MicSem Publications

Micronesian Counselor

The Micronesian Counselor is an occasional bulletin published by Micronesian Seminar since 1991. It addresses social and development issues. Click on the issue to download the entire bulletin. Sign up for our mailing list to receive print and electronic copies of the Micronesian Counselor as they are released.

Make Me Be Good, by Francis X. Hezel, S.J.

How can reform of the failing education system be carried out in an island group where pressures abound to keep good teachers and bad teachers alike? There are tried and tested methods that will help, the author suggests.

June 2010 (MC #82) Education Government

Swimming with the Tide, by C.L. Cheshire

Island development today could learn from the past: the importance of trading partnerships and self-enforced contracts.

April 2010 (MC #81) Business Economics

Path to Heaven, by Francis X. Hezel, S.J.

Personal reflection on how the church and its mission has changed during a lifetime.

February 2010 (MC #80) Religion

Playing the Numbers Game, by Francis X. Hezel, S.J.

Accurate Statistics are essential for mapping out progress and fixing future goals

December 2009 (MC #79) Education Government Health

A Teacher's Tale, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

An expatriate teacher explains the cultural lessons learned during his long stay in the islands.

September 2009 (MC #78) Cultural

The Role of Culture in Economic Development, by Francis X. Hezel, S.J.

The playing field is not level when it comes to economic development, for cultural values and attitudes give some societies a head start.

June 2009 (MC #77) Cultural Economics

High Water in the Low Atolls, by Francis X. Hezel, S. J.

Waves surges for two successive years have damaged the food supply in outer atolls and threaten even more in the future.

March 2009 (MC #76) Environment

CPR for Chuuk Public Schools, by Arthur Leger, S.J.

An educator describes a three-week summer retreat for Chuuk public school principals, its dynamics and some of the outcomes.

January 2009 (MC #75) Education

What Are Our Priorities?, by Francis X. Hezel, S.J.

Suggestions on priority areas for the FSM Government: health, education, care of the outer islands, economic development, monitoring progress through data collection, and social problems.

December 2008 (MC #74) Government

Cultural Revolution Of The 60's, by Francis X. Hezel, S.J.

The rapid increase of dollars and jobs in the 1960s led to structural changes whose impacts are still being felt.

September 2008 (MC #73) Cultural Family change

The Church in Micronesia, by Francis X. Hezel, S.J.

A brief history of the integration of Christian churches into island cultures, highlighting the changes on both in the course of this process.

May 2008 (MC #72) History Religion

What's Happened to All Our College Graduates?, by Francis X. Hezel, S.J.

An essay on why college students abroad have become fewer over the last 30 years, why this can hurt the islands, and what can be done about it.

February 2008 (MC #71) Education

Climate Change is Real, by Ben Namakin

What does climate change mean, what are its impacts on the islands, and what can we do about it?

November 2007 (MC #70) Environment

The Rules of the Road in Chuuk, by Francis X. Hezel, S.J.

The financial and political crisis in Chuuk stems from the shortcuts that people take to get what they need from the government, thus adding to the confusion.

October 2007 (MC #69) Government

HIV/AIDS in Micronesia, by Francis X. Hezel, S.J.

A look at the disease, its impact on the islands so far, and suggestions on what might be done to reduce the risk.

July 2007 (MC #68) Health

Island Politics, by Francis X. Hezel, S.J.

Politics in the islands has been elevated to a new art form, while drifting from the ideal of public service.

May 2007 (MC #67) Cultural Government

A Tuna Industry in Micronesia?, by Peter Wilson

The case for launching a large fishing industry in the islands despite a long list of past failures.

April 2007 (MC #66) Business Economics

The Cult of the Individual, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

As in America, the individual is being liberated from kin and community in Micronesia.

January 2007 (MC #65) Social Issues

Micronesians Abroad, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ and Eugenia Samuel

Report on a visit to Micronesian communities in the US with reflections on lessons learned.

December 2006 (MC #64) Government Migration

Renewable Energy For Micronesia, by Doug Kelly

Suggestions for practical alternatives to fossil fuel for island people.

September 2006 (MC #63) Environment

Homosexuality in Micronesia, by Major Scott Nicloy

A frank discussion of the problems faced by gays and lesbians in the islands.

August 2006 (MC #62) Social Issues

Who Will Own Business in Majuro, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Study of how Chinese immigrants have become dominant in business on Majuro and what effects this is having on the local population.

April 2006 (MC #61) Business

Spiritual Abuse, by Major Scott Nicloy

A clergyman reports on how church leaders can take advantage of their flock.

February 2006 (MC #60) Religion Social Issues

Myths of the FSM Economy, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

The article challenges seven popular beliefs about the economy of FSM.

December 2005 (MC #59) Economics

Call to Arms: Micronesians in the Military, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

What is the strong appeal of the US military to island youth, and how do they fare when they join?

October 2005 (MC #58) Social Issues

Caricature of Infinity, by Neil Poulin, SJ

Humorous account of a priest’s adventures on a trip through the Yap outer islands.

