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My Summer Internship with the Hawai’i School Peace Gardens Network

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My name is Emma Falvey, and I am a graduating senior at Western Washington University studying Public Health and Spanish. In June, I began working as a summer intern for the HIPHI Hawai‘i School Peace Gardens (HSPGN) project under the supervision and guidance of Rie Kuhaulua. My goals for this internship were to: learn about gardening and how to relay information to communities in Hawai‘i, use qualitative methodology to audit transcripts, analyze data, and conduct a qualitative interview, and assist HIPHI staff in analysis of interviews, developing themes, and presenting findings. Working with Rie, I was able to satisfy these goals and explore how peace gardens foster a holistic environment for peace and sustainability education.

Working with HIPHI and the HSPGN project, I researched the process of beginning a home garden as well as how to conduct, transcribe, and analyze qualitative interviews to assist the understanding of implementing and supporting peace gardens and their related topics. For my first project, I designed a website with resources for home gardening that includes flyers for planting instructions that may be distributed with seed provisions at HIPHI events. For my second project, I helped to transcribe and analyze previous HSPGN interviews. I was able to collaborate with a teacher from Chaminade University to conduct and analyze my own qualitative interview regarding their experience with peace gardens. From this process, I learned a great deal about qualitative methodology.

My internship working with the HSPGN has allowed me the opportunity to better understand the philosophy behind peace gardens and how they promote social-emotional well-being of the students and faculty. Peace gardens can help address peace and sustainability education, fostering a safe and welcoming environment for students, and expanding education to take care of the whole child. I am very grateful for my time at HIPHI, and would like to specifically thank Rie for her mentorship and to those who shared their story with HSPGN and who are continuing to maintain the intention of peace gardens across Hawai‘i Islands.

To learn more about peace gardens or home gardening resources, please check out the HSPGN and gardening resources websites.

Rie Kuhaulua, PsyD, MPH

Rie Kuhaulua, PsyD, MPH

Public Health Workforce Development Program Manager
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