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Nelson awarded Matthew Somchai Therrien Memorial Award

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Date: Monday, May 4, 2015
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669

For Immediate Release

A graduating senior with a double major in English and Communication at the University of Hawai╩╗i at Hilo is the recipient of the Matthew Somchai Therrien Memorial Award.

Kara Nelson received the $500 annual award that recognizes an outstanding UH Hilo student majoring in English. Since December 2014, Nelson has been an intern for Chancellor Don Straney, writing public relations pieces highlighting student, university, and faculty achievements for the blog ÔÇťUH Hilo Stories.ÔÇŁ In addition, she has been the Hawai╩╗i Island correspondent for Hawai╩╗i Pacific University's student paper Kalamalama since 2010 and had written for the Fastweb Student Soundoff team for 2013-2014.

Her past publishing credits include news and opinion pieces for Hawaii 24/7, the Hawaii Catholic Herald, Catholic News Service, and Ke Kalahea. Her poetry has been published in Phi Theta Kappa Society's 2013 Note Bene anthology, Kanilehua, Love's Chance Magazine, and the Hawaii Catholic Herald.

Matthew Somchai Therrien was an aspiring English major at UH Hilo at the time of his death in April 2014. He was a gifted poet and writer with a dream of becoming an English professor.

The Matthew Somchai Therrien Memorial Award was initiated by a generous donation made by Stephen and Gloria Gainsley, longtime friends of the Therrien family.

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