ASCC advisor recognized by PTK Honor Society — Kuki Tuiasosopo

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — American Samoa Community College (ASCC) president Dr. Rosevonne Makaiwi-Pato recently received correspondence from the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society commending Kuki Tuiasosopo, advisor to the ASCC Alpha Epsilon Mu chapter of the PTK, for his five years of ongoing service to the society. Tuiasosopo, who is also chairman of the ASCC Fine Arts Department, organizes the society’s induction ceremony each semester and oversees all of the Alpha Epsilon Mu chapter’s additional activity both on-campus and in the community.

“We at PTK owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our chapter advisors whose dedicated service is responsible for the success of our local chapters,” wrote PTK President and CEO Lynn Tincher-Ladner, PhD, to the ASCC president. “Advisors are truly the lifeblood of our organization, and we are delighted to recognize them for their years of service. On your campus, we are proud to honor Kuki Tuiasosopo for five years of service as an advisor of the Alpha Epsilon Mu chapter.”

The stated mission of Phi Theta Kappa is to recognize academic achievement of college students and to provide opportunities for them to grow as scholars and leaders. Headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, PTK is the largest honor society in American higher education, with 1,285 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since the founding of PTK in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.

“PTK offers its members opportunities in leadership and service, which are important skills to acquire as they move forward in realizing their dreams,” said Tuiasosopo. “PTK also offers numerous transfer scholarships that assist our members to pursue higher degrees off-island.  For those who choose to remain on island after ASCC, their membership in PTK allows them a smooth transition into the workforce, with their membership in this prestigious student organization is reflected in their resumes.” 

Tuiasosopo stressed that community involvement is an essential component of PTK membership. “For students to recognize their potential, I believe that we as educators shouldn’t limit their experience to within the confines of a classroom.  We need to send them out into the public to learn to collaborate in providing services to the community.  They realize their own self-worth by making a difference in the lives of other people. ASCC is where our young people can develop both their intellects and their civic responsibilities.”

With the above goal in mind, the PTK focuses on two main community service projects each semester. One is their participation in the School of International Training (SIT) Homestay Program, in which individual PTK members host a visiting student from the mainland in their homes for a week. During their stay in American Samoa, the visiting SIT students attend workshops at ASCC along with exchange activities organized by the PTK. While the PTK members earn service points by hosting their SIT guests, Tuiasosopo said the activity offers a learning opportunity of a deeper nature. “In essence, our PTK members really benefit from the intellectual exchanges with the SIT students, and make lifelong friends,” he said.  “We look forward to hosting 17 SIT students at the end of this month.”

For their second project each semester, the PTK organizes a school supply drive to assist Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs. The PTK selects a school, identifies materials it needs, and then spend several weeks collecting these items. Both the Aunu’u Elementary and Coleman Elementary ECE programs have benefited from this service, which PTK plans to continue for the foreseeable future. The PTK has also performed numerous community service activities such as creating a Tsunami Remembrance Banner for the Leone Village Healing Garden, and volunteering as ushers at ASCC workshops, forums, performances and other events, holding a food drive for Hope House at Thanksgiving, and facilitating a toy drive for the Pediatric Ward at LBJ Hospital at Christmas. 

Tuiasosopo credited the many PTK advisors who preceded him for shaping the Alpha Epsilon Mu chapter’s emphasis on both academic excellence and service to the community. He specifically mentioned the late Jim Sutherland, Elvis Zodiacal, Iva Tago, Athena Mauga, Evile Feleti, Tafaimamao Tupuola and Anthony Felise, as well as his current co-advisor Ernie Seiuli and Honorary Advisor Evelyn Fruean

For more information on the PTK, visit their web page at: <www.ptk.org>

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