PRESS RELEASE - MARCH 27, 2014

New Century Scholar
Wittenberg Mariner, a fall 2013 ASCC graduate now at Chaminade University in Honolulu, has been chosen by the national Phi Theta Kappa honor society as a New Century Scholar. (Courtesy Photo)

ASCC-PTK Graduate Awarded New Century Scholarship

March 27, 2014

By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer

Wittenberg Mariner, a fall 2013 graduate of the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) and member of the prestigious Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society, has been chosen as one of the recipients of the New Century Scholarship, sponsored by Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Phi Theta Kappa, and the American Association of Community Colleges. Mariner, now attending Chaminade University in Honolulu as an Accounting major, is one of this year’s 51 New Century Scholarship recipients chosen from across the USA and its territories and Canada. The scholarship includes $2,000 for Wittenberg to apply towards her continuing college career.

The New Century Scholars program and All-USA Community College Academic Teams, which is sponsored by Follet Higher Education Group and presented by USA Today and Phi Theta Kappa, share a common application and together recognize outstanding community college students. This year, more than 1,700 students were nominated from more than 900 community colleges for recognition. Judges factor in grades, leadership, activities, and most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.

Wittenberg (pronounced WHI-ten-berg), 20, is the daughter of Magele Teila and Afua Mariner from Faga’itua. Prior to ASCC, she attended Alofa Elementary and Faga’itua High School. While at the College, in addition to her membership in PTK, Wittenberg also participated in the Business Ambassadors of ASCC student organization. Now at Chaminade, Wittenberg says she is working towards becoming a Certified Public Accountant, and hopes she will be able to continue to the next level of certification as a Certified Management Accountant.

“PTK emphasizes service, leadership, fellowship and scholarship,” Wittenberg said via email from Hawaii, “and it benefitted me both financially through this great scholarship opportunity as well as academically.” With the ASCC PTK, she applied her skills as an accounting major to the position of Treasurer. She says she would like to one day return home to serve her community, and sends her heartfelt gratitude to all her teachers and mentors at Alofau, Faga’itua and ASCC.

Mrs. To’aiva T. Fiame-Tago, head advisor of the ASCC PTK chapter, Alpha Epsilon Mu, congratulated Witt on behalf of herself and her fellow advisors Mr. Evile Feleti, Mr. Anthony A. Felise, Mr. Kuki Tuiasosopo, and former advisor Mrs. Evelyn V. Fruean, as well as all of the current honor society members. “We’re very proud of Witt’s achievement,” she said. “For a member of the ASCC chapter to be selected as a New Century Scholar from amongst all of the chapters across the nation serves as an inspiration to us all. We wish Witt the best of luck in her future academic career.”

Phi Theta Kappa, which recognizes and encourages academic excellence, is the largest honor society in American higher education, with more than 1,285 chapters at two-year and community colleges in all 50 of the United States and its territories, Canada, Germany, Peru, and the United Arab Emirates. The ASCC chapter of PTK, Alpha Epsilon Mu, was established in 1979 by the late “Papa” Jim Sutherland, and continues to induct new members every semester based on outstanding academic achievement.