Helen G. Chapin

Photo Courtesy of Hawaii Pacific University

By Larry LeDoux

Chapter Secretary

Dr. Helen G. Chapin, Ph.D., is Hawai‘i Pacific University’s vice president emerita and a former professor of English and dean of the university’s satellite college programs.

Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Chapin earned her bachelor's and master's of arts degrees in English at the University of Hawai‘i-Manoa, where as an undergraduate she was editor of the student newspaper Ka Leo.

She worked briefly as a feature writer for the Honolulu Advertiser and a reporter for the Hilo Tribune-Herald before moving to the mainland to teach at the Universities of New Mexico and Kentucky.

She earned her doctorate at Ohio State University in 1975 and came to HPU in 1978 as director of student services and coordinator for the university’s military campus program. By 1980 she was dean and by 1985 vice president for special programs. She took over the university’s satellite campus program in 1989 and headed it until she retired in 1995.

Chapin is a past president of the Honolulu Community-Media Council the Hawaiian Historical Society and she has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities.

She has published numerous articles and books that focus on media in Hawai‘i, most notably Shaping History: The Role of Newspapers in Hawai‘i (University Press of Hawai‘i, 1996), and A Guide to Newspapers of Hawai‘i, 1834-2000.

In 1989 the YWCA awarded Chapin for promoting women in the workplace. She was state coordinator for the American Council on Education and has directed projects for the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. Her other professional affiliations include the Immigration History Society and the National Association of Ethnic and Minority Studies.

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