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Engaging in Promising Practices Speakers

February 6—7, 2015 | South Seattle College


Rowena M., Tomaneng, Associate Vice President of Instruction, DeAnza College

"Models of Sustainability" Presenter
Friday, February 6th

Rowena M. Tomaneng has been Associate Vice President of Instruction since 2010. A key focus of her teaching and administrative leadership is the fostering of a teaching and learning community that integrates critical pedagogy, multicultural education, and community and civic engagement. She received her B.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine and her MA in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She began her career at De Anza in 1996 as a faculty member in English, Intercultural Studies, and Women’s Studies. She served as the English department chair from 2003-2007, founding Co-Director for the Institute of Community and Civic Engagement from 2006-2008, and Interim Dean of the Language Arts Division from 2008-2010. 

As Associate Vice President of Instruction, Rowena supervises all programs in Academic Services and Learning Resources divisions, which include the Learning in Communities Program, Office of Equity, and Student Success Center.

She also serves as the college’s Grants Administrator for a Title III: Strengthening Institutions Department of Education grant, Asian American Native American/Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) grant, and a California Basic Skills Initiative grant. Beyond De Anza, she serves in an advisory/consultant capacity to California Campus Compact, AACU-NEH Bridging Cultures to form a Nation project, and The Democracy Commitment.


Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap,
Vice President of Student Services, South Seattle College

"Models of Sustainability" Presenter
Friday, February 6th

Dr. Rosie Rimando–Chareunsap was recently selected as the new vice president for Student Services. Rosie currently serves as the associate dean for Student Achievement and is the former activity director for the Title III Grant program.

During her ten years at South, Rosie has served in a variety of leadership positions in the student services area, including as Retention and Student Success Project Developer for the AANAPISI grant program, director of Student Outreach, Admissions and Recruitment, and various positions with the Pre-College TRiO Programs. Prior to coming to South, Rosie taught 9th grade language arts and world history in the Seattle Public School District.

Rosie holds an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from Washington State University, a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the University of Washington, and a bachelor's in English from Washington State University.


May Toy Lukens, AANAPISI Director, South Seattle College

"Models of Sustainability" Presenter
Friday, February 6th

May Toy Lukens has served as the director for post-secondary Department of Education grant programs since 2000.  Since 2008, she has served as the project director for SSC's first and second Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) grant programs.  Prior to South, she was director of Renton Technical College's Title III grant program.  She has provided leadership in partnering with the higher education community, including the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islander Affairs (WHAAPI), Department of Education, Partnership for Equity in Education through Research, and Asian American and Pacific Islander Colleges & Universities.  She also serves on the Washington State Commission for Asian Pacific Affairs Education Committee and Asian Pacific Directors Coalition in serving the needs of underrepresented Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

She is known as an encouraging mentor to new project directors and has been selected by AANAPISI institutions to serve as an external evaluator on their federally funded projects. Ms. Lukens brings twenty years additional experience in management, compliance, and training in private industry to her current roles in higher education, which has led to her project systems being identified as best practices by federal site visitors.

Formal Education:  B.A. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; MBA in finance from University of San Diego, California.


Pearson Owens, Management/Program Analyst, Department of Education

“Questions & Answers with the Department of Education”
Friday, February 6th

Pearson Owens has been employed with the United States Department of Education (ED) since 2008 and is the program manager for the Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) program and program officer for the Strengthening Institution Program (SIP).  Prior to joining ED, he served two years in Botswana as a Peace Corps volunteer.  Mr. Owens also worked as a financial analyst in New York City.  He holds an MBA from Clark Atlanta University and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina. 


Akil Vohra, Senior Advisor, White House Initiative on Asian American & Pacific Islanders

Keynote speaker, Saturday
February 7th

Akil Vohra serves as Senior Advisor at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. At the Initiative, Akil supervises the following areas: education, the bullying prevention campaign, AAPI data issues, improving efforts of AAPI representation in federal government, and works directly with the President's Advisory Commission on AAPIs. Prior to the Initiative, Akil was Counsel at Muslim Advocates where he focused on anti-terrorism financing, strengthening the nonprofit sector, and civil rights and civil liberties issues. Previously, he practiced international trade and customs law in Washington D.C.

He is currently an Ariane de Rothschild Fellow, which is an Edmond de Rothschild Foundation initiative in partnership with the Columbia Business School and the University of Cambridge. Akil has previously served on the board of the South Asian Bar Association of Washington D.C., and the Bay Area Association of Muslim Lawyers.

He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California Irvine, and a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School where he received the Michael Dillon Cooley Award for service to the law school community. He has also completed a program in international human rights and immigration at Oxford University (U.K.).


Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D.

Michelle Asha Cooper Ph.D.,
President, Institute for Higher
Education Policy

“How AANAPISIs fit within the MSI framework,” Panelist
Saturday, February 7th

In September 2008, Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D., became the second president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) - one of the nation's most effective voices in championing access and success for all students in post secondary education. As a results-oriented, decisive leader with significant experience in the postsecondary education field, Cooper is recognized as a well respected practitioner, researcher and policy adcovate helping to reaffirm IHEP's role of ensuring equal educational opportunities for all students.

A native of Charleston, SC, Cooper received her B.A. from the college of Charleston, an M.P.S. from Cornell Universtity, and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.


Robert Teranishi, Professor, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies,
University of California-Los Angeles

“How AANAPISIs fit within the MSI framework,” Panelist
Saturday, February 7th

Robert Teranishi is the Morgan and Helen Chu Professor of Education and Asian American Studies at UCLA, a senior fellow with the Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy at NYU, and principal investigator for the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education. His research examines the causes and consequences of the stratification of college opportunities, with a particular interest on the impact of higher education practice and policy on the mobility of the most marginalized and vulnerable communities. 


Dr. Shirley Hune, Professor, College of Education - Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, University of Washington

"How AANAPISIs fit within the MSI framework,” Panelist, Saturday, February 7th

Professor Shirley Hune teaches courses on higher education reform and equity; Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in higher education; and women in higher education. She has a long standing interest in international migration studies with attention to Asian American and Pacific Islander populations and their impact on U.S. race relations and education. Her earlier research was undertaken at the United Nations where she examined the global concerns of developing, postcolonial, Third World states and served as a consultant to NGOs on the human rights of international migrant workers.  Her current research focuses on educational access; school, campus, and classroom climate; equity issues for first-generation college going, immigrant, racial/ethnic minority groups, and women students in higher education; and the experiences of Asian American and Pacific Islander faculty and administrators. 


Rochelle Fonoti, Ph.C., Pacific Islander Cultural Specialist, South Seattle College

“How AANAPISIs fit within the MSI framework,” Facilitator

Rochelle Fonoti is the Pacific Islander Cultural Specialist on the AANAPISI Grant at South Seattle College. She is also a PhD candidate in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Washington where she is completing her dissertation research on the life trajectories of Samoan students at South Seattle College. Rochelle identifies as a diasporic Samoan based in the U.S. and is passionate about the work she does in mobilizing Pacific Islander students in higher education. Rochelle earned a B.A. in English Literature from Brigham Young University-Hawai`I, a M.A. in American Studies from the University of Hawai`I in Manoa and a M.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Washington.


Please check back on our website for updates about additional speakers.