Barriers: Stories about what stood in our way
This week we present two stories from people who were faced with barriers to their education.
Part 1: Eager to succeed in her Physical Chemistry class, Shaniece Mosley is thrown off by a professor's attempt at a compliment.
Part 2: Lelemia Irvine struggles to get through his PhD program as he's constantly told that his identity as a Native Hawaiian is incompatible with academia.
Shaniece Mosley has been a teacher for eight years, and currently teaches chemistry, AP Chemistry, and science research at Midwood High School in Brooklyn. After attending Northeastern University and SUNYAlbany, where she received a B.S. in Chemistry, she attended Pace University where she earned an M.S. in Secondary Science Education. A former New York City Teaching Fellow, Shaniece is now an MƒA Master Teacher. She enjoys spending free time with her husband Dan and their 2 year old son Greyson.
Lelemia Irvine, PhD, EIT, is kupukaaina, a lineal descendant from the aboriginal families that sprouted out of the land of Waiʻanae, Oʻahu. Dr. Irvine is an Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Hawaiʻi at West Oʻahu. He is now at his dream job as a professor but the road to get there was not a breeze. Dr. Irvine is the first Kāne Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian male) to earn a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2019. In his doctoral research, he studied the physics of stormwater within a bioswale using predictive and computational approaches. As far as we know, presently there are less than 10 Native Hawaiians with a PhD in any engineering discipline in the world. Dr. Irvine is a self-described Rain Farmer, a term he coined, when his father, who has dementia, ask him “boy, what you studying in school?”. As a rain farmer, he seeks to connect sky to aquifer thru the physics of fluids and indigenous engineering ways of knowing. Dr. Irvine shares his personal journey as an empowerment tool for others to co-navigate and constellate the village of higher education systems.
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