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Kirk D. Johnson, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology

location Office Location: HSS 318D
Mailing Address: UOG Station, Mangilao, Guam 96923
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Dr. Kirk Johnson was raised for most of his childhood in the mountains of Western India, where he attended an International Baha’i School with students from over 34 different countries. This experience had a profound and indelible impact on his life, world view, and the course of his future career. He returned to the United States for university at the age of 17 and found himself drawn to the social sciences while an undergraduate at Fort Hays State University in Kansas. After earning his baccalaureate degree, he moved to Ohio University, where he earned two master’s degrees in sociology and in international development. Dr. Johnson’s doctoral research while at McGill University in Montreal Canada took him back to the mountains of his youth where he explored the influence of television on the lives of villagers in India.  

He then moved to the Pacific, where he has worked at the University of Guam as a professor of sociology for the past two decades. Dr. Johnson has served as director of the Bali Field School, a community development project, since 2004, providing students an opportunity to explore, through a cross-cultural lens, the dynamics between tradition and modernity, globalization and the survival of Kirk Johnson in Bali with studentsindigenous peoples and cultures, and highlights the complexity and tensions of social change in the 21st century. His work and service has taken him throughout the Pacific to island nations including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Kiribati, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Hawaii, the Northern Mariana Islands, and New Zealand. His work in Asia has been primarily in India and Indonesia. 

He has published numerous books and journal articles, given over 30 conference presentations around the world focusing on research in the areas of development and social change, religion and education, human ecology, and sustainability. Dr. Johnson’s ongoing work in the Pacific Asia region has allowed him to learn firsthand about the processes of community development and capacity building at the grassroots in many different settings. 

Professional history


  • B.A., Sociology, Fort Hays State University (Kansas)
  • M.A., Sociology and International Development, Ohio University
  • Ph.D., Sociology, McGill University (Canada)

Bali Field Schoolstudent praying in bali

Click on the links below to find out more about the Bali Field School, an annual course that is held each year over spring break.

Student Research and Service


The 2007 Bali Field School produced a five-part documentary series titled "Casting Our Net: Rediscovering Community in the 21st Century." It has been screened at three international academic conferences as well as in Bali, Indonesia.

group in Bali


Masumi Kai, Ph.D.

Professor of Japanese

location Office Location: HSS 120D
Mailing Address: UOG Station, Mangilao, Guam 96923
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  • B.A., South Asian Studies, Osaka University of Foreign Studies (now Osaka University) (Japan)
  • M.A., Japanese Language Studies, Osaka University of Foreign Studies (now Osaka University) (Japan)
  • Ph.D., Language and Culture, Linguistics, Osaka University of Foreign Studies (now Osaka University) (Japan)
Poong-Ja Toyoko Kang

Professor of Japanese

location Office Location: HSS 318F
Mailing Address: UOG Station, Mangilao, Guam 96923
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  • B.A., Russian, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies (Japan)
  • M.A., Russian Linguistics, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies (Japan)
  • Ph.D., Applied Linguistics, The University of Texas at Austin
Yoshito Kawabata, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology

location Office Location: HSS 220E
Mailing Address: UOG Station, Mangilao, Guam 96923
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Yoshito Kawabata is an associate professor with a background in developmental psychology. He received a B.A. and a M.A. in psychology from the University of Oregon and a Ph.D. in child psychology from the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota.

Yoshi’s research interest focuses on interpersonal relationships and psychopathology and the roles of contextual factors such as schools, neighborhoods, and cultures on these domains.

He is particularly interested in examining risk and protective factors that may influence developmental processes involving parenting, peer relationships, and forms of psychopathology (i.e., anxiety, depression, and aggression) with a cross-cultural and ethnically diverse sample. In another line of research, Yoshi uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative data and analyzes how and why children and adolescents accept or reject intergroup contact or cross-ethnic friendships.

He has supervised undergraduate and graduate students with their thesis and provided considerable support for research and writing. He has enjoyed these mentoring experiences and is excited to work with students at University of Guam. 


  • B.A., Psychology, University of Oregon
  • M.S., Psychology, University of Oregon
  • Ph.D., Child Psychology, University of Minnesota


Irena Keckes, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Art

location Office Location: EC 117E
Mailing Address: UOG Station, Mangilao, Guam 96923
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Irena received her PhD in Fine Arts from the University of Auckland, New Zealand (2015), MFA in printmaking from Tokyo University of the Arts,Japan (2005) and BA in art education, Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb, Croatia (2000). Integrating theory and practice has been a key element to her research through which she has been exploring connections between eco-Buddhism and printmaking, extended forms of print and art/craft relationship.

Her practice involves large-scale monochrome woodcuts and print installations. Irena’s artwork has been exhibited internationally in many group and independent exhibitions. She presented at the SGCI Print Conference 2016 in Portland USA, IMPACT 9 International Printmaking Conference, China (2015), 4th International Printmaking Symposium at University of Auckland, NZ (2015), IMPACT 8 in Scotland (2013) and the 2nd International Mokuhanga Conference at Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan (2014).

She exhibited at the Festival of Pacific Arts in Gaum Museum and Isla Centre for the Arts (2016). Irena curated the International Exhibition of Contemporary Print UOG 2016 at Isla Centre for the Arts (2016). Her work is exhibited the International Print Biennial, Northern Print, UK (2016), and SGCI Print Conference 2017 in Atlanta, USA. Irena is an Assistant Professor of Art, University of Guam.


  • B.A., Art Education – Printmaking, University of Zagreb (Croatia)
  • MFA, Printmaking, Tokyo University of the Arts (Japan)
  • Ph.D., Fine Arts – Printmaking, University of Auckland (New Zealand)

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Kenneth G. Kuper, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Political Science, CHamoru Studies, and Micronesian Studies

location Office Location: HSS 220F
Mailing Address: UOG Station, Mangilao, Guam 96923
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  • B.A., Psychology, University of Guam
  • M.A., Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Chris Rasmussen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of History

location Office Location: HSS 318E
Mailing Address: UOG Station, Mangilao, Guam 96923
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Professor of Art

location Office Location: Fine Arts 202A
Mailing Address: UOG Station, Mangilao, Guam 96923


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  • B.F.A., Kansas City Art Institute
  • M.F.A., Montana State University
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Administrative Assistant

location Office Location: EC Bldg., Room 111 (Division Office)
Mailing Address: UOG Station, Mangilao, Guam 96923
David A. Ruskin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Linguistics

location Office Location: EC 118F
Mailing Address: UOG Station, Mangilao, Guam 96923
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  • B.S., Linguistics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.A., Ph.D., Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester (N.Y.)
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