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ASCC-PTK holds Fall Spring 2023 induction

ASCC STUDENTS being inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society prepare

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — In what has become a tradition at the American Samoa Community College early in each spring and fall semester the ASCC-based Alpha Epsilon Mu chapter of the nation-wide Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society holds its induction ceremony for new members.

The PTK chapter’s most recent induction took place on Tuesday, September 12, welcoming 22 ASCC students into the ranks of the prestigious honor society as their family and friends joined them to celebrate the achievement.

For each induction ceremony, the PTK invites an influential member of the community to make a keynote speech emphasizing the honor society’s core value of service to others. For the fall 2023 induction, ASCC and PTK alumnus Mrs. Maria Luardo, who has returned to the College as an instructor with the Business Department, provided the keynote speech.

She graduated from Faasao Marist High School as a salutatorian in 2010, and continued her educational pursuits at ASCC, becoming a member and an officer of both the Business Ambassadors of ASCC (BAOA) and the PTK. While at the College, she was awarded the ASCC Matai Alumni Scholarship before graduating cum laude in 2013 with an Associate degree in Accounting. 

In 2014, Mrs. Luardo worked briefly as an English tutor with the ASCC Division of Student Services, but relocated off-island upon gaining admission to Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University. At Rawls, she was a member of not one but three honor societies: Gamma Beta Phi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Beta Gamma  Sigma honor societies. In 2017, she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, specializing in management. She returned to American Samoa in 2018 to work as an Accounting and Entrepreneurship teacher at Samoana High School, where she also served as an advisor for both the Future Business Leaders of America and the International Student Organization, as tech team leader and as CTE department head.  

Under her guidance, Samoana competed in the Technical Education Business Competition in 2021, emerging as overall island champions after winning 1st and 2nd places in the Entrepreneurship and Small Business category and 3rd place in the Accounting Category. Mrs. Luardo earned her Master of Business Administration from Western Governors University, an online institution, and recently joined the faculty of the Business Department at ASCC.

Following Luardo’s address, the PTK Officers led the new inductees through the traditional candle-lighting and recitation of the society’s oath of allegiance. This semester has seen a dramatic increase in PTK inductees, as the society proudly welcomed Francine Toilolo, AJ Letuvae, Tiannya Savelio, Ioane Mua, Queenie Fomai, Anthony Feala, Kristina Timoteo, Aailuluu Carter, Ianeta Hollister, Kenicia Godinet, Easterlei Tuitaso, Moira Tia, Harmony Leo, Matavai Auapauu, Pauline Pereira, Jeremiah Pepe, Lanuola Johansson, Nurry Sufia, Latoria Lafua, Marcia Chanel, Veeronia Tuna and Karoline Ilimaleota. .

Assisting with the presentation of stolls and Certificates of Membership were guest speaker Luardo, Dean of Student Services Dr. Emilia Le’i, and the current PTK officers.  

With the official induction completed, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Letupu Moananu shared words of encouragement before announcing a segment not listed on the program.  Moananu invited ASCC President Dr. Pato to the podium, who explained that she had received correspondence from the Phi Theta Kappa headquarters in Mississippi requesting that ASCC recognize its own PTK lead advisor Mr. Kuki Tuiasosopo for his ten years of service to the PTK organization itself and to its ASCC chapter, Alpha Epsilon Mu. Calling on Tuiasosopo to the podium, Dr. Pato, Dr. Moananu, Vice President of Administration and Finance Mr. Sonny Leomiti and Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness Mr. Tauvela Fale  presented him with a “Stole of Gratitude” as well as two pins, one with a single stone and the other with a pair of stones. The single-stone pin represented Tuiasosopo’s years of service between 2010-2020, and the two-sone pin symbolized his continuing leadership from 2020 and beyond. Tuiasosopo expressed his heartfelt thanks to all of those present, who responded with an extra-generous round of applause. 

Established by Missouri two-year college presidents in 1918, the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society serves to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and provide opportunities for individual growth and development through honors, leadership and service programs. Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American education today, with more than two million members and 1,200 chapters located in the 50 states and US territories, Canada and Germany.

At ASCC, the society’s Alpha Epsilon Mu chapter is overseen by advisors Tuiasosopo, Dr. Ernie Seiuli, Mrs. Amete Mulipola-Moefiainu and Mrs. Adrian Vasai-Moana. PTK Officers for fall 2023 are Donwen Hong(President), Jasmine Liu (Vice President), Gabrielle Paopao (Secretary), Lorna Siaumau-Sanitoa  (Treasurer), and Tavai Toatelegese II (PR Secretary).

For more information on PTK activities and opportunities across the nation, visit their website: