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HPU bestows top award: Robert E. Black Award honors community service

Compiled by Shelly Awaya


Each year HPU presents The Robert E. Black Award for Excellence to two individuals, one undergraduate and one graduate, in honor of their efforts in service to the community.

This award is given in honor of the late Robert E. Black, a long-time HPU board chairman and benefactor. As chairman and CEO of E.E. Black Ltd., Black personified the principles of excellence in both his personal and professional life and supported a variety of community organizations.


Graduate Nominees

H. Elif Pilon, Masters in Global Leadership. Pilon is a member of the Global Leadership Club, and has served as its president and vice president. He also has served on the planning committee for the Global Symposium on Global Citizenship. Pilon volunteers both on and off campus, focusing on organizations and issues concerning peace, water conservation, and art. He is a President’s Host, and has personal artwork displayed in galleries in Boulder, Colo. Pilon is a War Child Bamboo Ridge Poetry Reading scholarship recipient.

Yin Ming Joanne Lui, Masters in Business Administration in Finance. Lui participates extensively in the HPU Finance Club, where she has held office as president, vice president, and club coordinator. She also assisted in creating the Finance Club’s Web site and coordinated events with the Financial Executives Institute. Lui has volunteered at the Census Bureau, the American Lung

Association, and the Hawai‘i Chinese Christian Mission Gospel Center. She is on the National Dean’s List, is a member of Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society, and was a USA Funds Hawai‘i Silver Anniversary scholarship recipient.

Undergraduate Nominees

Karin Wanscher, Bachelor of Arts in Travel Industry Management. Wanscher is a member of the Travel Industry Management Student Organization (TIMSO), and has been its secretary and president. She also helped establish the first HPU TIMSO Web page and library. In addition, she is a member of The World Wildlife Federation and Amnesty International. Wanscher participates outside of HPU as a member of Rotaract, and has volunteered at numerous hospitals and schools to help children. She is a President’s Host, a member of Alpha Sigma Lambda, and is on The National Dean’s List.

Kelly Collins, Bachelor of Science Degree in Pre-Medical Studies with a minor in humanities, is an active member of the HPU Christian Fellowship, where she has held several officer positions and led worships for weekly Bible studies at HPU Chapel Services. Collins is the choral manager and soprano section leader of the International Vocal Ensemble and Chorale. She is also a Pre-Med Society member. Collins has volunteered at Queen’s Medical Center, Hawai ‘i Meals on Wheels, the Institute for Human Services, and Enchanted Lake Elementary School.
Alex Allan Dumlao, Bachelor of Science in Nursing. A member of the HPU Student Nurses Association, he has volunteered at senior living facilities, homeless shelters, and numerous activities promoting good health. He also is a member of the Associated Students of Hawai‘i Pacific University (ASHPU). Dumlao volunteered at the Locks of Love Hair Drive and at the Mission Iraqi Kids School Supply Drive. In addition, he has coordinated and implemented beach clean-up events with Protect the Planet and co-facilitated TGIF events here on campus.

Marie Therese Svensson, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Svensson is the creator and president of the International Studies Student Organization, and is also the president of Amnesty International and vice president of the United Nations Club. She is a proponent of educating the public about human rights, and has been active in raising awareness of protecting Sudan refugees, and collaborating with student groups to stop violence against women. Svensson is a President’s Host and a member of Alpha Sigma Lambda and Pi Sigma Alpha honor societies.

Kelly White, Bachelor of Arts in Advertising. White is a member of the Associated Students of Hawai‘i Pacific University (ASHPU), and has been its junior representative, and cochaired several committees. She helps out with HPU admissions, being a tour guide and New Student Orientation Counselor, and attending forums. White volunteers at many activities, including beach and highway cleanups, marathons, and at Shriner’s Hospital, the Salvation Army, and the Special Olympics. She is also a President’s Host, and is on The National Dean’s List.

Erik Hansen, Bachelor of Arts in Business Management. Hansen is a member of the Associated Students of Hawai‘i Pacific University (ASHPU), where he has held several officer positions, including executive president, freshmen representative, among others. He has volunteered at many HPU activities, and participated outside of HPU in highway and beach cleanups, marathons, and he has volunteered at Habitat for Humanity and the Homeless Shelters in Arizona. Hansen also enjoys water sports, donating his time as a coach for water basketball, diving, and swimming.

Sean Thomas, Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. Thomas volunteers at many organizations that help families and physically and mentally disabled individuals. He is also an environmentalist, donating time to Habitat for Humanity and other activities that focus on environmental conservation and preservation. Thomas is a member of Phi Sigma Alpha and Pi Sigma National Political Science honor societies, is a President’s Host, and received scholarships for his commitment to community service.

Walker Hofmann, Bachelors of Science in Computer Science. Hofmann has volunteered at HPU’s Military Campus programs as a new student registration counselor. He works with children as a volunteer coach and referee for various American Youth Soccer Organization events. His scholarships and honors


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