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Student Bios

American Samoa MA -
Public Administration and Human Resources

PAHR Cohort Student Profiles

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Mission Statement
To collaborate as a group of professional individuals who will continually improve our leadership capacities to enhance overall quality of service to our people.


  Last, First
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1. Aigamaua-Saelua, Catherine
csaelua@asg.as

https://sites.google.com/site/cathy684portfolio/home
Personal/Work Info:
I am 51 years old and have been employed with the government of American Samoa for approximately 29 years. My years of service with the government initiated with the American Samoa Telecommunications Authority in 1981. I worked for 8 years at ASTCA before I transferred employment to the Office of Program Planning and Budget. I was employed as a Budget Analyst and
have worked my way to where I am today as the Deputy Director. I supervise a staff of 11 and basically manage the day to day operation of the office. All governmental transactions that anticipate an “expenditure” flow through our office for review and approval.

I am happily married and have been for the past 27 years. I have 5 children, three girls and 2 boys. My eldest is married and I have 2 beautiful grandchildren. My two youngest boys are currently in college with one at UCLA and the other at UH
Hilo. My eldest is a graduate of UC Davis while my two other girls have a semester or two before completion. My husband is John Saelua and is also employed with the government at the
Department of Education. He currently holds a Masters Degree in Education and has been employed with D.O.E. for approximately 30 years.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
I joined the Masters Program to improve myself professionally and also to take advantage of this rare educational opportunity offered to the various departments and agencies of the government. Upon completion of this program, I believe I will be qualified to take the next level of management position within our office.

One of My Special Talents Is:
One of my special talents is ……the fact that I work well with numbers. I am also the type of person that likes to share my knowledge and know how to my family, friends, and colleagues.

 

 
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2. Ainu'u-Viena, Florence
fainuu6517@gmail.com

https://sites.google.com/site/floainuusportfolio/

Personal/Work Info:
I am Branch Manager of Child Welfare and Family Advocacy soon to be transferred to a position I hope to create. As manager, I’m responsible for four programs but only three are functioning right now. My supervision and evaluation of program and staff performance, review and provide reports and address programmatic concerns, attend meetings, provide trainings and support for staff as well as presentations to agencies and the community upon request. I’m the youngest of seven children with one that passed, three living in Los Angeles and three in American Samoa. I have a beautiful family of four adult children with one married and two adorable grandchildren ages 8 months and 15 months old. My family is precious to me and I thank God everyday for them. The special experiences I have had include a trip to Israel in 1978. My husband and I, at the time, had no children so we were nominated to escort my parents who were Pastors for the United Samoan Church in Carson, California. The church still stands and it is beautiful with a church hall and a gym to support the work. I also took the opportunity to put together the first Pacific Rim Child Abuse and Neglect Conference in 2005. It took much of my time, which still managing programs, and energy to put this together. When I started putting my ideas into action, I hadn’t realized what a huge project this would be. My main thrust was to put something together for our island and neighboring islands to address a problem that we share and could learn from one another and support one another. The conference happened but the ongoing support did not. It took a lot out of me. I would like to put on another one but not while in this position. The last thing to share about my experience is looking back at my life…I have wasted a lot of time, made a lot of bad decisions and now hope to be a positive influence in people’s lives for the good. I have a few more years to be productive and I choose to do just that.

What makes my work interesting and enjoyable are the people; not just my staff but also other people that work in the same building. I see that we need each other’s support, trust and friendship in order to get the most out of the work we are responsible for. My work offers variety, flexibility at times and opportunities to grow from the challenges it presents. My work is interesting but I don’t like the actual doing of the monthly report, calculating time cards, turning weekly reports, logging in intakes. If we had a database, these things could be done in less time and effort.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
I joined the Master program because I’ve always wanted a Master to prove to myself that I can do it. This Master program seems to be the thing that will help me put something together to get social workers certified or licensed. To date, there is nothing in place and I hope to accomplish this after getting this Master.

One of My Special Talents Is:
One of my special talent is playing the guitar and singing songs. I do this almost every evening on our front porch looking at the stars and singing to the banana trees, coconut trees, flowers, birds, bats, and our five plus dogs. They seem to like it, no complaints.


   
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3. Aoelua-Fanene, Salote
aoelua@gmail.com

https://sites.google.com/site/saloteportfolio/

Personal/Work Info:
I teach World History, US History and US & American Samoa Government at Nuuuli Vocational Technical High School. It is the only trades school in American Samoa. I had no intentions of being a teacher but when I returned home in 2009, the only job opening available was for a teacher so I applied. Now, I am able to spend quality time with my 4 children because they attend the same school that I work at. As the Student Council advisor, I assist and help organize monthly activities to promote school spirit, motivate the desire to stay in school and a sense of self-worth and belonging. It is encouraging to see my children socialize and engage in activities with their peers. We attend most of the school sports activities and I've been their basketball coach for 2 years now which promotes good health. We learn to work and do things together as a team but more importantly as a family.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
I joined the MA program to become a more effective person as a mother, wife and teacher. I realize that education is the door to opportunities and I do not want to limit my options. It is necessary that I improve on my talent and skills that I've attained from past work and experiences from family and church. The most effective way to teach my children and students to stay in school is to further my education, so that I can be an example to them.

One of My Special Talents Is:
I feel that I've been blessed with a talent to inspire others, being an inspirational leader. I enjoy sharing motivating stories and encouraging others to put forth their best and to endure to the end. Regardless of one's situation or background, I believe that everyone has a unique gift that good. It is this quality that I wish to bring out.

   
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4. Asalele, Fa'amao
fasalele@gmail.com

https://sites.google.com/site/faamaosportfolio/

Personal/Work Info:
Talofa! I am currently employed with the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS-EPA) as the Assistant Director of Technical Programs. I have been employed with AS-EPA for almost 15 years. In the many years with AS-EPA, I was blessed to serve under some great leaders that groomed and mentored me in the environmental world. As a young Samoan, this was a learning experience of a life time in my professional career. In my capacity as an Assistant Director, I am encouraged by my past experiences to promote a healthy professional environment to help everyone regardless of position and title the opportunity succeed and excel.

After receiving my undergraduate degree from Chadron State College, Nebraska, I returned home and taught for two years at Leone High School. This was a very rewarding experience for me as I had the opportunity to not only be a teacher but also to make a positive difference in the lives of of many young Samoans.

Furthermore, I am currently a soldier in the United States Army Reserve. Throughout my military career, I was able to travel the world and see the world through my own eyes. Some of my traveling included two deployments to Iraq. Both deployments were humbling experiences as I have never witnessed anything as such to date. Although I am grateful to return back home alive from both deployments, but more importantly I am also grateful to have fought protect the United States values, beliefs, ideals, liberty and our freedom.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
My parents have always pushed me to further my education. This has been a lifelong dream of mine. My decision to join the Masters Program is to further my education and inspire others to do the same. Unfortunately, my Mother has passed on and I dedicate my journey to a Masters Degree in her memory.

