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Nine UH Manoa graduate students receive ARCS awards

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Jun 17, 2005

HONOLULU — Achievement Rewards for College Scientists—Honolulu recently presented its 2005 Scholar of the Year Award to Karen Maruska, along with eight other awards to University of Hawaiʻi graduate students whose research ranges from land snails to massive galaxies and DNA analysis to concrete performance.

ARCS helps meet the country‘s need for scientists and engineers by raising money to provide scholarships to academically outstanding doctoral students who are United States citizens. ARCS—Honolulu scholars receive $5,000 scholarships for use in advancing their education. The scholar of the year receives an additional $1,000 award. The 2005 awards listed below mark the Honolulu chapter‘s 20th year of supporting UH graduate students.

· Karen Maruska, Neuropeptide Modulation of Sensory Systems in Reef Fishes
ARCS Martin Foundation Scholarship in Natural Sciences and Scholar of the Year

Maruska is a doctoral candidate in zoology and a graduate assistant at UH‘s Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology. She received a BS from the University of New Hampshire and MS from Florida Institute of Technology. Her main research interests are in sensory biology and behavior, and she has published studies on the lateral line system, reproduction and endocrinology of stingrays. Her doctoral research uses reef fish as a model to examine how a brain hormone known to play a role in reproduction also affects the processing of sensory information related to social interactions.

· Kimberly R. Andrews, Barriers to Gene Flow in the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphin
Maybelle Roth Scholarship in Conservation Biology

Andrews is a doctoral student in the Department of Zoology (Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology specialization). She received a BS in biology with a chemistry minor from Wheaton College, Illinois, in 1999. She has had teaching and research assistantships through the zoology department and Sea Grant College Program and is a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow. She studies the molecular ecology of spinner dolphins throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago to understand the kinds of barriers that keep subgroups within highly mobile, social marine species reproductively isolated within their possible geographic ranges of travel.

· Mirella Vasquez Brooks, Health Related Hardiness and Psychosocial Adjustment in Patients with Inherited Bleeding Disorders and Other Chronic Illnesses
ARCS Scholarship in Nursing

Brooks is a doctoral student in the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene. She received a bachelor‘s degree from UH Mānoa in 1996. She is a nursing instructor in the school‘s Department of Nursing and works part-time as a family nurse practitioner at Kapiʻolani Medical Center specializing in hematological disorders. Brooks‘ research interests include chronic illness, women‘s health issues and genetics. Her doctoral research involves individuals diagnosed with inherited bleeding disorders and how they adjust to the illness.

· Michael Cress, Is My Computer Safe? The Role of Client-Oriented Structural Assurances in E-Commerce Trust Building
ARCS Columbia Scholarship in Telecommunications and Computer Sciences

Cress is a doctoral student in information technology management. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana in 1999 with a BS in computer information systems and earned a master‘s in management information systems at Hawaiʻi Pacific University. He worked as a network security officer for a small network provider before entering UH‘s interdisciplinary doctoral program, and is currently a graduate assistant in information technology management and teaches business and networking classes. Cress‘s dissertation topic involves security and trust building in e-commerce.

· Gaur Johnson, Basic Science and New Technologies: Structural Engineering Perspective
ARCS Kresser Foundation Scholarship in Engineering

Johnson is a doctoral student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He received a BS in civil engineering from UH Mānoa in 1999 and works as a teaching/research assistant in the department. His 2001 master‘s thesis on "Seismic Repair and Retrofit of RC Slab-Column Connections using Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer" resulted in several international conference presentations and a journal publication, and he spent two years with Martin & Chock, Inc., designing and evaluating structures and researching the mitigation of natural hazards in Hawaiʻi. In the UH Structural Testing Laboratory, Johnson evaluates new devices introduced to measure phenomena related to structural engineering.

· Elizabeth J. McGrath, Origins of the Earliest Massive Galaxies
ARCS Farrar Foundation Scholarship in Astronomy

McGrath, a doctoral candidate in astronomy, earned her MS in astronomy at Mānoa last year and a bachelor‘s degree in physics and astronomy from Vassar College in 2001. Active in the community, she gives planetarium shows and does telescope viewings at local elementary schools. McGrath‘s research interests focus on determining the origins of the first massive galaxies, which will help explain how the universe we see today came into existence.

· Wallace "Marty" Meyer, Distribution and Ecology of Land Snails on the Island of Hawaiʻi
ARCS Maybelle Roth Scholarship in Conservation Biology

Meyer is a doctoral student in the Department of Zoology. He received a BA in marine biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and MA in biology from Humboldt State University. He is involved in a NSF-funded initiative to take cutting edge science into the K-12 classroom, currently working with Honokaʻa High School on a Hawaiian snails project. Meyer‘s research focuses on the ecology and preservation of native Hawaiian land-snails and ecosystems. His dissertation will examine how changes in the size, distribution and genetic composition of populations impact ecosystem processes.

· Chrystie Naeole, Use of Oligonucleotide Arrays for Genotyping and Molecular Taxonomic Identification of Individual Specimens
ARCS Scholarship in Medicine

Naeole is a PhD student in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology. She received a BA from UH Mānoa in 1999, forming her interest in molecular population and evolutionary genetics in UH‘s federally funded Minority Biomedical Research Support program. She works as a research and teaching assistant with the goal of becoming a university professor. Naeole‘s doctoral research project is to develop DNA based arrays that can be used to genotype individual specimens.

· Lynette Ramirez, A Novel Approach to Constitutive Modeling
ARCS Bretzlaff Foundation Scholarship in Engineering

Ramirez is a PhD student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Born and raised in Hawaiʻi, she graduated from Leilehua High School, attended Leeward Community College and received BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering at UH Mānoa. Ramirez attended a summer undergraduate program at UC Berkeley and received a NASA Space Grant Undergraduate Fellowship, a Gates Millennium Scholarship and an Outstanding Graduating Senior award. Her research interests in rheology and variable-order calculus have resulted in published work in the Biotechnology and Bioengineering journal. Her goal is to apply a novel mathematical concept to the analysis of nonlinear rheological properties of complex materials.
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