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Student creativity focus: global citizenship

by Kalamalama staff


How do you define what it means to be a “global citizen?” HPU has been working to answer that question for several years. One way it does this is through a series of symposia on Global Citizenship. The third Student Symposium on Oct. 30 focused on student conceptions of global citizenship at HPU.

In years past, hundreds of students have converged on HPU’s Hawai‘i Loa campus to engage in discussions of the difference between globalization and global citizenship as well as learn about global leadership.


“It was a wonderful opportunity for students to get their voices heard,” said Nancy Ellis, vice president and dean of Student Support Services at HPU.

“ With such a diverse student body, it seems natural for HPU to look at defining global citizenship since many or our students are living it,” Ellis continued. “We are exploring the concept of whether it is possible to both identify with one’s own culture and at the same time share a spirit of belonging in a larger global context.”

This year, students broke up into small groups to share their experiences relating to one of a number of themes: love, courage, hope, compassion, transformational change, choices, negotiation, strength, health, spirituality, epiphany, and human relationship to land/environment.

The exercise was based on the concept that in spite of our differences—in background, life experience, value system, and culture—we share the common thread of being human.

Students were encouraged to demonstrate this in some tangible way: through a painting, a poem, a story, a skit, a dance. These creative acts were the first step in creating a working awareness of what it means to be a global citizen. Students stepped outside of themselves momentarily to become attentive to what it can mean to be someone else, someone different.

The event was organized by HPU’s Office of Student Life and held on the front lanai of the windward campus Academic Center. Students were fed both breakfast and lunch. For more information, e-mail the Global Leadership Organization at, or call the Office of Student Life at 544-0277.




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