Joakim “Jojo” Peter
Jojo Peter was named the Center for Pacific Islands Studies recipient of the School of Pacific and Asian Studies Distinguished Alumni Award for 2018. Jojo is from Etal, Mortlocks, in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. He earned the MA in Pacific Islands studies from UH Mānoa in 1994 and a second master’s degree in history in 1997. He worked as director of the College of Micronesia Chuuk Campus before returning to Hawai‘i in 2011 to pursue a doctorate in special education at UH Mānoa focusing on immigrant families of children with special needs. He completed the PhD in 2017. He has been very active in community work both in Chuuk and Hawai‘i. In Chuuk, he was head of Chuuk Disabled Persons Association and a founding member of the FSM Disability Council. In Hawai‘i, Jojo cofounded the COFA (Compact of Free Association) Community and Advocacy Network and serves as community advocacy manager for We Are Oceania, a collaborative project aimed at centralizing the support system for all Micronesian communities, families, and individuals in Hawaii. In 2017, Dr. Peter was nominated to the Hawai‘i Civil Rights Commission by Governor David Ige. He now works in a management position at Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL), where he is determined to bring more Pacific Islanders into leadership roles and to promote responsible educational endeavors in the Islands.