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AAUW Honolulu Academic 2021-2022 Scholarship Awards

AAUW Honolulu has awarded a total of  $52,000 in academic scholarships for the 2021-22 year to 11 graduate and undergraduate students attending educational institutions in Hawaii.    

Administration of the undergraduate awards was managed by Palama Settlement and the graduate awards by Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF).  The specific breakdown is as follows: 

Palama Settlement Undergraduate Awardees (Total 5) Total Awards – $20,000 

Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF) Graduate Awardees (Total 6) Total Awards – $32,000

Masters’ Program 

PhD Program 

* Previously funded by Honolulu AAUW


Abigail Dang

Abigail Dang is a 19-year-old Certified Flight Instructor working at Barber’s Point Flight School and a junior at Liberty University Online. Even though no one in her family is a pilot, her lifelong goal from a young age was to fly airplanes, so, with the generous support from mentors and scholarships, she soloed on her 16th birthday and earned her Private Pilot License on her 17th birthday before she got her driver’s license! Abigail is a passionate, driven, and dedicated woman. In the first half of 2021 alone, she earned three pilot certificates: Commercial Single-Engine and Multi-Engine, and Certified Flight Instructor. She frequently volunteers in her local and aviation communities, serving with the Aloha Chapter 99s as a volunteer pilot and as Secretary for two years and volunteering at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. Her goals are to join the Hawaii Air National Guard as a C-17 Globemaster pilot and ultimately become a captain at a major airline. With the gracious scholarship from AAUW, Abigail plans to continue developing her pilot skills by pursuing her Instrument Flight Instructor and Multi-Engine Instructor certificates and using her knowledge and skills to support and create opportunities for girls and women in aviation while also pursuing her passion of educating, supporting, and inspiring Deaf youth in the field of aviation.

Raven Sevilleja

Funny enough, I am pretty busy with my caseload and the shortage of prosecutors we have, but I do my best to make volunteering in my community for various passions of mine a top priority. There is only so much time, and so much more to do. 

A lot of what I do in my career gives me a sense of purpose, but I find that giving back in areas where I have been passionate and excited about in the past really puts things into a healthy perspective for me. Feminism and awareness of women’s issues, mental health and wellness advocacy, and representation as a Filipina-American (and all the dimensions that come with that, like being a daughter of immigrants and first in my generation to make it through university and law school) are just a few areas of my life that I consistently want to improve upon, grow, and learn to be better, overall. That requires an investment of time and resources that I’m more than willing to give. I was taught to always pay homage to one’s roots, and I would not have the joy of living the life I have today if it weren’t for the people that stepped up in my life so that I could have a platform that I too could stand on. In short, volunteering my time to a cause (or causes) alongside like-minded people is the absolute least I can do. I thoroughly enjoy my career in public service, and that dedication to our community extends to my private life beyond being a prosecutor. I truly want to be of service, and I’m hopeful my unique experiences and skills can be useful to someone, somewhere! I’m very enthusiastic about your goals and vision for AAUW, and I’d love to learn from others on how we can make your ideas a reality. 

I can’t wait to meet the AAUW members!

Raven Sevilleja is a new member of AAUW Honolulu.  She serves as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu and is a graduate of UH Manoa.  

JesusaJesica Leano-Au (Spring 2021)

Hi my name is Jesusa Jesica Leano-Au. I was born in Manila,Philippines, but now I reside in Honolulu,HawaiI. I am a mom of a 11 year old and also a wife of a (service member), I am currently working at Hickam Airforce Base as a dental assistant.

I choose the dental field as my career path because I wanted a better future for my daughter and to have a change in life as well. I graduated at Hawaii Dental Assisting Academy back in 2018, I have learned a lot of hands on dentistry where I have brought my skills and knowledge at the office I am currently working for and it has helped me grow tremendously into the dental assistant I am today.

AAUW Honolulu grant is bound to help me tremendously with the cost of my certification dental assistant and also for my current review class of certification dental assistant. I am grateful and thankful I was chosen because it will definitely help a lot and also I am not just doing this for myself I am also doing it for my daughter and anyone else out there that is trying there hardest to expand there goals and careers in life.

Jesusa Jesica Au

Anuhea Wall (Spring 2021)

Anuhea was born and raised in Kealakekua and graduated from Konawaena High School in 2011. After high school, Anuhea attended school at Pacific University in Oregon, receiving financial support from many community scholarship funds including AAUW Honolulu. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and then her master’s degree in Social Work. Finally, in 2019, Anuhea returned to Kona to be closer to family and serve the community that nurtured her. She was ecstatic to accept a Direct Service Specialist position with Liliʻuokalani Trust as the mission of the organization was in alignment with her personal values and passion for working with youth. In 2020, the Trust and many other agencies were challenged to continue providing services to vulnerable populations across the state. Anuhea was recognized by coworkers and executive leadership for her diligence when she received the Innovation Award. In 2021, she also completed the Promising Minds Fellowship Program, certifying her as an Infant and Family Specialist.

