The Alpha Epsilon Mu Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) held its spring 2017 induction ceremony this past Thursday, February 16, to induct 12 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 “Academic Achievement through Leadership and Service.”
ASCC administrators on hand to join in the celebration included 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; and Office of Institutional Effectiveness Director Mr. Sonny Leomiti. For each induction, the PTK invites a distinguished member of the community to give the keynote speech, and at last Thursday’s ceremony, ASCC alumnus and former PTK member Ms. Leonetta M.P. Samuelu, who has returned to the College to work as Federal Work-Study Coordinator, provided words of inspiration.
Ms. Samuelu’s keynote address focused on the topic of leadership. “Does leadership and service lead to academic achievement?” she asked the audience. “My answer is YES! It does exactly that and more.” Discussing some of the great leaders throughout history, as well as her own experience in the military, Ms. Samuelu shared the observation, “I believe that once you have endured what it means to be a great leader, you automatically serve those who need your help, whether you realize it or not.” She concluded with the advice, “Continue to stay on top of your academics, but challenge yourselves and become a leader that you would one day want to follow, a leader who serves with passion and a leader who is selfless and doesn’t seek praise. Go forth tonight and remember great leadership and service leads to academic and life achievement.”
Following Ms. Samuelu’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 were Lusia Vaaiga, Jonah Choi, Faamao Asafo, Luavaasitia Esera, Faasiu Faalata, Genesis Lagai, Irene Tan, Jamelanie Amataga, Jennet Chang, Selesitina Iosia, Maryjane Iosefo, and Washington Ameperosa.
Every semester, a review of the ASCC Dean’s List and other relevant data is made by PTK advisor Mr. Kuki Tuiasosopo to determine which ASCC students qualify for the membership in the Society. Candidates must have taken at least 12 credits, passed their English 150, English 151, and Math 90 classes, and have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Qualifying students receive an invitation to join PTK, and most of those invited readily accept the offer. 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.
In addition to the spring 2017 inductees, the ASCC PTK currently includes Simaotua Tuia (President), Marilyn Thompson (Vice President), Samtara Atisano’e (Treasurer), Francine Iopu (Secretary), Simanu Lili’o (PR Secretary), Naifou Meafou, Evander Kitiona, Yean Ji Jung, Olivia Atisano’e, Leilani Vili, Ielu Acosta, Uelemaikalani Kwon, Etene Levi and Motutama Sipelii.
For more information about the nationwide activities of Phi Theta Kappa, visit their website at: www.ptk.org.