Academic Achievements Recognized at ASCC Graduate Banquet
December 10, 2015
By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer
To provide the graduating class of fall 2015 with a relaxed social event and to recognize outstanding academic achievement and student leadership, the Division of Student Services (DOSS) at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) organized the this semester’s Graduate Banquet, which took place on Wednesday, December 9th, at Jade Restaurant. As is customary, representatives from the College’s academic departments and campus organizations selected students for special recognition during the banquet, and this semester.
ASCC Financial Aid Officer Mr. Peteru Lam Yuen served as the evening’s MC, keeping the proceedings lively with introductions of presenters and door prizes between awards. Director of Curriculum and Assessment Mrs. Evelyn Gibbs-Fruean, representing the Division of Academic Affairs, gave the evening’s opening remarks, in which she reminded the students to celebrate their achievements, but also to strive for their next goals now that one important one has been met.
Mrs. Amio Mavaega-Luvu, representing the ASCC Alumni Association, and Samoan Studies Institute chairman Mr. Evile Feleti made the first presentations of the evening, with the Alumni Awards going to Auauna Teoni for English, Jillianne Clemens for Math, and Sefilina Skelton for Science. Later in the program, Sefilina Skelton received an additional award from the Science Department, presented by chairman Dr. Randel Dewees. Mr. Feleti recognized Alisi Gaoa as this semester’s outstanding Samoan Studies scholar, and also presented the Student Association for Faasamoa recognition awards to Miracle Toilolo and Elena Mao.
Mr. Jerry Leaupepe, representing the Business Department, recognized Siuila Uele as Business Student of the Year, followed by Criminal Justice Department chairperson Mrs. Rosie Ah Chee-Toeava representing her department’s semester award to Mary Taupau. Next, for the first time since the initiation of the Graduate Banquet, representatives of the office of Congresswoman Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, Special Assistant Chief Magele Aitaoto and Grant Specialist Mrs. Fuatigafua Fuatagavi, presented each of the graduating class with a certificate of recognition from Congresswoman Aumua, who also participated as the keynote speaker at the College’s 63rd Commencement Ceremony on Friday, December 11th.
Fine Arts Department chairman Mr. Kuki Tuiasosopo followed with the Music Appreciation Award, going this semester to Brittany Tago. Mr. Tuiasosopo, who also serves as an advisor to the ASCC chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, also announced the PTK awards for fall 2015. The PTK Academic Scholarship Award went to Sefilina Skelton; the society’s Community Service Award to Esther Kim; and its Leadership Award to Anneliese Haleck. Mrs. Tala Ropeti-Leo, Lead Tutor of the DOSS Student Support & Learning Services, next presented the semester’s Peer Tutor Award to Siuila Uele. Mrs. Annie Panama, DOSS Program Director of Counseling, announced Ilena Williams as the recipient of the Matai Ambassadors Award.
Representing the Teacher Education Department, Mrs. Feleni Alainuuese announced the ten graduates who will receive their Bachelors in Education (B.Ed.) degrees this semester, calling to the stage Barry Patane, Pauline Taape, Sia Niupulusu, Ana-Marie Kitiona, Salani Julia Leota, Angela Amata, Fa’aleaga Lotulelei, Cathlyn Custodio, Christine Lagarejos-Fuimaono and Senetenari Lameta-Malele to receive their award certificates. Mrs. Alainuuese also recognized the seven members of this semester’s graduating class receiving their Associate of Arts (AA) degrees in Teacher Education, and plan to continue with the department when they enter the B.Ed. program this coming semester: Agnes Masima, Jim Stanley, Sophia Misivila, Ina Tupufia, Eni Mulipola, Mele Taliga and Sapele Faagogo.
This semester’s Trades & Technology Department award was conveyed by instructor Mr. Adullum Esera to Alofa Maluia. With the evening’s final round of recognition, current Student Government Association (SGA) President Miss Vaimalu Vaeao announced the recipients of the SGA Awards as Anastasia Carruthers, Jillianne Clemens, Sefilina Skelton, Koreti Alopopo, Shirley Meafou, Ina Tupufia and Lottie Haleck. Dean of Student Services Dr. Emilia Le’i offered the banquet’s closing remarks, congratulating the students on a job well done and reminding them to celebrate safely, and the evening concluded with dinner and socializing.