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Directo awarded Matthew Somchai Therrien Memorial Award

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Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669

For Immediate Release

An English major at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is the recipient of the 2018 Matthew Somchai Therrien Memorial Award, announced today by the UH Hilo English Department.

Savannah Directo, who is also a candidate for the Creative Writing Certificate, has a 4.0 GPA and has published short stories and poetry in Kanilehua: Art and Literary Magazine in spring and fall 2017. Her publications include short stories “Cleaning Up,” “The Legendary Letter,” and “Indigo Heart,” as well as the poem “My Strange Real Name.” Directo is also president of the RISO Lion Tribe Club.

Matthew S. Therrien was an aspiring English major at UH Hilo at the time of his tragic death in a car accident on April 6, 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. The $500 annual award recognizes an outstanding UH Hilo student majoring in English. The recipient of the Matthew Somchai Therrien Memorial Award must be an English major and have demonstrated academic merit with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. The awardee must have demonstrated excellence in writing, preferable through published work.


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