Student-Athlete Spotlight

The University of Hawaii at Manoa Student-Athlete Spotlight honorees are nominated by academic advisors, based on the following criteria:

  • Effort and Excellence in Academics
  • Dedication to Team
  • Leadership
  • Integrity
  • Campus Involvement
  • Community Service
  • Ability to serve as a role model for current and future Hawaii student-athletes


Alison Bowman – Cross Country

Mechanical Engineering

Alison Bowman is a Junior member of the Cross Country team from Asan, Guam.  Alison is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and maintains one of the highest GPAs on the team.  She has received Dean’s List honors in nearly every semester at UHM while tackling a rigorous Engineering curriculum.  When Alison is not busy training and competing, she shares her knowledge with other student-athletes as a SAAS peer tutor.  Alison is a dedicated student-athlete with high aspirations and a strong drive to be successful in all that she does.  According to her Academic Advisor, Katharine Moffat, Alison is also a fantastic teammate, role model, and member of the UHM community who never hesitates to help others around her.


Kai Galli – Coed Sailing

Finance and International Business

Kai Galli is a senior member of the Coed Sailing team from Cold Spring Harbor, NY.  Kai will graduate in December with degrees in both Finance and International Business.  During his time as an undergraduate student, Kai has been named to the Dean’s List 5 times and consistently maintains one of the highest GPAs on the Sailing team.  He also participated in the Honors Program and earned a Certificate in Sophomore High Honors in 2015.  Kai strives for excellence in all that he does while remaining dedicated to the Sailing team, his teammates, and his studies. His Academic Advisor, Katharine Moffat, adds, “I have no doubt that Kai will excel in the business world once he graduates. He is an excellent role model for other student-athletes and has a really bright future ahead of him.”


Dani Crawford – Soccer

Food Science and Human Nutrition

Dani Crawford is a senior member of the Wahine Soccer Team and hails from Moses Lake, Washington.  Crawford is a Food Science and Human Nutrition major and plans on obtaining a Master’s of Nursing degree post-graduation from UH. Jim Gillespie, her academic advisor says: “Dani, in a nutshell, brings to bear superb people skills, an innate ability to learn and a true passion for working with and serving her community.  She interacts with students and staff in a wonderful fashion, showing her true gifts as a skilled leader.”  He continues: “moreover, she serves as team captain and displays the sensitivities in dealing with her teammate’s struggles and successes both on and off the field, which is extraordinarily desirable in a young person, but all too frequently missing.”  She juggles her academics as well as athletics schedule in a stellar manner, appearing on the Dean’s List consistently while setting the bar high for teammates, while earning Big West Scholar Athlete for three consecutive years.  Since Dani joined the soccer program in 2014, the teams’ cumulative GPA has risen from 3.06 to 3.50, leading all UH athletic teams.  Gillespie further noted: “Dani is one of the most disciplined and punctual people I have ever worked with.  Her ability to work efficiently under stressful conditions and nerve-wrecking deadlines, as a student-athlete, speaks volumes about her hard work, determination and composed demeanor.  She has demonstrated excellent leadership skills and team spirit in her time at UH and I believe she will continue in this fashion throughout her professional career.”


AJ Kealiher – Swimming

Interdisciplinary Studies

Senior Rainbow Warrior Swimmer Adam “AJ” Kealiher hails from Lafayette, Colorado. AJ embodies the philosophy of sacrifice in the service of others.  As a busy student-athlete preparing to graduate Spring 2018 in Interdisciplinary Studies, his intention is to enter Medical school with an eye toward becoming a surgeon.  In his “spare time” between being a Team Captain, and a multi-discipline tutor at the Nagatani Academic Center, AJ also serves on the SAAC committee.  At the end of his Freshmen year he was awarded the coveted “Hard Hat” Award for the hardest working member of the team which he proudly wears on occasion before he passes it along to an underclassmen next Spring.  Tim “old school” Davidson says: “There aren’t many like AJ around these days. He is a throwback to the pioneer mentality of self-discipline and self-reliance.  If we had more student-athletes like him, I’d be out of a job! Someday if ever I need surgery, I hope he’s available to repair his old academic advisor.”


Past Recipients – 2017-2018

Past Recipients – 2016-2017