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March 14, 2001 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 180

March 14, 2001


To:       All Regents, Faculty, Staff, and Students

From:     President

Subject:  Update from the President's Office-No.180

Chuuk Campus Update.    Margarita Cholymay and Karen Simion traveled to St. Louis, Missouri, to attend the International TESOL convention from February 24 to March 7, 2001. The annual TESOL convention attracts educators from around the world who specialize in teaching English as a second, or "other," language.

Steve Richmond represented the College at a meeting of the Pacific area utility managers. Steve is developing classes in residential wiring and small water systems in conjunction with the American Samoa Power Authority. Plans call for offering these courses at the College for utilities employees in the Pacific region beginning September, 2001.

The Chuuk Campus English Department has opened up its office to assist students with advice or information of both an academic and non-academic nature. The staff reported that they were surprised to see so many students come for assistance.

According to a report from the Education Department the ED 290 Practicum students are teaching at St. Cecilia Elementary School. Also, ED 210 Introduction to Teaching students are exchanging letters with education majors at the State University of New York in Oneouta, New York. This experience is allowing Chuuk Campus students to gain new perspectives on education.

The Chuuk Campus Math and Science Department is providing tutorial services to students who are failing in their math courses. Students from the Upward Bound Program were also invited to attend these sessions.

The Business Department has moved its computer lab to the room that formerly housed the Study Hall. The new site can house up to 30 units as compared to 16 at the former site. Ten (10) computers will be added to the lab this spring.

The Chuuk Campus Land Grant program deployed staff to the different municipalities for extension work and the non-formal activities of the program. Three extension assistants provided cooking demonstrations to more than 250 participants. Under the Youth Development Program, participants were advised on various aspects of personal, family, and community development with emphasis on current issues affecting youths in Chuuk. Under a joint project between Land Grant and FSM Congress, 47 clients have benefited from lessons in commercial and home gardening and land cultivation. Under the Community Resource Development component of the Land Grant program, 30 women have learned to sew and how to generate income from their projects.

Statistics from Chuuk Campus show that of the 613 students enrolled this spring 368 are full-time freshmen, 150 are part-time freshmen, 38 are full-time sophomores, and 57 are part-time sophomores.

Pohnpei State Declaration.    I am pleased to report that on February 16, 2001, Pohnpei Acting Governor Jack E. Yakana issued a formal declaration that Pohnpei State is now free of cholera. However, everyone is still cautioned to continue the sanitation measures employed during the epidemic to prevent reoccurrence.

Board of Regents meeting.    I reported in Update 179 that the COM-FSM Board of Regents meeting would be held in Kosrae March 12-15, 2001. Unfortunately, due to the cancellation of Monday's flight, Pohnpei meeting participants were unable to travel to Kosrae. As of this writing alternative plans are being made to travel on Wednesday should the flight schedule be restored. More will be reported in the next Update.

Staff Development Day.    All faculty and staff are reminded that March 16, 2001, is Staff Development Day. I have been informed that the Staff Development Committee has arranged a full day of workshops and activities. I encourage everyone to attend and gain as much as you can from these experiences.

Update from National Campus LRC.    The following documents were distributed to Division Chairs and faculty members during the month of February: 1) a memo regarding developing students' information literacy skills and promoting use of LRC collections; and 2) a summary of new materials acquisitions along with FY 2001 recommended allocations. Library staff members are encouraging faculty to incorporate into their coursework assignments that require students to make use of the various LRC collections and resources.

Also during February video teleconference technology was installed in the MITC by R. Andrew Kerr, Program Specialist from the Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL), and Rick Manns from the University of Guam. The COM-FSM National Campus now joins Guam, Yap, Palau, and Chuuk in being outfitted with this equipment. Plans call for Kosrae and the Marshall Islands to be outfitted shortly. This video teleconference technology can be used to deliver educational programs via satellite to participating sites. MITC Coordinator Joe Saimon will be doing a presentation on course delivery via distance education during Staff Development Day on March 16, 2001.

Personnel.    The College extends a warm welcome to three familiar faces who have joined or "rejoined" the staff. Jean Thoulag has been hired as the Assistant Director of the Learning Resources Center, Nelsiro George has been hired as the Maintenance Worker I position at the National Campus, and Senry Eldrige has been hired as the Clerk Typist for the Education Division.

A letter of resignation was received from Chris Neill of the Math/Science Division. Chris taught until March 8, 2001, and left on March 9, 2001, to assume his new position in Thailand. We wish Chris all the best in his future endeavors.

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