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May 08, 2002- Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 209


To:       All Regents, Faculty, Staff, and Students

From:     Interim President
Subject:  Update from the President's Office-No.209

Health Fair. The College of Micronesia-FSM National Campus Health Fair 2002 was held on May 6, 2002 at 8:30 a.m.-12 noon. On behalf of all of us at the College, I would like to thank Goldi Myers, the Peer Counseling Center Coordinator, and Benina Ilon, the College Nurse, for organizing the 2002 Health Fair. The theme of the health fair is "Making Health, Safety, and Wellness a Priority". It is a simple yet fundamental premise that health, safety, and wellness are everyone's personal responsibility. I would like to extend our gratitude to those individuals and organizations that took part in the activities and made this fair a success:

  • Sylvia Kalau of PMA for eye examinations
  • Captain Scott Nicloy of Salvation Army for Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Kumi Kodama and her colleagues from JOCV for Nutrition and Exercise demonstrations
  • Lt. Lihno Amor of FSM National Police covering the law & narcotics
  • Sara (Crush) Krosch of Peace Corps Micronesia covering aerobic demonstration
  • Midion Ihop of National Mental Health for Tobacco Control Program
  • Elsihna Rospel of Pohnpei State Public Health Department for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD)
  • Mersedes Gilmete - offering information on HIV/AIDS/Sexually Transmitted Infection (SDI) - Pohnpei State Public Health Department
  • Lois Santos, Benina Alexander, on Family Planning - Pohnpei State Public Health Department
  • Rubiner Ringlen Defang offering information on Maternal Child Health (MCH) - Pohnpei State Public Health Department
  • John Ernest, Relio Andon, Doreen Iehsi, Mersein Micky, Rorehda Ladore, and Joakim Loney from the Pohnpei State Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH)
  • Bethany Black and Peres Ioanis of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Meriam Abraham and Welsihter Hagelmai of Land Grant/CES for Nutrition/food preparation
  • Dr. Aye from Pohnpei State Dental Health Services

Again, congratulations for a job well done.

National Campus. Ray and Yen-ti Verg-in, Professors of Math and Science, notified the President's office that Lee Antreas, a freshman from Pohnpei with a major in Marine Science, has been selected as the recipient of the work program in Alaska this summer. Antreas has an outstanding academic record and is well spoken of by his instructors. Ray, Yen-ti and Lee will be leaving Pohnpei on May 17, 2002 after final examinations. They will spend the summer in Sand Point, Alaska and will return on August 10 in time for fall semester's registration. Congratulations Lee! Have a successful and fun summer.

Ambassadorial Series - The COM-FSM Staff Senate revived its Ambassadorial Series and sponsored His Excellency Larry M. Dinger, U.S. Ambassador to the FSM as the first speaker in this series. Ambassador Dinger spoke to the COM-FSM faculty, staff and students on April 16, 2002 on the status of Compact negotiations, federal programs, and post-secondary education. It was a good turnout with refreshments being served after the talk. The College will continue the Ambassadorial Series and invite other Ambassadors from other countries to visit and talk with the staff and students.

New President - COM-FSM's new President Dr. Michael Tatum is due to arrive Pohnpei on May 17, 2002. A welcoming committee has been set up to organize interested faculty, staff, and students who would like to go to the airport at noon to receive our new president. Incidentally, the Staff Development Committee has planned to have the Staff Awards ceremony on the same day from 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. and combine it with a welcome of the new president.

Word of Gratitude from the Interim President - Since this is my last update as the Interim President, I would like to thank the members of the Board of Regents, faculty, staff, and students for your support during the past six (6) months. It has been a very rewarding and excellent learning experience for me personally and professionally. As I step aside, I would like to ask that we give our utmost support to the new incoming President as he takes over the leadership of the College. The College has some tough challenges ahead of it over the next several years. We are at the threshold of a new beginning - accreditation of our first 4-year program in Education. Please extend to President Tatum the same spirit of cooperation that I enjoyed during the past months. I look forward to resuming my former position and working with you from the other side of the hall. Again, thank you.

Kosrae Campus. Ms. Eileen Sabino, a recent graduate of the COM-FSM is now working as a clerk/typist at the Director's office. Congratulations, Eileen.

Director Kephas is working and collaborating with the Governor's office in repairing the riverbank along the campus. The most recent flooding caused some damage to the riverbank.

Director Kephas reported that U.S. Ambassador to the FSM, His Excellency Larry M. Dinger, paid a courtesy visit to the Director and some of the program coordinators: Kenye Killin of Land Grant Program, Edna Martinez of Upward Bound Program, and Willer Benjimin of Student Services. Among items discussed were the federal programs eligibility and the current negotiations on the Compact of Free Association.

The Campus Director has announced that Kosrae Campus will hold its commencement exercise on the 28th of May. Kosrae Campus expects seven students to complete their A.S. Degree in Teacher Education/Elementary and six students will receive a Certificate of Achievement in Agriculture program.

Upon approval by the Vice President for Instructional Affairs, Kosrae Campus will hold two summer sessions this year. The first session will start on June 7th and end on the 19th of July. The second session would begin on 24th of July and end on the 2nd of August. The first session is intended for regular students and the second one is for students in the Upward Bound Summer Bridge and in-service teachers.

