Richard and Rose Takasaki have both passed away, but their positive impact in our community will continue through their $1 million bequest to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work program in social policy. Their gift established the Richard S. and T. Rose Takasaki Endowment Fund, which supports the Richard S. Takasaki Endowed Professorship. This fund was established to enhance the scholarly and research activities of the chair holder. It is awarded on the basis of scholarly achievement in the field of social policy.
On Sept. 1, 2015, the MBT School of Social Work announced that Dr. Colette Browne had been selected to serve as the first Takasaki Endowed Professor of Social Policy.
“I know that Dr. Browne will fulfill Richard and Rose Takasaki’s legacy to advance social justice and social policy in ways that benefit our students, our communities and the global enterprise.”
– Dr. Noreen Mokuau, Dean of the MBT School of Social Work
“It is an honor, a privilege and a responsibility to be appointed to the Richard S. and T. Rose Takasaki Endowed Professorship in Social Policy. The Takasaki’s were role models for their community work on behalf of Hawai‘i’s citizens. Their generosity will allow me and my colleagues to examine policy questions related to equity-related concerns of diverse groups in the United States. With the assistance of colleagues and students at UH Mānoa, we pledge to meet Mr. and Mrs. Takasaki’s vision through collaborative and interdisciplinary research, conferences and teaching.”
– Dr. Browne
Dr. Browne holds advanced degrees in social work, public health and educational psychology, and is a professor of Social Work who has been on the faculty at the MBT School of Social Work since 1985. She currently serves as the chair of the gerontology concentration in the school’s Master of Social Work program and has taught social policy courses in the School’s BSW, MSW and Ph.D. levels.
Dr. Browne is Principal Investigator for the federally funded Hā Kūpuna, National Resource Center for Native Hawaiian Elders, Administration on Community Living/Administration on Aging and has secured research grants and contracts with entities such as the State of Hawai‘i Executive Office on Aging and the Hawai‘i Medical Service Association Foundation.
She has won numerous awards from the University of Hawai‘i and national and community organizations for her teaching, research and community service. Dr. Browne has published extensively in the area of gerontology with a focus on meeting the needs of vulnerable elder populations and their families through equitable long-term care health care policies. She is currently Vice Chair of the Oahu Regional Health Care Board and sits on national boards such as the American Society on Aging and the National Indigenous Elder Justice Center.