Rebekah Loving
Rebekah Loving

The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation has named a University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo student as a finalist for their 2019 fellowship. Rebekah Loving, a computer science and mathematics senior, is one of 41 finalists for this year’s PhD fellowships in applied science, math and engineering.

Loving was selected from more than 840 applicants nationwide. Ten finalists will be chosen and notified in April. Each recipient will receive up to five years of academic support valued up to $250,000.

“The Hertz Fellowship is considered to be one of the most competitive fellowships in the nation, and we are especially proud of Rebekah for being selected as a finalist,” said Keith Edwards, chair of UH Hilo’s computer science department. “Rebekah is one of our most outstanding students in mathematics and computer science and is certainly deserving of this honor.”

Loving is a native of the Hāmākua Coast on Hawaiʻi Island, where she grew up with 11 siblings. She has participated in three summer research programs at Harvard University, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and University of California (UC), Berkeley. She participated in the 2018 Heidelberg Laureate Forum, a conference held in Heidelberg, Germany, which brings together laureates and the most innovative young researchers from around the world.

“What I have accomplished speaks less of me and more of the years of labor, support and love from my mother and father, my elder and younger siblings, my many mentors, especially Efren Ruiz, Donna Neuberg, Lior Pachter, Michael Peterson, Philippe Binder, Carlos Lois and my friends,” said Loving.

Loving has received acceptance letters with offers of full funding to PhD programs in biostatistics, computational biology and computer science at Caltech, Harvard, Columbia University, UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon University, Brown University and Johns Hopkins University. She is excited to continue her career, which aims to improve lives by deepening the understanding of biological processes through data analysis, software engineering and computational methods development.

For more on Loving, read UH Hilo undergraduate pursuing innovative RNA sequencing research” at UH Hilo Stories.

Download the Hertz Foundation news release to see the complete list of finalists.

—By Alyson Kakugawa-Leong