Dr. Agnes Malate was born in the Philippines and grew up in the heart of Ewa Plantation Town in Hawaii. She enjoyed the nurturance of a large extended Filipino family that maintained ties to cultural roots while encouraging her generation to “focus on education” to make good on immigrant dreams of a better life.

Majoring in political science and journalism at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM), she became fascinated with the unique landscape of Hawaii politics and public policy issues—especially in relation to equal opportunities in higher education. For her MEd degree, she was inspired to do research on the factors that boost the success of medical students who hail from disadvantaged backgrounds. She earned her PhD in Educational Foundations and her dissertation revealed the community and family factors that contribute to the success of students who are first in their families to graduate with bachelor’s degrees.

Dr. Malate thrives on program development and bridging higher education to community-based learning opportunities. Dr. Malate has collaborated with leaders of the health care community in Hawaii, UH campuses throughout the state, public schools, and community-based entities to develop innovative approaches to student learning and community engagement. She is on the board of The Legal Clinic and Ethnic Education Hawai‘i and serves on the advisory board of Waipahu High School’s Academy of Health and Sciences.