New Director of Hawai’i Outreach and Programming
Students, Faculty and Staff,
I am very pleased to announce that, following a comprehensive national search, Ms. Janalei Chun '89, MAT '97 has agreed to become our as new director of Hawai‘i Outreach and Programming.
Janalei will succeed current director "Aunty" Edna Gehring '70, MSEd '72, who is retiring at the conclusion of the academic year.
Janalei will begin her appointment on July 10, and she will be introduced during our annual Lu'au next Saturday, which will be Aunty Edna's 36th and final one as advisor of our Hawai'i Club, Nā Haumāna O Hawai‘i.
Currently, students from the islands of Hawai‘i make up more than 15 percent of Pacific’s undergraduate student population. The director of Hawai‘i Outreach and Programming position is designed to further support the university’s long-time commitment to provide academic and student support for our students from Hawai‘i.
Originally from Hilo, Hawai‘i, Janalei is an experienced educational leader with more than 28 years of experience working with students and their families. She earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education and master's degree in teaching from Pacific.
While a student at Pacific, Janalei was an active leader within NHOH. She has remained active as a member of the Pacific alumni community and frequently attends university events and activities with her family.
Janalei returns to her alma mater to serve this key role from Nancy Ryles Elementary School in Beaverton, Ore. Her many years of experience in the Oregon's K-12 education system and her understanding of the Hawaiian education system are valuable assets as we strive to meet the needs of prospective students and support them through the admissions process and throughout their time at Pacific.
In addition to teaching responsibilities, Janalei has trained and mentored bilingual educators from Portland State University and developed partnerships with parents, educators and community members for student success through a variety of programs supporting diversity and equity among students.
She is an ideal candidate with a deep passion for student success to lead the Hawai‘i Outreach and Programming office. Her skills and personal experience of being a student from Hawai‘i at Pacific will play a critical role in our efforts to meet the needs of our current students from Hawai‘i and continue the relationships with our alumni.
Aunty Edna has served as director of our Hawai‘i Outreach and Programming since 2014 and has been the advisor for NHOH for more than 35 years, while serving in a variety of important student support roles at Pacific, as director of our learning support services, project director within the College of Optometry and as an assistant director in admissions. She has been invaluable as an educator and mentor for all Pacific students, and her daily presence on campus will be greatly missed.
I would like to thank the university administration and members of the search committee for their support and work to fill this critical position. Please join me in thanking Aunty Edna for her dedication and commitment to our students for many years, and in welcoming back Janalei to the university.
Narce Rodriguez | Executive Director | Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion