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PRESS RELEASE - May 30, 2017

Interns
ASCC Agriculture, Community and Natural Resources (ACNR)/Land Grant Instruction Coordinator Mrs. Pauline Tuitele-McFall (center) celebrates alongside four recent ASCC graduates who will participate in various ACNR-organized internships this summer. Left-to-right: Fatima Aneki, June Talamoni, Tuitele-McFall, Jennet Chang and Logomalu Papalii. (Photo: Katrina Garcia-Helsham)


ASCC Agriculture, Community and Natural Resources (ACNR)/Land Grant Instruction Coordinator Mrs. Pauline Tuitele-McFall (center) celebrates alongside four recent ASCC graduates who will participate in various ACNR-organized internships this summer. Left-to-right: Fatima Aneki, June Talamoni, Tuitele-McFall, Jennet Chang and Logomalu Papalii. (Photo: Katrina Garcia-Helsham)

ASCC-ACNR/Land Grant Organizes Summer Internships

May, 30, 2017

By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer

This summer, a number of students at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) will gain firsthand experience in Agriculture and related fields both here in the Territory as well as in locations as close as neighboring Samoa and as distant as Vietnam as part of internships made available through the College’s Division of Agriculture, Community and Natural Resources (ACNR)/Land Grant. “With support from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and from our Director Aufa’i Apulu Ropeti Areta and our staff, we’re able to offer a number of experiential learning experiences,” said ACNR Instruction Coordinator Mrs. Pauline Tuitele-McFall.

The local ACNR Internship Program commences on June 5th and runs through July 14th, consisting of a 40 hour weekly schedule at various ACNR locations. Leilua Ionatana Fa’asavalu and Seiuli Dr. Otto Hansell will supervise and mentor the students, with assistance from Greenhouse Technician Eirenei Tesimale and Extension Agent Fili Uta. Participating student interns include Logomalu Papalii, Fa’amanu Puaina, Jr., Puaolele Taisau, Michelle Paletaleo, Christine Fruean and Iosefo Sio. They will receive stipends funded through the USDA NIFA Resident Instruction Grant Program for their work at designated ACNR sites.

The Apia, Samoa Internship also gets underway on June 5th and ends on July 14th, and involves a 40 hour week under the auspices of Samoa’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF). Partners in the program include the Nuu Crops Station, the Scientific Research Organization of Samoa (SROS) and the Avele Livestock Division. MAF Agents and Research Scientists will mentor ACNR student interns Imelda Luamanu, June Talamoni, Fa’atoia Areta, Ulelemaikalani Kwon, Jason Tufele and Fatima Aneki, who will receive stipends funded through the USDA NIFA Resident Instruction Grant Program. “This is the second year we’ve had this collaboration with MAF in Samoa,” explained McFall. “This year’s internship was an outcome of recent visits by our students to Samoa during the Annual Spring Break Extension Site Visit, and the recent visit by Samoa’s Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries to ACNR in April.”

Students Naseri Meki, Anastasia Magalo and Simeona Leo will travel to Pohnpei, Micronesia as interns with the USDA NIFA Summer Experiential Learning, based at the College of Micronesia from June 7th to the 28th. Their travel and related expenses will also be funded through USDA NIFA Resident Instruction Grant Program. “This is the 10th year of our participation in this internship program, as a collaborative effort among eight colleges and universities in the US insular areas,” said McFall.  “In the past, we’ve had ACNR students intern in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Marianas, Palau, and now in Pohnpei, Micronesia. As part of this same program, American Samoa hosted five student interns from insular areas in summer 2015.”

Malia Talia has been selected to make the journey all the way to Asia as a participant in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)/Research Coordination Network (RCU) Internship to Vietnam. While the details for her trip are still being ironed-out, Ms Talia has the opportunity to intern in Vietnam through full funding by the REU/RCU. The REU will also fully fund recent ASCC graduate Jennet Chang during her trip to Hawaii as part of Research Experience for Undergraduates, Earth Science on Volcanic Islands, which will take place from June 5th to August 4th at the School of Ocean and Earth Science & Technology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Besides these summer internships locally and off-island, experiential learning experiences organized by ACNR include its Summer Institute, research and hands-on field activities for ACNR courses and extracurricular activities, and the yearly Spring Break Extension Site visit to Apia, Samoa. “We’ve witnessed the benefits of experiential learning, with outcomes that include an increase in the interest and enrollment of students, more of them graduating in an ACNR program, and more of them presenting in formal settings such as classrooms, symposiums, and national conferences,” said McFall.

Earlier this year, the ACNR Instruction division, consisting of McFall, Dr. Hansell, Mr.  Fa’asavalu, and Ms. Tesimale, co-wrote an abstract titled, “Enhancing the Agriculture, Community, and Natural Resources Program through Experiential Learning” and submitted it to the North American Colleges & Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) organization. NACTA subsequently accepted the abstract, and has invited ACNR to present a poster at the annual NACTA Conference at Purdue University next month. Following the conference, NACTA intends to publish the poster in its yearly journal.

ACNR Director Aufa’i commended ASCC President Dr. Rosevonne Pato, Vice Presidents Dr. Mikaele Etuale and Dr. Lina Galea’i-Scanlan, and Dean Letupu Moananu for their support and assistance with the Internship Program. Aufa’i also acknowledged ACNR’s Instructional Program Coordinator Pauline Tuitele-McFall and her staff Seiuli Dr. Otto Hansel, Leilua Ionatana Fa’asavalu, and Eirenei Tesimale for their commitment and support.