Corina AbellaDirector of Finance
Ms. Corina Abella serves as Finance Manager at PREL. She is primarily responsible for the day-to-day activities of the finance unit. In managing the accounting department, Ms. Abella plays a critical role in ensuring proper treatment of accounting transactions according to federal and contractual guidelines. Acting as assistant to the Chief Financial Officer, she helps prepare financial statements, updates and maintains procedures, and manages proper internal controls. Ms. Abella holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master of science degree in management and organizational behavior. She joined PREL in 2007 and brings extensive experience in nonprofit organization management.
Ethan AllenDirector, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
As PREL’s Director of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), Dr. Ethan Allen oversees the development and growth of this priority area, researching, securing funding, designing, adapting, and delivering effective professional development for policy makers, administrators, and teachers. He works collaboratively with other PREL staff to create and provide STEM technical assistance in the U.S.-affiliated Pacific region, and to document the impacts of such efforts through evaluation. He serves as a science resource for all PREL programs. Most currently, Dr. Allen is leading PREL’s National Science Foundation-funded Informal Science Education program, Water for Life: Community Education for Water Conservation and Rainwater Harvesting in the United States Affiliated Pacific Islands. Dr. Allen previously directed diverse science education improvement programs at the University of Washington, Institute for Systems Biology, and at both the Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from the State University of New York at Binghamton, his doctoral degree in neuroscience from the University of Oregon, and conducted postdoctoral research both at the University of Oregon and at the University of Texas at Austin.
Corrin BarrosProject Manager, Pacific islands Climate Education Partnership
Ms. Corrin Barros serves as Project Manager and Research Specialist at PREL. She serves as Project Manager for Phase II of the Pacific islands Climate Change Education Partnership, a K-14 climate education initiative funded by the National Science Foundation. With the Pacific Regional Comprehensive Center, she works as the education policy analyst and key initiative team 2 (Highly Effective Teachers & Leaders) lead. Additionally, Ms. Barros pursues and supports projects related to teacher professional learning, strategic planning, policy, food and nutrition, and traditional ecological knowledge in science education. Prior to joining PREL in September 2010, Ms. Barros served as Research Assistant with the Hawai‘i Energy Policy Forum at the University of Hawai‘i, and has worked with the Hawai‘i Association of Conservation Districts—first as Conservation Planner, and then as Program Manager. Ms. Barros holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Linfield College and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
Don BurgerSenior Specialist, Assessment
Dr. Don Burgerserves as the Senior Assessment Specialist for the Pacific Assessment Systems and Services (PASS) program. He oversees the development of standards-based assessments (SBAs) and accountability systems for school systems throughout the Pacific region. These tests are used to measure student performance and progress in all school subjects and provide data based on established standards and benchmarks. Dr. Burger facilitates this process by working extensively with teachers and administrators in the region to create SBAs that are self-sustainable, culturally and instructionally sensitive systems, which generate specific and useful data to help teachers improve instruction. Dr. Burger and his team also develop assessments for English language proficiency and heritage languages, as well as provide professional development by employing local teachers and curriculum coordinators to write items and to use test analysis to revise items. Dr. Burger has been in the educational assessment field for 38 years. He earned his doctoral degree in education from Texas Tech University.
Hendrick ChoSpecialist, Communications and Innovation
Mr. Hendrick Cho serves as the liaison for social media and external communications. He serves as the point person for the Pacific Education Conference (PEC).
Alexander “Sandy” DawsonDirector, Mathematics and Culture in Micronesia: Integrating Societal Experiences (MACIMISE)
Dr. Alexander “Sandy” Dawson is the Director for the Mathematics and Culture in Micronesia: Integrating Societal Experiences (MACIMISE) project at PREL. He previously served as the Director for two completed teacher enhancement projects funded by the National Science Foundation, which took place in the U.S.-affiliated Pacific region: Developing Effective Leadership Team Activities (DELTA) and Mathematics Education for Novice Teachers: Opportunities for Reflection (MENTOR). Prior to joining PREL, Dr. Dawson was Professor of Education at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver, Canada and Director of the SFU teacher education program from 1985–1994. While at SFU, he served as consultant to the Ministry of Education in Sri Lanka and was responsible for the development of diplomas and degree programs for Sri Lankan teachers. While directing the MENTOR Project, Dr. Dawson was recruited by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM), where he accepted a position as Professor with the Institute for Teacher Education. Since 2003, he has held positions at both PREL and UHM.