One of My Special Talents Is:
I think one of my special talent is the ability to adapt and adjust in any organizational setting/situation and environment. My hidden talent is the ability to motivate and influence others.




   
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5. Atanoa, Asenati (Hana)
hatanoa@americansamoa.gov

https://sites.google.com/site/hanasportfolio/

Personal/Work Info:
I hail in the village of Pago Pago, but originally from the beautiful village of Laulii/Nuulii. I am a proud mother of 4, two boys and 2 girls. I have worked with the American Samoa Government for 20 years, within the Department of the Territorial Audit Office.

I happen to love my job and what we do. People think that the audit office are bunch of people who are nosy and curious. In reality our office is not here to point fingers of who is at fault; our office is here to help government department and agencies to find their weakness in their everyday operation. We are here to make sure government assets are safeguarded from waste, abuse, and fraud.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
I have joined the MA program to get a better knowledge and understand to how to become a good leader. I hope one day I can use my learning experience and knowledge to help those who will be entering the field of Auditing.

One of My Special Talents Is:
. One of my special talents is singing. I love to use my voice to give praise to our heavenly Father. Although, I may not sound all that, but knowing that I can use my voice to give back to our heavenly God, I am happy.


   
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6. Augafa-Leauanae, Magdalene
maugafa@rocketmail.com

https://sites.google.com/site/augafam/

Personal/Work Info:
I am the fourth of eight siblings who is fortunate to have been born and raised on the beautiful island of Tutuila, American Samoa to two conservative Samoan parents. My many experiences and my upbringing within my Samoan culture taught me many lessons in life as well as molding me into the person I am today. I take on many roles in my family, church, community, and my workplace. These roles reflect the many attributes I hold in which I believe, also reflect the type of leader I am. Just to name a few: leader, counselor, friend, teammate, parent, decision-maker, administrator, and so forth.

I enjoy working with children and everyone involved in youth development. Mathematics and Science have always been my favorites and I continue to enjoy my profession for I am very much involved in these areas. Some hobbies I have include the love for music (playing instruments and singing, playing volleyball, reading, cooking and traveling.

As a science/health specialist, I fulfill many responsibilities and duties. I can say I ‘wear many hats’ because of my many required tasks. But these are found to be enjoyable and interesting in that I work with many groups of individuals – teachers, administrators, parents, students, and the general public. Each group of individuals brings unique and interesting experiences. This is enjoyable for each day is different at work and I don’t get to do or repeat the same daily routine. I’m either out in the schools teaching a lesson, conducting a training or professional development for the teachers/school staff, presenting to a committee, or sitting in a meeting or training as a participant and learner. I also get to travel a lot for my work and that’s enjoyable at many times unless my flights get delayed or my luggage doesn’t arrive on time.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
In my profession as an educator, I should continue to learn and stay abreast of current events and content knowledge so I can help others in their learning. I also feel the need for professional and personal growth as well as career advancement. I have been dreaming of the day I could get into graduate school to further my education but due to many obstacles, I was only able to get into a few graduate courses. I hope this program will allow me the opportunity to be part of it and to complete it. This is my biggest hope and I do know that the benefits are endless and the outcomes will make me a better public servant and leader.

One of My Special Talents Is:
One of my special talents is: ... playing the piano (and singing). This brings relaxation to my mind as I face the challenges of each day as well as just releasing stress and freeing my mind from almost anything. It makes me take control of myself and whatever situation I’m in. It’s just a great way of bringing the day to an end and because I love music so much, nothing relaxes me more than just myself being in control and hearing music flows through my nerves.


   
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7. Ausage, Roy
royausage684@yahoo.com

https://sites.google.com/site/rausage2011eportfolio/

Personal/Work Info:
This learner hails from Samoa and has been a resident of American Samoa for 26 years. My father retired from the American Samoa Department of Education as a teacher after at least twenty years while my mother resigned from COS Samoa Packing just before it ceased its operation in the Territory. As a middle child of my parent's seven children, I have borne the responsibilities since an adolescent to care for my extended family, especially my parents and siblings. The values of compassion and love as instilled by my parents has enabled this learner to extend it my own nuclear family that includes my wife and three children ages 11, 10, and 3 months old. This educational journey similar to other endeavors will be enjoyable and achievable because of the family support and our beliefs in the importance of having a good education, and thus, this learner is indebted to my parents, siblings, wife, and children. The experience of a business person provides a safe environment while working in the American Samoa Government because it serves as a reminder that as a leader, I have to live by the principles of ethics, and doing what is right while serving our people, and know how to massage relationships with each other. Our Samoan culture is grounded and founded on people and relationships are significantly profound. One of the experiences in life that this learner will never forget was when former Governor A.P. Lutali appointed me as Executive Director of the National Youth Office in 1996 at the age of 25. This was a giant leap into the world of leadership as the youngest director and member of A.P. Lutali's cabinet. It was a learning experience rubbing shoulders with the Governor and other members of the cabinet and learn from their leadership styles and experiences. Managing at least 10 employees was a struggle at the beginning, especially the fact that half of the staff was much older than me. However, this learner managed and it motivated me to read more and pursue my bachelor's degree in public management. The process of leading the National Youth Office and achieving an undergraduate degree prepared me in becoming an effective leader and currently managing a several family companies with a total of at least sixty employees and oversee two extended families as a Samoan chief with over 500 family members.

As deputy director of the Department of Youth and Women's Affairs, the challenges of appropriately addressing the needs of youth and women in the Territory of American Samoa are enormous. American Samoa is part of the United States of America with its own unique culture based on the practices of communalism, volunteerism, compassion, sharing, and investing in own family. The emergence of outside influences and entering our small island community must be dealt in a strategic way where there is a balance between the two cultures. Corey and Corey (2007) emphasized the importance of self assessment in the helping profession. Dealing with youth and women on a daily basis and discussing their issues has assisted this learner in seriously assessing myself and ensure that judgmental and imposing values on clients is completed avoided. The role of assisting and impacting the lives of others has been enjoyable and this learner finds it very interesting, especially knowing different personalities and their stages of development. Collaborating with other agency officials in the area of human services can be challenging at times due to strong willed individuals and others who may perceive their positions as a means of exerting power and influence others. This learner enjoys the networking with others such as the experience after the tsunami when we all convened to decide on the strategy to assist with the mental health of those who were affected.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
This learner believes in learning, whether through understudying someone, continuous practical job training, or through obtaining higher degrees. The achievement of a Masters degree can affirm someone’s level of intellect and also confirms an individual’s ability and knowledge in a subject area. As an optimist by inclination, taking the master’s program is a way to test this learner’s limits, and to enable good time management. Sir Francis Bacon said, “Knowledge is power” (Maxwell, 1998) and this leaner hopes to gain more knowledge from the program. “True education is the change of behavior” (White, 1938). Education and/or a newfound knowledge are useless if it does not transform someone’s behavior for the betterment of society. As a leader, there is room for improvement to be ethical and do what is right. This course should serve as a reminder to this learner that despite the cultural setting where compassion may sometimes overcome ethics, there is a need to effectively and appropriately deal with a situation without having to violate any ethical considerations in leadership.

