John Mayer PhD
John Mayer is an Associate Professor of Samoan and Chair of the Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literature. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer and Trainer in Samoa from 1970-1976, and founded the Samoan language program at the University of Hawaii in 1976. He teaches introductory through advanced Samoan language courses and is a graduate faculty in Pacific Islands Studies. He has an MA in ESL and a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Hawaii and holds two chiefly titles – Fepuleai from Savaii and Lasei from Manono.
Faafetai Lesa PhD
Fa’afetai Lesa holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD) in Curriculum Studies, a Master’s degree in English As a Second Language (ESL), a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Secondary Education, and an Associate of Arts (AA) in General Education. His teaching career began in Samoa in 1987 as an Elementary teacher. After the completion of his B.A in Education at the University of Hawaii in 1989, he taught for a year at McKinley High School. He was hired to teach Samoan at the University of Hawai’i in the Fall of 1989. Since then he has taught First, Second, and Third-year Samoan classes. In addition to being the coordinator of the Samoan Language Program, he has taught a load of 12 credits every semester for the last 24 years. His research work aims at the development of Samoan youth cultural identity through heritage language competency. He lives in Kaneohe Hawaii with his wonderful wife and three beautiful daughters.
Fata Simanu-Klutz PhD
Dr. Luafata (aka Fata) Simanu-Klutz is an assistant professor at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa’s department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures (IPLL), where she teaches second and third year Samoan language, literature, and history, and upper level courses on traditional Samoan literature, Samoan women writers, the works of Albert Wendt and other modern Pacific island writers. She is also an affiliate faculty for the Center for Pacific Islands Studies (CPIS). She is currently a member of the Manoa Faculty Senate where she serves on Committee for Academic and Policy Planning (CAPP) and the Hawaii, Asian, and Pacific (HAP) board.
Aumua Mata’itusi MA
Lecturer in Samoan
Advanced Samoan oratory and history courses
Edward Danielson MA
First and second year courses
Nate Black MS
Nate Black was a missionary in Samoa and American Samoa from 2001-2003. His recent ecclesiastical responsibilities included service in a local Oahu Samoan congregation from 2011-2012. He teaches second year Samoan language courses. He has an MS in Exercise Physiology from Brigham Young University and an MS in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is also a lecturer in the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences.
Toso Fo’ifua BA
Third year courses
First and second year courses
Peaario Temese is the recruitment and retention specialist for the Samoan Program. She was born in Fagaalu, American Samoa; grew up in Ansbach, Germany most of her life; and graduated from Junction City High School. She is currently a freshman at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She works closely with Professor Fata Simanu-Klutz in projects to inspire Polynesian students to further their education and reach their dreams by attending college.