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2017 Veterans Day Celebration at UH Manoa awards 13 scholarships, honors veterans

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Desiree Uyeda, (808) 956-2904
Marketing Manager, Nursing
Posted: Nov 8, 2017

Student veteran scholarship recipients and UH Manoa administrators.
Student veteran scholarship recipients and UH Manoa administrators.

The UH Mānoa Office of Veteran Student Services (OVSS) hosted the 2017 Veterans Day Celebration on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, on the Hawaiʻi Hall lawn. The event honored all veterans and recognized 13 veterans who received scholarships to pursue careers in nursing.

OVSS at UH Mānoa supports active duty military, veterans, reservists, National Guard and military-connected students. The office is committed to providing support for veterans transitioning to college and during the journey through college. Kenith Scott is the director for OVSS and served with the U.S. Marine Corps in the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. He received his master’s degree in public administration and BA from UH Mānoa. Previously, Scott worked for the Department of Veteran Affairs in the Health Administration Services.

“The government provides a great education benefit to veterans and military-connected students. As a recipient of the GI Bill myself, I know firsthand the huge impact that furthering your education can have on your life. So it’s important to me to help other veterans achieve their goals,” said Scott. “Veterans face a variety of challenges when returning to school and OVSS is a campus resource that understands their experiences and will customize support for veterans and military-connected students.”

The UH Mānoa Veterans to Nurses Program also provides support to veterans interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree in nursing. It provides college credit for veterans' past medical experience, creating a pathway to professional nursing and employment for service members with skills and experience in health care. The initiative is the first program of its kind in Hawaiʻi and is part of the national effort to address the growing demand for health-care services throughout our nation.

This is the third year that the Veterans to Nurses Program received funding from the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust to provide 13 scholarships to student veterans pursuing careers in nursing. Student veterans received between $2,500 to $4,400 to further their nursing education at UH Mānoa and Kapiʻolani Community College. Scholarship recipients are all veterans and have served in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Army Reserves, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy.

Said Dean Mary G. Boland, “UH Mānoa Nursing is proud to be one of 20 schools of nursing and the only program in Hawaiʻi to participate in this national initiative. Veterans are a vital community asset and we are fully committed to providing them with excellent nursing education.”

James T. Hirai, Brigadier General (Ret.), U.S. Army – a UH Mānoa alumnus, recent UH Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni recipient, and currently the deputy director of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies – was keynote speaker for the celebration. 

This event was supported by the Office of Veteran Student Services, UH Mānoa Nursing Achieving a BS in Nursing - A Veterans’ Initiative Program and the UH Mānoa Student Activity and Program Fee Board. Special thanks to the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust for supporting nursing student veteran scholarships. For more information about the Office of Veteran Student Services visit

The UH Mānoa Nursing Achieving a BS in Nursing - A Veterans’ Initiative Program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Grant no. UF1HP26981. For more information on the Veterans to Nurses program, visit

Photos from the event can be viewed online:

(Full photo caption) Dignitaries at the Veterans Day celebration at UH Mānoa: In top row, from left, are Kenith Scott, director Office of Veteran Student Services; Kristine Qureshi, principal investigator, UH Mānoa Veterans to Nurses Program; Mary G. Boland, dean, UH Mānoa Nursing; David Lassner, UH president and interim UH Mānoa chancellor; BG (ret.) James Hirai, deputy director of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Students; and Col. Gregory Scrivner, director of staff, Hawaiʻi Air National Guard, and representative of Governor David Ige. In front row, from left, are UHM nursing student veterans and scholarship recipients Jeff Fernandez, Sandy Lin, Janice Claveria and Christopher Davis.