One of My Special Talents Is:
One of my special talents is: singing. This learner enjoys the experience of singing with my better half.

 


   
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8. Brown, Mara Leiato
marabrown1964@yahoo.com

https://sites.google.com/site/marakbrownsportfolio/

Personal/Work Info:
My full name is Mara Tuimavave Toleafoa Vilima'a Le'iato Brown. I was born of goodly parents who have taught me well. I am married to a devoted and responsible husband of 24 years, with two children, daughter Maureen-Mara Brown (17 years old) and son Mau Brown Jr (16 years of age). My father is the son of the late Paramount Chief Le'iato Tunu. My father served 42 years of service in the Government of American Samoa in the capacity of a police officer from line staff to that of a Police Chief, Warden of the Corrections Bureau to the Commissioner of the Public Safety. My mother served for 30 years in the capacity of a Registered Nurse. Both of my parents are deceased but their teachings are a commodity of great wealth in my life.

I have 7 sisters and 5 adopted brothers. I am employed as a Juvenile Counselor for the Juvenile Detention Center in American Samoa since 2007 to current. I am responsible for the welfare, safety and security of the juveniles. I conduct individual and group counseling, writing court reports for progress reports and dispositional reports to assist the court in its sentencing reports. Prior to my employment in American Samoa, I worked as a Juvenile Counselor and was promoted to Juvenile Probation Officer for the City and County of San Francisco for approximately 16 years.

I am active in my church callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have 2 callings where I teach Sunday School in the Women Auxiliary and a Resource Teacher for all teachers teaching in the church every Sundays. This is a big challenge for me at this time. 25 years ago while in college I was healthy, but now I have health complications. I have had 2 knee surgeries, diabetes and hypertension. I am on insulin and medications daily. I am beginning to have sight problems but I have a strong will to achieve a goal that I have set my mind on. There are times where the demands and datelines at work become enormous and overwhelming but appropriate allocation of time , patience and humility helps me overcome such problems when they arise.

I enjoy my work very much because of the positive outcome that comes after hard work that is with much satisfaction, I established a close rapport with my co-workers and juveniles through teamwork and mutual respect. I have a close working relationship with other government agencies in meeting the goals and sharing of information in implementing treatment plans for juveniles to excel when they get release to go back to the community. Work can be complicated at times, when authority is questioned among workers. I gain satisfaction and comfort at work when I see a juvenile excelled in the community after release from the center.

I am appreciative for the experiences that I have attained from off-island that has enabled me to promote effective learning in the center as well as resources to help juveniles and parents. The Juvenile Center was established since year 2000 and it wasn't until 2009 that the first juvenile was released on parole. It was my proactive effort to search high and low for programs and what the law has enacted for juveniles that opened the door for juveniles to be eligible for parole request. The first juvenile to be released on parole was in 2009 and 2 in 2010 with one juvenile up for Parole on August 4th. It is through open communication and interaction that I came in contact with one of our students in Cohort, Divine Falaniko who is a Parole Officer. This is the fun part of my work experience is the ability to work with other professionals sharing the same -goal for the betterment of the youth in Samoa.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
I joined this program not only it would look good in my resume' but because I want to learn additional new skills to cope with the delinquent rate among our young people in Samoa. I kept telling my superiors that looking at the statistics of admissions and crimes these juveniles are coming in for is alarming and it brings so much concern to me. I do not want to see what is happening with the Samoan community in San Francisco among the young Samoans to happen in Samoa.

As a Probation Officer in S.F. I have had the opportunity to recommend to the court to place juveniles on probation with relatives in Samoa. Why? These juveniles need a rude awakening to come back to their roots and be exposed to the Samoan Way of Life on its Traditions, Culture and Language that would help mold them into becoming law abiding citizens. I want to keep that option and recommendation available in the states to save our young people from rotting in jail but to open the door to send them back to their families in Samoa for assistance. So if I cannot keep the local youths from recidivism then there is no purpose of sending juveniles to Samoa because we have the same problem as well.

I want to advance my knowledge in this program to become an effective counselor in two folds to take in as much learning from the program to continue making sound recommendations and implementing effective programs to address delinquent and non-delinquent issues now faced by the youth. Leadership skills and resources are important for me to guide myself in maintaining professionalism in my job with my own co-workers, youth and the public that I interact with on a daily basis.

One of My Special Talents Is:
I don't believe I have a special talent other than acknowledging people with a big smile . However, music is my favorite hobby because it helps calm my nerves when under a lot of stress.

   
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9. Falaniko-Iuli, Divine
puemalo95@yahoo.com

https://sites.google.com/site/divinesportfolio/

Personal/Work Info:
I'm a Paralegal for the Attorney General's Office and the Parole Officer for the American Samoa Government. I assist Attorneys in preparing legal documents and cases, open case files, interview victims and witnesses as well as investigating criminal cases. As a Parole Officer, I supervise released inmates out on parole, and do assessments on them as well, make sure they abide by their terms and conditions set forth for them. I've been married for 10 years to Iuliano Falaniko and we have 5 kids, 2 boys, Juliano (11), Joseph (6), and 3 girls, Isa-Lei (9), Esmay (5), and Ayvah (3). I received my Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice in 2002 from Chaminade University of Honolulu and have been working with the American Samoa Government for 7 years now.

Working within the government is a blessing for me. The flexibility it gives me has been an advantage for me, especially with my enrollment in this Master's Program. Work for me is interesting because I deal with a variety of obligations, and I see both the criminal side of lie and the civil side as well. It's enjoyable in the sense that I know how to balance the challenges that come towards me in the legal side of life and for me, that is an advantage.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
My reason for joining this MA Program was because I want to move further in life, and working in the legal field has been a very good learning experience for me, but I want to try another field, at least the education side of it. It's a big challlenge for me because I don't have any background in Public Administration or Education, but I'm willing to learn what education is really about as well as Human Resources and Public Administration. I hope to accomplish the knowledge of becoming a good leader so I Can be able to better myself as well as the coummunity and especially the government. I want to succeed in this program so I can become a good role model and teacher to my fellow colleagues, and send out a message that there's a lot in store for us, and we have just have to grab the opportunity when we see it.

One of My Special Talents Is:
One of my special talents is I'm good at my work, and I'm a very good listener.
.

