The International Student Association (ISA in the 1960’s and 70’s), the Peer Advocates (PAS – 1980-87), the Peer Advocate Leadership Society (PALS – 1999-2003), and the current International Student Association (ISA – 2003-the present time) were all established with a common goal. That was to provide a support system for international students attending the University of Hawai’i. Through these years, International Student leaders came together foster the common goals which were finally written down in its first constitution in 1999. This constitution established an operating framework for the organization and is still followed to this day. In 2003, PALS members voted to re-name itself as the International Student Association.

In 1998, a group of international students hosted a luncheon for June Naughton upon her retirement as director of the ISS. The students asked her to volunteer and start an organization that would benefit international students during their studies at the University of Hawaii. Knowing that leadership experience and intercultural communication were critical any successful international organization, the first few years of PALS focused on building these qualities among the members. When the members developed a variety of leadership experiences and the organizational mission was better defined, the name changed from Peer Advocate Leadership Society (PALS)  to International Student Association  (ISA) to attract a more diversified group of students seeking international contacts and experiences.


  • to promote global friendship and understanding
  • to support new and continuing students in their educational objectives
  • to explore issues and places in Hawai’i
  • to develop leadership among international students’
  • to have fun as students

The ISA ohana

Linda Duckworth’s favorite word is ohana (family) and the ISA ohana is an important aspect of the ISA. Linda Duckworth also named the ISA’s effort to promote this ideal as “TLC” or Teamwork, Leadership, and Communication. It’s a wonderful renaming of Tender Loving Care which ISA  promotes as a family of students who care. ISA today is a dynamic organization promoting a valuable international education for all within the ISA ohana.

by June Naughton