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University of Hawaii to Honor Recipients of 2002 Regents and Presidential Scholarships

University of Hawaiʻi
Jim Manke, (808) 956-6099
External Affairs & University Relations
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
Public Information Officer
Posted: Jul 17, 2002

WHAT: 2002 Regents and Presidential Scholarship Awards Dinner

WHEN: Thursday, July 18
5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Campus Center Ballroom, UH Mānoa campus, 2465 Campus Road


The University of Hawaiʻi awards Regents Scholarships to 20 outstanding freshmen who
score at least 1,300 combined mathematics and verbal scores on the Scholastic Assessment
Test and maintain at least a 3.5 GPA in academic subjects in high school, and whose
extracurricular achievements are shown to be remarkable.

Presidential Scholarships are awarded to 10 college juniors who have a minimum cumulative
GPA of 3.7 for all college level work, a record of sustained progress in academic courses
and evidence of superior academic achievement or creative endeavor.

Regents Scholars receive a full tuition waiver for four years of undergraduate study,
and Presidential Scholars receive a full tuition waiver for two years of undergraduate
study. In addition, all scholars receive $4,000 a year and a one-time travel grant of $2,000.

Regents Scholars

Dom "DJ" Joavanni Cueva, a St. Louis School graduate, comes from a family of engineers and plans to study engineering and one day hopes to own his own firm. An avid soccer player, DJ is a scholar/athlete who is proud of his Filipino heritage, and served two terms as the president of his school‘s Philippine Heritage Club.

George "Kelly" Custer is a graduate of Kailua High School who plans to become, in his own words, "a professional computer geek." An accomplished musician and a promising scientist, Kelly has won accolades in both fields. He is a National Merit Scholar, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Medalist, and has received the President‘s Recognition for Outstanding Academic Achievement.

Mark "Dabloy" DeBlois was one of the top 405 students in McKinley High School‘s graduating class. An environmentalist at heart, his dream is to become a marine biologist. Mark was president of the physics club, French club, and the McKinley chapter of the National Honor Society. He was also an active member of McKinley‘s math team, which is ranked among the top three in the state.

Brandon Hanagami was the valedictorian for the 2002 graduating class of Mililani High School. A man of many talents and passions, Brandon wants to be a "chief-journalist-lawyer-psychologist." Among his many activities, Brandon was the Editor-in-Chief of his school newspaper and plans to major in journalism.

Scott Harada, a graduate of Kalani High School, will study microbiology and prepare for a career in reproductive medicine. He dreams of one day founding a medical center that provides state of the art fertility treatment. He was a section leader in Kalani‘s precision marching band and captain of the soccer and baseball teams.

Carline Higaki graduated first in her class from Waiakea High School in Hilo and hopes to continue the extracurricular activities she enjoys doing while studying graphic design at UH Mānoa. A career in art has always been her goal, but Carline is also a natural at math, and as a sophomore, was the Big Island Math League‘s highest scorer.

Stephany Ho, a graduate of Hanalani High School, intends to pursue a degree in graphic design and hopes to start her own animation production studio in Hawaii. While at Hanalani, she performed in school plays, participated as a member of the state math and science teams, and was very active in community service programs. Stephany carries the Ho legacy by becoming the fourth sibling in her family to be a Regent Scholar.

Reina Horikawa, a graduate of Mililani High School, is passionate about education and hopes to become a teacher. During her senior year, Reina was involved with a first grade class and considers the time spent there as one of her greatest experiences. In addition to being a stellar student, she was president of her senior class and active in the school‘s marching, jazz, symphonic, and concert bands.

Coty Ishitani graduated as the top ranked student at Waianae High School and plans to study nursing at UH Mānoa. Coty has excelled in extracurricular activities and was student body vice president, member of the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council, ambassador to the Hawaiʻi Hugh O‘Brian Youth Leadership Seminar, and a hula dancer.

Chad Kawakami graduated as a valedictorian from Moanalua High School and plans to major in computer science, which he believes is an area that can merge the concepts of mathematics with cutting edge technology. He has an innate passion for mathematics, science, and music. While at Moanalua, Chad was on the wrestling and judo teams, in the symphonic orchestra, and he is also an ukulele instructor.

Kimberly Kido graduated from Kauaʻi High School as a scholar athlete in cross country and tennis. She plans to study business administration and mechanical engineering at UH Mānoa with the hope of one day establishing a business in the automobile industry. While at Kauaʻi High, Kimberly participated as a member of the Electric Car Team, the Science and Technology club, the Kauaʻi Performing Arts Center, and the Kauaʻi Children‘s Discovery Museum.

Jill Kobashigawa, a valedictorian of Pearl City High School will study electrical engineering at UH Mānoa. Jill was a soccer player, math tutor, and was the first place State winner and second place National winner as a freshman of Project Citizen, a competition in which she created a policy to solve the problems of society.

Edward Lam, a graduate of Kalani High School, gained early admittance at UH Mānoa and will major in biology with the goal of becoming a physician. A high achiever, Edward would like none other than to live up to the words of Abraham Lincoln who once said, "I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place is proud of him."

Rena Leong, graduated from Kalani High School with a 4.0 GPA and as one of the class‘ valedictorians. She will study pre-pharmacy at UH Mānoa with a goal of becoming a pharmaceutical researcher. Rena was a member of Kalani‘s marching and concert bands, the Interact club, and volunteered at Queens Medical Center.

