Hawaiʻi’s Best And Brightest Awarded UH Scholarships

The University of Hawaiʻi honored the 2017 Regents and Presidential Scholars (RAPS) on July 20 at the UH Mānoa Campus Center Ballroom. These scholarships recognize and support Hawaiʻi students with a record of outstanding academic achievement. Many RAPS alumni are now serving communities across the globe and here at home as the program marks its 30th anniversary.

Regents scholarships

Regents scholars receive a full tuition for four years of undergraduate study, and presidential scholars receive a full tuition for two years of undergraduate study. All scholars receive a $4,000 annual stipend and a one-time travel grant of $2,000.

Regents scholarships are awarded to 20 outstanding incoming freshmen from Hawaiʻi high schools who demonstrate strong GPAs and national entrance exam scores, and whose extracurricular achievements are considered to be remarkable.

“The University of Hawaiʻi is proud to support these exceptional students in attaining their dreams here at home,” said UH Board of Regents Chair Jan Sullivan. “We look forward to the positive impacts our UH scholars will have on our community and the world.”

Presidential scholarships

Presidential scholarships are awarded to 10 college juniors, with preference for UH community college students transferring to a UH university, who have a high GPA for all college level work, a record of sustained progress in academic courses and evidence of superior academic achievement or creative endeavor.

“These scholars have already demonstrated excellence and outstanding achievement during their first two years at UH,” said UH President David Lassner. “It is an honor to support their paths to college completion on their journey to a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.”

Celebrating 30 years

The UH Board of Regents established the Regents and Presidential Scholarships in 1987 to support students attending any UH campus who have a record of outstanding academic achievement and to help Hawaiʻi’s most promising students pursue their higher education ambitions in their home state. UH recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the founding of the program by holding an alumni reunion.

large group of Regents and Presidential Scholars standing on stage
2017 Regents and Presidential Scholars

2017 Regent Scholars

  • Tarah Aniya, Mililani
  • Jonah Bobilin, Island Pacific
  • Makenzie Cammack, Hawaiʻi Baptist
  • Willy Chang, Roosevelt
  • Sydney Dempsey, Maui
  • Joshua Hu, Trinity Christian
  • Lian Huang, McKinley
  • Sarah Igarashi, Mililani
  • Kacie Kajihara, Kalani
  • Kelsey Ann Kimura, ʻIolani
  • Adrian Kresnak, Hanalani
  • Nathan Mashiyama, Mililani
  • Christina Masutani, Leilehua
  • Amber O’Leary, Leilehua
  • Jocelyn Pham, La Pietra-Hawaiʻi
  • Noah Rodrigues, Mililani
  • Erica Sawczynec, Kīhei Public Charter
  • Sophia Smith, Hawaiʻi Academy
  • Alexandria Tyau, Maui
  • Eleanor Yuan, Kaiser

2017 Presidential Scholars

  • Giselle Bryant, Kauaʻi CC
  • Nikki Dutro, Leeward CC
  • Asia Helfrich, Hawaiʻi CC
  • Jacqueline Kapu, Maui College
  • Jaclyn Lee, UH Mānoa
  • Cyrus Ma, Kapiʻolani CC
  • Andrew Menor, UH Mānoa
  • Diane Ramos, Leeward CC
  • Alyson Shoji, Kapiʻolani CC
  • Naomi Wang, UH Mānoa

Some outstanding RAPS alumni and cohort year:

  • Michael Choo, 1987, controller, Matson Terminals
  • Anthony Paul Sison Guerrero, 1988, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at UH Mānoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine
  • Jason Sumiye, 1988, director of landscape science, Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi.
  • Katherine Lepani, 1989, senior research associate, School of Culture, History and Language, Australian National University
  • Sherry Nohara, 1991, senior attorney, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Michael Lambert, 1993, pilot, Hawaiian Airlines
  • Darren Goshi, 1999, Honeywell research and development scientist
  • Christopher Luke, 2002, owner, Katsu Kuri Media
  • Dallas Nagata-White, 2004, photographer/owner, D’Amour Pacific Photography
  • Henry Cheng, 2006, pursuing a PhD in bioengineering and an MA in public policy at Stanford University

—By Kelli Trifonovitch