 

   
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10. Fatuesi, Liua
liuafa@hotmail.com

https://sites.google.com/site/liuafat5/

Personal/Work Info:
I am currently working for the American Samoa Government, Territorial Audit Office as a government Auditor for 30 years. I am a mother of 4 children and a sole supporter for my family. I had experienced a lifestyle in the states when I went to high school and worked there, upon returning home I experience a much comfort lifestyle and decided this is the way I want to live, the close family community and the Samoan culture and tradition.

As a government auditor, we are responsible to audit all American Samoa departments, agencies and non-profit organizations which receive funds from local or federal grants. I like this job because it gives me a chance to know mostly what every department or agency within the government is doing and also to meet people who works in these places. My job is more enjoyable because about 50 percent of the time, I am traveling outside in the field. I do not like to see myself sitting in the office all the time.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
This is a great opportunity to further my education, most important is that it is offered here on-island. I hope to improve my skills in management, learn new techniques and interactions with classmates on their experiences.

One of My Special Talents Is:
One of my special talents is: a good listner. I develop these skills because I use it in my line of work. Especially during interview process, I have to take notes and to make sure that I do not misquote the interviewee. In my family, my teenage kids likes to talk to me about their problems because they consider me as a good listener and understand what they are going through.

   
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11. Galeai-Atuatasi, Caroline
c.atuatasi@yahoo.com

https://sites.google.com/site/atuatasieportfolio/

Personal/Work Info:
Talofa. My name is Caroline. I am blessed with 8 children and 2 grandchildren. A favorite saying of mine is "You reap what you sow." Being a teacher allows me to sow a seed into each child's life. In return, I pray that their life is successful and that their educational journey is prosperous. I am an English teacher at Tafuna High School. I enjoy being a teacher because I have the opportunity to educate and make a difference in students lives. I also have the opportunity to share my experiences and learn from each child.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
I have stressed to my children and students that education is vital to one's growth in life. Twenty years ago, I was suppose to get my MA through another program. However, due to family obligations I was unable to finish it. My belief in education is one of the reason's I joined this MA program.

One of My Special Talents Is:
A good listener and counselor to people in need.


   
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12. Iosefa, Makerita
ritasdsu@gmail.com

https://sites.google.com/site/makeritaseportfolio/

Personal/Work Info:
Greetings & Talofa. I’m 26 years old from the village of Tafuna. I graduated from Seattle University in 2005 with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Public Affairs/Administration. In college, I volunteered with the poor, homeless, low-income schools, the elderly, and building homes for the Habitat for Humanity Organization(an organization that gathers volunteers to build homes for impoverished). I interned at the local Department of Commerce as a statistical analyst for a couple of months before moving to the Governor’s Office where I currently work as an administrative assistant to the Lieutenant Governor. Last year, I volunteered part-time with the Junior Statesmen Foundation of America (JSA) to encourage, recruit and prepare potential high school students to partake in the prestigious JSA Summer Programs held at some of the most prominent colleges in the nation - Stanford, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. Just recently, I was tasked with providing administrative support to the American Samoa Constitutional Convention held between June 21, 2010 - August 3, 2010. It was an experience of a lifetime. Working with lawyers, professionals, government heads, community chiefs and church leaders, I felt my standards were a big higher and therefore, had to perform in that capacity in order to produce quality work and a successful constitutional convention for our people. I come from a large family of educators with my grandfather as the founder. My mother is a retired teacher and my father was a long-time teacher now serving as program director of the Samoan Studies Curriculum Office. With two sisters, a brother, uncles, aunties, and several cousins all in the teaching industry, there’s a family inside joke about starting our own school.

Working for one of our government's top leaders, the lieutenant governor, is not easy, simple, or mundane. It is both a challenging and rewarding position considering the amount of work, issues, and inquiries I deal with on a daily basis. One of my most important tasks is administering Notary Public commissions. It's very time consuming but I acknowledge the importance and value of a notary public, therefore, I always ensure that the process is accurate, efficient and legal. I strive in a challenging, but gratifying work environment. My boss is very knowledgeable and understanding; he welcomes interaction with his staff and answers the needs of his people. Another huge positive with my work is the ability to work with professionals. I take advantage of the opportunity to knit pick at their brains and learn from them, from their work, as well as their valuable advice. I truly believe that this is the ideal job for anyone who is passionate about public service. I've learned a lot from my work, not only from the senior staff and my boss, but also from answering inquiries that flows into our office from the general public, other government agencies, and the private sector. Basically, I enjoy working and getting things done.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
I strongly believe that the highest honor comes within serving my people and my country. I am somewhat drawn on a thin line between fascination and frustration with the policies and politics of our time. In these economically challenging times, we need to start changing our actions mindsets to fit the societal values of today. Times are different and we have in our midst the generation of technology. It’s inevitable and undeniable; therefore, the only way to survive it is through education. We must educate ourselves and tweak our ways to be able to serve the people of today. Fundamentally, it is my passion to serve the public hence my degree in public affairs/administration, and then it is my thirst for learning new innovative ways to deal with the transition of today into tomorrow, and ultimately, it is my goal to someday become an effective and efficient leader in my government, community, family and church.

One of My Special Talents Is:
One of my special talents is: Playing several different instruments - piano, clarinet, saxophones, flute, and violin. I'm also a choir instructor.


   
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13. Isaia-Unutoa, Matagimalie
knymoraiah@yahoo.com

https://sites.google.com/site/matagiisaia/home

Personal/Work Info:
I am Matagimalie Unutoa-Isaia, 41 years of age, hails from the village of Aua in which is located in the Bay Area. I'm happily married with three wonderful kids. I was brought up from a family full of teachers, I guest that influence me to become a teacher but I wanted to be a nurse at first. I was told by a fellow colleaque that being a nurse and teacher go hand in hand and I found out it is true and I have experience that in 20 years in the educational field. I started out my teaching career as a computer teacher in a private school(St. Theresa's Elementary School @ Leone). I had a great trainer or mentor from the principal (Sister Kathleen). She was a tough principal in which she is around everyday to check on your lesson plan, check on what we need, and always consistant on what she preach. After five years, I had the opportunity to work with the government schools. So I have spend 9 years as a teacher teaching different grade levels ranging from Levels 1 to 8. After 9 years teaching in the classroom I was fortunate to be promoted to an administrator. So I have been V. Principal for 6 years. I'm glad I have this opportunity to be part of this Cohort group and I hope I will have the same experience that I have 10 years ago with my Cohort group with the University of Hawaii @ Manoa. We work as a team and graduated as a team.

