Dr. Kawelu is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. She graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama, then went on to earn her B.A. in Anthropology and a minor in Museum Studies from Beloit College in Wisconsin. She went on to receive her Ph.D. from the University of Berkeley in California. Dr. Kawelu's current research focuses on the politics of archaeology in Hawai‘i and the relationships between archaeologist and Native Hawaiians. She believes that understanding the sociopolitical context within which Hawaiian archaeology is practiced is important to doing good archaeology in the islands. She currently resides in Keaukaha, Hilo with her family.