77. The Deepest Meanings of Language and Community, with Dr. Julie Mower

Speaking of a thousand points of light, my guest today is Dr. Julie Mower, the Acting Director of the Center for Community Engagement at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Dr. Mower is also the Director of the English Language Institute (ELI), also at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.  Dr. Mower gained her EdD in Professional Educational Practice in 2020 from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She has a masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from San Francisco State University, and a BA in English, Emphasis in Literature, from Lewis and Clark College in Oregon, among other certifications. Dr. Mower is also active with Vibrant Hawaiʻi as co-chair of the Education Committee, and she is co-convening Vibrant’s Workforce and Professional Development Team. Vibrant is a community building movement on the island of Hawaii. Sometimes, one can draw conclusions about a person from the campus, community and professional development listings on his or her resume. Such is the case with Dr. Mower, whose CV is a mile deep and rich with interesting experiences. In her dissertation Dr. Mower wrote, “As a young adult, I traveled to Ecuador on a study abroad program while finishing my Bachelors degree in English. Like reading in action form, traveling enabled me to see these different ways of living and seeing the world that previously I had only read about. I fell in love with learning about different cultures and returned to the United States wanting to somehow combine my passions for language and culture.” Her dissertation title is: Student Voices at UH Hilo: “Do I Belong Here?” A Case Study on Student Perception of Community-Engaged Teaching & How It Impacts Their Sense of Belonging at UH HiloMy editor and creative consultant is Evan Kurohara. Our theme music is provided by my friend of 40 years, Michael Sloan. You can find his music, 12 albums and over 100 songs in Spotify, Apple Music and all the other major music platforms. Please stay safe and healthy, listeners, and please get vaccinated. A hui hou, and take care. 


  1. Mike Rose’s book, Lives on the Boundary
  2. UH Hilo’s Bonner Leadership Program.
  3. Vibrant Hawaiʻi organization. 
  4. Dr. Mower’s blog on Sir Ken Robinson. 
  5. Dr. Mower’s dissertation
  6. On Being episode with Mike Rose
Theme Music by Michael Sloan
Editing by Evan Kurohara