UH Presidential Scholars

UH Presidential Scholars

There is only one thing better than being good at what you do. It is being the best at what you do. Two students at Kapiʻolani CC are beyond good and have won two very prestigious University of Hawaiʻi Presidential Scholarships.

Cyrus Ma is humble about his win. Cyrus is just humble, period. There was a time when Cyrus thought of quitting college. He doubted his ability to handle college work, but one instructor, Professor Andrew Pak, encouraged Cyrus to continue his studies and redirected Cyrus on a positive path. Professor Pak persisted, and Cyrus flourished.

Along with fellow students enrolled in chemistry, the American Chemical Society (ACS), Hawaiʻi Section awards top achievers in the different CHEM classes. Cyrus was recognized for his performance in CHEM 161 during a recent annual awards banquet.

Cyrus earned an Associate in Science, Natural Science (ASNS) degree this spring and is transferring to UH-Mānoa to pursue a Bachelor in Science degree. Thereafter, he hopes to enter medical school. While a volunteer for the “Make a Wish Foundation,” Cyrus saw many people suffering from auto-immune conditions and he therefore wants to specialize in rheumatology.

Cyrus thanks all his professors at Kapiʻolani CC who challenged him and helped him find his niche. He feels his achievements are as much his, as all those who supported him.

Alyson Shoji was born with a smile on her face. She paces herself when studying and is not hesitant to question what she does not understand. Being an only child made her early years lonely. However, Alyson feels she learned how to be independent and is realistic about who she is.

Alyson took a gap year, worked and saved her earnings. As a result, when she returned to college, she found that she did not qualify for financial assistance. She therefore ended up working while a student. Alyson is immensely grateful for her scholarship award because now she can focus on college and spend quality time with her studies.

Her years at Kapiʻolani CC were wonderful. Alyson would like to advise students to see their counselors and to use all campus resources that are available. She feels that her counselors guided her in her pathway and provided great advice in between. She cites Jennifer Brown’s patience and clarity when selecting classes, Kathy Ogata’s professional influence, and Herve Collin for the joy he brings to teaching.

Alyson earned an ASNS this spring and will continue to UH-Mānoa to study biochemistry. She wants to pursue a medical degree. Her positive outlook on life will not allow her to settle for less.

For more information about the UH Presidential Scholarship, please visit: http://www.hawaii.edu/fas/info/presidential_scholarship.php


L-R: Cyrus Ma, Alyson Shoji

L-R: Cyrus Ma, Alyson Shoji

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