Colette Higgins
Dean of Academic Affairs, Division I
Windward Community College


M.A. in History (Pacific Islands), University of Hawai'i at Manoa
B.A. in History and Anthropology, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
A.A. in Liberal Arts, Kapi'olani Community College
Kaimuki High School

Work Experience

Since August 1, 2016
Dean of Academic Affairs, Division I (Humanities, Language Arts, Academic Support), Windward Community College


Professor of History, Kapi'olani Community College
Associate Professor of History, Kapi'olani Community College
Assistant Professor of History, Kapi'olani Community College; tenured in 2005
Instructor in History, Kapi‘'olani Community College
1992-1996 Lecturer in History at Kapi'olani Community College, Windward Community College, and Honolulu Community College

Courses Taught

History 151
World Civilizations I (50 sections or 150 credits)
History 152
World Civilizations II (30 sections or 90 credits)
History 284
Hawaiian History (29 sections or 87 credits; 26 sections as Writing Intensive)
History 288
Survey of Pacific Islands History (4 sections or 12 credits; all as Writing Intensive)
  • My History 288 has been designated as fulfilling KCC's HAP and UH-Manoa's Focus (H) requirements .
IS 198 (a.k.a. IS 103)
College Success: Kupu A‘e (1 section or 3 credits)
Eng 272M & Hist 288 Learning Community
Time Traveling & Island Hopping: Connecting the Stories (8 sections or 24 credits, all as Writing Intensive)

Grants, Awards and Honors

Received the Board of Regents' Excellence in Teaching Award, Kapi'olani CC
Alumnus Speaker at KCC's Commencement exercises, May 13
Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
Nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Award, Kapi'olani CC
Taraknath Das Prize in Asian History given by UH-Manoa's History Department for a paper titled "Anti-Chinese Sentiments in Hawai'i from 1862-1886"
East-West Center grantee
Inducted into The Phi Beta Kappa Society
Inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society


Book Review of "Kalaupapa: A Collective Memory" by Anwei Skinsnes Law in The Hawaiian Journal of History, Vol. 49: 204-206.

Professional Activities

Fall 2014
Mistress of Ceremony at General Faculty & Staff Convocation

2014 Voice over for three Kapi'olani Community College commercials

Never Turning Back

Listen to Your Heart

Think About Your Next Move

Volunteer at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education E Mau Ana Ka Mo'olelo Our Narratives Endure at KCC in Honolulu, May 19-24

Member of Enrollment Management & Marketing Work Group

Member of Faculty Senate's Faculty & Student Relations committee

KCC's Kalaualani Council representative on the larger UH systemwide Puko'a Council
Chair of the Arts & Humanities Department

2010 to present
Member of Kalaualani Native Hawaiian Council

Summer 2009 & 2010
Faculty Advisor at New Student Orientations
Summer 2008
Kapi'olani Community College - Advice for Parents YouTube video interview
On-site Faculty for the Service Learning Malama i na Ahupua'a Project (formerly Adopt an Ahupua'a)
  Ulupo Heiau Lo'i Kalo Kaniakapupu

  Waikalua Loko Fishpond Ka'a'awa Valley

Honors Education Coordinator (included serving as Phi Theta Kappa faculty advisor)
Spring 2009
Chair of the Excellence in Teaching Award selection committee
Faculty Coordinator for the Service Learning Kalaupapa Names Project
Member of Ke Kumu committee to honor Queen Kapi'olani's legacy at KCC
Facilitator/Coordinator of Malama Pono workshops

Co-Facilitator of Kahikoluamea Institute at Kapi'olani Community College

for 11 faculty and staff from six different units, August 5-8

2007 for 18 faculty from Malama Hawai'i, Holomua, and First-Year Experience, May 14-18

2007-2012, 2015
Facilitator for the Servant Leadership round-table discussion, National Pacific American Leadership Institute, every July

Summer 2007
Lead Facilitator and Faculty Advisor for New Student Orientations
Spring 2007
Served on Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific (HAP) multi-campus committee

Spring 2007
Acting Coordinator of First-Year for Faculty Program
Fall 2006
Facilitator of KCC's Hawaiian Values workshops
Served on KCC's Center for Excellence in Learning, Teaching & Techonology (CELTT) Professional Development Leadership Team
Member of Malama Hawai'i

Global/Multicultural representative on General Education Foundations Board

Malama Hawai'i representative on Accreditation Steering Committee

Facilitator of Teachers Talking to Teachers (4Ts) workshops
Coordinator of First-Year Experience Task Force
Member of Faculty Senate's Evaluation committee

Facilitator during Negotiating Pacific Identities: Ethnicity, Encounters and Self-Determination, a United Nations University Global Seminar at UH Manoa's Law School, March
Member of First-Year Experience Task Force
Faculty Mentor Coordinator for Title III grant; Faculty Liaison to Kaimuki High School
KCC's Moving Cultures Coordinator for a Ford Foundation grant given to the University of Hawai‘i-School of Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Studies; developed an e-mail correspondence program for students at KCC and Palau Community College

