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September 10, 2001 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 193

September 10, 2001


To:       All Regents, Faculty, Staff, and Students

From:     President

Subject:  Update from the President's Office-No.193

Board of Regents meeting:    The COM-FSM Board of Regents is scheduled to meet in Kosrae from September 7-20, 2001. A draft agenda is attached. If any one has any questions regarding the items on the agenda, please feel free to see me. Norma and I will be staying on in Kosrae until September 22nd. Norma will be conducting sessions with employees on the newly updated personnel manual, while I will be visiting programs and meeting on other issues.

Pohnpei Campus update.  The activities at Pohnpei Campus in August focused on planning and making preparations for fall semester. A committee comprised of faculty and staff were tasked to strengthen the advertisement of Pohnpei Campus programs and to schedule the orientation/registration process to entice students to register. A special effort was made to recruit new students from among student who had graduated from high school in previous years but had not yet attended the College. Orientation was held on August 8th, and placement tests for English and math were administered on August 9th. Registration was held the week of August 13th with the first day of instruction on August 20th. Enrollment for the fall semester totals 324, comprised of 119 degree students, 46 ESL students, and 159 certificate students (including 52 students in the vocational programs).

During the month of August Pohnpei Campus Land Grant Extension Agents served a total of 165 clients in the areas of crop monitoring, banana improvement, swine improvement, home gardening, black pepper production, and nutrition. Three (3) students recently completed a 6-week on-the-job training program during which they accompanied the Extension Agents as they carried out these activities. Also, during August, the Livestock Specialist began translating brochures on raising of swine into the Pohnpeian language. The False Sakau Task Force has now been expanded to include invasive weeds and is now named, "False Sakau/Invasive Weeks Task Force." Assistant Director Jackson Phillip attended the 86th Annual Conference of the National Association of County Agriculture Agents which was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. All expenses for this conference were covered by a grant.

According to a publication of the Pohnpei Campus Upward Bound Program , The UB Post, the Upward Bound students had a very busy summer during which they had first-hand experience with cultural activities, visited unique sites on Pohnpei, sponsored a trash-a-thon to clean up the road from PICS to the Dekehtik dump, attended workshops on various topics, and attended academic classes. The highlight of the year was the farewell banquet which was held at Misko Beach on August 18th. The following awards were presented: Student of the Year - Francky Ilai; Best Overall GPA by Class - Glenna David (senior), Resel Elias (junior), Charles Aiseam (sophomore), Charlotte Johnson (freshman), and Kapilly Jr. (upcoming freshman); Most Improved Student By Class - Jennifer Amor (senior), Ador Oliver (junior), Merian David (sophomore), Delphin Abraham (freshman), and Jordan Ekiek (upcoming freshman); Student Leader of the Year - Jessica Anson; Most Improved (UB Alumni) - Sammy-Ray Rettin and Ramsie Joab; Teacher of the Year - Augustine Loyola; and Best Overall Attendance - Patrick Edwin and Juleen Edward. Congratulations to all award winners!

Kosrae Campus update.   August 10th marked graduation day at Kosrae Campus as they celebrated the accomplishments of 7 students who completed their studies at Kosrae Campus - 3 with A.S. Degrees in Teacher Education - Elementary and 4 with Certificates of Achievement in Carpentry. Congratulations, graduates!

Two hundred six (206) students have registered for classes at Kosrae Campus this fall, which is a record number. One hundred thirteen (113) are male and 93 are female. To accommodate this increase in enrollment, Kosrae Campus is offering classes in the evenings and on Saturdays.

It is anticipated that 432, 8th- and 9th-grade students will be served by the GEAR UP program this fall. These students will be served by 33 personnel on part-time contracts to provide tutoring and mentoring services. The aim for this school year is to raise the GPA for every student served. The activities for the new school year are supported by the 2002-2002 funding in the amount of $342,003 received from the US Department of Education.

