A picture of Dr. Gerry against a taupe background with illustratedbooks and awards
Alumni News

CIIS Alum Dr. Gerry Ebalaroza-Tunnell wins International Book Award

Dr. Gerry Ebalaroza-Tunnell, a graduate of the Department of Transformative Inquiry, won an International Impact Book Award for her recent children’s book, Let’s Live A.L.O.H.A.

April 30, 2024

Fueled by a Ph.D. in Transformative Studies and Consciousness from the California Institute of Integral Studies, Dr. Gerry Ebalaroza-Tunnell is an academic and so much more. She is the founder of Co3: Co-Creating Cohesive Communities, a writer, a podcaster, a devoted member of her family, and a proud member of her community. And now she adds another accolade to her collection: award-winning children’s book author.

The International Impact Book Awards recognized Dr. Ebalaroza-Tunnell in the Growing Up & Facts of Life (Children's Inspiration) category for her recently published children’s book, Let’s Live A.L.O.H.A. This award, which celebrates impactful stories for young readers, was presented in March of 2024.

Let’s Live A.L.O.H.A. features Dr. Ebalaroza-Tunnell’s signature framework, the Guiding Principles of A.L.O.H.A., which is a roadmap for building meaningful connections and thriving in the face of change. ALOHA stand for Ask, Listen, Observe, Heart, Adapt, and draws on Dr. Ebalaroza-Tunnell’s research into Indigenous Hawaiian knowledge and beliefs, personal journey of healing and growth, and her training in human development and consciousness studies at CIIS. She found that, far from the simple greeting it has been reduced to, Alo Hā has a profound definition: “sharing the breath of life through dialogue.” She uses this deeper meaning to build a model of listening and sharing stories that fosters resilience and community understanding. In Let’s Live A.L.O.H.A., Dr. Ebalaroza-Tunnell translates her framework for young readers, using a fun narrative and colorful illustrations to inspire them to ask thoughtful questions, listen to others, observe the world around them, make heartfelt decisions, and adapt to life’s changes.

As part of her mission, Dr. Ebalaroza-Tunnell also hosts a podcast, The Evolution of AloHā, through which she builds connection with story and sharing. The podcast shares its title with her forthcoming book for adult readers, which is also aimed at cultivating interconnectedness, compassion, and mutual prosperity. Her framework was presented at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) in 2023; Dr. Ebalaroza-Tunnell will be speaking again at NCORE 2024 in her home city of Honolulu.

Learn more about CIIS’ Transformative Studies program.

Related News

Alumni News

Community Mental Health alumna Nichole Pettway on using her experiences to help others navigate uncharted waters

Alumni News

CIIS was overjoyed to hold its 56th Commencement on Saturday, May 18, 2024. Festivities began at the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco with a commencement reception on Mission campus.