September 2005 (MC #57) Cultural

Cultural Loss: How Real is the Threat?, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

If culture is more than material items and outward behavior, perhaps the threat of cultural loss is exaggerated.

July 2005 (MC #56) Cultural

Micronesian Governments: A View from the Outside, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

A presentation of the Findings of Transparency International reports on FSM, Palau and the Marshalls.

April 2005 (MC #55) Government

Peeking Into the Public Process, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Public access to government information conflicts with cultural views of how information is shared.

January 2005 (MC #54) Government

Health in Micronesia Over the Years, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

A historical survey of the change in types of illness during the 19th and 20th centuries

November 2004 (MC #53) Health History

Do We Really Need Land Registration in the Marshalls?, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Assessment of the problems in recording and registering land weighed against its benefits

September 2004 (MC #52) Land Issues

The Clam Industry in the Marshalls, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

History of the clam industry and the problems encountered along the way.

August 2004 (MC #51) Business Economics

The Chuuk Problem: At the Foot of the Political Pyramid, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Argument that Chuuk’s political impasse stems from its fragmented traditional authority system.

April 2004 (MC #50) Cultural Government

The FSM Amnesty Bill, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Critique of the FSM bill proposing to grant amnesty to public officials prosecuted for corruption.

January 2004 (MC #49) Government Justice & Law

How Tough Was Your Dad?, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Explores the change in family dynamics and its impact on the growing suicide rate in the islands.

December 2003 (MC #48) Family change Social Issues

An Alternative Strategy for Developing a Micronesian Export Industry, by C.L. Cheshire

An inventory of factors to be considered before opening an export business in the islands.

June 2003 (MC #47) Business

The Silent Cry For Help: Spouse Abuse in Micronesia, by Eugenia Samuel

Description of the extent of wife-beating today and how cultural changes have given rise to it.

March 2003 (MC #46) Social Issues

Power or Partnership? Making Compact II Work, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

A critique of the US strong-arm stance as the terms of the next Compact are negotiated.

February 2003 (MC #45) Compact

Rough Seas Ahead: The FSM Economy During Compact II, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

A forecast of FSM’s economic future for the next twenty years and beyond.

January 2003 (MC #44) Compact Economics

Too Young To Be Mothers, by Eugenia Samuel

A study of teenage pregnancy throughout Micronesia.

July 2002 (MC #43) Social Issues

A Leap Into the Unknown, by Augustine Kohler and Eugenia Samuel

Reviews the problems that Micronesian emigrants face when moving to the US for jobs and education.

April 2002 (MC #42) Migration Social Issues

A Close Look at the Proposed Amendments to the FSM Constitution, by John R. Haglelgam

An impartial review of the pros and cons of each of the 14 proposed constitutional amendments.

April 2002 (MC #41) Government Justice & Law

Spoiled Tuna: A Fishing Industry Gone Bad, by Matthew Jacobs

Review of the recent history of the fishing industry in FSM and impact of the losses on the country.

March 2002 (MC #40) Economics

Settling Disputes, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Over-reliance on the courts to settle disputes, even though traditional means are available.

January 2002 (MC #39) Cultural Government

The Rule of Law, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Why island societies with effective conflict resolution needs a western-style law system.

December 2001 (MC #38) Government Justice & Law

Business and Family in Micronesia, by C.L. Cheshire

Compilation of best practices for balancing kin obligations with what is needed to make a business work.

November 2001 (MC #37) Business

Insuring Our Health: Financing Health Care in the FSM, by Marcus H. Samo

How to fashion an insurance program that will relieve the government’s heavy burden of medical costs.

August 2001 (MC #36) Economics Health

Feast and Famine: US Assistance and the Compact Funding Outlook, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

US funding assistance to FSM for the next two years and the Compact funding outlook.

June 2001 (MC #35) Compact Economics

Islands of Excellence, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

A review of some of the best public elementary schools in the region and a look at what makes them work.

April 2001 (MC #34) Education

The Myth of Education: A Second Look, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Education once offered the promise of good jobs, and even now it offers other rich rewards.

March 2001 (MC #33) Education

How Good Are Our Schools?, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Highlights the best schools throughout the region on the basis of test scores and other data.

January 2001 (MC #32) Education

What Should Our Schools Be Doing?, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Is the goal of education to provide academic skills, manpower training, or cultural preservation?

October 2000 (MC #31) Education

Why I Can't Get A Loan...and Probably Shouldn't Anyway!, by C.L. Cheshire

Helping prospective businessmen draw up a business plan for a loan may be a bad idea

August 2000 (MC #30) Business

Becoming a Professional Victim, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Argues that the Marshall Islands’ lawsuit against Big Tobacco could be more damaging than the cigarettes they smoked.

July 2000 (MC #29) Cultural Government

Here's Where We're Headed. Which Way Should We Be Going?, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ and Hilda Heine

A review of what the numbers say about the directions of the Micronesian governments.

