David Kekaulike Sing

National Council on the Humanities

Portrait of Dr. David Kekaulike Sing

Term Dates



David Kekaulike Sing, PhD, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Hawaiʻi Hilo and a managing partner at the educational consulting company, Educational Prism, LLC. Sing designed education models for K–12 and higher education aligned with the history, culture, language, and experiences of Native Hawaiian students. These models—which Sing implemented as director of K-12 programs at Nā Pua No’eau, and at the college level through the Ke Ola Mau Health Pathways, Hawaiian Leadership Development Program—have been recognized for raising student’s achievement and aspiration levels and have been adopted and replicated by Indigenous communities across the United States and Canada.

At the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, Sing formed a council of faculty and staff to create campus policy and practices for increasing the enrollment, retention and graduation of Hawaiian students. The University of Hawaiʻi adopted and created a University System-wide Council replicating the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s model.

He was founder and first president of the Native Hawaiian Education Association, which creates venues for teachers and community members throughout Hawaiʻi to advocate and network for improving the education of native Hawaiians.

Sing was the first Native Hawaiian elected to the board and was vice president of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA). He was awarded the National Indian Education Association Educator of the Year Award in 2008 and Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021. In 1991 and 2009 he received the Native Hawaiian Education Award for his contributions to the achievement and educational enrichment of Native Hawaiian children. Sing received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Claremont University in California.