News Release

Pacific Islander origins, population movement among topics at University of Guam's upcoming Annual Research Conference

Scholars to present their latest discoveries and experiences specific to the Pacific region

Meeting Announcement

University of Guam

University of Guam CLASS Annual Research Conference logo

image: University of Guam CLASS Annual Research Conference logo view more 

Credit: University of Guam

The public is invited to hear from researchers on their latest findings related to Pacific Islander origins and Pacific Islands culture, artifacts, languages, and literature at the 43rd CLASS Annual Research Conference. The conference, organized by the University of Guam College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, will be held virtually from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 11.

The CLASS Annual Research Conference is a multidisciplinary platform for local, regional, and global scholars, scientists, visual and performing artists, and students to present and discuss their discoveries and experiences specific to the Pacific region.

In celebration of the University of Guam’s 70th anniversary jubilee, the theme of this year’s conference is “Retrospective(s): A Look at Origins and How They Take Us Into the Future.”

The conference will feature 23 presentations, including:

  • “Pacific Migrations: A Digital History Project” by Christopher Rasmussen, Ph.D., and Svetlana Rasmussen, Ph.D.
  • “Using Genomic Data to Uncover Early CHamoru Origins,” a presentation by Miguel Vilar, Ph.D., and Frank Camacho, Ph.D., on the DNA analyses of Guam and the Mariana Islands' native CHamoru people as part of the National Geographic’s Genographic Project
  • “Inscription of Carolinian Wayfinding and Canoe Making to the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding” by Ashley Meredith, National Cultural Anthropologist for the Federated States of Micronesia

A complete agenda of presentations and panels can be found at

Keynote speaker

Rindraty Celes Limtiaco, president and executive director of the Pacific Daily News, will deliver the keynote speech at 12:30 p.m. Limtiaco began her career as a reporter covering politics, government, and education and worked her way up the journalistic ladder to become a publisher.

Limtiaco has now been with the PDN for 30 years – as president and publisher for the previous 13 years while now also having the responsibility of executive editor. With her years of experience in the island’s media sector, she has reported, directed coverage on, or engaged in the way the island has grown and developed in the past decades.

With a belief that everyone has a responsibility to make the community a better place, she is devoted to helping community organizations and projects that focus on the island’s economic and social development.

Register for the conference

The conference is free of charge and open to the public. Register at For more information, visit the conference webpage at

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