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November 22, 2000 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 172

Board of Regents Meeting. A regular meeting of the COM-FSM Board of Regents has been scheduled for December 6-8, 2000, in Pohnpei. A copy of the draft agenda is attached for your information. Major items to be discussed include the proposed tuition increase and the FY 2002 budgets.

Campus Directors Meeting. A meeting of the Campus Directors has been scheduled for December 4-5, 2000, at the National Campus. A special meeting of the Planning Council will be held on December 5th beginning at 9:00 a.m. to discuss the roles of the campuses in the COM-FSM system.

Instructional Affairs. Vice President for Instructional Affairs Spensin James reported that Maria Donre and Mariana Ben, both instructors in the Social Sciences Division, traveled to Guam and Hawaii respectively to defend their Master's theses.

Spensin attended a PREL-sponsored meeting in Guam October 24-28, 2000, which focused on ways of making BA programs in teacher education more accessible to teachers in the region.

Hospitality and Tourism Division Chairperson Howard Rice, Agriculture Division Chairperson Kiyoshi Phillip, AES Researcher Dr. Karl Bookins, and Education Division Chairperson Dr. Richard Womack traveled to Yap and Chuuk in late October and early November to conduct workshops on the curriculum standards in agriculture, fisheries and marine science, and tourism for teachers and education staff. Similar workshops are planned for Kosrae and Pohnpei in late November and early December. These workshops are being conducted as part of the School-to-Work contract between the College and the FSM Division of Education.

Government Documents Assistant Librarian Atarino Heliesar undertook training in government documents at Kapiolani Community College from October 16-November 6, 2000, under the staff development program. Also, six Learning Resources Center staff attended the Pacific Islands Association of Libraries and Archives (PIALA) conference during the week of November 5-12, 2000, on Guam.

The second group of Related Services Assistants (RSA's) completed the on-campus portion of their training and departed on October 23rd for their respective states to do the practicum portion. They will return to the National Campus in December for graduation.

A grant proposal in the amount of $293,000 was submitted to the FSM Division of Education under the Special Education Program for Pacific Entities (SEPPIE) Request for Proposal. A no-cost extension until December 31, 2000, for the current SEPPIE project was submitted at the same time. Under the Monitoring and Technical Assistance components of the current SEPPIE project, teams comprised of representatives of the FSM Division of Education, San Diego State University (SDAU), COM-FSM, and selected state representatives have been conducting visits to the Special Education programs throughout the FSM.

Under the Special Eduation Teaching Training Initiatives (SETTI) grant, COM-FSM, in partnership with SDSU, will be delivering four Special Education courses on line. The first course began on November 20, 2000, with 58 teachers and parents from the four FSM States. The lead instructor for this course is Dr. Michael Caldwell who is being assisted by Magdalena Hallers.

Staff of the Bilingual Education project are currently offering seminars in the five Pohnpei model schools in the areas of technology, classroom environment, elements of an effective bilingual classroom, and curricular areas. Teachers are being offered credit for these seminars. This project recently received 15 computers for the models schools. It appears, however, that adequate space for these computers is a challenge.

The Peer Counseling Center, funded through a $5000 grant from UNESCO, reopened during the early part of November. The Center continues to provide counseling services on family planning and other issues to students at the College.

The College's grant proposal on family planning that was submitted to Region IX was approved. An allotment in the amount of $104,000 has been received from FSM Finance.

Information System Specialist III Gordon Segal traveled to Chuuk during the month of October to conduct a networking needs assessment at Chuuk Campus. He also traveled to Kosrae and successfully hooked up the main building at Kosrae Campus to the College network. Pohnpei Campus has also been connected to the College's network. Yap Campus and FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute (FMI) will be hooked up when FSM Telecom gives the word. It is hoped that networking of all of the campuses will be completed during the early part of 2001.

