P. O. Box 159
Kolonia, Pohnpei 96941
Federated States of Micronesia
Phone: (691) 320-2480 Fax: (691) 320-2479 E-Mail:

President’s Message To The Community

March 28, 2014

Dear Colleagues and Fellow Members of the COM-FSM Community,

It is with sadness that I begin this message to our community. Earlier this week we learned of the passing of Mariana Ben-Dereas, and on Wednesday many of us gathered to pay our final respects to her.

At the funeral service, faculty member Ringlen P. Ringlen eloquently spoke on behalf of the college about Mariana’s service to the college. His remarks are included here:

Sakaradahn woahu in Pohnpeian.

On behalf of the Board of Regents, President Daisy, Cabinet, faculty, staff, and students of the College of Micronesia-FSM, I would like to convey to Mariana’s family our deepest sympathies and condolences. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Employment History
June 2, 1997 -Instructor, Social Science Division
January 1, 2006 - Division Chair, Social Science
January 3, 2012 - VPIA
January 27, 2014 - Returned to Professor, Social Science

Served for a number of years as:
Coordinator of the Micronesian Studies and the Trial Counselor certificate program
Faculty advisor for Phi Theta Kappa Student Honor Society

Served on various committees including:

  1. Staff Development
  2. Curriculum
  3. Personnel 

Academic Credentials
Bachelor's of Arts in Political Sciences, UH Hilo, 1996
Masters degree in Pacific Islands Studies, UH Manoa, 2007
Certificate, Higher Education Leadership, Higher Education Resources Services (HERS), 2011

Served as Treasurer, Pohnpei Catholic School Board of Trustee, 2010-2011
Pohnpei Lions Club, Secretary, 2010-2012
COM-FSM Faculty/Staff Senate, Secretary, 2009-2011
East West Center Fellow, UH Manoa, 1997-1990

Awards and Recognition at the College
2001 - Faculty of the Year
2011- Faculty of the Year
2005- Student's Choice Award
2008 - Student's Choice Award

Personally, Mariana is a young woman with many admirable qualities observed by her many colleagues, students, friends, family and others who have had brief acquaintances with her. Her colleagues who have known her will agree that she is the type of person who has strong will power, yet she is very sensitive to the needs of others. Such qualities are seen in how her students speak favorably of her. Mariana is the type of person who does not wait for tomorrow to get things done, even when she has other obligations. Her passion to be involved in the community is evidenced by her active participation at the college community and in the general community both as an advisor to students and officer to organizations and affiliations. Her active role at the college community and the fact that she carried multiple roles as an administrator, faculty, and advisor never ceased to amaze us. In fact, her Social Science colleagues refer to her as the “Iron woman”. Such is true because even in her ill condition, she gave her best to get things done. Students say she is tough but very caring, supportive, and understanding to their needs-that is why they chose her “Students Choice” twice when she was a faculty. Her excellence in teaching is also visible to both her students and colleagues, as she was “Faculty of the Year” twice.

Strong willed, energetic, enthusiastic, passionate, caring, humble, are some of the many good traits that describe Mariana.

Mariana is always “okay” and “fine” if you ask how she is doing. You ask her how she is doing and she will ask you the same because she wants to know how you are doing first.

Kalahngen en kupwur koaros! Thank you.

On behalf of our community, let me extend deepest sympathy and condolences to Mariana’s family, friends, colleagues, and students. Those of us who had the pleasure to know her, work with her, or had been fortunate enough to have her as an instructor know of her passion for education, and her personal kindness. She will be missed by all of us. Please keep Mariana and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

It is a privilege for me to serve you as president.

Warm regards,


Joseph M. Daisy, EdD