University of Hawaii awards inaugural Stars of Oceania Scholarships to Pacific Islands students

Two $1,000-scholarships awarded to UH students at Kapiolani CC and UH Manoa

University of Hawaiʻi
Kristen Bonilla, (808) 956-5039
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Jun 19, 2007

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaiʻi is proud to announce the first recipients of the Stars of Oceania Scholarship—Jansen Santos of Pohnpei and Tamera Heine of the Marshall Islands. The Stars of Oceania Scholarship is awarded to University of Hawaiʻi students who are from the Pacific Islands or students conducting work that benefits Pacific Island countries. Santos and Heine have each been awarded a $1,000 scholarship for the 2007-2008 academic year.

"The University of Hawaiʻi acknowledges and appreciates the special relationship Hawaiʻi has with the Pacific Islands," said UH President David McClain. "These two students epitomize the potential there is for the university to contribute to the improvement of this region by providing access to a quality, global education for the people of the Pacific Islands."

A graduate of PICS High School in Pohnpei and a student at Kapiʻolani Community College, Santos is working towards an associate‘s degree that he expects to receive in May 2008. In addition to his studies and working full-time, Santos is a participant in the UH Mānoa Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology program, which is an interdisciplinary program in environmental science designed for students from the Pacific Islands and funded by the National Science Foundation. He hopes to return to Pohnpei one day as a medical professional and conduct research into medicinal plants.

Heine is a full-time student at UH Mānoa where she is pursuing a bachelor‘s degree in political science. A graduate of Assumption High School in the Marshall Islands, she hopes to be an educator and to return to the Marshall Islands to aid in fulfilling their need for teachers. She is particularly interested in teaching history and geography to high school students as she feels these subjects will allow students to become worldlier and to know the world beyond their local environment. In addition to her studies, Heine participated in a service learning project during her first semester at UH Mānoa, volunteering at an afterschool program for disadvantaged youth at the Palolo Valley Homes.

The Stars of Oceania Scholarship was created in November 2006 through a fundraising effort that included a celebration of the lives of nine outstanding leaders from the Pacific Islands region, or Oceania. The scholarship has three purposes: 1) to assist Pacific Islander students who are admitted to a UH campus; 2) to provide tuition assistance for UH students who are involved in course-related internships, research or work that benefits Pacific Island countries; and 3) to provide travel grants for students who are involved in Pacific-related work that benefits Pacific Island countries.

The Pacific Island countries include American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Futuna, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Republic of Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Wallis.

Those wishing to contribute to the Stars of Oceania Scholarship Program may send contributions designated to the "Stars of Oceania Scholarship Endowment" to the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, P.O. Box 11270, Honolulu, HI, 96828, or give online at