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Students work together to save UH's ethnomusicology program


Past and present students of the University of Hawaiʻi's ethnomusicology department have joined forces to try and save their program, all while paying tribute to their late professor and founder Barbara Smith.

Barbara Smith is credited with building the Ethnomusicology Department, which celebrates everything from Hawaiian mele and hula to Javanese gamelan. Her contributions were celebrated recently, and the passion for the field she shared with her students is the driving force behind the petition that has been circulating.

Close to 200 people have signed on to save the ethnomusicology department that she founded. Organizers plan to send the petition to the administration today as International Education Week comes to a close.

The Conversation spoke to Teri Skillman, a graduate of the program who is trying to rally support to keep it from folding.

Petition organizers intend to send it to the administration today as we mark the end of International Education Week.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Nov. 18, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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