Pohnpei Campus. In a September-October update of activities, Pohnpei Campus Director Penny Weilbacher summarized a meeting held on September 15th with an OMIP team and representatives of the American Embassy, Governor's Office, Pohnpei State Health Services, Pohnpei State Education, and the Workforce Investment Act program. The focus of this meeting was an assessment of the hospital and associated training needs. An additional meeting in this regard was held for the team to meet with potential trainers including T-3, PATS, and Pohnpei Campus. All of the Pohnpei Campus Vocational Education Division faculty attended this meeting. Additional meetings were held in September with ADB representatives regarding the proposed Business Development Center.

The Pohnpei Campus Advisory Council has been meeting monthly for a year. The focus of the September and October meetings was on the new five-year plan and ideas for fundraising for the Pohnpei Campus gymnasium.

The GED Preparatory Program for Election District #3 graduated 24 students at a ceremony held on September 8, 2000. The results of the first testing are: five passed all five sections; three passed the writing component; six passed the social studies component; twelve passed the science component; five passed the literature component; and nine passed the math component. After an additional two weeks of tutorial sessions, the students who had not passed all of the components re-took the test. The results are still pending.

Pohnpei Campus is represented on the Apprenticeship Committee which has been formed in an attempt by PUC and Pohnpei Campus to open up the program to the public as required by the Apprenticeship Agreement. This committee, which is comprised of three representatives from PUC, two from Pohnpei Campus, two from Pohnpei State Workforce Investment Act program, one from FSM Division of Personnel and Administrative Services, and one from Pohnpei State Division of Personnel, Labor, and Manpower Development, worked on finalizing its by-laws at its October 26, 2000, meeting.

Three forums to gather input on the proposed increase in tuition were held at Pohnpei Campus including one for Talent Search Program (TSP) seniors and parents, one for Upward Bound Program seniors and parents, and one for Pohnpei Campus students and parents.

Work continues on the construction of the Pohnpei Campus gymnasium with a meeting held with the new CAT Team and a request to the Pohnpei State CAT Coordination Committee. Associate Director for Physical Plant Alfred Olter has been instrumental in getting the bid document prepared. The Pohnpei State Legislature is being approached for supplemental funding for the gymnasium.

Pohnpei Campus held its own Alcohol Awareness Week beginning on October 23, 2000, with a short opening ceremony at the nahs. The theme for the week's activities was "Respect Yourself." Pohnpei Campus Counselor Maria Dison who chaired the Awareness Week Committee, reported that approximately 75% of the students participated in the week's activities. She also reported that 120 students visited the Pohnpei State Correctional Facilities as part of the activities. Guest speakers at the opening ceremony were from the National Police and the Peace Corps. Pohnpei State Chief Justice Judah Johnny and Dr. Aye from Pohnpei State Health Services spoke at the closing ceremony. Two talented students - Vira Ruth Edwin and Ioanis Barnabas, Jr. shared the first prize in the essay/poem contest.

Talent Search Program. According to a report from Talent Search Program Director Heinrich Palik TSP had its first interaction with Bailey Olter High School for the year by having an assembly at the cafeteria which was attended by approximately 350 students, Acting Principal Hanover Ehsa, Acting Vice Principal Jose Villazon, Pohnpei Campus Director Penny Weilbacher, and TSP staff.

TSP tutorial sessions have begun in the villages for both elementary and high school students who are unable to attend sessions in Kolonia. Elementary services are provided at Pehleng, Seinwar, Wone, Rohi, Pohnlahngas Junior High, Lukop, Awak, the TSP Office, and Pohnpei Campus. Students from Sokehs Powe, Nett, Ohmine, Kolonia, Parem and other schools are allowed to attend whichever sessions are closest or most convenient for them. Village sessions for high school students are held at Seinwar, Wone, Lukop, and Pohnlahngas.

The eighty-one (81) program seniors and their parents attended a financial aid meeting at Pohnpei Campus on October 26, 2000.

The TSP Director has accepted an invitation to coordinate the Think Quest program in the Micronesian region. The primary purpose of this program is to connect two groups of students from two different countries to work on a website project around certain issues.

