Our Misson

Activating Educators Focus on Family Engagement as Central to Teaching (AFFECT) recognizes that family, school, and community partnerships are essential for the educational success of students of all backgrounds. AFFECT facilitates these relationships through education for teachers, and family and community members.

A partnership between Hawaii State Teacher’s Association (HSTA) and the University of Hawaii College of Education, AFFECT is made possible by a grant from The Learning Coalition, a non-partisan, not-for-profit, private operating foundation dedicated to excellence in Hawaii’s public schools.

Our Current Team



Dr. Katherine T. Ratliffe

Dr. Ratliffe, a professor, and the Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Hawai‘i, is also a pediatric physical therapist. Her research interests include family, school and community partnerships in education; disability in children; and the education of immigrant children, especially those from Pacific Islands.



Victoria Timmerman

Victoria Timmerman is a doctoral student in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and has been the graduate assistant for the AFFECT project since the fall of 2017. Her research interest areas include family engagement in schools, social/emotional development in preschool children, and educational issues related to students from the Pacific Islands, especially those from the islands of Micronesia. She is currently working on her dissertation research which focuses on how family engagement frameworks, concepts, and strategies are taught in prominent Hawai’i teacher preparation programs.



Former AFFECT Team Members


evaweb-e1409680946360-1Dr. Eva Ponte

Dr. Ponte is a former Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa. She was a founding member of AFFECT and has since moved to Europe. While at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, her research focused on integrating teacher education programs with apprenticeship models of teaching and learning using assessment, feedback, and evaluation within a social justice framework. Her work, developed in local public schools, targets minority and bilingual students and promotes equity and diversity in education.


loisweb-e1383888828153Dr. Lois A. Yamauchi

Dr. Yamauchi is a Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and the Director of the CREDE Hawai’i Project. Her research interests include sociocultural theories, cultural influences on learning, family engagement and the educational experiences of Indigenous peoples.  She is a founder of the non-profit organization Parents for Public Schools of Hawai’i, and she and her two children are graduates of Hawai‘i public schools.




Kevin TraynorDr. Kevin Traynor

Dr. Traynor is a former graduate assistant for the AFFECT project. He graduated in 2016 from the Department of Curriculum Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, and his dissertation examined how the AFFECT modules were integrated in a Hawai’i teacher preparation program. His other research interests included teacher education, language/literacy/culture, family engagement of non-native English speaking families, and content-based instruction in an EFL context.




Dr. Jacquelyn Chappel

Dr. Chappel taught middle school and high school English for 10 years, and College Composition for 7 years. She currently teaches in the Teacher Education Program at Leeward Communication College. Her research interests include English Education, decolonizing curriculum, and family school community partnerships.

An article co-written with Katherine Ratliffe “Factors Impacting Positive School-Home Communication” published in the School Community Journal explores different ways schools communicate with families. Jacquelyn’s book Engendering Cosmopolitanism Through the Local (Peter Lang Press, 2019) offers case studies of teachers who engaged their students with international curriculum by making connections to culture, religion, place, and personal experience. Jacquelyn holds a PhD candidate in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.



kana2-e1383293514605Kanayo Sakai

Kanayo Sakai is a graduate of the master’s degree program in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Her research interests included second language acquisition, issues of equal opportunity for at-risk students and disadvantaged populations, family engagement, and the educational experiences of low-income families and families of children with special needs.




kelseyweb-e1383955761661Dr. Kelsey S. Matsu

Dr. Matsu is a former graduate assistant for the AFFECT project. She graduated in 2018 from Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.  She is also an independent videographer, working primarily with educational and non-profit organizations.  While at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, her research interests included place-based learning and place identity, cultural and family influences on learner identity, and digital storytelling in educational evaluation.



Contact Us

Email: affect@hawaii.edu

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/affect_uhm/