Meet the MAAP/PALS Staff

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MAAP Staff 2014

Office Staff

Ginger Hamilton - Program Director

Gayleen Roldan - Office Assistant

Ashley Kennedy
Ashley Kennedy

Ashley Kennedy - Communication Specialist

Aloha my name is Ashley Kennedy, and I am a Communication major here at UH Hilo. My goal is to obtain my masters degree in education, and become an elementary school teacher. I have a passion for helping others in reaching their potential, and find it rewarding to watch as they succeed.

Peer Mentors

Mark Bigler - Marine Science

Peer Mentor MarkMy name is Mark Bigler. I am a senior majoring in Marine Science. I am from the Marshall Islands, but I spent most of my life in Portland, Oregon. I have experience working in the Marine environment from classes and several internships. I enjoy working with other students and helping them become successful in college. I hope to go into the marine science field after I graduate to combat changes that alter our natural environments.


Michelle Odasco - Psychology/Pre-nursing

Michelle Odasco

Aloha my name is Michelle. I am a Pre-nursing and Psychology undergraduate student in my senior year. I was born in the Philippines and moved to Hawaii when I was 11 years old. I am excited to meet all all the students in the program and look forward to assisting students to achieving their goals.

Kawehi Zoller - Anthropology/Hawaiian Studies


Aloha! My name is Kawehi Zoller and I am a Hawaiian Studies and Anthropology double-major. I graduated from Kamehameha Kapalama on the island of Oʻahu and am currently a sophomore here at the university.  I am a member of the UH Hilo Women's Soccer team and member of the UH Hilo Housing team as an OA as well. I enjoy learning, meeting new people, and would love to help you discover different opportunities to enhance your college experience here at UH Hilo.
Claire-Ann Niibu-Akau - Business Administration/Accounting

Claire Akau

My name is Claire Niibu-Akau and I am a senior majoring in Accounting. I have owned my own consulting business for over a decade. I enjoy helping fellow students to be successful and love to host fun parties and events.

Genoa Olivera - Psychology


Samantha Mitchell - Psychology

Aloha my name is Samantha. I'm a psychology undergrad in my senior year. I was born and raised in Hilo Hawaii. I look forward to a prosperous year of helping students achieve their goals and seek fun adventures.

Dillon Tacdol - Pre-pharmacy/Chemistry
Minority Acces & Achievement Program's Peer Mentor Dillon Tacdol
Aloha! My name is Dillon Kapena Tacdol and I am a senior biology major at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.  I was born in Wailuku, Maui to my two wonderful parents Valerie and Roger Tacdol.  I am the eldest child along with my brother Dustin who also attends school at UH Hilo. My ethnicities are Hawaiian, Japanese, Filipino, Caucasian and Chinese.  I went to Kamehameha Schools Maui for high school where I gained an interest for medicine. My goal as an undergraduate student is to graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and to be accepted to the John A. Burns School of Medicine.  It is at this medical school that I will train to become a great doctor.  After medical school, I hope to open my own practice as a family practitioner.  My hobbies are fishing, camping, diving, swimming, paddling, cooking, gardening, reading and spending time with my family.  I have two sayings or “advice” that I would like to share with my PALS mentees and other freshmen student.  My first advice is, “Sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know. “ My second advice is, “It doesn’t matter what you are given. What matters is what you do with what you are given.” I wish all the freshmen a great and fun year.

Rosella Mathson - Psychology

My name is Rosella I was born and raised in Alaska and I am senior majoring in psychology. I am excited to be helping students achieve their goals and meeting new people.

Bailey Rodriguez - Kinesiology

Jamison Domingsil - Environmental Science

Aloha! My name is Jamison and I'm pursuing an Environmental Science major. Helping incoming freshmen and transfer students to reach their academic goals is a top priority for me. I would do my best to make the most of your college experience.

Theresa K. Aten - Environmental Studies
Hello, my name is Theresa and I am majoring in Environmental Studies. I enjoy meeting and working with other students and helping them the best I can for them to reach their goals.



Minority Access and Achievement Program Peer Mentor Michael Sado


Michael A. Sado





Aloha, my name is Michael Sado. I am a graduate intern currently enrolled in the MSW distance education program with the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work out of UH Manoa. I was born on the mainland, raised on Maui and now live in Hilo. I received my AA degree from Hawaii Community College and my BA in Sociology from UH Hilo. I love helping others, especially students pursuing their educational dreams, and strive to do my small part to better my community by giving back. For fun, I am an avid comic and coin collector!