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


Cade Smith – Baseball


Cade Smith is a Sophomore on the Baseball Team from Abbotsford, B.C., Canada. He is Biology major and Pre-Med student who is a University of Hawaii Scholar-Athlete and Dean’s List Awardee. Cade also represents the Baseball Team as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. His Academic Advisor, Garrett Clanin, states, “Cade is an exceptional student who is committed to excellence. He is a bright young man who works hard and he is a great role model. I look forward to to watching him pursue his goals in baseball and in the medical field.”


Noah Borden – Football


Noah Borden is a Kinesiology major from Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. Noah has been nominated to be honored for this award by his football academic advisors, not only because he excels in his academic coursework but also because of the qualities of leadership and a desire to serve his community that resides within Noah. Noah worked diligently and with excellence within the Summer Bridge program to help incoming freshmen teammates transition to the university. Noah also coordinated groups of fellow student-athletes to connect with the keiki of Hawaiʻi. Noahʻs advisor Courtney says, “Though I only had a brief opportunity to work with Noah as his academic advisor, I always knew Noah to be a dependable, hard-working student-athlete with a wonderful ability to balance all aspects of his life: family, academics, and football. He has a beautiful family and tremendous potential. We look forward to hearing about all of the wonderful things he achieves in the future.”


Sara Lau – Soccer


Sarah Lau, from Honolulu, Hawaiʻi is a Communications major. Sarah has been nominated for this award for her academic diligence and achievement as well as the leadership qualities she displays participating in programs such as the SAAS Summer Bridge Program where she had both participated as a student and quickly took on the role of a mentor within the program. Sarah’s advisor Courtney adds, “Sarah is part of a wonderful women’s soccer team filled with so many young women who also demonstrate excellence. As I continue to learn how to work with a new team, Sarah has always been welcoming and diligent. It was a pleasure having a chance to work with her. She has so many wonderful qualities. She is driven, a stellar student, a positive role-model, and both possesses and demonstrates many qualities of leadership. I have no doubt wonderful things are in store for Sarah.”


Ariana Homayun – Beach Volleyball

Secondary Education

Ariana Homayun is a charismatic, high achieving student-athlete at UHM. Ms. Homayun is a member of the beach volleyball team and has been equally successful on the court and in the classroom. Ms. Homayun is a Secondary Education major in Social Studies with a primary interest in Psychology. Ms. Homayun is currently doing her student teaching this year, gaining experience to become an educator in secondary education. Academic Advisor, Kari Ambrozich says “Ariana is a bright, energetic, and influential student who has natural leadership abilities. She has always wanted to pursue teaching as a profession and she has worked hard to balance the demands of the degree program and beach volleyball. Ariana has the personality to create a dynamic learning environment that is fun and exciting while taking command of the classroom. I only wish she would stay in Hawai’i so that our community could benefit from her passion and teaching.”


Past Recipients – 2018-2019

Past Recipients – 2017-2018

Past Recipients – 2016-2017