The intensive postgraduate program based at James Cook University, Australia, is part of a multinational project aimed at producing professionals in sustainable biological, social, and economic resilience.
University of Hawai‘i at Hilo alumna Faith Siba, a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, is one of five from FSM who graduated July 31 from Australia’s James Cook University’s Ridge-to-Reef Sustainable Development Post Graduate Program. Siba, of Kosrae, joined her cohort members Marston Luckymis and Hans Skilling also of Kosrae, Jorg Anson of Pohnpei, and Rosalinda Yatilman of Yap, in graduation ceremonies held in Nadi, Republic of Fiji. Each was presented with a postgraduate certificate.
Siba earned a bachelor of arts in international economics, a bachelor of arts in communication, and a certificate in Asia Pacific-U.S. economic relations from UH Hilo in 2017.
The Pacific Ridge-to-Reef program is a collaboration of multiple nations, regional and national agencies, and small island developing states to support and address national priorities and development needs in biodiversity, land degradation, climate change, international waters, and sustainable forest management. The graduation ceremony celebrated two years of hard work and tremendous commitment to the students’ online and classroom studies, in addition to their regular day-to-day work in public service.
According to a release, the intensive postgraduate program is a component of the Global Environment Facility Ridge-to-Reef Projects (both national and regional) aimed at enhancing integrated whole-of-system management capacity in Pacific island countries, underpinning effective action for sustainable biological, social, and economic resilience.
“We are very proud of our young graduates who not only were able to complete the first phase of their studies successfully, but have also been assisting us in various roles to protect our fragile environment in the FSM,” says Cindy Ehmes, assistant secretary of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Emergency Management of the FSM National Government. “I trust this program will help them to continue to serve our islands into the future.”
Siba participated in the program as a project manager at the Regional Ridge-to-Reef Projects (International Waters) piloted in Kosrae. She worked with Ehmes’s department and was affiliated with the Kosrae Conservation and Safety Organization, a non-government organization.
She’s also very active in her community.
“I’m an active member of the Lelu Youth Endeavors, Treasure Group 3, a Board Member for Kosrae Women Association, member of Lelu Leadership Committee, and member of Lele Charter Committee,” she writes in a Q&A on the UH Hilo Lambda Psi Chapter website. Siba was a member of the chapter when she attended UH Hilo.
She also writes that after graduating from UH Hilo, she was keynote speaker in June 2017 for the 8th grade graduating class at Sansrik Elementary School, where she attended grade school. She then taught English reading at Kosrae High School before enrolling in the Ridge-to-Reef Sustainable Development post graduate program.
Story by Susan Enright, public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories.