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PRESS RELEASE - April 18, 2017

Miss Hadassha Tofilau
Miss Hadassha Tofilau, a spring 2016 ASCC graduate and member of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society, recently had a scholarly article on Aquaculture in American Samoa published in the prestigious PTK literary journal "Nota Bene." Her article was chosen from among 600 submissions by students from two-year colleges across the nation. (Photo: Luminance Imagery)


Miss Hadassha Tofilau, a spring 2016 ASCC graduate and member of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society, recently had a scholarly article on Aquaculture in American Samoa published in the prestigious PTK literary journal "Nota Bene." Her article was chosen from among 600 submissions by students from two-year colleges across the nation. (Photo: Luminance Imagery)

ASCC PTK Graduate Published in National Anthology

April 18, 2017

By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer

Miss Hadassha Tofilau of Tafuna graduated Summa Cum Laude in spring 2016 from the American Samoa Community College (ASCC), where she had also actively participated in the Alpha Epsilon Mu chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society. Currently preparing to continue her college education at La Sierra University in California this fall, Hadassha recently had the distinction of a scholarly essay she authored being published in the 22nd edition of Nota Bene, the PTK literary anthology. Her piece, “Aquaculture: The Benefits of Aquaponics and Hydroponics in American Samoa,” was selected for publication from among over 600 works submitted by writers from two-year colleges across the nation.

“I wrote on Aquaponics and Hydroponics because we live in a time where the conversation on Global Warming and the impact it is having on the environment is at its peak,” reflected Hadassha. “In the Pacific Islands, we see the effects of Global Warming first-hand, especially where our crops are concerned. It is not exactly a new concept to the island, but I felt its relevance needed to be reiterated because of the drastic changes our climate seems to be undergoing, and the future implications it could have on agriculture.”

Born in Apia, Hadassha has both Samoan and Indo-Fijian heritage from her parents Vincent and Nisha Tofilau. Inducted into the ASCC Alpha Epsilon Mu Chapter of the PTK in fall 2015, Hadassha was elected as its Vice President the following spring. Also in spring 2016, she received the chapter's award for Academic Achievement. “I knew her as a very hard working student, and she was always able to challenge herself with new roles she was asked to take on, and always performed well in those roles,” recalled ASCC PTK advisor Mr. Kuki Tuiasosopo.

Responding to a call for submissions to Nota Bene, Hadassha submitted her paper on Aquaculture even though she did not expect it to make the final cut.  “At the time, I was juggling final assignments and my PTK duties so I did not really put much thought into whether or not I would be published,” she said. “In all honesty, I did not think I would be published so only one other person knew I had submitted my paper until just recently when the publication was set to print. Writing has always been a passion of mine, so taking part in the Nota Bene competition was really just a way for me to test my own writing ability against other writers from across the United States. I would say having my work chosen is a great feeling and definitely a humbling and validating experience.”

With a new phase in her educational career soon to begin at La Sierra, Hadassha intends to explore her options before choosing an ultimate goal. “The sciences have always been a strong point of interest for me,” she said. “I am especially into Biology, particularly Microbiology, but I would not rule out Writing to see where it could take me in the future.”

For more information on the PTK Honor Society, visit their website at: www.ptk.org.