Dr. Agbayani is the director for Student Equity, Excellence and Diversity (SEED) Programs at the University of Hawai`i-Manoa. Her university responsibilities, research and work in the community involve affirmative action for women and minorities, immigrant rights, educational opportunities for underrepresented groups, and Filipinos in Hawai`i.
Among the University programs she administers are: Women’s Center, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Student program, Office of Multicultural Student Services for underrepresented ethnic groups, Kua`ana Student Services for Native Hawaiian Students, College Opportunities Program for disadvantaged students, KOKUA program for students with disabilities, Presidential and Regent’s Merit Scholarships, the Senior Vistors program, Gear Up Manoa/Farrington and Health Careers Opportunity Program.
She received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of the Philippines and her MA and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawai`i. She attended summer institutes at the University of Michigan, Cornell, and Harvard.
She is currently a board member of the Hawai`i Women’s Fund, Hawai`i Women’s Political Caucus, and the National Federation of Filipino American Associations. She has previously served as President of the Filipino Community Center in Honolulu, Chair of the Judicial Selection Commission, Chair of the Hawai`i Civil Rights Commission and Democratic Committeewoman.
She is also currently a member of the advisory board for the Asian American Youth Prevention program funded by CDC and a board member for Leadership Education for Asian and Pacific islanders (LEAP).
Dr. Agbayani has been honored in Hawai`i and nationally with various awards including the following: Honolulu County Committee on the Status of Women, Alan Saunders American Civil Liberties Union award, YWCA Outstanding Women award, UH Distinguished Alumni Award, Hawai`i East West Center Alumni Award, and the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators. She has served on the following boards: Hawai`i Community Foundation, University of the Philippines Hawai`i Alumni chapter, Inter-Agency Council for Immigrant Services, Hawai`i Aloha United Way, and Leadership, Education for Asian Pacifics.