Maile Wong, a spring 2023 graduate in botany and ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. Maile worked with project mentor Dr. Tamara Ticktin and others on her Honors thesis "E Paʻa Ke Kahua: Building Foundational Skills for Engaging in Community-driven Research." Maile's work emphasizes her commitment to practicing community-driven research through conservation projects on Oʻahu and Kauaʻi.
Geetika Patwardhan, a Spring 2023 Molecular Cell Biology Student worked with Dr. Ben Fogelgren’s NIH-funded laboratory at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), and was also named a Goldwater Scholar in 2021 for her research. Geetika spent four years in the Fogelgren lab identifying new molecular mechanisms in neurons that regulate the production of amyloid-beta, a peptide that accumulates as plaques in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.
Her work contributes several key discoveries to the field, including characterization of a new signaling pathway by which insulin directly affects amyloid-beta production in neurons. She is continuing her training at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland in the two-year Intramural Research Training Award program.
Molly Keʻalohi Miyamoto, a spring 2020 Hawaiian language graduate was one of four honors students nationwide recognized as 2020 National Collegiate Honors Council Portz Scholars
Miyamoto's thesis, “No Ke Kālaiwaiwai: The Elements of 19th Century Hawaiian Economics,” originally written in Hawaiian then translated into English, examines the unique nature of the ancient Hawaiian subsistence economy and the early economic development in the post-contact Hawaiian Kingdom under the rule of Kamehameha I until the Great Māhele. It makes extensive use of primary sources in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian) and English.
Max Nakamoto, a spring 2019 graduate was chosen as a 2019 Portz Scholar, the National Collegiate Honors Council's top prize for undergraduate honors students. Nakamoto presented his winning thesis, “Relative Size Learning in Honeybees (Apis mellifera),” at the NCHC conference in New Orleans in November 2019.
Brandy Dobson was one of only four scholars throughout the country chosen as a 2017 Portz Scholar by the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), and receive the organization’s top prize for undergraduate honors students. Dobson presented her winning thesis at the NCHC conference in Atlanta in November 2017. Titled “A Murmur in the Weeds: A Memoir,” the work is an intimate and searing portrait of sisterhood and survival.
Jonathan Omuro was named a National Collegiate Honors Council 2016 Portz Scholar. The fall 2015 graduate presented his honors thesis on “Queering the Gay/Christian Intersection: An Exploration of Celibacy, Ex-gay, and the Christian Closet in Gay Christian Narratives” at the NCHC conference in Seattle in November 2016.