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S-STEM Scholar Profiles - Cohort 1

Cohort 1 scholars received the S-STEM award fall of 2015.

Crystal Baysa

Crystal Baysa
Crystal-ynn Baysa

My name is Crystal-lynn Baysa and this is my second year in college at the University of Hawai╩╗i at Hilo. IÔÇÖm currently double majoring in the B.S. Environmental Science and B.A. Biology in order to gain a better understanding of the ecological patterns in Hawai╩╗i and the effect that humans have on these processes. I enjoy running, coaching my high school cross country and wrestling teams, and spending time with my friends. I also love to learn about endemic Hawaiian plants and their potential uses for educational and cultural purposes. At UH Hilo I was able to expand my knowledge about different biological organisms and their applications in research opportunities and potential resources. Being able to attend UH Hilo has truly been a blessing because it has allowed me to make connections with many professionals in the environmental field and get involved in work related experiences.


LokeLani Case

Lokelani at the beach Aloha! I am LokeLani Case. I am attending the University of Hawai╩╗i at Hilo. I am a second year majoring in marine science. I love learning about all the different kinds of organisms there are in the ocean. I am really interested in exploring the deep sea and seeing what cool organisms live down in the deep. I love hanging out with my friends and family. I also love to draw and go to the beach. I like it at UH Hilo because I am close to my family. I have a big family; my parents, four brothers, and three sisters.


Lindsay Johnson

Lindsay smiles for the camera My name is Lindsay Johnson, and I am a sophmore at the University of Hawai╩╗i at Hilo, majoring in Marine Science. I was born and raised in Montana, so I love being outdoors and hiking, swimming and camping. I play a few instruments including piano, guitar and saxophone and I love playing volley ball and doing yoga! You may be wondering how I became interested in the ocean and what made me want to study marine science. It all started when I went to Kaua╩╗i a few years ago and fell in love with the ocean and Hawai╩╗i. Ever since that trip, I knew I wanted to be near the ocean and pursue a career that would allow me to do so! Throughout high school I did various research papers and activities centered on the ocean, learning more and more about the challenges that face our oceans, like: the Great Pacific Garbage Island, coral bleaching, the mounting effects of climate change, etc. Learning about all of these things has made me want to make a difference and help protect our oceans! I'm very excited to learn all about marine science and to see where my degree will take me.


Kawena Kawelu

Kawena and Grama Luana Kawelu check in Hula Halau at Merrie Monarch Festival Aloha! My name is Kawena Kawelu and I am a sophomore at the University of Hawai╩╗i at Hilo. I am currently majoring in Chemistry and plan on furthering my education at the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy. I was born and raised on the Big Island and I come from a Hawaiian Homestead community called Keaukaha. I enjoy hanging out with family and friends, going to the beach and learning more about my Hawaiian culture. I am very active in my community and I attend monthly community meetings. I volunteer at Keaukaha's Night Time Tutorial Program which services students from Kindergarten through 12th grade. I also volunteer for community events such as the Merry Monarch Festival and the annual Keaukaha Ho╩╗olaulea. I am currently a part of the INBRE Program at the College of Pharmacy and on the committee for the upcoming Native Hawaiian Leadership Conference. I came to the University of Hawai╩╗i at Hilo to join the pre-pharmacy program. I hope to encourage more Native Hawaiians to Further their education and become successful leaders in our communities.


Codi Kualii

Codi Smiles My name is Codi Kualii and I was born on O╩╗ahu and raised on the Big Island. I was diagnosed with severe asthma as a child and so my life goals have always been based around my health and well being. In the year 2013, I graduated from Kamehameha Schools Hawai╩╗i still unsure of what I wanted to pursue as a career. I attended Hawai╩╗i Community College where classes in Human Biology and Microbiology led me to my passion. By pursuing a degree in Biology, I will be able to research ways of helping others treat asthma. Coming to the University of Hawai╩╗i at Hilo has opened many doors for my successes and has given me opportunities to learn more about myself and my interests. I really enjoy the aloha spirit displayed by the many programs and professors here on campus. Currently, I am a junior majoring in the Biology on the Cellular and Molecular track and I feel my experiences are helping me grow and reach my goals.In my junior year, I worked as a student helper at the United Hawai╩╗i College with international Japanese students and also on my own research project under the INBRE Program at the College of Pharmacy. In my research, I tested Hawaiian medicinal plant extracts on immune and anti-inflammatory cells related to asthma. Currently a senior attending the UHH, I am majoring in B.S. Biology, Cell and Molecular Track while working part-time in order to plan for medical school.


