University of Hawai‘i at Manoa Institute for Astronomy student Erica Molnar Bufanda was named Scholar of the Year during an online celebration of ARCS Foundation Honolulu Chapter’s 2021 ARCS Scholars in May.
Recipient of a George Orton and Mona Marie Elmore ARCS Award, Bufanda was selected by a panel of scientists for the additional $1,000 Scholar of the Year prize for submitting the best short video describing her research. She studies the chemical signatures imprinted on comets to determine if a habitable Earth is a common occurrence in solar system development or an anomaly.
In all, the Honolulu Chapter awarded19 $5,000 ARCS Scholar awards to University of Hawai‘i at Manoa PhD candidates in 2021. Learn more about each scholar. Thirteen of the scholars submitted videos for the Scholar of the Year competition; view their videos.