Nicole M. ForresterPresident and Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Nicole M. Forrester is PREL's incoming President and CEO. She previously directed the Young Leaders Program at Pacific Forum Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where she concurrently held WSD-Handa Fellowship for her research into the impact of social media on Next-Generation attitudes toward international issues. Ms. Forrester has been published on Australian foreign policy, Australia-U.S. relations, and modernizing the U.S. alliance system in the Asia-Pacific region. In February 2014, the U.S. Congress recognized her leadership of the Young Leaders Program and its contribution to cross-cultural interaction, education in policy making, and facilitation of inter-generational dialogues. In 2011, she was awarded the East-West Center’s Asia-Pacific Leadership Program fellowship, and the Amanda and Natalie Ellis Women Leaders Scholarship Award. Previously, Ms. Forrester was the senior international and government relations adviser for the Australian Industry Group. At the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra, she served as acting director of the United Nations and Commonwealth Section and as consul for economic and political affairs at the Australian Consulate-General in Los Angeles. Prior to her diplomatic service, Ms. Forrester was an associate lecturer at her alma mater, the Queensland University of Technology.
Bernadette “Bernie” B. FrankAdministrative Assistant
Ms. Bernadette “Bernie” B. Frankworks as the primary support staff for the program director and staff of the Pacific Regional Comprehensive Center (PRCC). She collaborates with PREL Service Center staff, PRCC partners, monitors project timelines and deliverables, and manages website content and database updates. Ms. Frank also coordinates and provides quality assurance services to PREL’s Communications Department. Prior to joining PREL, Ms. Frank worked for Central Pacific Bank for over 15 years.
Emily LamSenior Specialist, Languages, Literacies, and Educational Equity
Ms. Emily Lam is a Senior Specialist at PREL and manager of the Chuuk Dual Language Arts (DLA) Curriculum Framework Project. She provides technical assistance and professional learning for K–12 teachers and administrators on issues related to language education, assessment, and policies. She has played a role in several PREL projects and services, including the Chuuk Dual Language Arts framework, Schooling Innovation Services (SIS) in Hawai‘i, Pacific Comprehensive Center (PCC), Pacific Regional Comprehensive Center, and the revision and implementation of content and English language proficiency standards in American Sāmoa. Ms. Lam has worked extensively in the field of education and community-based educational programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in second language studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Prior to joining PREL, she worked as an ELL Specialist with EdisonLearning, taught English as a second language to elementary and adult students in both Hawai‘i and San Francisco, and taught second grade in San Francisco. Ms. Lam has also developed literacy, technology, and community-building programs for immigrant youth and families in Hawai‘i and San Francisco.
Daniel LinSenior Specialist, Research & Policy
Mr. Daniel Lin is a Research and Policy Specialist at PREL. He works primarily at the systems level to collaboratively research, design, adapt, and deliver technical assistance to state educational agencies to support sustainable change in the Pacific. Mr. Lin serves as project lead for both the Pacific Regional Comprehensive Center and the Pacific Islands Climate Change Education Partnership. In addition, Mr. Lin serves as liaison to the Hawai‘i State Legislature and Hui for Excellence in Education (HE‘E), a statewide coalition of stakeholders working collaboratively to identify opportunities to improve public education in Hawai‘i. Prior to joining PREL, Mr. Lin was an Asia Pacific Leadership Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu. He has worked as an educational consultant with the Boston Public School system and in several educational nonprofit organizations. Mr. Lin also served as a volunteer high school teacher on an outer island of American Sāmoa (Manu‘a) and has conducted cultural research in the Samoan Islands as recipient of a National Geographic Young Explorers grant. He earned a master’s degree in international education policy from Harvard University.
