Jennifer Darrah-Okike


Assistant Professor,
Department of Sociology,
College of Social Sciences

Professor Jennifer Darrah-Okike of the Department of Sociology states unequivocally that “serving as a faculty at UH Mānoa is the great privilege of my life. Students are a major reason.” And her students receive that message clearly and return it with heart-felt reciprocity: “Prof. Darrah is hands down my favorite instructor,” “Most valuable is her classroom environment,” “She really cares about us and has brilliant insight that helps us understand,” “This class dealt with a lot of sensitive content…presented in a way that was respectful and engaging,” and, “She has one of the biggest hearts I have come across in college. You can really tell she has a passion for the subject and cares deeply for her students.” Professor Darrah’s first goal is to nurture a community of learners and generate a sense of intellectual safety as a foundation for learning. This is accomplished through a process of nurturing sociological imagination by centering students’ stories, which then become reference points to connect to broad themes, debates and ideas in the field of sociology. She regularly teaches in the innovative and collaborative classrooms available to Mānoa faculty as a means of further transforming the relationships between professor and student, between students, and between learner and subject. Darrah-Okike grounds her practices in theories of multiple intelligences and the effectiveness of visual and kinesthetic classroom activities, and has honed approaches to collaborative learning that kindle strong learning outcomes. That is extended into research collaborations with intramural grants as funding for both graduate and undergraduate students, and co-authoring conference presentations and papers with current and former students. In all her courses, she engages in place-based teaching and learning, with values, epistemologies and practices of Hawai’i as lens and context, including field visits, service learning, and community leaders as visitors. Her department colleagues are proud to have her as a member, as a “true asset to the department who has made a significant contribution to our teaching in areas of theory, urban sociology, race/ethnicity, culture and identity.”

Department of Sociology