Under the Land Grant program in Kosrae, an efficient procedure for multiplication of commercial varieties of local bananas is being developed under the Micronesian Plant Propogation and Research Center. Under this project, nearly 5000 tissue cultured banana seedlings have been distributed to local farmers. In at least 3 of the model farms, the tissue cultured bananas are flowering in the 8th month of planting. Also, a Vitamin A rich banana is entering the multiplication stage of the tissue culture process. A megaproject on soft taro micropropagation is also in State I of tissue culture. In addition, two workshops were conducted for the benefit of banana farmers and, and Dr. Josecutty was involved with a series of meetings held with the Kosrae Department of Agriculture, the Kosrae Department of Commerce and Industry, and the administration of Kosrae to address the citrus canker disease on Kosrae. In addition to the research activities, Dr. Josecutty is offering AG 086 Plant Tissue Culture, a 4-credit course with lab, this semester.

In the Upward Bound program, 11 tutors and 4 instructors have been hired to conducted tutorial sessions and Saturday classes. Two Peace Corps Volunteers are also volunteering their help. A workshop for all tutors and instructors was held on September 4, 2001.

Chuuk Campus incentive awards.   According to an August 28, 2001, memorandum from Chuuk Campus Director Graceful Enlet, the following Chuuk Campus staff are recipients of incentive awards for FY 2000 and FY 2001:


FY 2000 Teacher of the Year Alvios William Student's Choice Marcello Ham Community Service Alton Higashi Professional Recognition Ansina Kony Award of Recognition Switer Eter

FY 2001 Community Service Margarita Cholymay Professional Recognition Joakim Peter Award of Recognition Virginia Mamangon Mamaw Award Herner Baiel, Marylene Bisalen, and Switer Eter

Congratulations to all winners! Keep up the good work!

Instructional Affairs.  Forty-eight (48) full- and part-time instructors are teaching 218 course sections to 941 students at the National Campus this fall. The enrollment of 941 is a record for the National Campus and is comprised of 345 freshmen, 440 sophomores, 61 third-year students, 48 fourth-year students, 10 Head Start teachers, 20 Pohnpei State teachers, 15 staff, 1 non-degree student, and 1 auditing student.

Bruce Robert of the National Campus LRC traveled to Kosrae July 16-20 to attend the Library Institute during which he gave presentations on basic cataloguing and interlibrary loan procedures. Following this training, Bruce attended a three-week graduate course on Pacific Libraries at the University of Hawaii.

Director of Academic Programs Joe Habuchmai traveled to Seattle, Washington, as part of a delegation from the FSM Office of Special Education Programs to present the status of the work that the College has been contracted to perform this past year. He also attended a conference on federal programs accountability.

Associate Professor Herman Semes represented Pohnpei State and the FSM at a non-governmental organization sponsored workshop in Noumea, New Caledonia, for which his expenses were paid by the Nature Conservancy Office.

Vice President for Instructional Affairs Spensin James traveled to Okinawa, Hyushu, and Honshu, Japan during the month of July to represent the College at the Second Annual Pacific Islands Academic Summit. Spensin's expenses were covered by the organizers of the Summit.

Assistant Professor Mariana Ben-Dereas traveled to Japan during the week of September 3-12, 2001, to participate as a member of the Japanese Youth Invitation Programme 2001. The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs covered the expenses for this trip.

The Peer Counseling program is expanding to Chuuk, Yap, and Kosrae. This project is supported by the Title X Family Planning Program and the FSM Department of Health, Education, and Social Affairs in the amount of $104,733 and runs from July 1, 2001 through June 30, 2002.

Director of Vocational Education Brent Villiers has been designated to represent the College at the upcoming OMIP meeting to be held in Kona, Hawaii, September 18-21, 2001. Brent will also be visiting programs at Honolulu and Kapiolani Community Colleges as well as working with Guam Community College staff on certification of teachers for Cisco courses and other vocational programs.