Marylin LowActing Chief Program Officer, Principal Investigator, Pacific Islands Climate Change Education Partnership
Dr. Marylin Low serves as the Acting Chief Program Officer and the Principal Investigator for a National Science Foundation project about climate change education for grades K–14. Dr. Low works with teachers, administrators, curriculum staff, and policy makers throughout the region in both bilingual and English-medium contexts, attending to the role of language in content classrooms. Dr. Low has worked in education for almost 40 years, first as an elementary teacher and then working with international students and teachers in Canada before joining PREL. She has served as a lecturer for various universities, as well as an Academic Dean for an International College in Canada. She is a published author, holds a PhD in Academic Literacy for English Learners, and has used her knowledge to further explore learning in oral and bilingual contexts. Dr. Low earned her Doctoral Degree at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
Pamela LumAdministrative Assistant
Ms. Pamela Lum serves as Administrative Assistant for various PREL grants. As part of an extremely talented administrative support group that provides backup for one another, Ms. Lum’s main duties include conference and administrative support for the following PREL sections: Library and Information Literacy Initiatives, Mathematics and Culture in Micronesia: Integrating Societal Experiences, Water for Life, and proposal development. With a bachelor’s degree in human resources management, Ms. Lum has more than 11 years of personnel management experience with the University of Hawai‘i system, dealing with large and diverse program staff and student personnel. Ms. Lumjoined PREL in 2006.
Denise PerdueManager, Business Development
Ms. Denise Perdue advances the work of PREL’s Business Development office and coordinates the Pacific islands Climate Change Education Partnership Phase II programs. She maintains the proposal development and submittal calendar and prepares proposals for submission to federal and state agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private funders, ensuring quality and successful submission. In addition, Ms. Perdue maintains collaborative systems and provides comprehensive support for the National Science Foundation-funded PCEP-II staff and project partners in Hawai‘i, the Pacific region, and continental United States. Prior to joining PREL, she worked with the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s School of Public Health and the Hawai‘i State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Lori PhillipsDirector, Pacific Center for Arts and Humanities in Education (PCAHE)
Dr. Lori Phillips is PREL’s Director of the Pacific Center for Arts and Humanities in Education. With her leadership, the PCAHE was created in October 1997, offering professional development and standards-based curriculum planning in the arts and humanities. Dr. Phillips is responsible for authoring visual literacy programs including Image to Word – Word to Image, Picturing Science, the Pacific Island Alphabet Series, and Island Worlds. She manages PREL’s school improvement programs throughout the state of Hawai‘i and the National Endowment for the Arts Pacific Territories Project. Dr. Phillips was a K–12 teacher for 12 years in Hawai‘i. Prior to joining PREL, she served as Professor of Education at Chaminade University, and has also served as faculty in the College of Education at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Dr. Phillips has supervised more than 200 student-teachers and has taught courses in education psychology, K–12 curriculum planning, elementary education, interdisciplinary education, and arts education methods. Dr. Phillips holds a master’s degree in arts education and a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
Cheryl TsuyukiSenior Specialist, Languages, Literacies, and Educational Equity
Melly WilsonDirector, Pacific Regional Comprehensive Center
Dr. Melly Wilson currently serves as Director of the Pacific Regional Comprehensive Center (PRCC), a technical assistance center funded by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to help Pacific region state educational agencies connect rigorous research, policy and practice to support and improve education.
Dr. Wilson represents PREL at the state, regional, and national levels, keeping members of the U.S. Congress and other policy leaders informed of Pacific region priorities and developments in research and practice. Her research interests focus on the development and implementation of education policy, cultural pluralism, migrant education, and enhancing equitable practice. The results of these studies have been disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and books, research and policy briefs, and at local, regional, and national conferences. In her additional role as Business Development Lead at PREL, she is responsible for authoring or leading the development of major proposals, coordinating PREL’s quality assurance processes, strengthening relationships with funders, and building new partnerships.
Dr. Wilson’s academic background is in public policy, international relations, and disaster management. She has served as a Lecturer for the University of Hawai‘i’s Political Science Department and as a Research and Policy Analyst for the Hawai‘i State Legislature and United Nations Relief and Works Agency. Her professional experience includes university-level instruction, project management, planning policy formulation and implementation, research design, and fiscal management. She earned her doctoral degree in political science and international relations from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
Diana ManuelAdministrative Assistant
Ms. Diana Manuel serves as Administrative Assistant at PREL. She joined PREL in 2000 and has been working in the administrative field for over 10 years at PREL’s Chuuk Service Center. Ms. Manuel manages the Service Center and supports the Mathematics and Culture in Micronesia: Integrating Societal Experiences project, the Pacific Regional Comprehensive Center, and works to advance the priorities of the Chuuk State School System (CSSS). Ms. Manuel previously assisted with the implementation of the Parental Information and Resource Centers (PIRC) Cluster Model in schools and the community, which helps promote student achievement and parent involvement.
