Top student employees recognized with scholarships

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Noreen Okikawa, (808) 956-4396
Employment Services Specialist, Manoa Career Center
Posted: Apr 24, 2015

2015 SEOTY Winner Sara Taketa
2015 SEOTY Winner Sara Taketa

Four UH Mānoa students were recognized for their outstanding work as top campus employees at the 30th Annual Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) Awards Reception on Thursday, April 16. 2015.  The winners were announced by Noreen Okikawa, director of university student employment.

Top honors went to Sara Taketa, an administrative assistant for Meeting and Event Services in Student Life and Development.  Taketa, a senior majoring in accounting, was nominated by Laura Shimabukuro, assistant director of meeting and event services.  The Kaneohe resident was awarded a $1,000 cash scholarship.

In her nomination letter, Shimabukuro said the quality of Taketa's work is unmatched, especially when it comes to her ability to learn new concepts quickly and utilize critical thinking to tackle assignments.  "Sara took on event coordination and presented excellent consistency and versatility to make every client happy," wrote Shimabukuro.  "This is a true testament to her work ethic.” 

Taketa was also selected as the SEOTY winner for the State of Hawai‘i in the Western Association of Student Employment Administrators.

Additional SEOTY winners:

  • Lhiberty Pagaduan, a program assistant at GEAR Up Mānoa and a senior majoring in geology, was awarded a $750 cash scholarship.  Pagaduan was nominated by Erwin Legaspi, director of GEAR Up Waipahu.  
  • Richard Tran, a computer specialist at the Curriculum Research and Development Group and a senior majoring in travel industry management, was awarded a $500 cash scholarship.  He was nominated by Mark Yap, IT Manager.  
  • Matthew Lim, an office assistant and web content manager for the biology department and a graduate student in public health, was awarded a $500 cash scholarship.  He was nominated by Kathleen Cole, an associate professor and chair of the biology department.   

UH Mānoa has celebrated the Student Employee of the Year since 1986, recognizing outstanding student employees throughout campus. The cash awards are from proceeds generated by the annual Craft Fair & Silent Auction, traditionally held on campus on the Friday before Thanksgiving.

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