was exposed to an array of languages and cultures from a young age. I continued learning about my Hawaiian language and culture formally at Kamehameha Schools on Kapālama campus in Honolulu. Upon graduation, I attended the University of Arizona, where I received a BA in Linguistics, MA in Native American Linguistics and a PhD in Language, Reading and Culture. While I resided in Tucson, I was the Program Coordinator of the American Indian Language Development Institute (AILDI). It was this program that reignited passion back into my culture and inspired my dissertation research on Indigenous language revitalization and technology. I then moved back to Hawaiʻi, where I was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi in Hilo. There I taught linguistics courses: Introduction to Linguistics and Indigenous Languages of the United States.
My research explores what types of technology initiatives (low-, mid-, or high) Indigenous language communities are using to revitalize, maintain, and promote their language.