Dawn Nakagawa, a graduate of Pearl City High School, plans to study English at UH Mānoa and eventually prepare for a career in law. "Writing is an avenue to express myself. It represents an opportunity to make a topic interesting, and the challenge of persuading the reader to see my perspective," she says. Dawn believes that UH Mānoa‘s high standards of excellence in academics and research will help in preparing her for her chosen career.

Jennifer Nishimura graduated from Kalani High School as one of the top ranked students, and plans to major in zoology at UH Mānoa with the intention of becoming a veterinarian. Her dream is to establish a first-class "no kill" animal shelter in which animals are not euthanized. Jennifer was Kalani‘s only National Merit Scholar Commended Student in this year‘s senior class and earned the highest SAT verbal score of her peers.

Malia Saavedra graduated at the top of her class from Castle High School and plans on studying biology at UH Mānoa with hopes to become a physician. Concerned for the betterment of her community, Malia is a youth leader in and out of school. She was the president of the National Honor Society and the Math League, and a youth leader in Saint Ann‘s Youth Ministry.

Kathryn Takahashi was one of the highest ranked students at Aiea High School. She plans to major in Asian Studies at UH Mānoa. As a junior, Kathryn spent a semester as an exchange student in a Japanese high school and now hopes to one day be a foreign diplomat specializing in U.S.-Japan relations. She was an active member in the Japanese and Key clubs, and the math and debate teams.

Leah Taylor graduated from Mililani High School and plans to study business administration at UH Mānoa. Leah believes that "in the world of international business, it is very important to be an effective communicator." Leah was the class vice president for her sophomore, junior, and senior class, and was an active member of the swim team, the Key club, and the National Honor Society.

Heather Yanazaki is one of the top graduates from Kalani High School and plans to study computer science at UH Mānoa. Her dream is to make "technology simpler and more user-friendly." Heather was a member of the cheerleading squad, basketball and volleyball teams, and president of the KIWIN‘s club.

Presidential Scholars

Aubri Bush, a UH Hilo linguistics major, plans to continue on to graduate school to earn her master‘s in linguistics. She is a passionate wordsmith and has been writing poetry and short stories since she was five. She has worked as an intern for the Hawaiʻi Review, UH Mānoa‘s literary magazine, and has had two of her poems published.

Karin Knutzen, a transfer student from Leeward Community College, will study psychology at UH West Oʻahu. Raised in Sweden, Karin aims to obtain a master‘s degree in psychology, and eventually become a counselor to families in need. She is an active volunteer in Campbell High School‘s hiking and environmental clubs.

Christopher Luke is pursuing his business administration degree at UH Mānoa. He also hopes to earn a degree in English and eventually prepare for a career in law. His goal is to one day become an attorney specializing in business or entertainment law. Chris is also an actor and musician and has performed in numerous theatrical productions. He plans to volunteer for the State Judiciary Center and other youth or law related causes.

Gavin Masuda is a finance major at UH Mānoa and hopes to pursue a degree in law. He has won awards in public speaking and is the director of marketing for the Business Executive Society of Tomorrow (BEST). He is also an active member of Alpha Beta Chi and a student ambassador for the Office of School and College Services at UH Mānoa.

Mary Anne Meyers earned her Associate of Arts degree from Honolulu Community College and will pursue her bachelor‘s degree in elementary education at UH Mānoa. At HCC, she was very active in the student government, and served as vice president for the Associated Students of the University of Hawaiʻi, was an active member of Phi Theta Kappa, and a campus ambassador.

Albert Pondok Alamodin, an honor student from Kauaʻi Community College, will pursue his bachelor‘s degree in psychology with hopes for a career in clinical psychology. While at Kauai CC, he was the president of Phi Theta Kappa and the Pamantasan club, and senator in the Associated Students of Kauaʻi Community College.

Graeme Reed, a biology major at UH Mānoa, plans to obtain his doctorate degree in molecular biology and genetics. His ultimate career goal is to become involved in human genetic research. Prior to his return to school, Graeme had many cross-cultural experiences as a volunteer church worker in New Zealand, a missionary in Tonga, and as a minister and youth pastor in Hawaiʻi.

Knewton Sakata is a biology major at UH Mānoa with plans to pursue a medical degree. While maintaining a 4.0 cumulative average, Knewton is also the coach to both the varsity boys and girls tennis teams at Kalani High School and serves as an organic chemistry tutor at UH Mānoa.

Kimm Teruya is an English major at UH Mānoa who plans to pursue a doctorate degree in either English or Education. Kimm is active as an English tutor and a contributing writer to Ka Leo O Hawaiʻi, the UH Mānoa student newspaper. She has also volunteered at the Hawaiian Humane Society and the Kennedy Theatre Costume Department.

Mary Vorsino is a student at UH Mānoa journalism major. As a sophomore, she became the Editor-in-Chief of Ka Leo O Hawaiʻi, a position that she continues to hold. She has won numerous awards for her journalistic talents, and was selected to be a stringer for The New York Times when it needed coverage of the aftermath of the USS Greenville-Ehime Maru accident. Her experience with the week-long assignment clinched her decision to be a journalist.