Current Scholars

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2019 Honolulu ARCS Scholars

Lauren Ward, headshotLauren Ward

Toby Lee Award in Earth Science and 2019 ARCS Scholar of the Year
Earth Sciences, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (Bridget Smith-Konter, advisor)
Focus: Seismic Moment Dependence on Crustal Rigidity for the San Andreas Fault System

BS in geological sciences, University of Arizona
Goal: Remain in academia, securing a post-doctoral position and then university teaching position
Honors: Hawai’i Space Grant Consortium, Michigan Space Grant Consortium, UH Graduate Student Organization research grant
Interests: Yoga, CrossFit, reading

Chantell Balaan, headshotChantell BAlaan

Ellen M. Koenig Foundation Award in Medicine
Developmental and Reproductive Biology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai‘i (Masato Yoshizawa, advisor)
Focus: Utilizing Cavefish to Understand the Etiology of Autism Spectrum Disorder

BA in biology and religion, MS in developmental and reproductive biology, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
Goal: Pursue a postdoctoral position or delve into clinical research on therapies for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Honors: NIH Travel Bursary Award, Manoa opportunity grant
Interests: Physical activities including hiking and going to the gym

Luke Campillo, headshotLuke Campillo

Maybelle C. Roth Award in Conservation Biology
Biology, College of Natural Sciences, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (Robert C. Thompson, advisor)
Focus: Do Birds of a Feather Flock Together?

BS in biology, Drake University; MS in ecology and evolutionary biology, University of Kansas
Goal: Pursue a career in academia, teaching and mentoring graduate students
Honors: Jessie D. Kay Fellowship, Society of Systematic Biologist Graduate Student Research Award, Hampton and Meredith Carson Fellowship
Interests: Hiking with his wife Bri and dog Haha

Ashley Chontos, headshotAshley Chontos

Columbia Award in Astronomy
Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (Daniel Huber, advisor)
Focus: The Sound of the Stars: Using Asteroseismology to Understand Exoplanet Compositions

BS in physics, BS in mathematics, State University of New York at Albany; MS in astronomy, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
Goal: Remain in academia involved in mentoring students, doing research and participating in public outreach
Honors: NSF Graduate Student Fellowship, NASA John Mather Nobel Scholar, IfA Outstanding Outreach Award
Interests: Suba diving, hiking, cooking/baking, volleyball

Jessie Kai, headshotJessie KAi

Helen Jones Farrar Award in Tropical Agriculture
Human Nutrition Food and Animal Sciencs, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (Marie Kainoa Fialkowski Revilla, advisor)
Focus: Exploring the Complementary Feeding Practices of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Filipino Infants on O’ahu

BA in biology, Wheaton College; MS in nutritional sciences, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
Goal: Earn Registered Dietician license, teach and conduct research in Hilo and provide outreach to East Hawai’i youth
Interests: Spending time with her 90-year-old grandmother, learning recipes, helping garden, hearing stories and absorbing wisdom; diving and fishing; walking her two poi dogs

Evan Kawamura, headshot
Evan Kawamura

Shelaugh Kresser Award in Engineering
Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (Dilmurat Azimov, advisor)
Focus: Integrated Guidance, Navigation and Control for Unmanned Aerial Systems

BS in mechanical engineering summa cum laude, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
Goal: Complete PhD
Honors: Corresponding author on two submitted publications,  HESTEMP Conference Certificate of Achievement, Pi Tau Sigma honorary society, NASA EPSCoR project participant
Interests: Basketball, Lego, reading, playing trumpet and keyboard

Evan Lechner, headshot
Evan Lechner

Helen Jones Farrar Award in Oceanography
Oceanography, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (Chris Sabine, advisor)
Focus: Characterization of CO2 and Oxygen in Restored Hawaiian Fishpond

BS in marine science, Stockton University of New Jersey; MS in chemical oceanography (in progress)
Goal: A professorship or research position with a strong focus on teaching and outreach
Activities: Teaching assistant dedicated to working with undergraduates
Interests: Hiking/trail running, former

Christopher Light, headshotChristopher Light

Sarah Ann Martin Award in Physics
Physics, College of Natural Sciences, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (Veronica Bindi, advisor)
Focus: Heliophysics and Space Radiation Using the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer

BS in psychology, BS in crime and justice studies, BS in physics, University of Idaho
Goal: Work as a physicist in the field of heliophysics
Honors: Outstanding Physics Teaching Assistant Award, several publications in Physical Review Letters
Interests: Spending time with his wife trying new foods and visiting scenic O’ahu locations

Shayle Matsuda, headshot
SHAYLE MAtSUDA

ARCS Honolulu Award in Coral Reef Science
Marine Biology, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (the late Ruth Gates and Craig Nelson, advisors)
Focus: Where You Are Matters: How Coral Structural Architecture Shapes the Microbial Landscape

BA in environmental studies and women’s studies, UC Santa Cruz; MS in biology, San Francisco State University
Goal: Coral research biologist position in a natural history museum or aquarium or tenured faculty member
Honors: Albert L. Tester Symposium Best Paper award; Point Foundation Scholar; COMPASS Scientist Sentinels Fellow
Interests: Sketchnoting, hiking, scuba diving, science communication

Alina Pang, headshotAlina Pang

Kai Bowden Award in Medicine
Cellular and Molecular Biology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Univeristy of Hawai‘i at Manoa (Michael Corley, advisor)
Focus: The Role of Immune Cells and Metabolism in Disease

BS in biology, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
Goal: Conduct biomedical research with a focus in immunometabolism and epigenetics
Honors: Ola Hawai’i trainee, 5th Global Symposium on Ketogenic Therapies Travel Award, first author on Biomol Concepts journal article
Interests: Volunteer work at a children’s home in Thailand

Sarah Tucker, headshotSARAH TUCKER

Maybelle C. Roth Award in Conservation Biology
Marine Biology, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (Michael Rappé, advisor)
Focus: Population-level Resolution of Dominant Marine Bacteria and Their Ecological and Evolutionary Drivers

BA in biological sciences with highest honors, environmental science and policy minor, Smith College
Goal: Work as a research professor
Honors: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, US Department of State Fulbright Research Student in Indonesia
Interests: Traveling, learning new languages, swimming, scuba diving, kite surfing, science communication

David Webb, headshotDAVID WEBB

Sarah Ann Martin Award in Mathematics
Mathematics, College of Natural Sciences, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (Bjørn Kjos-Hanssen, advisor)
Focus: Detecting Complexity Oscillations: New Notions of Algorithmic Dimension

BS in mathematics, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
Goal: Lecture in college mathematics, “teaching the kinds of logic courses that made me fall in love with the subject”
Honors: Kem-Clark Award, publication presented at the International Symposium on Information Theory and Its Applications following month-long exchange at Chiba University
Interests: Cycling, spending time with his two dogs, singing and fishing.

Brennan YaamotoBrennan Yamamoto

Bretzlaff Foundation Award in Engineering
Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (A. Zachary Trimble, advisor)
Focus: Convergent Pose and Twist Estimation for Velocity-Denied Mobile Robots

BS in mechanical engineering, MS in mechanical engineering, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
Goal: Pursue opportunities in academic research or technology industry
Honors: PACE Breakthrough Innovation Challenge Finalist
Interests: Skateboarding, fishing, torching, cars, PC gamingand fishing.