June 2000 (MC #28) Economics Education Government

Land: Public Use and Regulation, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Discussion of the importance of land for public service and the problems of acquiring it.

May 2000 (MC #27) Government Land Issues

Teach Our Children Well: A Look At Our Public Elementary Schools in Pohnpei, by Jasmine Johnson

What are the factors most responsible for success in public elementary schools on Pohnpei?

April 2000 (MC #26) Education

Land: As Investment, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Land in the islands is a treasure that can be left unused or invested for future prosperity.

February 2000 (MC #25) Land Issues

Bringing Health Care to the People: A Look at Dispensaries in the FSM, by Eugenia A. Samuel and Marcus H. Samo

A critical look at how dispensaries operate in the FSM.

January 2000 (MC #24) Health

Land: Is It Time For a Change in Direction?, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Land is a priceless cultural inheritance, but it can also be used for future development.

November 1999 (MC #23) Land Issues

Why Don't Our Government Offices Work?, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Explanation of how cultural values and attitudes obstruct the creation of a government bureaucracy.

May 1998 (MC #22) Cultural Government

Sustainable Human Developement in Micronesia, by Jay Dobbin and Francis X. Hezel, SJ

A review of the economic situation and of development possibilities in the future.

March 1998 (MC #21) Economics

A Hibiscus In the Wind: The Micronesian Chief and His People, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Chiefs had obligations toward their people as well as the other way around.

December 1997 (MC #20) Cultural

Micronesian Migration Since World War II, by Jay Dobbin and Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Selection of short articles by different authors on migration from the islands to Guam and the US.

August 1996 (MC #19) Migration

Drugs in Micronesia, by Jay Dobbin

Selection of articles on marijuana in Chuuk, gas sniffing in Chuuk, and ice use in CNMI.

April 1996 (MC #18) Alcohol & Drugs Social Issues

Anthropology's Contribution to Social Problems Research in Micronesia, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Anthropologists’ attempts to situate social problems in the context of cultural change.

March 1995 (MC #17) Social Issues

Land Issues in Chuuk, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Report from a two-day conference on land problems in Chuuk.

October 1994 (MC #16) Cultural Land Issues

Changes in Family Structure Leading to Alcoholism, Suicide, and Child Abuse, by Donald H. Rubinstein

Anthropological view of how culture change in the family brings about social problems.

June 1994 (MC #15) Cultural Family change Suicide

The Changing Family In Chuuk: 1950-1999, by Innocente I. Oneisom

Summary of research done on changes in family structure and practice in Chuuk.

March 1994 (MC #14) Family change

Social Isolation, Cultural Competence, and Disability in the Carolines, by Mac Marshall

How physical disability is understood and dealt with in the islands.

January 1994 (MC #13) Cultural Health Social Issues

The Changing Pohnpeian Family, by Seberiano Barnabas and Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Summary of research done on changes in family structure and practice on Pohnpei.

November 1993 (MC #12) Family change

Spirit Possession in Chuuk: Socio-Cultural Interpretation, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Summary of research done on the ways in which spirit possession is used as a means of dealing with family problems.

July 1993 (MC #11) Cultural

Culture in Crisis: Trends in the Pacific Today, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Review of problem areas in the Pacific resulting from social change.

May 1993 (MC #10) Cultural Social Issues

Mental Illness in Micronesia, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Report on the findings of a study of serious mental illness throughout the region.

February 1993 (MC #09) Health

Kokan: Youthful Female Runaways in the Marshalls, by Dennis T.P. Keene

Report on a study of young Marshallese women who left their families to become prostitutes.

October 1992 (MC #08) Social Issues

Neglect, Physical Abuse, and Sexual Molestation in Palau, by Richard Shewman

Report on a study of physical and sexual abuse in Palauan families.

June 1992 (MC #07) Social Issues

Youth Drinking in Micronesia, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

The rise of alcohol use among the young and its effects on society

March 1992 (MC #06) Alcohol & Drugs Social Issues

What Can We Do to Prevent Suicide?, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Suggestions regarding methods of preventing suicide among the young.

December 1991 (MC #05) Suicide

Effects of Modernization on Three Areas of Island Life, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Modernization poses difficult choices for people, especially regarding gender equality, fairness to those outside the family, and balance of concern between the household and the extended family.

September 1991 (MC #04) Cultural Social Issues

Marijuana in Chuuk, by Innocente I. Oneisom

Report on a study done on the extent, cost and effects of marijuana use in Chuuk.

June 1991 (MC #03) Alcohol & Drugs

Child Abuse and Neglect in Micronesia, by Mariano N. Marcus

Report on a study of child abuse and neglect in Chuuk, Pohnpei, Yap and Palau.

April 1991 (MC #02) Social Issues

Chuuk's Violence: Then and Now, by Innocente I. Oneisom

The pattern of homicide in Chuuk has changed over a century: today more of the violence is done against family members.

February 1991 (MC #01) Social Issues