Now, to continue on her bright career trajectory, Anuhea is in the final stages of applying for her License of Clinical Social Work (LCSW). The AAUW Honolulu Branch is providing funding to help tackle this goal. Earning her LCSW will propel Anuhea’s career forward by preparing her for future leadership roles and eventually, the opportunity to provide clinical supervision to up and coming clinicians. 

“I’m extremely grateful to have garnered the support of the AAUW Honolulu Branch multiple times in my educational and professional endeavors. I’m so excited to take this next step in my career free of financial burden. Mahalo AAUW!”

Mahalo and Welcome: Aviation Scholarship Passes to New Generation

AAUW Honolulu is grateful to Janet Morse for her hard work and leadership as the chair of the AAUW Honolulu Tweet Coleman Aviation Scholarship Committee since 2013. Janet joined AAUW Honolulu as a recent college graduate in 1960, and has gone on to serve in many AAUW positions. She is a past president of AAUW Hawaii, as well as the AAUW Windward Oahu and Honolulu branches, and a former member of the national AAUW Leadership Committee. 

“It has been exciting to experience the growth in applicants and awards, amazing to work with the founder Tweet Coleman and inspiring to meet the future female pilots,” she said.

Under Janet’s leadership, the Tweet Coleman Aviation Scholarship has matured and become more popular, with a record number of 24 applicants in 2021. Janet believes the high number of applicants reflects AAUW Honolulu’s growing reach into the aviation community as well as increased encouragement by airlines. She noted that two of this year’s applicants are flight attendants. Janet has carefully cultivated her team members and is now passing the reins to Nobi Butin, although she will continue to be an active member of the committee. MAHALO, JANET!

Nobi Butin has been awarded the Tweet Coleman Aviation Scholarship multiple times in past years. Her journey in aviation began in 2015, a year after getting injured on the job as a flight attendant. Nobi earned her Certified Flight Instructor Certificate in April 2021. In addition to flight training, she is working towards her bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Nobi’s passion for aviation is infectious. She is an officer in a local organization of women pilots, where she works on volunteer projects and provides mentoring to its members. One of Nobi’s sons is also a flight instructor.

For the past two years, Nobi has been assisting Janet with the Tweet Coleman Aviation Scholarships. She will continue to promote the scholarship through the AAUW Honolulu newsletter and social media. AAUW Honolulu is excited that she has agreed to step up and take on the role of the AAUW Tweet Coleman Scholarship Committee Chair. WELCOME, NOBI!

Featured AAUW Honolulu Volunteer: Lauren Kaupp

Lauren Kaupp loves volunteering with AAUW Honolulu because she gets to interact with young women who are enthusiastic about learning and growing. 

“Everything AAUW does is to empower women, which is very meaningful to me,” she said. “The programs I’ve been able to participate in as part of AAUW have allowed me to connect directly with K-12 students, which I really enjoy, as a former high school teacher.”

Lauren is currently the Science Specialist for the State of Hawaii Department of Education, where her work is centered on providing leadership in science and STEM education initiatives. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry, an M.S. in Oceanography, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. 

Lauren first got involved with AAUW through the now-discontinued TechSavvy program, which aimed to increase awareness of and interest in STEM among middle school girls and their families. She played many roles as part of the team, including co-chairing the event and coordinating the adult program. 

“The STEM work holds a special place in my heart, and although TechSavvy was discontinued, I love that AAUW continues to support women in STEM,” she said.

Lauren has been a mentor for the Girls Talk Back program for 3 years, and she continues to be impressed by the remarkable young women participating in the program. Girls Talk Back empowers young women to find their voices and serve as leaders in addressing issues that they are passionate about in their communities.

“At some point during each Girls Talk Back cohort, I have reflected on how amazing the program is and how much I would have loved such a program when I was in high school,” she said.

Being involved with AAUW has allowed Lauren to grow personally and professionally. In the past, she was able to attend the AAUW National Conference in Washington, D.C. and says the experience was amazing. Lauren is thankful to AAUW Honolulu Board Member Anna Viggiano for bringing her into the AAUW fold. 

“I really value all of the work that AAUW does and appreciate being able to be involved,” she said. 

Honolulu Civil Beat: Too Few Women Get To Invent – That’s A Problem For Women’s Health

Caitlin Williams, MS (Spring 2021)

I have held a lifelong interest in highly virulent pathogens and their impact on global health. Throughout my doctoral program at University of Hawaii at Manoa I have had the opportunity to pursue and publish research on vaccines for viruses of extreme public health importance such as ebolavirus, marburgvirus, and SARS-CoV-2. I conduct research to develop comprehensive vaccines that protect pregnant women their newborns from Ebola. I was able to share my research at the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) annual conference. AAUW graciously awarded me funds to cover the cost of attending this virtual conference. At this conference I was able to learn about cutting edge research within immunology such as cancer immunology, vaccine development, and autoimmune diseases. I was able to share my own work in maternal immunization with experts in the field. The virtual conference was a unique experience and one which valuable to my development as an early researcher. I am grateful to AAUW for their support!