Recent UHWO Graduate Awarded Top National Scholarship

University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu
Jim Manke, (808) 956-6099
External Affairs & University Relations
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
Public Information Officer
Posted: Jun 6, 2002

The Society for American Archaeology has awarded a University of Hawai‘i — West O‘ahu graduate a grant from the National Science Foundation. It is one of only four given each year.

Deona "Nona" Naboa graduated this past spring with a bachelor‘s degree in social sciences, specializing in anthropology. With her degree and grant in hand, Naboa now heads to Rapa Nui to participate in an archaeological field school. The credits she will receive from her summer-long research will be used towards her master‘s degree in Pacific Island Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

Naboa is looking forward to Rapa Nui where she expects to work with advanced technological devices. She already has traditional archaeological experience from summer jobs and another field school in 1999. Her first field experience was in the summer of 1999 at King Kamehameha III‘s summer palace, Kaniakapupu, in Nu‘uanu.

"Anthropology doesn‘t feel like work," Naboa said. "In the field, it‘s fun. I get to walk through private places. I am outside in the wilderness and it‘s quiet. I don‘t consciously know I am in school and learning."

Her interest in anthropology started in the third grade while on a field trip to the Bishop Museum. She wanted to touch the displays like everyone else but knew she couldn‘t. So, when she saw other people touch the displays, she thought it wasn‘t right.

Naboa also likes to teach. She has been involved with a summer archaeology program in Wai‘anae through the Hawai‘i Historic Preservation Division. And, she would like to open a small museum in a rural school someday.

She wants to give students archaeological experience and keep their reports in the museum. "If students don‘t go on to college at least they have the field experience to help them get a job," Naboa said.

The Society for American Archaeology is an international organization dedicated to the protection of the archaeological heritage of Americans. Developed in 1934, the organization has more than 6,000 members.