Junior Christian Lopez was an exchange student at Stony Brook University in New York for 2019–2020, and was selected for demonstrating the best use of his study away exchange participation. He received a $500 stipend for the honor. Each year, the NSE awards student’s nominated nominees for excelling in accolades such as academic accomplishments, civic engagement, contributions to the campus or community, or creative use of time while on exchange.
Lopez was nominated by UH Hilo’s NSE program coordinator Holly Garriques.
“Christian Lopez stepped out of his comfort zone [and] experienced a bit of culture shock his first few days at Stony Brook University but soon got involved on campus and had the time of his life,” wrote Garriques.
During his exchange, Lopez joined the school’s tennis team and traveled to other states to compete. He was involved with the Philippine United Student Organization, Japanese Student Organization and participated in numerous events throughout the semester.
“He definitely personifies the spirit of the National Student Exchange by overcoming his fears and making the most of his exchange experience,” Garriques wrote.
The NSE program is comprised of more than 170 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada and U.S. Territories: U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. UH Hilo joined the NSE consortium in 1973.