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Meet the MAAP/PALS Staff

Office Staff MAAP Staff 2014

  • Ginger Hamilton - Program Director
  • Gayleen Roldan - Office Assistant
  • Justme Yulian - Communication Specialist


Peer Mentors

Daniel Gutierrez Daniel

Counseling Psychology

Hello, my name is Daniel Gutierrez and I am a graduate student enrolled in the Counseling Psychology MA program at UH Hilo. I am originally from South America and grew up speaking only Spanish. My family moved to the US when I was 10 years old and I learned to speak English. I lived in California and Texas before moving to Hawaiʻi. I received my Bachelors from the University of Texas at Austin in International Business in 2002. Currently I am focusing on Multicultural Counseling and I am getting ready to graduate with my Masters in the summer of 2017. I recently also got married, my wife is from Japan and she is a teacher. We live here in Hilo, Hawaiʻi and enjoy a healthy and happy life through daily habits of eating healthy, exercising, meditation and yoga.

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Marli Klass Marli Klass

Environmental Studies

Alii ! My name is Marli Klass and I am from the beautiful island country of Palau. I am currently a senior here at the university of Hawaii, Hilo and am pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies. To tell you a little bit about myself- one thing that I love, café’s ! My love for café’s and their ambience just gets me up and going; excited to get through the day so that I can finally sit in a café after classes and work and of course- do some homework. I mean, how can you not enjoy the aroma of fresh coffee and the sound of soothing music?! Right ?! Oh yes, I am a traveler too! How about you?

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Veronica Coston Veronica Coston


Aloha, I'm Veronica from the island of Maui, and I am a transfer student from University of Hawaiʻi Maui Campus where I received my associates degree.

Currently I am a senior, and majoring in geology, recently switched my minor to geography, and certificate in environmental studies. I love animals, and wrestling. My best friend is my dog, and I volunteer as a wrestling coach. I enjoy school, and helping others but that is all I can give in a nut shell. I am here to help, so what do you need?

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Rachel Felix rachel


Mabuhay, Talofa, and Hello! My name is Rachel Felix. I am a Filipino born and raised in a tiny little island called American Samoa. I may be a Filipino, but I’m an island girl at heart! On my leisure time, I like to dance, read, bake, and spend time with family and friends. In two years, I will be graduating with my Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. I have a passion in helping others and I know I will once I become a nurse! My advice is to always work hard. There may be times when we feel like we’re not smart enough, but don’t let that get to you. We are all different and we all learn at a different pace. If we all learned at the same pace, then the world would be a boring place! :)

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Monique Ka'iulani Carvalho monique

Hawaiian Studies and Psychology


My name is Monique Ka'iulani Carvalho. I was born and raised here on the lovely island of Hawaiʻi. I attended Ke Kula 'O Nawahiokalani ʻopu ʻu and graduated in 2012.

I'm currently a student of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo; double majoring in Hawaiian Studies and Psychology and intent to graduate this spring semester 2017. My goal is to become a school counselor, because I'm extremely passionate about giving guidance to accomplish ones goals.

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Michael K. Mederios michael


My name is Michael K. Medeiros, I am pursing my bachelors’ in Accounting with a concentration in Finance. I am originally from Honolulu, Oʻahu. I was born and raised in Kailua on the windward side, until I moved to Waimea, Hawaiʻi in 2006 with some of my family. I really enjoy spending time with family and close friends. I am not so much of an outdoors person at first, I mainly keep to myself but once I get to know you I will be willing to explore. My main hobby is photography, it’s like my escape from reality. I would picture the moment in the shot and just wish I was in it to enjoy that one moment forever and just get away from the chaos that the world is in."

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Jasmine Wamar-Deponte jas

Administration of Justice & Sociology

Aloha, my name is Jasmin Wamar-De Ponte, but I also go by "Jaz." I'm proud to say that I was born and raised here in the heart of Hilo. I am a transfer student from Hawaiʻi Community College, and I'm currently in my last semester here at UH Hilo as a Senior. I'm a mother to one beautiful little girl who gives me the passion to succeed in life, and because of that I'm able to say that I am a double major in Administration of Justice & Sociology. Working with MAAP honestly drove me to find myself by understanding that I just love working interactively with others and helping them in any way I can to guide them to succeed as a student, and as an individual with life responsibilities.

It's hard to just give you one advice as a student, but here's one that I live on, "Success comes with failure." What this means to me is that life comes with bumpy roads, but it takes a strong determined mind to focus on the greater things than little bumps that comes and goes. I wish you all the best of successes and positive outcomes. Here's to YOU! :)

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PALS Staff Archive