PRESS RELEASE - September 15, 2016

Ms Cherie Ripley (seated) of the ASCC Office of Academic Affairs can often be found helping students, such as those pictured with her here. Ms. Ripley is one of six employees of the College recently recognized for having contributed more than 35 years of service. (Photo: J.Kneubuhl)

ASCC Recognizes 35+ Year Personnel

September 15, 2016

By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer

To coincide with the Labor Day celebration at the beginning of this month, American Samoa Community College (ASCC) President Dr. Seth Galea’i issued an internal memo recognizing the longest-serving personnel at the College, who continue with their contribution to higher education in American Samoa after 35 years of service. These employees were invited to lead the College’s march at the Workforce Parade held at Veterans Stadium on Friday, September 2nd.

Dr. Galea’i’s memo recognized Physical Education Department Director Mr. Ed Imo, with the College since 1979; College Accelerated Preparatory Program (CAPP) faculty member Mrs. Elisapeta Faalafi-Jones, who started in 1976; Dean of Student Services Dr. Emilia Le’i and mathematics instructor Mr. Laau Liufau, both of whom joined the College in 1974; and the College’s longest-serving employee, Ms. Cherylmoanamarie “Cherie” Ripley, who began her service to ASCC in 1971.

Reflecting on the long period of ASCC history she has been part of during her 45 years of service, Ms. Ripley shared some observations on the evolution of the College. “ASCC over the years has improved greatly in terms of student- centeredness,” she said.  “Students are our product, and how they fare in the world reflects how well ASCC has performed.” Asked what motivates her to continue serving, her immediate response was “God!” which she clarified as, to her, meaning service to others. “My years of service have been like a roller coaster ride,” she said, “sometimes good and sometimes not so good.  But, if you love being around the ASCC Family who have learned to trust you, to depend upon you, why would you ever think of leaving ASCC? The rewards have not been in money or titles, but just in knowing that you had a part in helping students better their lives. That in itself is motivation to continue.”

In addition to the five individuals named in the ASCC President’s memo of recognition, another member of the College’s personnel with more than 35 years of service is President Dr. Seth Galea’i himself. Dr. Galea’i came to ASCC in 1990, but prior to this he had worked for the Government of American Samoa in the field of Education since 1978. Beginning at the College as Director of Teacher Education, he later served as Dean of Instruction beginning in 1999, and Vice President beginning in 2004 before being appointed by the Board of Higher Education as President in 2008.

ASCC Office of Human Resources Officer Mrs. Sereima Asifoa, whose division keeps tabs on employee comings and goings, expressed her appreciation of the distinguished group of employees who have contributed more than three decades of service to the College. “This group sets an example by their dedication to educating our Territory’s young men and women,” she said. “Over many years, their work has made a positive difference in the lives of three generations of students who attended ASCC, and I’m sure that they are held in the highest esteem not just within the College itself, but among the community.”