Ashley is a highly motivated, intelligent woman with an impeccalbe work ethic, and strong communcation skills. She has a deep passion for the natural world, the Hawaiian language, of which she is fluent, and helping others. After more than a decade in the hospitality industry, Ashley has returned to her home, the island of O'ahu, to pursue advanced studies in native Hawaiian studies. In addition to her love for Hawaiian studies, Ashley is very active in the raising of awareness for Parkinson's disease. She is a budding botanist, enjoys hiking, snorkeling, cycling, and 'loves' interning in the lab for many hours a week!
Hawai'i Pacific University, for nursing in 2004, however, was discouraged by an unfortunate clinical experience. In search of a happier life, she chose to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. Here she developed a wealth of skills and confidence, working in high-end establishments at Virginia Beach on the East Coast of mainland America.
She returned from Virginia Beach to marry her long-term sweatheart Kevin Mokuahi, where they have devoted much of their lives to raising awareness for the treatment of and cure for Parkinson's Disease. Ashley, now a full-time housewife, is interning with Dr. Sonia J. Rowley as her lab technician to learn and develop critical skills in gorgonian octocoral curation and classification, as well as laboratory protocols and procedures. She is keen to develop an understanding of the academic process including the formidable intricacies of grant writing, in preparation for her advanced Hawaiian studies.
Most exciting is the opportunity to work with Sonia in the naming of new gorgonian species, which were collected on the deep seamounts of Hawai'i. Here, these ladies will embody and promote the spirit of Aloha to "mālama i ka wai" (care for and live in harmony with the ocean) with respect to the Hawaiian culture.
Ashley say's: "I am working in Dr. Rowley's lab to learn more about something that I am deeply passionate about, which is the ocean and the Hawaiian cultural resources." From these experiences "I would like to be working towards a Ph.D., in Native Hawaiian Studies specifically language and botany."
As Ashley prepares for her future studies, she continues to build her knowledge and experience-base of the academic process. She is very fulfilled with her life and looks forward to learning more from Sonia, as well as supporting her husband's fight to end Parkinson's. But most importantly, she loves her garden and cats!