National Science Foundation Official and PREL Director visits American Samoa

For over 60 years, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has had a profound impact on the nation's innovation ecosystem by funding the transformative, fundamental research that has become the agency's hallmark. NSF's strong support for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels provides the nation with a globally-competitive workforce.John Cruickshank National Science Foundation Senior Program Analyst, and Micronesia and South Pacific Outreach Coordinator for the NSF's Asian-American and Pacific Islander Initiative is visiting the territory this week to meet with public and non-public educational leaders in the Territory. Mr. Cruickshank oversee's millions of dollars of NSF grants funding for education focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), related projects. Mr. Cruickhank was responsible for over an $8 Million dollars to regional educational organizations and community colleges in the Pacific. Accompanying Mr. Cruickshank is Dr. Sharon Nelson-Barber President and CEO of Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL), an independent, nonprofit corporation that serves the educational community in the U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands (USAPI). Dr. Sharon Nelson-Barber heads up the largest educational regional organization in the Pacific. PREL over the years is the premier educational resource center in the pacific for both public and non public schools. Much of her work focuses on the study of cultural issues in the teaching and learning of mathematics and science. Dr. Nelson-Barber is of Rappahannock Indian decent and has life-long personal and professional experience in indigenous communities. She holds a doctorate in Human Development from Harvard University.The third member of the party is James Cruickshank. James is the twin brother of John and is accompanying him on his tour to American Samoa as a private citizen James Cruickshank is Director of Research and Development (R&D) at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Public and Indian Housing, Real Estate Assessment Center, Washington. D.C. James is a Subject Matter Expert in the areas of public housing, Section 8, and disaster recovery. James served as the HUD/PIH Disaster Recovery Coordinator in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.Section 8 is federal funding to assist with rent payments for under served or economically depressed families. With the construction of so many apartments etc. for rent from home loans, the challenge is affordability. Section 8 may be a source whereby funds can supplement the cost of rent enabling more families to rent available apartments etc., that lack tenants. John is an expert and can advise accordingly. James would be an excellent resource to departments associated with Homeland Security, Public Safety, Public Health and EMS. For more information please contact Papalii Dr. Tusi Avegalio at 770-3036 or email:

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