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students working in a taro patch
Students immerse themselves in the act of nurturing a loʻi patch at ʻ ʻ?iwi.

An analysis of the COVID-19 pandemics effect on food supply chains in Hawaiʻi and Fiji has earned a faculty member in the (DURP) at the a national award.

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Subhashni Raj

Subhashni Raj, a DURP assistant professor, is one of 11 recipients of the s (FFARs) 2023 New Innovator Awards. Rajs projects focus on understanding the role of Indigenous and ancestral food pathways in maintaining food security during a crisis.

“Establishing food security post-disaster is critically important, yet marginalized or vulnerable communities—especially island communities—are less likely to be prioritized in these scenarios,” said Raj. “My hope is that, through this comparative research we will undertake In Fiji and Hawaiʻi, we can demonstrate that creating space for traditional, cultural, ancestral, and Indigenous foodways in our communities is central to building resilience.”

Raj, who has a PhD in urban and regional planning from the State University of New York at Buffalo, was a Fulbright scholar and Kaufman doctoral fellow in food systems planning.

The New Innovator Award is bestowed on early-career scientists supporting research in one of FFARs research priority areas. Cumulatively, the recipients share a total of $4.8 million over three years.

people participating in weaving practices
Students engaging in traditional weaving practices led by Indrajit Samarasingha.
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