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ASCC Phi Theta Kappa holds induction

The American Samoa Community College (ASCC) chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society held its fall 2012 induction ceremony on Friday, February 17, welcoming 16 new members who took the oath of allegiance into the nationwide organization. Family and friends of new and existing PTK members joined members of the ASCC faculty and administration for this prestigious event, held in the ASCC lecture hall.

Special Guest speaker Mr. Jan Ili of the American Samoa Department of Education shared his thoughts on the evening’s theme, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Ili used a combination of his own experience as well as the stories of successful figures in recent history to illustrate how dreams can be made into reality through faith, planning, and hard work.

A native of Petesa, Ili was part of the National Honor Society at Tafuna High School before graduating in 1989, and then a PTK member himself while attending ASCC, where he graduated in 1991. He went on to earn a BA in Elementary Education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2004, and recently received his MA in Literacy through the local UH Cohort program.

Next, the new inductees took the PTK oath, followed by the ceremonial lighting of candles representing the mythical Greek “flame of knowledge”. Fall 2012 inductees included Grace Felise, Mary Cheung-Fuk, Fa'afetai Ifopo, Faasalafa Kitiona, Lemafo'e Kitiona-Lauti, Ronise Mamea, Sia Niupulusu, Pierre Adrian Su'a, Myranda Parungo, T a'utino Passi, Toetu Peau, Tala Ropeti, Genesis Seumalo, Joy Ta'ala, Peniamina Tai'i, and Gala Ualita.

They join existing PTK members Sophia A’asa (President), Marieta Lafele (Vice President), Angel Vaimaunga (Secretary), Roseanne Felise (Treasurer), Krissie Vailolo (PR Secretary), Josephine Afoa, Magic Aumoeualogo, Leli’a Chang, Togilau Galea’i, Esther Kim, Tofaagaoali’i La’a, Teuila Lemisio, Bambridge Lin, Fa’popo Liua, Dona Maifala, Meto Meredith, Mercy Parungo, Peleiupu Pe’a, Diana Pereira, Amy Rebelukeg, Eric Roe, Lythie Samifua, Miracle Sene, Pearl Sheck, Judy Su’a, Elaine Tago, Saipele Tofiga, Adelilia Toussaint, Tonya Tuigamala, Mato’otua Tuli, David Tupua, and Betty Wells.

The ceremony also featured a performance of the song “Light Up Your World”, by Judy Su’a, welcoming remarks by current PTK President Sophia A’asa, who acknowledged the presence of special guests ASCC President Dr. Seth Galea’i and Dean of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Kathleen Kolhoff-Belle.  PTK advisor Evile Feleti provided the closing remarks, during which he spoke of “tapuaiga” and how students succeed as the result of their family’s and friends’ prayers and support, and also thanked guest speaker Ili for inspiring the students.

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), and the society bases its programs on the four hallmarks of scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship.

Every semester, PTK advisors Jim Sutherland, To’aiva Fiame-Tago, Evile Feleti, Elvis Zodiacal, Athena Mauga and Evelyn 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.

PTK President A’asa explained that over the course of a semester the members participate actively in campus events while also honing their leadership skills by organizing fundraising and community service projects. This past December, the PTK gathered toiletries, toys and books to donate to the Pediatric Ward at LBJ Hospital, and according to A’asa some of the PTK projects on the horizon include assisting with the re-painting and organization of the Social Science offices, participating in a conference for American Youth Football Service league on benefits of an education, and holding a fundraiser during the Adeaze and Aarahdna concert on April 27.

Two PTK members, Pearl Sheck and Leli’a Chang competed for the Miss ASCC 2011-2012 crown this past November, with Miss Sheck emerging as the winner.

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: