Susan Hippensteele

Susan Hippensteele

College of Social Sciences Affiliations

Department of Women's Studies (WS)

  • Professor
  • Building/Office: Saunders 722B
  • Phone: 956-6928
  • Fax: 956-9616


Ph.D., J.D.

Susan Hippensteele is a Professor of Women's Studies with a J.D. from the William S. Richardson School of Law and a Ph.D in Psychology from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. She is a licensed attorney.

In 1992 Hippensteele was hired as the first victims' advocate at UHM. From 1992-2000 she worked with more than 800 students and employees with claims of race, sex and sexual orientation harassment and discrimination on campus, and conducted extensive research on campus ethnoviolence throughout the University of Hawai'i system.

In 2000 Hippensteele joined the Women's Studies faculty and in 2003 she co-founded the Hawai'i Women's Law Center, located in the Chinatown District of Honolulu, where she practiced public interest law until 2006.

From 2008-2015 Hippensteele served in the Office of the Chancellor working on accreditation, integrated strategic planning, and strategic plan implementation.

Since 2013 Hippensteele has conducted numerous strategic planning seminars and has developed and led training activities for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Society for University and College Planning (SCUP). She has served as a SCUP Planning Academy Member since 2014.


Decision-making heuristics in higher education; mediation theory and application; feminist coalition building among academic and community groups; gender violence response and prevention; accommodating long-term psychiatric disabilities.

Current work involves higher education planning and accreditation, exploring factors that influence faculty career trajectories, and workplace diversity.


Hippensteele teaches courses that address psychology, gender, race, power, social justice, and law, including: Women and Madness; Psychology of Gender; Gender, Justice and Law; Sexualities; and, Gender and Violence: Transnational Feminist Analyses.

Hippensteele works with undergraduate and graduate students interested in exploring theoretical models of socio-political behavior and dynamics of individuals and organizations.


WS 436 (E) (Spring 2016) : Gender Justic and Law - Download
  Cross Listed: POLS/AMST 436

WS 392 (O) (Fall 2015) : Sexualities - Download

WS 434 (E) (Fall 2015) : Women and Madness - Download

Research Projects

UHM Faculty Career Pathways Study (2012 - ) : This research project examines the career trajectories of UHM faculty, and factors that influence their relative job satisfaction and research/scholarly productivity.
  Type: Research

Critical Thinking and Science Literacy Course Impact on Learning Outcomes and Progress To Degree (2011 - ) : Our broad hypothesis is that freshman enrolled in a multidisciplinary general education course that teaches scientific reasoning skills to understand and evaluate real-world issues will be better prepared to succeed in college. The experimental course being tested teaches formal reasoning using a science literacy model designed to teach skills transferrable across disciplines. Multiple assessment measures are incorporated to facilitate iterative course and curriculum development. The course model addresses current trends in undergraduate STEM education to develop engaged learning environments that can improve retention and meet student needs for applied science skills.
  Type: Education and Training

Awards & Honors

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) Academy Member (2014)

Named by Hawaii Business Magazine as one of "20 For The Next 20." (2013)

Robert W. Clopton Award for Outstanding Service to the Community (2005) : The Robert W. Clopton Award for Outstanding Service to the Community recognizes a UH Manoa faculty member for playing a socially significant role by applying intellectual leadership and academic expertise to the improvement of the community.