CSPA grad selected as ACPA Diamond Honoree


Leilani Kupo

JMU alumna, V. Leilani Kupo ('00), has been selected as part of the Class of 2020 ACPA Diamond Honorees. Kupo graduated with a M.Ed. from the College Student Personnel Administration program.

The American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Foundation established the Diamond Honoree Program in 1999.  Persons nominated for consideration are recognized for their outstanding and sustained contributions to higher education and to student affairs. They may be former leaders of the profession, supervisors, teachers or anyone who has had a continued and significant influence on the quality of college students’ experience.

Biography: Leilani Kupo, Ph.D. (Kanaka Maoli) [she/her/hers] was raised away from her ancestral land of Maui and depended on her ‘ohana[family] to teach her ancestral knowledge from afar. Receiving her B.A. from Ripon College (WI), M.Ed. from James Madison University (VA), and Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University (OH) in Higher Education Administration were points of great celebration for her ‘ohana.  These experiences also helped Leilani understand the ways in which education and schooling both liberated and caused trauma to her, her ‘ohana, and her community.

Leilani currently serves as the Associate Dean of Students for Educational Equity and Access, Learning Support, and Transition Programs/ Director of the Calvin E. Bright Success Center at the University of California, Merced. Leilani has served as a scholar-practitioner in student affairs since 2000.  Throughout her professional practice, she has centered serving students, community needs, and her cultural values in her practice. 

Leilani has served ACPA in a number of capacities throughout her career, serving as a CWI Directorate member, CWI Emerging Scholar in Residence, selected as one of ACPA’s 2014 Emerging Scholars, and currently serves on the Governing Board as Member-at-Large Representative for Mid-Level.

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Published: Thursday, October 31, 2019

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 5, 2019

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