To highlight faculty accomplishments over the last 12 months, the Division of Academic Affairs at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) recently hosted its Faculty Recognition Dinner. Faculty members and administrators gathered at the Nighthawk/Country Club for an evening of celebration to recognize the many ways in which the academic departments and individual instructors go “above and beyond” their regular responsibilities to serve both their students and the community.
The evening began with Director of Curriculum and Assessment Mrs. Evelyn Fruean welcoming the faculty and administrators, followed by special remarks from Acting President/Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Rosevonne Makaiwi Pato, whose theme for the occasion was “unchain the elephant,” or in other words don’t be satisfied with just being average, but rather, be the one who is not afraid to address “the elephant in the room.”
The first awards of the evening went to the 17 academic departments at ASCC for a successful year of instruction in 2015. Department chairpersons or faculty representatives accepted awards on behalf of Agriculture, Community and Natural Resources (ACNR), College Advanced Preparatory Program/English Language Institute (CAPP-ELI), Criminal Justice, Fine Arts, Language and Literature, Nursing, Physical Education, Samoan Studies, Science, Social Science, Teacher Education and Trades and Technology. Also receiving recognition were Business, College Life Planning, Health and Human Services, Mathematics, and Reserve Officers Training Corps.
Next up, individual instructors received special awards for noteworthy accomplishments during 2015. Dr. Siamaua Eliapo Ropeti of CAPP/ELI was recognized for completing her PhD.; Mr. Poe Mageo of Fine Arts for placing two short stories in regional literature compilations; Mr. Kuki Tuiasosopo of Fine Arts for advising both the ASCC chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society and the ASCC Glee Club; Mrs. Regina Meredith-Fitiao of Fine Arts for facilitating the grant project Perpetuating Samoan Traditions by Teaching Samoan Practices, as well as providing artworks in the public and private sector; Science chairperson Dr. Randel De Wees for his facilitating the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation grant; Dr. Daniel Chang for facilitating the BUILD EXITO grant; Mrs. Toaiva Fiame Tago for advising the PTK and organizing its food drive for Hope House; and Mr. Derek Champion Helsham for advising the Psychology Club and the club’s book drive on behalf of the Tafuna Correctional Facility library.
The final round of awards focused on outstanding community service activities by the academic departments. The Samoan Studies, Trades and Technology, Teacher Education, Criminal Justice, and Business departments all were awarded for activities on behalf of students and the community performed by their respective student organizations. The Fine Arts department picked up an award for its successful theatrical production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”; Language and Literature for bringing author Lani Wendt to speak on campus; Science for facilitating the 2015 Student Science Symposium; ACNR for its Science Student Internship; Social Science for organizing a talk by former Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin; and CAPP/ELI for setting an example of timeliness in submitting internal documents.
Academic Affairs Dean Mrs. Moananu expressed pride in the level of extracurricular activities taking place in the respective academic departments and among individual faculty members. “As part of the ASCC mission, we strive to be student-centered,” she reflected, “and often we carry this a step further in ways that serve our community.”
For more information on educational opportunities at ASCC, visit the College’s website at: www.amsamoa.edu.