Open Letter to Big Pati & Culture Crew from a Micronesian Parent

Dear Big Pati, Culture Crew, and your drinking buddies, My name is Vidalino Staley Raatior, a proud Chuukese, Micronesian parent of an island girl. I am an educator, a youth advocate, and a fan. I write on behalf of my daughter and the thousands of Micronesian girls (and boys) growing up in Hawaii, Guam, and elsewhere on the US continent. I listened to and watched with sadness the now infamous video of your drunken jam session with Anuhea and other Hawaiian friends and artists in which “Micronesian” was shushed with such glee. Like many Micronesians who watched that video, I had to replay it several times with utter disbelief, immense anger, and sadness. Just like that, Island Girl, the one song that elevated island beauty and bridged our Nesian liquid continent...

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Three Rules to Live By – Lou Holtz

Everybody needs something to do. Everybody needs someone to love. Everybody needs something to believe in. Everybody need something to hope for.

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Gratitude for my doctoral journey

Gratitude for my doctoral journey

Life has been one giant roller coaster since my dissertation defense, graduation celebrations, family vacation back on the Big Island to bid farewell to friends and colleagues in Hilo, move back into our home in California, and starting a new job as Director of Science Education & Mentorship in Latino Lives in Academia (SEMILLA) at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC). I can finally breathe and acknowledge some pilooy (companions on a journey) without whom I would not have been able to complete my doctoral journey. Here’s what is forever printed in the acknowledgement section of my dissertation. My deepest apology if I missed anyone else who has directly impacted my doctoral journey. Please know I am deeply grateful. Acknowledgement Iʻm...

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Graduating with Humility

Graduating with Humility

I’m deeply grateful for the friends, students, and community leaders who came to support me for my doctoral defense presentation. On July 22, 2017 I will join my cohort to graduate with a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) degree in Professional Educational Practice from the College of Education at University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa. That day will be a humbling day for me. It will be literally a dream come true because I’ve wanted to finish my educational journey (at least the credential part) at UH Manoa. As much as I would have thrived in a doctoral program in any of the Jesuit institutions, I needed to come home to the Pacific to learn from other indigenous Pacific leaders. Graduating from the highest form of Western-influenced education is only the start of...

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My Dissertation Abstract

After 3 years of coursework, research, writing, I didn’t realize how hard it would be to synthesize the dissertation into a maximum 350-word abstract.  Here’s the final version of the abstract for my dissertation entitled, “Successful practices of Micronesian college students in Hawai’i: Utilizing positive deviants to develop strength-based student support services in higher education.” Abstract Since the 1986 ratification of the Compact of Free Association between the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the United States (US) government, large numbers of Micronesians have migrated to the US in search of better education, healthcare, and economic opportunities for their children. Similarly to other new immigrants to the US,...

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