Hawaiʻi CC Title IX coordinator receives Fulbright Scholarship to study sexual empowerment education through indigenous lens
For the past six years, Hawai‘i Community College‘s Title IX Coordinator Sara Vogel has supported survivors of sexual, relationship, and gender-based harassment and violence.
She’s now ready to use her experience and knowledge to help create a comprehensive sexual education curriculum grounded in indigenous practices, beliefs, and education modalities during her research as a 2023-2024 Fulbright Scholar.
She is among more than 800 U.S. citizens who will be teaching, and also conducting research, next year through Fulbright Program.
Vogel, who is Native Hawaiian, is inspired to work in sexual education as a means of violence prevention and societal change in these communities.
“Specifically, I would like to develop a semester-long comprehensive sexual education curriculum, imbued with Indigenous values and knowledge about the body and sexuality, that teaches students how to create and tell one’s sexual story as a way to heal from sexual trauma, unlearn shame, and find empowerment in their sexual identity,” she wrote in her application.
She also believes that oral storytelling is a powerful Indigenous practice of passing on knowledge, and can be used as a novel approach to help students learn, connect, grow and evolve within sexual education.
Vogel plans to share her Fulbright journey through weekly emails. She is also the founder of Ladybits and Leadership, a sexual education company, and the host of Ladybits and Leadership: The Podcast, and spends her time researching new innovative ways to normalize conversations on sex and bodies as a form of empowerment and violence prevention.
Vogel’s passion for education and student development began during her time as a student in international relations and working as a resident assistant at the University of the Pacific. She later went on to earn her masterʻs in education in college counseling and student development from North Carolina State University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of California, San Diego, where she researched the intersection of gender, race and leadership identity development.