American Association of University Women scholarships

The recipients are two graduate students and two undergraduates pursuing degrees at UH Hilo.

Nicole Garcia, Heather Ah Cook, and Katherine S. Post standing with lei, ocean in background.
UUAW 2017 scholarship winners (l-r) Nicole Garcia (Heritage Management), Heather Ah Cook (PharmD), and Katherine Post (PharmD). Not pictured: Jamae Valdez Balagot (Biology). Courtesy photo AAUW, click to enlarge.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Hilo Branch announced it has granted scholarships to four outstanding women attending the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. The AAUW, an organization that empowers girls and women on multiple fronts from education and advocacy to leadership and legislation, annually awards $4,000 in scholarships to UH Hilo graduate and undergraduate students.

This year’s recipients:

Heather Ah Cook

Heather Ah Cook is a graduate student in the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program. Her graduation from the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy is expected in May 2020. Cook is interested in the health field because of her family history—her great grandmother was a “kahuna” (expert) and made several herbal medicines to help the Native Hawaiian community. She wants to use the knowledge and discipline given by her elders to help her community.

Nicole Garcia

Nicole Garcia is a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Heritage Management program (Department of Anthropology). Garcia quotes in her personal statement, “To me, anthropology is the path to understanding how humans have learned from and contributed to the condition of the world today and how they (we) will frame the future.” Her special interest is the history of the paniolos (cowboys) and the north coast of Hāmākua.

Katherine Post

Katherine Post is a graduate student in the PharmD program. Her graduation from the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy is expected in May 2018.  Ever since she was young, Post wanted to have a career in the medical field. She wants to be a pharmacist who works with patients to heal and recover. She herself has faced a shocking diagnosis and her journey has helped her gain empathy toward others. She is an active member in her cancer support group, Malama Ka Pili Pa‘a, which currently does a lot in the Hilo community.

Jamae Valdez Balagot

Jamae Valdez Balagot is an undergraduate student majoring in Biology with a specialization in molecular and cellular biology. When she came to Hawai‘i she didn’t know a word of English. She feels very blessed because she had the opportunity to come to Hawai‘i and experience a whole new life and have a better education system compared to the school in her hometown back in the Philippines. She aspires to be a pediatrician.

Group standing together, ocean in background.
THe AAUW Scholarship Committee stands with the scholarship recipients at a luncheon held in their honor in early May, Hilo Yacht Club. Courtesy photo AAUW.


Brooke Hansen