Chemistry student wins achievement award from National Student Exchange

Christian Lopez stepped out of his comfort zone to go on exchange in New York.

Christian Lopez with skyscrapers in background.
Christian Lopez in New York City. Courtesy photo.

A chemistry student at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is the recipient of the Wendel Wickland Student Achievement Award by the National Student Exchange.

Christian Lopez, a rising junior, was an exchange student at Stony Brook University, Long Island, New York, for 2019-2020 and was selected for demonstrating the best use of his study away exchange participation. He received a $500 stipend for the honor.

“Christian Lopez stepped out of his comfort zone [and] experienced a bit of culture shock his first few days at Stony Brook University but soon got involved on campus and had the time of his life,” writes his nominator Holly Garriques, coordinator of UH Hilo’s National Student Exchange program.

Lopez joined the tennis team, traveled to other states to compete, got involved with the Philippine United Student Organization and Japanese Student Organization, and participated in numerous events throughout the semester.

“He definitely personifies the spirit of the National Student Exchange by overcoming his fears and making the most of his exchange experience,” writes Garriques.

The National Student Exchange program is comprised of over 170 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, and U.S. Territories: U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. UH Hilo joined the NSE consortium in 1973.

Aug. 19, 2020: This story has been revised to clarify Christian Lopez attended Stony Brook, Long Island, not Stony Brook’s Manhattan campus.

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