Rebekah Loving

Rebekah Smiles Hola! Me llamo Rebekah Loving. I am a sophomore pursuing Bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics, hoping to eventually earn a PhD in bioinformatics, biostatistics, or biomedical engineering. I desire to work in the fields of data visualization and modeling, computational health, and medicine to mature our understanding of biological processes. As a student at the University of Hawai╩╗i at Hilo, I have been honored as the inaugural Senator Daniel K. Akaka Regents Scholar, an S-STEM Scholar, and an Asian and Pacific Islander Scholar. Instead of financially struggling through semesters, these scholarships allow me to dedicate myself to becoming a biomedical researcher. Over the past summer, I participated in the Harvard H.T. Chan School of Public Health Summer Program in Biostatistics. Conducting original research on the frontier of medicine and enveloped in the learning and innovative atmosphere inspired me to embrace research and learning opportunities with even more zeal, knowing possibilities and limitations are created through my actions. My favorite pastimes are problem-solving puzzles and algorithms, reading books, and hanging out at the beach or hiking with friends and family. I enjoy participating in the Putnam Club and leading in the Association for Computing Machinery club at UHH. I also love to learn about cultures, languages, and people from around the world. Hasta luego!


Jacey Savage

Jacey poses for the perfect photo Aloha! My name is Jacey Savage and I am a Junior at the University of HawaiÔÇÖi at Hilo. I am majoring in Biology and have lived on the Big Island for five years. Before moving here, I lived in Alaska for six years and Arizona for nine years. I love living in Hawaii because I am able to go to the beach, go hiking, or go snorkeling in my free time. Some other things I enjoy are going to the gym, playing piano, and spending time with family and friends. The main reason I am majoring in biology is because of my interest in wildlife rehabilitation. Ever since I was young I was passionate about saving animals and after I graduate, I plan on obtaining an internship at a wildlife rehabilitation facility. My long term goal is to one day open my own wildlife rehabilitation center. Over the past few years I have done volunteer work for the UH Hilo Turtle team which rescues injured turtles, and it made me realize that this is definitely the type of work I am most passionate about. I am grateful to be receiving an education at UH Hilo and to be a part of the S-STEM program.


Mary-Fem Urena

Mary-Fem Smiles Aloha, I am Mary-Fem Urena! I am from the Mariana island of Saipan, and I am in my second year in UH Hilo.
After a summer internship with the local NOAA office two summers ago, I came to Hawai╩╗i to pursue Environmental Science, and more importantly, learn more about the Earth, the impacts we have on it, and how to minimize these impacts. My aim is to return to Saipan and give back to the community through conserving the islandÔÇÖs precious resources, advocating for science, and embracing culture. I enjoy volunteering and learning new things! Given this grand opportunity to truly learn, understand, explore, and build relationships with people and places, I am definitely learning lessons beyond the classroom.. such as life-long values, aloha ╩╗aina, laulima, aloha (love), that may shape a healthy community.


Marilyn Yamamoto

Marilyn at the beach My name is Marilyn Yamamoto and I am a sophomore here at UH Hilo IÔÇÖm currently majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology and am hoping to minor in Chemistry. My current goal is to one day go to medical school and to become either a Neurologist or a Cardiologist. I was born and raised on O╩╗ahu and went to Kamehameha schools Kapalama. Currently, I work on campus with New Student Programs as a Student Ambassador. I love to spend my free time with my friends just relaxing or going on adventures around the island. You can usually find me at the gym running on the treadmill or in my room listening to music. For me, the best way to de-stress after a long and hard day of school is to drive to KeaÔÇÖau and visit the animals at the humane society with my boyfriend. I love to go to the beach and relax in the sun or go shopping at the mall. IÔÇÖm the type of person to get really obsessed over certain things, so my current obsessions are the TV shows Supernatural and The Walking Dead. Although I love to do all of these things, my passion is to travel abroad and to meet new people. Being able to experience places I have never been before opened my eyes to a whole different world. By meeting various types of people throughout my years, both in Hawai╩╗i and abroad, I learned that I wanted to help diverse groups of people. I hope that from my time here at the University of Hawai╩╗i at Hilo, I will be able to gain experience in the field of biology so that I can pursue my dream of becoming a doctor.