Faculty Advisor at Registration

 1999-2000 Member of Accreditation Standard Five: Student Support & Development committee


                Professional Development


Traveled in the Footsteps of Queen Kapi'olani, April 19-June 13

Engaging in Promising Practices Conference for Asian American, Native American, Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) at South Seattle College in Washington, February 6-7

Annual Hawaii Sustainability in Higher Education Summit at Windward Community College, March 13-14

AAC&U General Education and Assessment: Disruption, Innovations, and Opportunities Conference in Portland, Oregon, February 27-March 1

Partnership Convention & Trade Show for the Association of Partners for Public Lands

in Albuquerque, NM, Februrary 23-26

in Las Vegas, NV, March 4-7

Hawai'i Strategy Institute for the University of Hawai'i Community Colleges

2014 Wo Innovation in Learning Day (WILD) at Windward CC, March 7-8

2013 Achieving the Dream (AtD) meeting on student success, Kane'ohe, HI, Februrary 22-23

ACCJC's Degree Qualifications Profile Project (DQPP) Associate Degree Cohorts Conference in Oakland, CA, April 25-26

Learning Community Coordinators meeting in Washington, plus visit to six campuses, October

Park Teachers Workshop at Everglades National Park in Florida, May 14-18

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) college teacher workshop, History and Commemoration: Legacies of the Pacific War in Honolulu, July 25-30 (video about my experience)

Hawaii Summer Academy of the Community College Leadership Development Initiatives at Hawaii Tokai International College in Honolulu, July 6-10

National Pacific American Leadership Institute Ho'ala Hou class, June 10-17

Hawai‘i National Great Teachers Seminar at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, August 10-15

Institute on Campus Leadership for Sustainable Innovations, Association of American Colleges and Universities (part of KCC's six member team) in Leesburg, VA, July 10-15

Writing Across the Curriculum Summer Institute at KCC, May 19-June 6


"Miha Lana'au: Place- and Culture-Based Curriculum" and "Kahikoluamea Institute (Native Hawaiian Leadership Institute" table talks at Why Reinvent the Wheel? Sharing Professional Development Across the UHCC System, Windward CC, May

"Waikalua Loko Fishpond" at Sustainability & Service Learning Institute, KCC, July

2009, 2012 & 2013
"Assignment Design: Writing Project," Writing Across the Curriculum Summer Institute, at KCC & Windward CC, May

2008 to present
"Queen Kapi'olani's Visit to Kalaupapa"

  • National Pacific American Leadership Institute (once each summer since 2011)

  • Leeward Community College, July 2013

  • Hickam Officers' Club, May 2013

  • 'Iolani Palace, July 2009 & March 2012

  • Judiciary History Center, June 2009

"'Comm' and Stay: Creating and Sustaining the First-Year Experience at a Community College," with Paige Wilmeth and Keith Kashiwada at 20th International Conference on the First-Year Experience, Waikoloa, Hawai‘i, July 10

"Gold, Gods, and Glory: The Global Dynamics of Power -- How did Kalakaua maintain power in an age of neo-imperialism?" KCC's Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony, April 20

"A.L.T.E.R. = Awareness, Listening, Trial, Error, Revision," the keynote address for Staff Development Day at the College of Micronesia in Pohnpei, FSM, February 21

2002 to present
"Queen Kapi'olani:  Her Life and Legacy"

  • presented to various groups of KCC faculty and students when asked


  • for the Pediatric Unit of Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children, September 2007

  • for visitors to KCC from the Association of American Colleges & Universities, February 2002

"Students Crossing Borders: Community College Connections," with Keala Losch and Joe Chilton at Remaking Asian & Pacific Studies Conference, Honolulu, Hawai‘i, December 5

"E-Mail Correspondence: Using Technology to Promote Collaborative Learning," 19th Pacific Educational Conference, Pago Pago, American Samoa, July 25

"Service Learning: Learning the Pacific Way," with Keala Losch and David Napoleon at 18th Pacific Educational Conference, Mangilao, Guam, July 25

"Methods of Engagement: Strategies for Helping Students Become More Effective Learners," with John Cole at Pacific Teaching: A Collaborative Workshop for Regional Community College Instructors, Koror, Palau, July 28

1997 to present
"Thinking Through History" workshop with Brian Cassity as part of the Secrets of Success series at KCC (once each semester)

1996 to present
"Learning Styles" workshop as part of the Secrets of Success series at KCC (once each semester)

Community Service

2011 to present
Board of Directors, Pacific Historic Parks
Board Member, Waikalua Loko Fishpond Preservation Society
Program Advisory Group, Distinctive Women in Hawaiian History
2000-2002, 2016 School Board Member, St. Anthony of Padua School, Kailua
1999-2001, 2008-2015
Lector Coordinator, St. Anthony of Padua Church, Kailua
1995 to present Lector & Homebound Minister, St. Anthony of Padua Church, Kailua
1995-2007 Judge, Hawai‘i History Day, Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities

last updated on 08/13/16