Land Grant - The research project on banana (COM-F 23) is entering its final stage. The data collected between January 2001 and April 2002 on field performance evaluations of tissue cultured "Kufwafwa bananas is being analyzed.

The Director reported that the research project on Citrus (COM-F 26) is showing exciting progress. Shoot cultures of sweet orange, sour orange and lime have been established from in vitro grown plants.

The Department of Interior's (DOI) project on Vitamin A rich bananas is also progressing well. A multiplication rate greater than 6 is achieved with the fine-tuning of a medium that suits multiplication and shoot elongation simultaneously.

Over 1000 kufwafwa bananas were acclimatized on April 2, 2002. A total of 492 kufwafwa bananas were distributed to 17 farmers in Kosrae.

About 300 vitamin A rich bananas were acclimatized on April 2nd. They are being readied for distribution.

Seedling production was initiated under the CES project on taro. A few hundred cuttings have been hormone treated and planted for further growth.

Kosrae Gear Up - This is an after-school tutoring and mentoring program designed for 8th and 9th graders of Kosrae Public School System. The program now serves 433 under-served and low-income students. Some of the major activities performed were tutoring in Pre-algebra/Algebra, language arts, parental workshops, SAT testing, drug-free sessions, and career counseling.

An annual performance report has been submitted to the COM-FSM President's office for transmittal to Washington, D.C.

The Program Director reported that plans are underway for the summer program.

Kosrae Upward Bound - The Director reported that more than 80% of parents in the program participated in the Parent Day activity. Parents observed classes. Several parents were selected by the Parent Association to teach Kosraean culture and customs. Topics taught included: family life-style, local house building, marriage and women's role in the family or in the community. The day was full of fun-filled recreational activities.

The Upward Bound juniors just completed their trip to the National Campus. A report and recommendations by the Director has been forwarded to the President's office. Additionally, the juniors invited parents on May 4, 2002 to a presentation about the trip to National Campus. Skits and cultural dances were part of the evening's festivities.

Recruitment for incoming 10th graders has been completed. A review of applications is being conducted.

Chuuk Campus.Director Joakim Peter reported that a Task Force to educate the FSM Public on the 14 proposed amendments to the FSM Constitution met with Campus faculty, staff, and students.

World Class Olympic swimmer Chad Carvin met students and gave an inspirational talk about the importance of maintaining a drug free life-style and dedication to his life long goals. Carvin's visit was sponsored by Society for Historical Investigation and Preservation, a non-profit organization in FSM.

Senator Manny Mori visited the new Director at Chuuk Campus. Senator Mori has been an instrumental supporter of the college and his visit was dedicated to discussion on matters pertaining to the new Chuuk Campus site.

Vocational Education. Director Peter wrote that students have done well with five model houses nearing completion. The models have been done with remarkable care. Students should take pride in what they have created, Peter continued. The Blueprint Class has produced some excellent work and they have been posted for display in the classrooms.

Chuuk Land Grant - The demonstration garden has been cleaned, cultivated and planted with Chinese cabbage. The Director indicated that in addition to the maintenance of the demonstration garden, ornamental plants around and inside of the office have been maintained to keep them healthy and attractive.

Soil Testing - Land Grant staff have been doing some soil testing for municipalities of Tol Houk, Tamatam, Onoun and Onou. The tests were to determine the Ph, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium content of the soil.

Chuuk Culture & Education Studies Project - Chuuk Campus is planning to use a sailing canoe this summer for students to learn about the traditional vessel and to conduct cultural studies practical skills training. The canoe will take students on voyages of past trading routes throughout the lagoon and the outer islands as well.

The month of April started off on a bright note with Cultural Day celebrations on April 1st. Director Peter reported that more than 500 people converged on the field to enjoy a full day of dances, songs, food, and skits by IEP, Upward Bound and various groups.
On April 4, 2002 Chuuk Campus inaugurated its first ever Community Day. Chuuk Campus faculty, staff, and students with Director Peter's leadership decided to have a community day when they try to reach beyond their regional affiliations and celebrate their common identity as COM-FSM Chuuk Campus family. Speakers included Switer Eter, Assistant Director, Ansina Koni (Land Grant Assistant Director), Alton Higashi, Kersweet Eria, Kind Kanto, and Director Peter.

Student Body Association (SBA Chuuk Campus) - The SBA conducted their Community Service activities on April 19th. Officers, Regional Student Representatives and their fellow students participated in a general campus clean up around the campus common grounds and along the public roadside. The SBA Officers have decided to do community service work on a monthly basis.

Director Peter expresses his word of appreciation to the Cultural Day/Founding Day Committee members for a job well done: Richardson Chiwi, Randy Nunez, Elina Mori, Julita Samuel and Isinory Manuel.

Pesonnel. Mr. Dokowe George was hired on April 22, 2002 as a Kosrae Peer Counseling Coordinator. Please join me in welcoming Mr. George.

Ms. Jydith Night, a English Instructor at National Campus, will be leaving the college on May 10, 2002. On behalf of all of us at the College, I would like to thank Judith for your work and contribution to the College. We wish you well in your future endeavors.

Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Constitution Day- Friday, May 10, 2002 is a Legal Holiday for the FSM. Enjoy your long weekend.

More next time!!

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