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by Joey Getty, staff writer


Awards in more than 30 categories were presented to students at HPU’s 26th Annual Academic Awards dinner March 8 at the Hawai‘i Prince Hotel.
Among the winners of the most prestigious awards are Kelsey Porretti for the Nancy Ellis Award for Achievement in the Arts, Patrick Branco for the William E. and Dawn G. Aull Award for Leadership, and Sara Ortiz and Mariam Sambe for the Robert E. Black Award for Excellence.
Porretti, received the Nancy Ellis Award for her outstanding artistic achievement as part of HPU’s International Vocal Ensemble (IVE) as well as her leadership within many other organizations.
“The award is a great achievement,” Poretti said, referring to her work with the vocal ensemble and expressing her hope that winning it will increase recognition of HPU’s choral groups and get more students involved in the program.
Patrick Branco received the Aull Award for Leadership for his service as president of the Associated Students of Hawai‘i Pacific University. Referring to his work in student government, Branco said the award is a “confirmation of my hard work at HPU.” He attended the Academic Awards Dinner his freshman year and remembers watching the awards being given. He believes it has come full circle because now he is receiving one of those awards.
Excellence is an understatement when it comes to winners of the Robert E. Black Award, Sara Ortiz (Undergraduate) and Mariam Sambe (Graduate). Their lists of achievements over the years fill many pages. Ortiz said that earning the Robert E. Black Award is “extending yourself to affect people on a large, worldwide scale as well as a small scale, such as the HPU campus.” Ortiz added that she plans to join the Peace Corps after graduation, and Sambe said she would like to continue to work in Hawai‘i and eventually open an orphanage.
Other awards and scholarships presented at the banquet:
Professor Louis R. Abraham Award for Excellence in Computer Science – Nora Katz, Jian Qin Mai
HPU Short Script Contest Supported by the Mark Bauer Writing Award Fund – Nina Coleman, Vera Buck, Ingvild Gram, Shannon Nash, Jennifer Ching, April Fukushima
HPU Writing Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Writing – Jovi Ige, David Begg, Andrew Hausker, Kerime Ataker
Society for Human Resource Management Hawai‘i Educational Foundation Award – Jamierose Zahn
Elisabeth Kehrer Anderson M.D. Scholarship – Sara Davis, Michael Boihling
Aston Hotels and Resorts Scholarship – Adva Yacobovich
Bossert Scholarship – Thomas Winkler
Doo Wook Choy and Helen Nahm Choy Scholarship – Tai Buy, Chanda Emery
Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation Scholarship – Brandon Gross
First Insurance Company Scholarship – Marilou Jane Caoile, Kaori Kumagai
Founder’s Scholarship – Helen G. Chapin, Ph.D. – Ashley Uehara
Hawai‘i Accounting Education Foundation Scholarship – Takayuki Ono
Hawai‘i Association of Broadcasters Scholarship – Bitna Kim, Nicole Nicholson, Emiko Mori
Conrad W. Hewitt Accounting Scholarship – Julie Trela
Steve Hirano – ARDA Scholarship – Jaclyn Saramosing
Marley Irons Memorial Scholarship – Anale‘a Geske, Richard Lam
Kamakia Scholarship – Lea Marie Hermano
Kunimitsu and Jessie S. Tamai Scholarship – Abcde Tantog
Pacific Islands Institute – Diana W. Lockwood Memorial Scholarship – Elizabeth Emma Itibus, James Datiy, Wilet Reiman, Albert Holm
Paul C.T. Loo and Vi Shaw Loo Scholarship – Carol Tran
Pacific Islander Scholarship – John Finau
John H. Payne Scholarship – Mary Crystal Cabael
Margaret Hustace Pietsch Memorial Scholarship – Brianne Naito, Jose Siu
Sidney Stern Memorial Trust Scholarship – Jonathan Ashton
J. Watumull Scholarship – Balraj Maan




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