The Alpha Epsilon Mu Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) held its fall 2017 induction ceremony this past Thursday, September 14th, to induct 16 new members. As is traditional, family and friends of the new and current PTK members joined members of the College’s administration and faculty for the ceremony, which this semester went by the theme “Learn & Serve.”
ASCC administrators on hand to join in the celebration included President Dr. Rosevonne Pato, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Lina Galea’i Scanlan; Dean of Academic Affairs Mrs. Letupu Moananu; Dean of Student Services Dr. Emilia Le’i, Director of Curriculum and Assessment Mrs. Evelyn Gibbs Fruean, who also serves as Honorary PTK Advisor; Teacher Education Department Director Ms. Shirley De La Rosa; Office of Institutional Effectiveness Director Mr. Sonny Leomiti; and Financial Aid Officer Mr. Peteru Lam Yuen.
ASCC alumnus and former PTK member Ms. Wittenberg Marlana Ofeila Mariner gave the evening’s keynote address. Ms. Mariner graduated from ASCC with an Associate of Science degree in Accounting in fall 2013, and during her time with the College she had the distinction of being the first and still the only ASCC student to receive the prestigious New Century Scholar Award. She went on to graduate from Chaminade University in Honolulu with her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting in 2016, and now works for the American Samoa Government at the Department of Treasury as a staff accountant and grant analyst, while also pursuing her Masters of Accountancy degree from Keiser University.
For her keynote speech, Ms. Mariner offered her personal reflections on the evening’s theme of “Learn & Serve,” including the theme’s similarity with Service Learning. “Before you out into communities and societies, one must prepare first,” she said, “and this means to assemble as much learning as possible. You may choose whatever way to further and expand your learning, but never stop. Albert Einstein said, ‘Once you stop learning, you start dying.’ Learn to not only better yourself, but also to reach out to others and share what you already know that they do not.”
Following Ms. Mariner’s speech, and assisted by Honorary PTK Advisor Mrs. Fruean, the 12 new inductees took the oath to uphold the values of the PTK, and performed the ceremonial lighting of candles representing the mythical Greek “flame of knowledge.” Welcomed to the PTK this semester are Fevaea'i Mareko, Rianna Lafaele, Jingjing Jiang, Anastasia Magalo, Theresa Lafaele, Louaivasa La’ulu, Shalom Faiilagi, Vaotupu Tufele, Loreta Liu, Vanezza Alosio, Kyrstene Lin, Ming Ling Wang, Magalita Johnson, Amy Thrun, Anastasia Vaitele, and Elysha Samatua.
A student with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or above may apply to become a member of the PTK. In addition, the student must have completed ENG 150 and 151, and MAT 90, and the must have already earned 12 credits towards an Associate degree. Applicants must provide three letters of reference, and an official ASCC transcript. The final selection process includes an interview conducted by the PTK head advisor. Once the semester’s selections have been finalized, an email is sent to prospective inductees requesting that they meet with the PTK officers and advisor the following day, at which time they receive official letters of acceptance and the PTK by-laws. As the final step in becoming full-fledged PTK member, the inductees participate in the induction ceremony.
In addition to the spring 2017 inductees, the ASCC PTK currently includes Simaotua Tuia (President), Marilyn Thompson (Vice President), Francine Iopu (Secretary), Maryjane Iosefo (PR Secretary), Samtara Atisano'e (Treasurer), Olivia Atisano'e, Ielu Acosta, Uelemaikalani Kwon, Etene Levi, Faamao Asafo, Luavaasiitia Esera, Faaiu Faalata, Genesis Lagai, Selesitina Iosia. Mr. Kuki Tuiasosopo serves as their Head Advisor, assisted by Advisor Mr. Ernie Seiuli and Honorary Advisor Mrs. Fruean.
Nationwide, the PTK provides more than $35 million worth of scholarships annually to its members. Each member is also enrolled in the PTK Transfer Database, which links senior institutions across the nation offering scholarships.
For more information about the nationwide activities of Phi Theta Kappa, visit their website at: www.ptk.org.