UH Hilo students awarded Big Island Press Club Foundation scholarships

Lichen Forster and David Mayser are both pursuing higher education degrees in journalism or a related field.


Big Island Press Club logo with Pele at the typewriter. Since 1967, protecting the public's right to know.

Two students from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo have received scholarships from the Big Island Press Club. Lichen Forster and David Mayser were each awarded scholarships to pursue a higher education degree in journalism or a related field.

Patsy Iwasaki pictured
Patsy Iwasaki

“These students have demonstrated excellence and have been awarded these competitive scholarships, which recognize their outstanding abilities and commitment to their studies,” says says Patsy Iwasaki, assistant professor of English at UH Hilo and member of the press club’s board. “Their coursework and experiences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo have provided them with a solid foundation, knowledge and success in their respective fields.”

Iwasaki notes both students were also involved with applied learning media opportunities.

“David is a dedicated soccer scholar athlete who completed a directed studies internship with the Big Island Press Club and the Hawaiian Volcano Education and Resilience Institute,” says Iwasaki. “And Lichen is a talented Ke Kalahea staff member who participated in a global exchange to New Zealand last fall.”

Lichen Forster

Lichen Forster pictured in lei.
Lichen Forster

Geology major Forster won the $1,500 Bill Arballo Memorial Scholarship. This is Forster’s fourth scholarship from Big Island Press Club and second Bill Arballo Memorial Scholarship (see stories from 2022 and 2023).

Forster hails from Mountain View, Hawaiʻi Island, is a 2021 graduate of Waiākea High School, and wants to pursue a career in science journalism. They serve as copy editor (former editor-in-chief) of the UH Hilo student-run news publication Ke Kalahea.

The scholarship Forster received is named for Bill Arballo, a founding member of the Big Island Press Club in 1967 and its first president. A former United Press International reporter, he is honored through the scholarship, which is funded by an annual donation of $1,000 from his daughter, Teresa Barth, and her husband, Bill. Arballo passed away in 2016 at the age of 92.

David Mayser

David Mayser pictured in lei.
David Mayser

Mayser, who graduated from UH Hilo on May 11 with a bachelor of arts in communication, received the Jack Markey award for $1,000. Mayser, from Munich, Germany, is a 2019 graduate of Stadtisches Theodolinden-Gymnasium (High School). While at UH Hilo, he was a student-athlete with men’s soccer, and was student speaker at Saturday’s 2024 Spring Commencement. During the spring 2024 semester, he interned at the Big Island Press Club (see story about his internship).

Come this fall, Mayser will be pursuing a master of arts in communication studies and will be working as a graduate teaching assistant in the communication department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“Being awarded with a BIPC scholarship is a big honor,” says Mayser. “Journalism plays a huge role in our society. As we go through a lot of uncertainty and challenges, I believe that journalism has the profound power to share information and knowledge.”

The scholarship Mayser received is named after the late Jack Markey, a visible street-side fixture in Hilo. With poor vision and unable to drive a car, Markey walked and hitchhiked around Hilo town selling radio advertising. He recruited members for the Big Island Press Club and was instrumental in building the group’s scholarship endowment.

Read full media release from the Big Island Press Club.

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