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Portrait of President John S.K. Kauwe III

John S.K. Kauwe III

University President

John S.K. Kauwe III is the eleventh president of Brigham Young University–Hawaii. He assumed the presidency in July 2020. He is a professor of Biology at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo where he served previously as the chair of the Biology Department and as Dean of Graduate Studies.

President Kauwe earned a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology (1999) and a master’s degree in population genetics (2003) at BYU. From 1999-2001, he served as a full-time missionary in the Japan Fukuoka Mission. He received a Ph.D. in evolution, ecology, and population biology in 2007 from Washington University in St. Louis where he also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Alzheimer’s disease genetics at the Washington University School of Medicine in 2008.

President Kauwe’s professional focus has been primarily on solving the genetic basis of risk for Alzheimer’s disease. His work, which includes more than 100 peer-reviewed published papers in the past decade, has contributed in unique ways to our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease risk and resilience. He also conducts research on the genetic basis of other human traits and is engaged in ongoing work on genomics and population genetics in Indo-Pacific fish species.

President Kauwe is of Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, Maori, and Northern European ancestry. He was raised in Orem, Utah, and various parts of Hawaii and is a graduate of Molokai High and Intermediate School (’96). He is the fourth great-grandson of Kaleohano, one of the first converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hawaii.

President Kauwe and his wife Monica are the parents of five children, ages 4 to 15.

President Kauwe

More From This Author

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Practice the Principle of Revelation

September 06, 2022
Devotional by President John S.K. Kauwe III | September 6, 2022

"It is so easy in this world to fill your heart and mind with content and never make time to listen. Listen after you pray. ...Allow your mind some clarity to contemplate the important aspects of your life and future. You must make conscious efforts to allow the process of revelation to act more frequently in your life."
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A University in Harmony

September 02, 2022
Aloha kakahiaka! I hope you had a wonderful summer.
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Embrace Your Divine Identity

June 25, 2022
Commencement address by President John S.K. Kauwe III | June 25, 2022

"Each of God’s children needs to know the joy and salvation that is brought through the gospel. Here at BYU–Hawaii, you experienced the special power of the gospel in uniting all people. As you go forth to serve, please continue to use that power to gather Israel and build the Kingdom of God."
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Good News, Bad News, Who Knows?

May 03, 2022
Devotional by President John S.K. Kauwe III | May 3, 2022

"Our imperfection leaves us subject to the demands of justice. But Jesus Christ, our Savior, suffered all things, to fulfill our Heavenly Father’s plan, and bring us salvation. "
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Covenants and Commitments

April 16, 2022
Commencement talk by President John S.K. Kauwe III | April 16, 2022

"Your years at BYU–Hawaii have been a wonderful opportunity to learn about covenants, make covenants, keep covenants, and experience the blessings of being one of the Lord’s covenant people. On this path, you will receive the blessing of help and guidance from the Holy Ghost. You will have access to priesthood blessings which can provide healing, comfort, or counsel. Through your diligence, you will be able to return to live with a loving Father in Heaven."
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Through the Lens of Gratitude

February 22, 2022
Devotional by John S. K. Kauwe III | February 22, 2022

"Resolve to cultivate gratitude in your life, and view, through that powerful lens, the incredible blessings of having made covenants with a loving Heavenly Father, of being here at BYU–Hawaii, and of obtaining the knowledge and experience necessary to be a leader in your family, your community, and in the Kingdom of God."
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In Sincerity and In Truth

December 10, 2021
Commencement talk by John S. K. Kauwe III | December 10, 2021

"Surely you have developed and maintained some good habits along this journey. I hope and expect that these habits include daily prayer and scripture study, church activity and attendance, and many other small and frequent actions that lead you to spiritual and temporal success. These small daily decisions, now habits, have prepared you to move on and be a meaningful contributor to your family, your community, and your chosen profession."
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Together, We Must Continue His Work

October 19, 2021
Inauguration talk by John S. K. Kauwe III | October 19, 2021

"I testify to you that this university is a vital part of God’s work on earth. He has established it through His prophets to educate His children and help them make and keep sacred covenants. Through honoring those covenants, we learn more of our Savior, grow closer to Him, and become more like Him."
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Righteousness Like the Waves of the Sea

September 07, 2021
Devotional by John S. K. Kauwe III | September 7, 2021

"When Isaiah teaches us that obedience will bring us “righteousness like the waves of the sea,” he reminds us that we want our own righteousness, our actions, to be completely dictated by the power of heaven the same way the waves of the sea are dictated. This righteousness, obtained through obedience, will give us access to divine power."
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Serve the Right Way

August 30, 2021
Devotional by John S. K. Kauwe III | August 30, 2021

"As we seek the Lord's will and heed prophetic counsel regarding our assignments and responsibilities, I testify that we will receive bounteous blessings for our students and the university."
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