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ASCC Phi Theta Kappa holds Fall 2016 Induction

Fall 2016 inductees into the Alpha Epsilon Mu chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society at ASCC pause for a group photo while waiting for last week's induction ceremony to begin. (  [Photo: J. Kneubuhl]

The American Samoa Community College (ASCC) Alpha Epsilon Mu chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society held its fall 2016 induction ceremony on Thursday, September 22, welcoming 15 new members who took the oath of allegiance into the prestigious nationwide organization. Family and friends of new and existing PTK members and representatives of the ASCC administration all gathered to help celebrate this prestigious event, which was themed “Good as Gold”.

Honored guests included ASCC Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Rosevonne Makaiwi Pato, Dean of Academic Affairs Mrs. Letupu Moananu, Director of Curriculum and Assessment Mrs. Evelyn Gibbs Fruean, and Keynote Speaker Miss Marietta Lafaele.

Miss Lafaele, an ASCC alumnus and former President of the Alpha Epsilon Mu Chapter, studied Public Health and Epidemiology as an undergraduate at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. A member of the UH Manoa Honors Program, she also served as President of the campus Fealofani o Samoa Club. She represented American Samoa in both the Childhood Obesity Research at UH Manoa, as well as in President Clinton’s National Civilian Community Corps, with whom she did community service work for two years in San Diego. Upon returning home, she served as principal writer and editor of the ASG Newsletter during the Togiola Administration, and currently assists in designing and managing the ASG website. She has recently been accepted to the John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, where she will study Clinical Pathology.

For her keynote speech, Miss Lafaele offered her individualized take on the subject of serving others, reminding the audience of the importance of service in the Samoan culture and incorporating the wisdom of Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. “Let service to others define every aspect of your life,” she encouraged the PTK inductees, “and earn your success in the service of, not at the expense of others.”

At each induction ceremony, the new inductees take the oath to uphold the values of the PTK, and perform the ceremonial lighting of candles representing the mythical Greek “flame of knowledge”. 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. Fall 2016 inductees included Ielu Acosta, Agnes Aneki, Olivia Atisano’e, Samtara Atisano’e, Sandra Elisara, Francine Iopu, Ashley Isaako, Ulelemaikalani Kwon, Etene Levi, Motutama Sipelii, June Talamoni, Makatala Tanielu, Marilyn Thompson,  Simaotua Tuia and Leilani Vili.   

Every semester, PTK advisors Kuki Tuiasosopo, Ernie Seiuli and honorary advisor Evelyn Gibbs Fruean review student transcripts, reference letters, application forms and essays, and other relevant data to determine which 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. Current PTK officers include Ofeira Brown (President), Vaimalu Vaiau (Vice President),

Oina Leo (Secretary), Elizabeth Leo (Treasurer), Simanu Lili’o (PR Secretary), Alisi Tagaloa,

Evander Kitiona, Hope Savali, Fa’afouina Leano Fruean, Naifou Meafou, Onisimo Tovola,

Tautala Seti, Viliamu Maligi,  and Yean Ji Jung.

The PTK provides more than $35 million worth of scholarships annually to students nationwide. Each member is automatically nominated for inclusion in the prestigious National Dean’s List, and is also enrolled in the PTK Transfer Database, which links senior institutions across the nation offering scholarships to PTK members. For more information about the nationwide activities of Phi Theta Kappa, visit their website at: