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Kainoa Kester and Talia Schmidt

Two University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa undergraduate students were awarded scholarships to help further their goals in sustainability and climate change research and leadership. The scholarships were awarded through the UH Mānoa Institute for Sustainability and Resilience (ISR).

The 2022–23 Chancellor Virginia S. Hinshaw Scholarship in Sustainability is awarded to Kainoa Kester, who is pursuing a bachelor of arts in geography and a certificate in geospatial information science. A rising senior, Kester is from the North Shore of Oʻahu and attended Kahuku High School.

“I have a passion for mapping and I’m excited to become professionally involved in the field,” he said. “I’m very honored and thankful to have received the Hinshaw Scholarship this year.”

The Chancellor Virginia S. Hinshaw Scholarship in Sustainability is awarded annually to a full-time undergraduate student with demonstrated leadership and scholarly interest in sustainability. The scholarship awards $1250.

The 2022–23 First Insurance Scholarship in Climate Change is awarded to Talia Schmidt, a sophomore majoring in botany. Born and raised on Kauaʻi, Schmidt’s upbringing gave her an appreciation for the unique plants of the island and influenced her passion for sustainability. Working with Oʻahu’s native plants as part of her bachelor’s degree has given her a better understanding of the impacts of climate change.

Schmidt states: “My goals are to be a part of a plant society team or work for national botanical gardens or arboretums either in Oʻahu or back home on Kauaʻi, as well as sharing my knowledge and experiences to those around me.”

Each First Insurance scholarship student is awarded $2500.

“We are very thankful to First Insurance Company of Hawaiʻi and Dr. Virginia Hinshaw for providing support to students focused on sustainability,” said ISR Director Makena Coffman. “Their generous contributions help students advance their academic and professional goals.”

Read about previous scholarship winners at the ISR website.

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