Gene DydascoSpecialist, Education Change
Mr. Gene Dydasco works as Education Change Specialist in the PREL Guam Service Center, primarily as liaison for the Pacific Regional Comprehensive Center. In this capacity, he provides support on collaborative service delivery for Guam and other U.S.-affiliated Pacific entities. At PREL, Mr. Dydasco develops materials, resources, training, and technical assistance for a variety of projects, including Bridge Events for Guam, the Guam Department of Education (GDOE) Standards Review and Revision Project, the GDOE Standardized Assessment Project, and Educational Equity. His most recent efforts include the newly adopted 2010 GDOE Content Standards and Performance Indicators and the development of the 2009 Guam English Language Proficiency Standards, stemming from the Enhanced Assessment Project. As a Pacific Equity Cadre member, he is one of three trained professionals who provide educational equity training in Guam. Mr. Dydasco’s background as a high school administrator and secondary school teacher has enabled him to focus on high school reform for the region.
Pam LegdesogSpecialist, Programs
Ms. Pam Legdesog serves as Senior Specialist at PREL. She provides technical assistance to state education agencies and serves as PCEP-II liaison to the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, and Yap. Ms. Legdesog is currently based at the PREL Guam Service Center. She joined PREL in 1992 as a Program Specialist, providing technical assistance and training throughout the region and spending the majority of her service in the Yap and Guam field offices. Prior to joining PREL, Ms. Legdesog taught secondary- and college-level science and health courses in some of the most remote islands in the Pacific. She served as Yap State’s Science and Health Education Specialist for more than 10 years. Ms. Legdesog holds a master’s degree in instructional technology and telecommunications and has extensive experience in science and health education and service delivery.
Winton ClarenceSpecialist, Programs
Mr. Winton Clarence serves as Program Specialist at PREL. He works for several programs and addresses all matters for PREL at the PREL Kosrae Service Center. Mr. Clarence’s program work includes the following: Pacific Islands Climate Change Education Partnership Phase II, Mathematics and Culture in Micronesia: Integrating Societal Experiences, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) standard-based assessment project, and equity services to communities and schools. In addition to serving as service center liaison to Kosraean communities, Mr. Clarence also assists the Kosrae Department of Education and provides comprehensive on-site assistance. Previously, he has assisted in disseminating the PIRC Early Childhood Education (ECE) Toolkit to ECE teachers in Kosrae, conducting training sessions so that teachers could eventually use the toolkit. Mr. Clarence has also coauthored several articles in the Pacific Educator magazine.
Destin PenlandSenior Specialist, Programs
Mr. Destin Penland serves as Senior Outreach Specialist at PREL. He has assisted state departments of education with school reform efforts in the Pacific region since 2000, providing professional development and technical assistance to education stakeholders in the areas of curriculum development, teacher certification, instructional leadership, instructional technology, and assessment. In addition, Mr. Penland has authored publications and developed products related to his service activities.
Juanita S. Rilometo-LawrenceSpecialist, Programs
Ms. Juanita S. Rilometo-Lawrence serves as Program Specialist at PREL, working as educational equity trainer, PREL Pohnpei Service Center liaison, field coordinator, and school technical assistant for the Pacific Regional Comprehensive Center. With a background in curriculum development and teacher training, Ms. Rilometo-Lawrence has over 30 years’ experience in the field of education. Her professional experience includes high school and college-level instruction, curriculum development and training, mobilizing parent and community involvement in schools, planning, and policy review. She previously served as Adjunct Instructor in the Education Department at the College of the Marshall Islands.
Evelyn JosephSpecialist, Family and Community Engagement
Ms. Evelyn Joseph currently serves as Family and Community Engagement Specialist and liaison for the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) PREL Service Center in Majuro. She coordinates PREL partnership work with the RMI Ministry of Education (MOE) and various partner agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Previously, she directed the PREL PIRC work with schools and parents in the RMI. Ms. Joseph has also worked for the RMI Ministry of Education in a variety of capacities, as Teacher Training Director, Field Supervisor, and Family Life Curriculum Specialist. Ms. Joseph focuses on early childhood education, school improvement, and community education issues.