Mana at College of San Mateo - Meet the Team
Meet the Team

Fi TovoFinausina Tovo
Responsibilities: Manages a program serving Pacific Islander students, which facilitate access to higher education. Provide outreach to the Pacific Islander community and collaborates with on-campus resources to increase academic success. Leads a team of specialists from different departments to offer extra support in areas that includes registration, financial aid and counseling. In addition, an adjunct professor for the counseling department. 
Years at CSM: Since 2011
Teaching Experience: Since 2015
Education: M.A., Education, Counseling /Student Personnel, San Jose State University; B.A., Sociology, University of California, Riverside
Other Interests: SF Giants, Playing the Trombone, and college football
Quote: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference." – Robert Frost.
Tabitha ConawayTabitha Conaway
Responsibilities: Manages the tutoring and academic support program serving Pacific Islander students, which serves to increase retention and persistence rates.
Years at CSM: Since 2014
Teaching ExperienceK-12 since 2006, community college since 2014
Education: Ed.D, SFSU (In progress); M.A, Education, National University; M.A., History, CSUS; B.A., Afro-American Studies, UCLA
Other Interests: College football, UFC, hiking, and playing with my sassy daughter
QuoteGive people light and they will find a way.
~ Ella Baker, 1944
Trang LuongTrang Luong
Responsibilities: General Counselor and counselor for the MANA program, a student support service program working with Pacific Islander students. Provide academic, career, and personal counseling to students based on their academic and career goals. Also teach COUN 120 - College & Career Success. 
Years at CSM: Since 2015
Education: M.S., Counseling, San Francisco State University. B.A., Psychology, San Francisco State University
Other Interests: Running, Traveling, and a lot of eating
Kate MotoyamaKate Motoyama
Title: Professor of Communication Studies
Kate can usually be found teaching SPCH 100, 120, and 111/112 or helping in the Speech Lab.
Degrees: B.A., English and speech; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Washington
Teaching Experience: Since 1991
Career Highlights:  Kate has been activist since her earliest days. A turning point in her life was giving up a position as the mayor’s speech writer to attend graduate school to study rhetoric and public address and performance of literature. Kate is kama’aina of Kalihi, O’ahu and a student with the hula halau, Na lei hulu i ka wekiu. 
Quote: Kate asks two things of her students, “Mai pa’a i ka leo” (Do not suppress your voice) and “Kulia i ka nu’u” (Strive for the highest).
David "Vika" PalaitaDavid “Vika” Palaita
Title: Professor of Ethnic Studies & Critical Pacific Islands & Oceania Studies.
Dr. Palaita (vika) can be found teaching ETHN 104: Intro. to Pacific Islands Studies and coordinating a certificate in Critical Pacific Islands & Oceania Studies for the MANA Program.
Degrees: B.A.,Geography--University of Washington; M.A.,Ethnic Studies-University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D., Ethnic Studies-University of California, Berkeley.
Teaching Experience: Since 2001, CSM- Since 2014
Career Highlights:  Vika developed one of the first certificate programs in Pacific Islands Studies in the Bay Area at the City College of San Francisco.  He brings his expertise and extensive work in the field to College of San Mateo where he hopes to affect change and encourage upcoming Pacific Islander students to excel in education. 
Quote: "We shall not be defined by the smallness of our islands but by the greatness of our oceans." 
Dr. 'Epeli Hau'ofa
Ursula-Ann SiatagaUrsula-Ann Siataga

Title: Professor of Film Studies.
Ursula-Ann can be found teaching Film 140, Contemporary World Cinema with an emphasis on Pacific Islander Cinema.
Degrees: B.A. Asian American Studies Minor: Afro American Studies- University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); M.A. Social Documentation –University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC).

Teaching Experience: Since 2009, CSM- Since 2016
Career Highlights:  Ursula-Ann has developed one of the first film studies course that highlights Pacific Islander Cinema. Ursula-Ann is a faculty member of the Mana Program curriculum committee. Ursula-Ann is the faculty advisor for the Polynesian club. In addition, Ursula-Ann is a case manager at United Playaz ( and has been since 2012.
Quote: "Just do good.”