Chaminade joins select group of 24 universities nationwide recognized for inclusivity and quality in STEM programs

NSM Student in LabChaminade University of Honolulu today announced a grant of $1 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) as an awardee in the 2017-22 ‘Inclusive Excellence’ program. Chaminade was selected as one of 24 awardees from a pool of over 500 universities who applied for the prestigious recognition as a Howard Hughes Undergraduate Institution. The program will fund culture-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education programs, Hawai‘i-centered research, and activities that link science to family and community for Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students.

Dr. Helen Turner

Dr. Helen Turner

“Chaminade has been building excellence in STEM for a decade with support from agencies such as National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and Kamehameha Schools, and this award recognizes the tremendous progress we have made in preparing the next generation of Hawai‘i and Pacific scientists” says Dr. Helen Turner, Chaminade’s Dean of Natural Sciences and Principal Investigator of the HHMI Program. “This award takes us to the next level of national recognition for the curriculum and cutting-edge teaching methods our faculty have developed. The HHMI program confronts the challenge of connecting STEM education with culture, family and community – which are critical for our local students to be successful and to build a strong Hawai‘i for the future.”

“Finding a way to include all students, from all backgrounds, in STEM is critical for building future generations of American scientists”, says David Asai, HHMI Senior Director for Science Education. “HHMI recognizes that science excellence depends on having a community of scientists that is rich in diversity of people and perspectives. This national experiment expects that the selected universities will produce useful models to address inclusivity in STEM.”


The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is the largest private, nonprofit supporter of science education in the United States. The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has created an Inclusive Excellence Commission whose role will be to evaluate the outcomes of this national experiment, and to disseminate to the broader community what is being learned.