Land Grant. According to the October report from the Cooperative Extension Services (CES) Program at Pohnpei Campus, four farms were surveyed for the Marketing Information System (MIS) project - three in Madolenihmw and one in Kitti. Under this project, monthly forecasts of harvests are made which help the farmers and business establishments prepare their plans.

During the month the Agriculture Extension Agents assisted 46 hog raisers, and four farms were assisted in putting up their sakau nurseries. Nutrition Extension Agent, Welsihter Hagilamai, conducted a program with two new groups - one in Madolenihmw and one in Nett - on 24-hour food recall, family food behavior and checklist, vitamins A, B, and C, and iron and calcium. Six recipes were also covered including breadfruit patties, taro chicken with vegetables, kangkong with fish, breadfruit salad, chicken with chaya, and corned beef with vegetables. She also provided lectures to the Head Start staff on nutrition and food safety.

Extension Agent for Youth Justino Smith presented lectures on home gardens and recycling to two classes at Salapwuk Elementary School in Kitti. He also presented a lecture entitled, "Don't Trash the Planet," at ESDM School in Madolenihmw.

Activities were also undertaken by the False Sakau Task Force which is chaired by Pohnpei Campus Assistant Director Jackson Phillip. During the month 13 sites were visited in the False Sakau Eradication Program.

Upward Bound Program. According to a report from Upward Bound Program Director, Churchill Edward, 12 freshmen and 1 sophomore have joined the program this year. An orientation for staff was held on October 5, 2000, during which plans and activities for school year 2000-2001 were discussed. On October 9, 2000, a meeting was held with all UBP staff and students during which the staff reminded the students of the program guidelines. The Upward Bound Student Body Association hosted a welcome party for the new UB freshmen and the Director on October 21, 2000.

Friday afternoon workshops for the UB students have been planned to include the following areas: planning and setting goals, college admissions and exams, career exploration, obtaining financial aid, and oral communications. Instruction is also provided on Saturdays on similar topics as well as work on computers and foreign languages. The UB Counselor also arranges for games and cultural trips on Saturdays.

Kosrae Campus. According to a report submitted by Kosrae Campus Director Kalwin Kephas for the Board of Regents meeting, Kosrae Campus was visited in October and November by Vice President for Support and Student Affairs Ringlen Ringlen, who conducted several forums regarding the proposed tuition increase, US Ambassador Diane Watson, who made a courtesy call to the campus, Jesse Teddlie, who visited to explore the possibility of articulating vocational programs at the Kosrae High School with those being offered by Kosrae Campus, and Dotty Kelly, who was working with the Kosrae DOE on the development of a Comprehensive System for Professional Development for the Special Education program.

Kalwin reported that he traveled to Oregon to attend a One-Stop Conference for the Workforce Investment Act and then traveled on to Virginia to participate in the inaugural GEAR UP Conference. Partners of the GEAR UP Program, including representatives of the Congregational Churches of Kosrae and the Kosrae Department of Education, also attended the conference.

A large order of textbooks for the carpentry and agriculture/food technology certificate programs was received recently. Recruitment of students for both the certificate and degree programs is currently underway.

Also 42,000 pounds of books arrived in Kosrae in October which were donated by California State University at Chico, a project initiated by Upward Bound Director Morgan Jonas and his counterpart form Chico, David Ferguson. The librarians at the Rose Mackwelung Library are now sorting the books.

The banana tissue culture project continues to do well. Plants from this project which were displayed at the Kosrae State Fair impressed farmers and the general public. Plantlets are ready for distribution to farmers this week. Also popular at the Kosrae State Fair was food prepared from unique recipes by the Land Grant staff including breadfruit cake, banana crab, and land crab.

A large order of computers and network equipment and supplies is being shipped to Kosrae Campus for a database workshop to be conducted at the end of November. Participants will include Upward Bound colleagues from overseas.

FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute. The FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute (FMI) became operational in Yap when it launched it first courses on September 4, 2000, with 20 students. Courses included Elements of shipboard Safety, which is a one-week course, and Basic Shipboard Safety, a two-week course. Because the courses were offered on short notice, only students from Yap were accommodated in this first group. Of these 20, 16 completed the courses, and 8 have already been placed on ships, while the remaining 8 need to be placed.

The second group of students began their courses on October 2, 2000. This group was comprised of 7 from Kosrae, 2 from Pohnpei, 3 from Chuuk, and 8 from Yap. Eighteen (18) students successfully completed the courses. Several students from this group have already been placed on ships.

The third group of trainees began their courses on October 30, 2000. Of these 16 students, 1 is from Kosrae, 3 from Chuuk, and 12 are from Yap. One of these trainees is a female. Of this group, 2 did not pass their exams and were sent home. When the students in this third group complete the two courses, a total of 35 students will be available for shipboard training. In October, FMI Director Matthias Ewarmai attended the Micronesia Shipping Commissions' Conference in Guam to meet with shipping people whose ships ply the FSM waters to see if they could accept FMI trainees on their ships.

It should be noted that in early November FMI was visited by two Japanese nationals from the Japan Purse Seine Fishing Association (Japan Kaimaki) who had been traveling throughout the FSM interviewing potential trainees for their fishing boats. Base on their interviews, the FMI students ranked way above the other persons interviewed.

Regarding renovation of the facilities, the project is still quite far from completion according to FMI Director Matthias Ewarmai. The main complication to be addressed is repair of the roof of the main building. According to Matthias, once the roof is done, the rest of the work can be completed.

During the month of September, Shigeatsu Nakajima, Charge d'Affaires from the Japanese Embassy, paid a courtesy visit to FMI during his in-country familiarization tour to Yap. Matthias took advantage of this opportunity to convey the College's appreciation to the Government of Japan for having chosen FMI to be part of its assistance package. During his visit, the Charge' witnessed a demonstration on how to fight a fire within a compartment and how to douse a kitchen fire.

Christmas Card Design Contest. To enable the College to send out Christmas/holiday greetings with a unique design, the COM-FSM President's Office is sponsoring the Christmas Card Design Contest. Full- and part-time students at all of the College's campuses are eligible to enter. The following rules must be followed:

1. The design should reflect the FSM, the College, and Christmas.

2. All designs should be submitted on 8 X 11" paper. Use of color is permitted. Computer-generated designs will also be accepted.

3. Identifying information (your full name) should be clearly written on the Back only. Drawings with identifying information on the front will be disqualified.

4. Each student may submit a maximum of two entries.

5. All entries should be submitted to either Norma Edwin or Hadleen Satele in the President's Office by Monday, November 27, 2000, at 5:00 p.m.

6. All entries become the property of COM-FSM.

7. Eligible entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges and prizes will be awarded as follows: First Prize -- $100; Second Prize -- $50; and Third Prize -- $25.

Good Luck to All!!!

Who's Who. Word has been received that two National Campus faculty - Charles Musana of the Business Administration Division and Yen-Ti Verg-In of the Math/Science Division - have been listed in the sixth edition of Who's Who Among America's Teachers 2000 in recognition of teaching excellence. Congratulations to both of you for achieving this distinction!

Personnel. A warm welcome is extended to Lucy Oducado who was hired on October 23, 2000, to fill the Librarian III position, Harbert Tom who began working on November 13, 2000, as the Information Systems Specialist I for the Languages and Literature Division, and Sylvia Henry who joined the Education Division as an Information Systems Specialist I. We are glad to have all of you with us!

Corinna de Wolff, Librarian III, resigned from her position after completing her contract with the College on November 1, 2000. We wish her well in her future endeavors.

Ed Pozzan, an instructor for FMI, resigned from that position effective November 15, 2000. We also wish Ed all the best in the future.

More Next Time!
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