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PRESS RELEASE - September 29, 2020

ASCC-PTK Induction Ceremony Seen Nationwide

September 29, 2020

By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer

The Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) holds the distinction of being the largest honor society in American higher education, with more than two million members and 1,200 chapters in the USA, its territories, Canada and Germany. The PTK recognizes and encourages academic achievement of two-year college students and provide opportunities for individual growth and development through honors, leadership and service programming. The American Samoa Community College (ASCC) has for many years hosted the Alpha Epsilon Mu chapter of the PTK, which held its 2020 induction ceremony on September 24th for 17 new members.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the PTK has modified its induction ceremonies to social distancing requirements. In spring 2020, the ceremony was closed to the public, but with the threat level in American Samoa presently at a minimum, for this semester family and friends were once again welcome to the event held in the auditorium of the ASCC Multipurpose Center. This semester's ASCC-PTK ceremony also coincided with International PTK Awareness Week, and as the only PTK chapter holding its induction ceremony during the week, Alpha Epsilon Mu received an invitation from the PTK headquarters in Jackson, MS to stream the event live on the PTK Facebook page.

The ceremony followed the format now familiar to PTK inductions, with the only noticeable difference being the inductees following social distancing protocols by sitting six feat apart at the front of the auditorium and wearing face masks. Following the entrance of the inductees, the Keynote Address was provided by Mrs. Evelyn V. Gibbs-Fruean, an institutional researcher with the ASCC Office of Institutional Effectiveness and an honorary advisor to the PTK. Mrs. Gibbs-Frean's address followed the ceremony's theme of "Perseverance & Determination," and she shared many personal experiences where those qualities have helped her achieve her goals. The inductees then received and lit their ceremonial candles representing the the mythical Greek "flame of knowledge" and, as a group, took the oath to uphold the values of the PTK, after which they were officially designated as members. ASCC Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Siaumaua Ropeti shared Words of Encouragement with the inductees, and after a closing prayer they were free to enjoy the congratulations of their families and each other.

For some watching the ceremony online, the unique characteristics of the event made quite an impression. Christopher Bingham, a Membership Services Specialist at the PTK Headquarters, emailed ASCC-PTK Head Advisor Kuki Tuiasosopo with his reaction. "I have to say I am so amazed at your chapter's live induction ceremony," wrote Bingham. "Everything was beautiful, and the presentation and setting were breathtaking. We are so proud of you guys here at Headquarters. You have done so much to make this induction your own, and to make it special for the inductees. I hope other advisors will watch this recording and take notes because this is by far the best ceremony I have seen in my time here at PTK."

The ASCC-PTK inductees for fall 2020 are Fulisia Leupolu, Denson Javier, Atauloma Sipelii, Judith Liu, Faafetaileatuafoai Fruean, Faafouina Tsai, Lefiu Tuia, Lolua Leomiti, Falenaoti Isadora Mageo, Geraldine Aliitaeao Ofisa, Tinou Fiona Laulu, Jenzel Angelica Cuison, Kordell Tamatane Allen Velega, Tulili Meilyn Lavasi'i, Sabrina Kennice Uti, Aroma R. Leupolu and Silivelia Leua Robertson. They join returning members Angel Amosa (President), Uala Evagelia (Vice President), Lindsey Laupola (Secretary/Treasurer) Naoiailagi Senio (PR Secretary), Apoiliu Andrea Atuaia, Arizona Sataua, Athenia Aga-Laupola, Isaako Misa, and Losi Vaofanua.

Head Advisor Tuiasosopo, who organizes the chapter with the assistance of Faculty Advisors Dr. Ernie Seiuli and Amete Mulipola Moefiainu, said that although PTK community service projects were put on hold last semester due to the pandemic, they have resumed this semester with projects that include a Tsunami Victims Memorial Banner, a Thanksgiving Food Drive/Donation for Hope House, and involvement in other campus events that might need the assistance of PTK members. For more information on the nationwide activities of the PTK, visit their webpage at