University of Hawai‘i mentor, students win big at national STEM conference

University of Hawaiʻi
Narrissa Spies, (808) 430-1814
Ilima SACNAS Chapter President, Kewalo Marine Lab, PBRC
Healani Chang, (808) 358-0055
Research Associate Specialist, Pacific Biosciences Research Center
Posted: Nov 6, 2015

Members of the Ilima SACNAS Chapter at UH
Members of the Ilima SACNAS Chapter at UH
Healani Chang
Healani Chang

The ‘Ilima SACNAS Chapter at the University of Hawai‘i were big winners at the 2015 Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Conference held October 29 to 31 in Washington, D.C.

Hawaiʻi science students and professors received an Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award, Distinguished Mentor Award, and three Best Student Presentation Awards. 

Representing their Outstanding Chapter of the Year, UH graduate students Narrissa Spies and Austin Shelton visited the White House and met with Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to President Obama and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  Spies, a graduate student at UH Mānoa's Kewalo Marine Laboratory, said the experience opened his eyes to "new opportunities, and I am now considering an internship, and how my experiences in Hawaiʻi can shape national science policy.”

Healani Chang, `Ilima SACNAS Chapter Advisor and a Research Specialist at the Pacific Biosciences Research Center of UH Mānoa, was awarded the Distinguished Mentor Award for her dedication to the mentorship and professional advancement of the students and community of Hawai`i.

Three chapter members won individual awards for their outstanding scientific research presentations; Narrissa Spies (Graduate Student Award in Biological Sciences, UH Mānoa), Kimberly Kahaleua (Undergraduate Student Presentation in Biology, Kapiolani CC), and Nalani Kito-Ho (Undergraduate Student Presentation in Animal Sciences, UH Mānoa).

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