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Group photo of awardees

From left, Christopher Gaydosh, Lydia Ching, Kuaiwi Makua and Alexa Gonzalez.

Four University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa students were recognized for their outstanding work as top employees at the 33rd Annual Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) Awards Reception on April 12.

Kuaiwi Laka Kahiwakapu Pili I Haupapanui Makua, a student scholar center assistant for the Native Hawaiian Student Services, was awarded the top honor. Makua is a senior majoring in kinesiology and rehabilitation science, and was nominated by Kaimana Chock, Eia Mānoa Program coordinator and administrative support at the Institute for Hawaiian Language and Native Hawaiian Student Services. She was awarded a $1,000 scholarship.

In his nomination letter, Chock said that Makua’s greatest attribute is her ability to integrate all aspects of lessons from her life into her work, and to use those lessons to inspire, teach and invigorate. “In all that she has done in her work through her workshop series, her presentation at the research conference, her volunteering and her general good-natured spirit, enthusiasm and reliability, Makua has touched so many of the lives around her and continues to inspire the entirety of our full-time faculty and staff,” said Chock.

Makua was also selected as the SEOTY winner for the State of Hawaiʻi in the Western Association of Student Employment Administrators.

Additional UH Mānoa awardees

Christopher Gaydosh, a program coordinator at the UH Community Design Center and a graduate student majoring in architecture, was awarded a $750 scholarship. Gaydosh was nominated by Cathi Schar, director of the UH Community Design Center under the School of Architecture.

Lydia Ching, a student office assistant at the faculty support office and a senior majoring in psychology was awarded a $500 scholarship. She was nominated by Julie Suenaga, APT faculty support specialist at the William S. Richardson School of Law’s Faculty Support Office.

Alexa Gonzalez, an ocean program and activities coordinator for the Marine Option Program under the Department of Biology and a senior majoring in marine biology, was awarded a $500 scholarship. Gonzalez was nominated by Jeffrey Kuwabara, coordinator of the Marine Option Program.

UH Mānoa has celebrated the Student Employee of the Year since 1986, recognizing outstanding student employees throughout campus. The cash awards are from proceeds generated by the annual craft fair and silent auction, traditionally held on campus the Friday before Thanksgiving.

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