American Samoan to celebrate FHSU Homecoming for the first time

Mariana Timu-Faiai (pronounced tee-MOOH fah-EE-ah-EE), Pago Pago, American Samoa, graduate, will finally get the opportunity to visit the campus of Fort Hays State University after completing her bachelor's and master's degrees via the university's Virtual College.

And better yet, she gets to visit during FHSU Homecoming. Timu-Faiai will be in Hays on Thursday, Sept. 30, and Friday, Oct. 1.

Timu-Faiai wanted to visit campus and meet the faculty members who inspired her throughout her bachelor's and master's degree programs.

Living so far away, that option seemed highly unlikely. But Timu-Faiai will now get that opportunity. She was selected as the recipient of the National University Telecommunications Network Student Recognition Award. She will fly to Colorado Springs, Colo., to receive her NUTN award.

FHSU will cover her trip and travel costs to receive her award in person at the NUTN Summit 2010 and to visit FHSU.

Unfortunately, Timu-Faiai will not get to take part in the weekend's festivities since she will have to leave Hays on Friday in order to catch a flight home. Only two flights go in and out of American Samoa a week. Nevertheless, she says, she is excited to just meet her instructors.

"I am looking forward to meeting FHSU instructors who have helped me attain success through their intellect and drive to share their knowledge," said Timu-Faia. "They have given me the challenge to strive and complete my studies from a distance."

"The faculty and staff at FHSU made it easier for me to complete my education quest. The availability of the faculty to help and support students 24/7 was my favorite part of taking classes at FHSU."

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