I'm an assistant principal in one of our public elementary school. I assist the principal with lesson plans and curriculum programs in the school. I also assist teachers with their needs regarding materials, resources, and even substitute if they don't come to work. I also discipline students in a way that they will behave in an appropriate manner so they can learn comfortablely and be safe in school. Above all of this I am the timekeeper for our workplace, and I have to monitor everyone's time in and out. As an educator I have enjoy working with students and staff collaboratively, I believe in good communication and good interactions with everyone. I'm always interesting in students background and even teachers background so that I will have a sense of who they are and where they are from. So with my work I won't change it for anything because I always enjoy working with teachers but especially students.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
I join this program because I always want to learn more and to enhance my skills to become an effective leader in my work place. I'm a firm believer that the more I learn the more I can assist staff members and students that I work with. Aside enhancing my skills as a leader I hope I will have a raise to help me with my financial needs to help me and my family.

One of My Special Talents Is:
One of my special talents is SINGING and LISTENING TO SPIRITUAL MUSIC it always gives me comfort and eliviate stress from work and sometime from the husband and kids at home. I like singing it gives me a sense calm from a hard days work. I only sing for our church choir but I sing to myself as I meditate when I'm stress out and get frustrated.

   
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14. Iuli, Vincent
vince.iuli@americansamoa.gov

https://sites.google.com/site/vincentiulieportfolio/

Personal/Work Info:
College and Employment I graduated from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts with a B.A. in Mass Communication in 1981. It was also the year that I planted my feet for a decade at Radio Samoa WVUV-AM as on-air personality “VK Diamond” – ‘Samoa’s Uncut Gem’ and ‘A Girls Best Friend,’ – production staffer, advertising sales manager, and then station manager. From 1991 to 1994, I worked at Samoa News, American Samoa’s daily newspaper, as advertising sales manager with duties that included writing of a weekly advertising column called “ADventure” – a humorous recap of all the special items available at companies with the ads in the paper as an added incentive to advertise. From 1994 to 2001, I moved to Sydney, Australia and worked at presenter at Radio Skid Row and station manager 2RRR. I returned to American Samoa in 2001 and was employed at the American Samoa TeleCommunications Authority (ASTCA) as Marketing Officer, where I created the first ever ASTCA local and international prepaid phone cards.

In 2004, I moved to the Office of the Governor to this very challenging position that I am deeply honored to hold. Job Description As Governor’s Press Officer, my primary responsibility is to gather, write and provide information of the activities of the governor, lieutenant governor, the Office of the Governor and the American Samoa Government to the public in the dissemination of news, information and accomplishments through press releases to the media, which is made up of the Territory’s radio, television and newspaper organizations. My duties also include building relationships with the constituents and the media in being their contact person who assists in their requests for access to information, interviews of the governor and lieutenant governor and coverage of events of the Administration and the territorial government. Additionally, my role also includes photographical documentation of events of the daily public functions of the Governor, First Lady and Lieutenant Governor and the frequent photo opportunities, which is then made available for release to the media.

I have been married to the former Fa’aalu Faletoese for 19 years and we have four beautiful children; three daughters – Kateama, 17, Naiatea, 16, and Nuanua, 11. My son, Kapeli, is 13. Our oldest child is a first year student at the American Samoa Community College. Kapeli, a freshman this year, will join his sister Naiatea at my alma mater, Samoana High School in Utulei, while Nuanua enters the seventh grade at Samoa Baptist Academy in Tafuna.

My choice of priorities and professional goals are always based with my wife and children in mind. And that includes being part of the SDSU Master’s program. Special Experiences My special experience, for a long time, was the thrill and privilege of being among 400,000 at the Boston Common on October 1, 1979 to celebrate Mass with Pope John Paul II. That experience moved down a notch and was replaced by a more than special, special experience on September 29, 2009; the day the island shook hard and the waves were more than angry. It was the day that I lost a few of my dear relatives and the day that my family and I were displaced due to damages caused by the earthquake and tsunami. As I write this, ten months after that never-to-be-forgotten day, my family continues to pay rent at a house in another village while praying for strength to rebuild our lives and return to that place we called home up until 6:50am, Tuesday, July 29, 2009. God continues to test our faith and our selection of special experiences. Only He knows His plan for me and my family and future special experiences.

My work situation is enjoyable because the duties that I perform include dissemination of information to constituents through the media. The genuine or political feedback that I do receive assists in the continued formulation of the message from the people to the governor, and it allows for the governor to properly address the concerns of the public on a variety of matters of government and of the Territory.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
It’s been almost thirty years since I graduated from college. And as I advance in age, and with the advent of information technology and the wealth of expertise being brought on island by our young people –tomorrow’s future– it is imperative that I improve and enhance the skills and knowledge that I have extracted from all the jobs that I have worked at in my life. And in attempting to elevate my skills so that they accurately encompass compensation, passion, technology and constituents, my immediate goal is to seek a Master’s degree as an additional credential to assist in my commitment in being of service to my family, to my village, to my church and to my people and government.

One of My Special Talents Is:
One of my special talents is: Writing. I love to write. I have lots of fun with words and formulation of stories. It brings to me a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment when I write. It is my wish to improve and become a better writer.


   
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15. Leasiolagi-Savali, Heidi Minnie
hsavali@asg.as

https://sites.google.com/site/heidi1974sportfolio/

Personal/Work Info:
I am a mother of 5 children. I have one son who is the oldest and four daughters. My husband works for the American Samoa Power Authority. I work for the Department of Treasury for the American Samoa Government. I am a Senior Accountant in the Finance Divsion.

I really love my job. A training I attended last year had a speaker who told us that if you do not love what you do then you are in the wrong field or job. It made me realize that I get up in the morning and go to work because I love what I do. I love making a difference in my job. I love helping people.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
I joined this program because I wanted to better myself. Eventhough it is in public administration and human resources but it is also helpful. I can use this to help my department in the related fields of my studies.

One of My Special Talents Is:
One of my special talents is helping people. I get satisfaction when I know I have helped someone. It can be in directing them to the right person that will give them the answer to their question or just answering a question that they have about a check.

   
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16. Leauanae, Uili
uili_leauanae@hotmail.com

https://sites.google.com/site/uilisportfolio/

Personal/Work Info:
I’m currently working at the Department of Commerce, American Samoa Government as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program Manager, who’s responsible for the overall administration of the CDBG Program both from programmatic and financial standpoints. A US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Program, the CDBG Program funds mainly construction projects that target and serve the low-income community.

The CDBG Program allows me to provide assistance to American Samoa’s low-income population, and I find this to be a highly rewarding experience, enabling myself to address one of the many unmet needs American Samoa faces today. Just the simple fact that my line of work is helping the less fortunate and those who are in need the most brings me pure joy.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
I feel that many programs and projects in government – especially in the areas of departmental operations and services - from an administration standpoint requires major improvement, and the American Samoa Government (ASG) isn’t doing enough to address these deficiencies. However, my current job allows me very little influence to effect meaningful changes in ASG as a whole, so I hope that with a master’s degree that enhances my leadership skills, I’ll be promoted to a position in government where significant changes can be made to improve services to the public.

