Dr. Leilani Nautu is an assistant professor of education and the executive director of K12 Programs at Southern Utah University. She focuses on experiential education, diversity, disability, and inclusion, and excellence in teaching and learning.
Originally from the San Fernando Valley, Nautu spent time in Hawaii before making southern Utah her home. Nautu has a bachelor of arts in social science and a master of arts in education from Chapman University, a master of public administration from SUU, and a Ph.D. in curriculum studies with an emphasis in diversity and disability studies, from the University of Hawaii.
Now as a professor in the teacher education program, Nautu is leading the future of education.
“I get to honor the past and honor those that influenced me and taught me,” said Nautu. “And I get to touch the future and help future teachers to touch the future. It’s a nice pretty cycle that we perpetuate.”
Nautu teaches the following classes at SUU:
- EDUC 2000 Exploring Education in Society
- EDUC 3000 Principles of Teaching & Learning
- EDUC 6010 Classroom Management
- EDUC 6380 Ethics for Educational Leaders
- EDUC 6420 Education of the Gifted & Talented
- EDUC 6430 Practicum: Individual Case Study
- EDUC 6440 Creativity in Education
- EDUC 6460 Identification/Evaluation in Gifted Education
- EDUC 6470 Practicum: Team Consultation
- EDUC 6490 Practicum: Classroom Applications
- EDUC 6652 M.Ed. Portfolio Writing
- EDUC 6710 Multicultural Education
- EDUC 6854 Special Topics in Gifted Education
- EESL 6330 Developing a Curriculum for Pupils Studying ESL
- SPED 6120 Applied Behavior Analysis & Management
In the classroom, Nautu supports her students as they become compassionate, thoughtful teachers.
“My favorite thing about teaching is helping future teachers learn how to create a caring learning environment,” said Nautu. “An environment where they learn that their students are part of their families and that they take care of them and the students take care of each other.”
Nautu shares her personal mantra with each class she teaches and encourages her students to create their own that they can share and live by. She wants her students to know that she has respect for each of them and who they can become.
“I have important things for you to do here today. The things I ask you to do are worthwhile. The things I ask you to do open new possibilities for you. We work hard to make this place work for you. There are no excuses here but there is support. And I try to see things through your eyes.”