ASCC grads receive awards for excellence

ASCC fall 2011 graduate Tonya Tuigamala receives a PTK award in Fundraising from Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Kathleen Kolhoff-Belle at the College’s Graduate Banquet on Wednesday, December 21st. [Photo: J. Kneubuhl]

As a prelude the Commencement Ceremony, the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) traditionally hosts a Graduate Banquet during graduation week to in order to recognize academic excellence and community service among the young men and women who will receive their degrees and certificates. This semester’s ASCC Graduate Banquet took place on Wednesday, December 21, at Seafood Restaurant in Tafuna, and a number of students took home awards in various categories.

Following a spirited program of island music performed by the ASCC Ukulele Ensemble, the evening got underway with Mr. Apisaloma Toleafoa of the Samoan Studies Department serving as MC. First, ASCC Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Kathleen Kolhoff-Belle gave the opening remarks, congratulating the soon-to-be-graduating students on a job well done and wishing them well in the next phase of their lives, after which Mrs. Amio Luvu presented the evening’s first awards on behalf of the ASCC Alumni Association.

This semester’s Alumni Awards for outstanding academic achievement went to Gemmir L. Luardo in English, Atene Fa'amago Ulimasao in Math, and Sweetheart Nua in Science. The Alumni also present an award for achievement in the study of Samoan, which this semester ended up in a three-way tie between Mavaega Ronnie Fuimaono, Ofa Tauave and Fatuoaiga Tuivaiti. Following the Alumni Awards, Dr. Faofua Fa’atoafe, Chairperson of the Business Department, presented this semester’s Business Education Award to Katie Leilua, a student who has juggled her full-time studies with full-time employment at Bluesky Communications.

Mrs. Pauline McFall presented the CNR/Land Grant awards for Outstanding Achievement in Agriculture and Community & Natural Resources to Samuel Ioka Meleisea, Denis Sene, Jr. and Maryangie Iosua. Then Mr. Kuki Tuiasosopo of the Fine Arts Department announced Magic Aumoeualogo, Peleimatua Betham and Tiapepe Uiagalelei as the recipients of this semester’s Music Awards.

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society advisor Mr. Evile Feleti was joined by VP Kolhoff- Belle to present awards to PTK members Gemmir L. Luardo in the area of Community Service, Samuel Ioka Meleisea for Highest Number of Community Service Hours, and Elisa Ongosia, Magic Aumoeualogo and Tonya Tuigamala in Fundraising. Other PTK members who will graduate this semester, including previous Miss ASCC Toefuataina Ta’ai, Sweetheart Nua, Peleimatua Betham, Carly Toia and Denis Sene Jr., were asked to stand and receive leis in recognition of their accomplishments. Mrs. Evelyn Fruean of the Trades & Technology Division presented the evening’s final awards to Lorraine Seumanu and Jeremiah O'Brien for outstanding achievements.

“The Banquet offers our graduates one final social occasion before the ceremony,” explained ASCC Director of Student Services Dr. Emilia Le’i, “and also an opportunity for us to present the departmental awards for academic performance and community service. We thank all the students, family members and friends who joined us for this fun event.”


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