The system-wide vocational education meeting took place during the meeting of the Campus Directors August 28-31, 2001. Funds received from the OMIP Buddy System grant were used to bring the Campus Directors to Pohnpei. Of special interest was the demonstration of the computerized electronics program by Mr. Kevin Gulliver of NIDA Corporation.

Mr. Ken Girrard was contracted during the month of August to install the new server for the College's network which also involved moving everything from the old server to the new one. The project went smoothly which means that the College now has a server for the network which has multiple backups. Mr. Girrard has been retained on special contract for one year to provide technical assistance on networking matters.

The computers in the Languages and Literature computer lab have been replaced with 30 updated models. The "old" computers have been distributed to departments and offices at the National Campus based on the guidelines established by TAC. Ten (10) computers are now also available for installation in the dormitories.

Support and Student Affairs.   Student Activities. Student Activity staff members Patricio Ramirez and Castro Joab traveled to Yap to assist and participate in the Third FSM Games. Counselor Morehna Santos traveled to Guam to participate in the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium/Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse's Written & Case Presentation Methods (CPM) Oral exam which she passes with a score of 94.9. (Passing score was 76.) Vice President for Support and Student Affairs Ringlen Ringlen attended the International Conference on First-Year Experience in Honolulu for four (4) days in July. He also accompanied two COM-FSM students to Beijing, China for two weeks to participate in the 21st Universiade, 2001, an International University Sports Federation. Expenses for this trip were covered by the program.

The orientation activities for new students at the National Campus were deemed a success. New students had the opportunity to listen to presentations from invited speakers from various career fields, many of whom were CCM/COM-FSM alumni. In addition to the usual presentations on student services offered by COM-FSM, there were also informal presentations by selected representatives from the four FSM states for the new students from their respective state. Attendance throughout the week-long orientation was high (approximately 85%). The efforts of the Peer Guides contributed to the good attendance. (See Update 191 for list of Peer Guides.)

There are 19 spaces available in the dormitories - 10 in the Female Residence Hall and 9 in the Male Residence Hall. Applications are now being accepted from Pohnpeian students who may wish to live in the dormitories.

A Mixer Night was held at the Flamingo Club after the orientation and registration weeks for all students. Approximately 200 students attended this event. Other social activities for both on- and off-campus students were held on campus.

Kosrae Upward Bound Counselor Madison Nena visited the National Campus to meet with Counselor Morehna Santos to discuss ways to collaborate to better serve students.

Facilities and Maintenance.    The LRC, recreation, and cafeteria at the National Campus are currently being painted. The National Campus landscaping project is nearing completion with grading work and planting of grass remaining at the courtyard and around the administration building. This contract will terminate on October 30, 2001. However, an extension is needed for continued maintenance of the trees and grass that have been planted.

Bid packages for the new faculty office building have been received, and advertisement for bids is being released this week.

Regarding the multipurpose gymnasium at the National Campus, the newly appointed First Secretary of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China and the project team leader visited with Director of Maintenance Francisco Mendiola to review and finalize the list of sports equipment and furniture to be provided by the Chinese Government. There remains a need to have the facility hooked up to electricity.

Two bids were received for the Chuuk Campus access road project - both in excess of the available amount. It is recommended that the College work closely with the Chuuk State Government to perform some of the earth moving and grading work. An offer of such assistance has been made by Governor Walter.

The Yap Research Laboratory is substantially complete with some minor punch list items yet to be completed by the contractor. Francisco traveled to Yap last week for the final inspection of this building and for a follow-up inspection of the FSM FMI facilities.

Personnel.    A warm welcome is extended to the following new employees: Danilo Dumantay, who is the new Comptroller; Dale Griffith, an IEP instructor at Pohnpei Campus; Cecilia Oliveras, an English instructor at Chuuk Campus; and Isinory Manuel, an Upward Bound Counselor at Chuuk Campus. We are glad to have all of you with us!

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