The American Samoa Community College (ASCC) has hosted the Alpha Epsilon Mu chapter of the international Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society since the 1980s. During the spring and fall semesters at ASCC, the PTK usually holds a public ceremony to celebrate the induction of new members. However, for the spring 2020 semester now in progress, the honor society’s plans had to comply with the current restrictions on public gatherings. In order to minimize the risk to its members of exposure to the COVID-19 virus, the PTK has held a scaled-down induction ceremony in late March to welcome this semester’s six new members.
The short ceremony took place on Friday, March 20th, on the ASCC campus and was attended only by the new and current members along with their advisor Kuki Tuiasosopo. While going without the theme and guest speaker which usually feature in PTK inductions, the occasion did include the PTK rituals of the lighting of candles to symbolize the flame of knowledge, as well as the taking of the honor society’s oath by the inductees.
The ASCC students welcomed into the PTK ranks for spring 2020 are Arizona Sataua, Danielle Tauila, Perosi Vaofanua, Pitolua Samuelu, Sailimalo Vele, and Uala Evagelia. The new inductees join current PTK members Francella Polamalu (President), Angel Amosa (Vice President), Tiarasina Roberts (Secretary), Anncelitta Meli (Treasurer), Naoiailagi Senio (PR Secretary), Angelo Mayer, Athenia Laupola, Apoilliu Atuaia, Fiailoa Pati, Isaac Misa, Lindsey Laupola, and Racquel Mamea.
A presence on college campuses across the United States and internationally, the Phi Theta Kappa recognizes and encourages excellence in scholarship among associate degree students. The Greek words Phi Theta Kappa mean wisdom (Phi), aspiration (Theta) and purity (Kappa). The society bases its programs on its four hallmarks: scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship. The society provides more than $35 million worth of scholarships annually to students nationwide. Each member is automatically enrolled in the PTK Transfer Database, which links senior institutions across the nation offering scholarships to PTK members.
In addition to providing academic support, the ASCC PTK chapter typically engages in a community service project each semester to foster good citizenship and community involvement. Advisor Tuiasosopo said the honor society had intended to focus this semester on a project involving Hope House, until the current restrictions on public meetings came into effect. “Should circumstances permit,” he said, “we’d like to resume our community service projects later in the year.”
The ASCC chapter of the PTK is not the only one that has needed to modify its plans. The national PTK organization usually holds an annual convention at which outstanding scholarship and community service are recognized. This year’s convention, named “PTK Catalyst”, will take place in April as scheduled, but as an online-only event. For more information on the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, visit their web page at: www.ptk.org.