One of My Special Talents Is:
One of my special talents is: Being able to work and communicate with all people from different walks of life.


   
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17. McFall-Siaumau, Kim
ksmcfallsdsu10@gmail.com

https://sites.google.com/site/kimcfall2010/

Personal/Work Info:
My name is Kim Siaumau-McFall and I come from the beautiful village of Leone, American Samoa. I am currently a Resource Specialist for Special Education at Nu'uuli Vocational Technical High School under the Dept. of Education. I am happily married to Tyrone McFall and we have 8 children. With the busy schedule I have, I make the time to spend quality time with my family. I love them so very much. Throughout my career and schooling, my family has been my number one supporters all the way.

Presently, I have been a Resource Specialist for 3 years. Before that, I was a Resource Teacher for 6 years. I love being in the classroom and working with students. You don't only help, teach and open the minds of these young learners but you get to learn from them as well. It's more of a mutual relationship. Right now, as a Resource Specialist, one of my job description is to oversee the Resource Teachers that are on campus. I find this very interesting because you get to know different people, encounter different perspectives, and try hard to work together as a team to get things done.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
First, I felt that it was out of pure luck. I just happened to be at the D.O.E. office running an errand at the right time, when they were looking for one more person to complete the cohort group. But as they say, "for whatever happens, happens for a reason". I believe that reason is that I do need to further my education to grow professionally. I hope to accomplish many things with the MA program. First, meet and make many new friends within this program. For I know that this cohort group will be my group for the next 2 years and it's our responsibility to stick together and make it through this journey. Second, throughout all the material and information I have learned from the courses taken, group discussions, perspectives, etc., I want to be able to apply it and use the different strategies in a very effective way.

One of My Special Talents Is:
One of my special talents is to listen to other people's problems and try, in every possible way, to find solution(s) to help out this friend.


   
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18. Matagi, Ruth S.
rsmatagisdsu2010@yahoo.com

https://sites.google.com/site/ruthmatagiseportfolio/

Personal/Work Info:
Hello. My name is Ruth Matagi. I was born and raised in American Samoa and I am from the villages of Fagatogo and Faleasao, Manu’a. Currently, I am employed with the Development Bank of American Samoa (DBAS) as a Loan Manager. DBAS administers several federally funded commercial and home loan programs for our local community some of which are geared towards the low income population. It is my primary responsibility to ensure strict standards of fairness is applied to make certain the proper management of the different loan programs.

I am a mother of 3 and a Sunday School teacher. I value my family, honest, integrity and hard work. A special experience I’ve had is making a difference in a persons’ life where we as a community bank build a new and safe home for an approved resident to move in, enjoy and improve their quality of life.

I am responsible in building a strong team of loan officers bringing together everyone’s best and most reasoned efforts to establish a consensus about our set goals and objectives. It is very important that I clearly define our purpose and establish realistic goals and objectives that are consistent with our bank’s mission statement. Work is interesting because of the different people we serve in the community, the challenges faced within our organization as well as other ASG agencies while in pursuit of our goals where overall we must ensure great satisfaction and excellent customer service is produced. I enjoy my work because of the services we offer and working together with a remarkable team of loan officers.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
I decided to join this MA program, because it’s an opportunity of greater learning where I would expand and build my leadership knowledge and skills in the areas of Public Administration and Human Resources. It’s an opportunity to develop and cultivate my leadership skills both personally and professional. I hope to accomplish self-confidence, self-perseverance, self-reliance to provide inspiration, establish an environment of continuous improvement, and provide opportunities for people to grow, both personally and professionally

One of My Special Talents Is:
My special talents are, organize and plan my work, a multitask person, and a dedicated team player.


   
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19. Mauga, Peleti Palepoi
m.peleti@yahoo.com

https://sites.google.com/site/pmsdsu51/

Personal/Work Info:
Talofa, I am Peleti P. Mauga, a native of Samoan ancestry. I am currently employed in the Legislature of the American Samoa Government. It is a blessing and honor to serve American Samoa in this respect. I have experienced that a successful team is concrete and built with a solid foundation, thus, born is my family. My team mate is the former Ms. Pohakalani D. Bailey. She is a native of Hawaiian and Caucasian ancestry, with an education profession. She is currently an administrator with Samoana High School in American Samoa. We have three sons; Peleti Jr., our oldest, is currently attending college in Hawaii and serving our country in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Our second oldest, Palepoi, is attending Pasadena Community College in Los Angeles, California. Our youngest, Punalehua, is attending Matafao Elementary school in American Samoa.

My wife Pohakalani, our sons, and I had the honor and privilege to serve our country for more than twenty-two years in the Military. My hope is that my wife, sons, and I can be of help to our government in fulfilling its collaborate obligation of taking care of the people of American Samoa.

I am fortunate and humble to be working with many of our elder traditional leaders. While there are limited occasions in life to debate, share, and collaborate ideas with some of the greatest minds of our communities my job gives me that opportunity.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
The competitiveness of today's occupation depends profoundly on education. How you assert yourself to a professional level so that you as a leader can provide services to your people and community makes a difference based on your education and experience. Today knowledge through education is very much a part of any leader who will want to make a difference in providing for our citizens. Therefore, with the belief that knowledge through education is power, a leader really would have a hard time fulfilling his/her societal obligations due to the lack of being educated.

I'm a firm believer that we are all teachers whether you are teaching students in a classroom or farmers under a tree. However, the difference is the productivity from students and farmers with respect to what the teacher taught. Nonetheless, what the teacher teaches and provides to the students depends on his/her educational background, dedication, and application. Hence, education is a key factor to the process. As such is my reason for seeking admission to the Education Leadership Program, as I will always be a dedicated leader, teacher, statesman, amongst the many professional educators and teachers in American Samoa.

One of My Special Talents Is:
One of my special talents is creativity and adaptation in accomplishing organizational goals to encourage life, liberty, and justice to society.


   
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20. Moliga, Lolo
lolomoliga@gmail.com

Personal/Work Info:
I was born and raised in Ta'u, Manu'a, American Samoa. I received both my elementary and secondary education in Manu'a, and my college education in Nebraska from Chadron State College. I started working in June of 1971 as a classroom teacher at Manu'a high school. Since that time, I have been serving the people of American Samoa through various positions I have held throughout my career. As of today, I am currently serving as President and CEO of the Development Bank of American Samoa.

As the CEO and President, my primary responsibilities are to bring about positive changes to the bank and to ensure that the bank serves the people in the best way possible. The government had set by statute, the overall goal for the bank and the service that the bank should provide. It is my job to see that managers pursue to achieve the general goal set forth. The overlapping of roles between the CEO and managers make it more interesting and the achievement of the goals depend on a sound relationship.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
My primary reason for taking this course is to upgrade my leadership and management skills through adopting leadership and management theories. I am hoping that after the completion of the course, I should be able to transform those theories and philosophies into a more practical experience; which I can share with our young people. Hopefully, a more practical model can be developed through these experiences.

