CMI honors many on 30th

This fine memorial to SSG Solomon Sam, the only Marshall Islander to die in the Iraq war, was unveiled at the CMI Foundation Day opening Monday. At right are Sam’s older sister Freeda Sam Barai and Master Sgt. John Phillips. At left: Sam’s cousin Jakio Lanwe and niece Taylor Barai, and CMI’s Kelly Schellhase. Photo: Hilary Hosia.


College of Marshall Islands kicked off its 30th Foundation Week celebration Monday at the Staff Sergeant Solomon Sam Sports Center in Majuro.

Different activities were scheduled throughout the week, including a career fair, car wash barbecue, trivia night, international night and a volleyball tournament to conclude the event.

To add on, CMI will be hosting daily auctions at the CMI courtyard.

In the opening ceremony, CMI President Dr. Irene Ta’afaki referred to Rosina Korean as “Queen of the Day” in honor of 30 years of service to the college — and more with CMI’s predecessor the College of Micronesia RMI Campus.

CMI Nursing students Palyann Ruben and Marynuia Lenja described Rosina as a trailblazer responsible for the foundation of CMI. In their introduction, they explained Rosina became the first ever Marshallese to be a registered nurse. She then moved to Majuro and had to relocate to Saipan since there was no opening for her in the RMI. She was instructor for the Saipan nursing school for more than 10 years before she requested to transfer the nursing school to Majuro. Rosina then partnered with Aur Parliament Member Dr. Hilda Heine (who headed the College of Micronesia RMI campus at the time) to locate the nursing school in Uliga. The nursing school has thus transformed into a full-blown accredited college and has graduated hundreds of nursing students from the Marshall Islands and Micronesian region.

Also honored for their dedicated service of more than 26 years working at CMI were Mary Silk, Walton Bohanny and Sepe David.

The ceremony concluded with the unveiling of the Staff Sergeant Solomon Sam memorial plaque and CMI perimeter fence.

Fallen hero Sam’s sister Freeda Sam Barai, her daughter Taylor Barai and Sam’s cousins and CMI employees Valynn Chong Gum and Jakio Lanwe joined Master Sergeant John Phillips in the unveiling ceremony.

Following Sam’s plaque unveiling, Acting Minister of Education and Minister of Communications and Transportation Kessai Note joined Dr. Irene to reveal the CMI perimeter fence.


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