Students awarded scholarships from the American Association of University Women-Hilo Branch

Two conservationists, a women’s health advocate, and a budding art curator have each received a scholarship to put toward their higher education degree.

Three students at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo have been awarded scholarships from the American Association of University Women—Hilo Branch. One student from Hawai‘i Community College also received a scholarship. The UH Hilo students were awarded $2,000 each and the Hawai‘i CC student was awarded $1,000.

The AAUW—an organization with a nationwide network of 170,000 members and supporters, 1,000 local branches, and 800 college and university partners—is the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls. According to the Hilo Branch website, for over 65 years this branch has been assisting women and girls in the local community to achieve self-realization through education. UH Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College are partners with the group to “strengthen the leadership skills of its students and staff and to build community relations.” The group awards scholarships each year to local college students.

The 2020 scholarship recipients from UH Hilo are:

Maybeleen Apwong is from Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). She is studying unique environments of ecology and human interactions and forest dynamics. Her talent, passion and dedication for the conservation of native tropical ecosystems has inspired her supervisor to predict that Maybeleen will become “one of the leading scientists in her field to expand the scientific frontiers examining the interactions between humans and natural systems.” Apwong is a graduate student in tropical conservation biology and environmental science (TCBES) program researching the mangrove forests on her home island.

Allison Dupre has a goal of becoming an administrative executive in the field of women’s health. She has a deep passion for empowering women, especially in accessing adequate medical needs. She is active in the Women’s Center and the LGBTQ+ Center at UH Hilo as lead program coordinator and assists the interim director in day to day activities. She serves on the University of Hawai‘i Commission on the Status of Women and works in the Title IX program as a peer educator. Dupre is a senior in business administration/health care management.

Dawn McSwain is studying the affect of climate change on communities around the world that depend on coral reefs. She is working on her master degree in the tropical conservation biology and environmental science program. She is a certified scuba diver and also teaches classes for the marine science department, including field work carried out on a 39-foot research vessel. She says UH Hilo is the perfect place to learn about coral reefs and she is excited for the opportunity to give back to the community that has given so much to her.

A fourth scholarship recipient is Hawai‘i Community College sophomore Shihui Chen who is majoring in liberal arts. After completing her associate degree, she will attend a four-year university, studying art management. Her passion for the arts rests in her belief that art is the path to bringing diverse peoples together through understanding and appreciation, promoting cultural exchanges, and the sharing of the diverse cultures.


Related story (Allison Dupre)

Three UH Hilo students win awards for diversity-themed artwork and poetry