One of My Special Talents Is:
My thorough knowledge of the Samoan culture and the authority through the title that I hold provides various experiences to deal with the people and its culture; which I uphold to protect as a Samoan leader.


   
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21. Pereira, Joseph
joepereira48@hotmail.com

https://sites.google.com/site/joepereiraseportfolio/home

Personal/Work Info:
I graduted from the University of Hawaii and received a bachelors degree in Economics. I'm self employed and have been in business for 22 years. Prior to enteriing the private sector, I was a public servant working in various agencies of the American Samoa Government. I was fortunate to have been given the opportunity to assume leadership positions in the government agencies such as the Department of Commerce, Department of Human and Social Services, and Office of Program Planning and Budget. PT and Associates Inc. is the company for which I am the President and Chief Operating Officer. While the company offers a variety of services, its primary function is in the field of consultancy. I am a chief within my family. I current serve as a Board Member of the Red Cross of American Samoa.

My work situation gives me a wide variety of opportunities to engage in and negotiate all types of challenges. As a consulting company I get to work with many public and private agencies. I enjoy very much interacting with professionals in different diciplines. The work is very rewarding and exciting.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
I am on the tail end of my professional career so my driving force is not financial gains or to ascend to a high position. My decision to join the Masters Program is to fullfill a lifelong dream of furthering my education. The knowlege I gain from this initiative will expand my capacity to render quality services to my clients, my family, friends, and anyone who seeks my help.

One of My Special Talents Is:
My success thus far has been based on my commitment to hard work.


   
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22. Pulu, Pualani
jetfui@gmail.com

https://sites.google.com/site/pualanieportfolio/

Personal/Work Info:
I work for the American Samoa Department of Education. I started in the fall of 2002 as an English teacher at Leone High School, my alma mater. I then transitioned over to the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Accountability as a reading specialist under the TFASEG grant. In this capacity, I work with elementary school teachers providing instructional support for their reading programs.

On a professional front, I strive to be the best I can be and provide quality service to the educators and administrators I work with. I am able to do this because I have wonderful support from my loved ones. There are 8 people in our home. My husband - Misiuaita Fui, our four children: Eric, 9 years old, Tristan, 6 years old, Jordan 4 years old, and Penina who just turned three months, my mother Foloi and my sister Emma. My own upbringing centered very much on family, land, and God. And it is this foundation that my husband and I are trying to build for our own children. We also embrace our pets - 4 dogs and 1 cat - and the joy they bring to our little and old ones.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
I joined this program mainly to better myself academically and professionally. The opportunity to apply for this program came at the right time. I did not know of its existence until I received a call from Tui Enesi of our ASDOE Financial Aids/Scholarship office. Getting my master's degree is something I often thought of in the past years but never made move. I think that Tui's call just came at the right time in my life and I have no regrets taking the chance on it. The program itself is reason enough to join as it truly does prepare you for being a leader.

One of My Special Talents Is:
If there ever came a day that I would have to perform some sort of talent, the audience would be out of luck with me. My singing voice does wonders in the shower and on the drive to work, but that's about it. My dance moves make my kids laugh (now but I am sure when they get older, they'll cover their eyes). As far as any instruments - I am good at banging stuff together. What I do do well is cook. I enjoy cooking with my kids. I am also pretty creative when it comes to arts and crafts and such, another thing that my kids and I do when the power is out on our side of the island. I also love to read, something I try to instill in my own family but seem to be losing to our PS3.

   
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23. Talo-Maae, Luaipou
lmtalo_sdu_10@yahoo.com

http://sites.google.com/site/jazlynnsportfolio

Personal/Work Info:
Talofa! My name is Luaipou Maae – Talo from the village of Taputimu. I am happily married to Leafe Talo. I have three children, two girls and one boy. I am a product of both public and private school systems. I spent my college years at Lelumoega Fou College, American Samoa Community College, and the University of Hawaii – Manoa. My career began as an elementary teacher. I taught in various classes for 15 years before I was promoted to a vice principal position. After four years, I applied to my current position as an Education Specialist. My responsibilities include selecting curriculums, developing standards & benchmarks, conducting professional developments, and facilitating instructions at the schools. One most special experience I had was leaving home as a teenager and returning with an identity. Living a struggled life with relatives in Apia taught me to become an independent individual and challenged me to move forward in life with a strong heart. Since then, I have always lived by the saying, “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

The Office of Curriculum, Instruction & Accountability(OCIA) employs professional educators with great working ethics and personalities. There is tremendous collaboration among all members. Everyday we are greeted with warm welcomes and smiles by our leaders. They support us in all aspects of our work. They seek ways to improve our professional developments and assist with different activities we implement in the schools. Such relationships contribute to the success of OCIA and the work we carry forth for the American Samoa Department of Education.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
My interest in the Master of Arts in Education program with emphasis in other areas derived from my strong desire to move forward in my career and expend my horizons by ways of being well facilitated with different strategies so I can become a better leader in the future.

One of My Special Talents Is:
Teaching. Being a teacher has taught me to care for others. I always see that connection between myself and my colleagues, students, village youth, family members, and especially my children. I will always have the passion for teaching, no matter where I go and what I do.

   
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24. Thompson, Brian
urosathompson@gmail.com

https://sites.google.com/site/bthompsonportfolio/

Personal/Work Info:
I'm 35 years old, married with 7 children. I am from the outer island in American Samoa called, OFU, its coral reefs are part of the US National Parks System. Im a huge Raiders, and Lakers Fan. I have experience in Public Speaking, Media, and Leadership Training. I am very happy to be apart of the SDSU Family.

I am currently an Educational Specialist with the Division of Special Education. I have 13 years of teaching experience of all grade levels, including adults. I enjoy to coach football, basketball, and softball for our schools after-school programs.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
One goal is to be an example for my children, students, and profession. I hope to graduate with HIGH HONORS.

One of My Special Talents Is:
Making Public Announcements Videos for the Department of Education.


   
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25. Tili, Ben
ben2fue@ymail.com

https://sites.google.com/site/bentiliportfolio

Personal/Work Info:
Since September 1992, I have been with American Samoa's Department of Education. I enjoyed my first year teaching Advanced World History to a class of 18 energetic students. I shared with them about how I sent my research papers to my professor at U.C. San Diego through the computer. Wow, they were blown away... it was 1992! I was blown away too that there weren't any computers at the school I was teaching. Twelve years later I was promoted as a program director for Safe and Drug Free Schools. This is where the real adventure began. I now dealt with adults, most older than me. Fourteen were assigned to all six seconday schools and another fifteen assigned to twelve elementary schools selected based on student enrollment. The process I went through was to get everyone on the same sheet of music and made sure we sang together on pitch and gusto. Open communication links have been important, sharing and the process of learning and growing as we faced a new school year. It is interesting to share about my work experience because my BA Degree was actually in Political Science and History with a personal goal to work for the Diplomatic Corp. But it all changed when I arrived in American Samoa and I was steered towards the Education Department.

