12 UH Manoa graduate students receive ARCS awards

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: May 23, 2006

Third-year University of Hawaiʻi medical student Joseph Aoki received the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists—Honolulu Scholar of the Year Award for his research showing that Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein deficiency impairs regulatory T-cell function. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute/National Institutes of Health Research Scholar works with a National Human Genome Research Institute laboratory and has already published in the journal Blood and presented findings at national meetings.

Aoki and 11 other UH graduate students were honored at a recent ARCS-Honoloulu banquet. ARCS helps meet the country‘s need for scientists and engineers by raising money to provide scholarships to academically outstanding doctoral students who are United States citizens. The scholars receive $5,000 scholarships for use in advancing their education. Aoki received the ARCS Starbuck Award in Medicine plus an additional $1,000 award as Scholar of the Year. The other scholars are—

Jodie Bell ARCS Bretzlaff Award in Engineering
Bell conducts research in the College of Engineering on electromagnetics and wave propagation, including an ultra-wideband, low-profile antenna ground plane. He earned his BS from North Carolina State University and MS from UH Manoa and enjoys outdoor activities.

William Haines ARCS Roth Award in Conservation Biology
Haines, who worked for the U.S. Geological Survey before entering graduate school in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, is reconstructing the evolution of Hawaiian moths. His surveys of Hawaiʻi forests have located species thought to be extinct. He holds a BS from Cornell University and received a National Science foundation Graduate Research Fellowship .and other awards.

Henry Hsieh ARCS Farrar Award in Astronomy
Working with the Institute of Astronomy‘s David Jewitt, Hsieh has published findings in Science on a recently discovered class of comets that may have supplied water for Earth‘s oceans. The ultimate Frisbee player and aspiring photographer holds a BA from Harvard and MS from UH Manoa.

Wayne Kim ARCS Kresser Award in Engineering
Returning to graduate school after four years with TRW Space and Electronics, Kim conducts research in the College of Engineering on phased array antennas and smart antenna systems for wireless communications. He holds a BS from UH Manoa and MS from UCLA.

Eric Mittelstaedt ARCS Pulley Award in Geology and Geophysics
Mittelstaedt studies hotspot-influenced mid-ocean ridges, rift processes and chemical geodynamics in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. He is a J. Watamull Merit Scholar and has published in Nature. He did undergraduate work at UCLA.

Frank Price ARCS Pulley Award in Physics
Price works with the Active Hyperspectral Imaging project in the Department of Physics and Astronomy‘s Free Electron Laser group to design opto-mechanical systems and molecular system simulations for spectroscopy. The UC Davis alumnus enjoys hiking, biking and yoga.

Tonia Quintero ARCS Award in Tropical Agriculture
In a novel approach to soil monitoring, Quintero studies nematode populations as an indicator of soil health. She earned her BS and MS from Howard University and taught at Xavier University in New Orleans and is the mother of three young children and wife of a U.S. marine.

Jennifer Saito ARCS Martin Award in Natural Sciences
Saito studies the oxygen-sensing mechanisms in proteins found in bacteria and archaea thought to be the ancestors of hemoglobin and myoglobin proteins critical to modern life forms. The UH Manoa alumna earned her BS in microbiology with a minor in chemistry.

Aaron Shiels ARCS Roth Award in Conservation Biology
A plant ecologist who once studied vegetation recovery following hurricanes and landslides in Puerto Rico, Shiels has turned his attention to the role of alien rodents in fruit and seed dispersal in Hawaiʻi forests. A doctoral candidate in the College of Natural Sciences, he holds degrees from the University of Denver and University of Nevada.

Daniel Smith ARCS Columbia Award in Telecommunications and Computer Science
Smith is investigating blogs as a tool for building trust and managing knowledge within organizations. The former Peace Corps volunteer, high school teacher and newspaper editor earned his BS and MA from Stanford.

Francis Yoshimoto ARCS Martin Award in Natural Science
Yoshimoto studies deprotonation of allene molecules, an area of synthetic organic chemistry that influences whether drugs have a fatal or healing impact. A UC Berkeley graduate with bachelor‘s in chemistry and linguistics, he received the Eagle Scout and Young Fellowship in Chemistry and plays violin.