The Safe and Drug Free Schools has provided me the opportunity to get on my knees or sit in a circle and share with students the marvels of the growing body and how alcohol and tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) can harm a growing body. Children are eager to learn and share their personal experiences. I feel blessed and enriched everytime I have the opportunity to present in a class.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
It has been a goal for quite sometime, but due to many unforeseen circumstances I have had to hold off. My inspiration to join this MA program came through meeting the facilitator Dr. Oreta Togafau and Mrs. Luisa Sunia. Both said and I quote: "Ben you are not get any younger, and the door of opportunity is knocking NOW... go and join this MA program. We're not getting any younger either and we'd like to see you reach this once in a life time opportunity ... GO NOW! Reading Northouse, the process is emphasized regarding leadership. Having worked in a leadership position, I believe with this MA program, I will learn and grow as a professional to help promote proactively, productive results with work performance.

One of My Special Talents Is:
One of my special talents is getting people to work together. I feel inspired to generate good feelings among workers at the working place, and among the youth at our village through the Ituau Drug Free Coalition. The spirit of getting people to work together comes through passion to make a difference in our community.


   
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26. Tinai, Samuelu
sam.tinai@ymail.com

https://sites.google.com/site/samuelutinai/

Personal/Work Info:
1. My personal relationship with God. a) A God that answer prayers. b) A God that comfort me and my family in good and hard times. c) A God that present in times of need when my friends,family, and co-workers were not. d) Most of all, a God that love's me for who I am. 2. My family a) Role of each family member in our own family setting. b) Role of our family in our church setting. c) Role of our family in our extended family. 3. My job description(Not in detail but general) a) Conducting wide range of criminal and white collar crimes. b) Collecting intelligence information pertaining to almost any thing (criminal or not). c) Conducting public awareness programs for schools, churches,etc., on roles of our department in relation to drugs,human trafficking,and human trafficking. d) Assisting off-island law enforcement agencies on subject matter which require our assistance.

I am a Special Agent, under the Office of Territorial and International Criminal Intelligence and Drug Enforcement, for the Department of Homeland Security. My primary responsibility is basically collecting intelligence information (data) pertaining to drugs and human trafficking in American Samoa and abroad. Also, responsible for conducting investigations for criminal and white collar crimes. The most interesting and enjoyable thing about my work situation is due to human relationship. I have the privilege to have a close contact with almost every different types of people, from young to the old. Listening to these people during interviews and interrogations gives me the opportunity to witness to them about the love of Christ. Doing so, it's a calling from God to help those in need. It's a great feeling inside of me, at least I play a very small part in helping somebody.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
First, it was my desire for more than twenty years since I received my Bachelor Degree to get into a Master Program. Finally, that dream came true on July 26, 2010. Second, a passion in my heart to learn more new things and educate more. Not being satisfy where I am now, I want more and more. Third, to prepare myself for the year 2012. I have plan to run for a political position from my county in the year 2012, as a Representative. Also, prepares me for future challenge in political career. Last, to challenge my children,if I can do it in my age, hope they have that feeling they can also do it. Accomplishing things that I have stated above will fulfill my purpose and dreams why my God created me. I am unique,special,talented,and visionary. Which no one in this world can tell me, I can't do it or it will never happen. It will happen because God had a purpose for me to serve others.

One of My Special Talents Is:
One of my special talents is: encouraging people that they are created by God for a special and unique purpose.


   
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27. Va'a, Tina
vaatina@yahoo.com

https://sites.google.com/site/tvaasportfolio/


On a professional level, I am currently a Financial Manager for the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources (DMWR), and have been serving in this capacity for five years. Before joining the DMWR, I used to spend eight years working as a Senior Staff Accountant for the Treasurer’s Office, and one year as Revenue Agent for the Tax Office Division of the Treasury Department. Currently as a Financial Manager, I am responsible for the management of all Federal Funds available as funding sources for the DMWR operations. As a Coordinator of Federal Funds, I am in charge of: reviewing grant proposals; initiating the establishment of grant accounts; and as well as monitoring of grant program activities to avoid overruns, costs ineligibility, and incompliance issues related to the grant program implementation. I also perform bookkeeping duties by maintaining a log of all local and grant accounts’ payroll and non-payroll expenses; filing and compiling reimbursement drawdown requests; and closing of grant programs; and as well as submitting final financial statements (SF425).

Being in a position of a Finance Manager and Administrator is a very enjoyable and challenging experience. It helps me to develop intellectually and professionally. By maintaining a daily busy schedule, I have learned to work well under the pressure with circumstances involving superiors, project leaders and Federal Grant Coordinators in meeting the grant objectives, deadlines, and in resolving unforeseen issues impacting the successful implementation of the grant programs. Further, the experience as a manager has given me so much confidence in dealing with subordinates, and in influencing subordinates’ expectations and positive attitudes to achieve organizational results successfully.

On a personal level, I have been married for 14 years to Onosai Va’a from the village of Tula. I have six beautiful children-three girls and three boys who have always been a source of joy and happiness. I am also an active member of the various divisions of the CCCAS church organization, and the women village council within the village of Tula.

Reasons for Joining This Program:
The opportunity to be part of the Cohort MA Program is truly a blessing. Constantly aiming to be an influential and productive member of all organizations that I am a member of has always been a motivating factor behind the need to develop intellectually and professionally. My Bachelor of Science Degree is in Accounting, and the Educational Leadership MA Program is completely a new field of educational experience. In the management position that I am currently holding, I have learned that human resources management is a rewarding experience when you have the right attitude and leadership skills to move people. It can also be the most stressful and challenging aspect of being a manager. Leadership is a valuable skill that all managers should possess to address these challenges, and to be able to manage subordinates & organizational issues to achieve success. I truly believe that the organizational success is a reflection of an effective leader. An effective leader must be mindful of the needs of employees, organization, and all involved, and has the integrity to walk the talk. I am hoping to gain the knowledge and leadership skills just to be a better person and to influence employees in the accomplishment of organizational goals successfully for the benefit of the entire organization. Most importantly I am looking forward for the opportunity to develop intellectually and professionally to continue serving the public in the best of my ability.

One of My Special Talents Is:
I have no interest in sports but I like to sing in the choir. I also manage two family businesses.


   

 

 

 


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M.A. Regional Programs/Cohorts
Current Prograrm
FSM-2014: MA in Education Postsecondary Leadership
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Completed Prograrms
FSM-2011: Ed Leadership MA
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Palau and FSM
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American Samoa MA - Public Admin / Human Resources
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American Samoa MA - Curriculum & Instruction
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