Akamai Workforce Initiative Introduces Student Selection
In total, 30 students will have the opportunity to intern in areas that will develop their science and technology careers, according to program officials.
The Thirty Meter Telescope is the lead funder of the project. The Akamai Internship Program provides community college students and undergraduates with summer projects at observatories and other high tech companies in Hawai’i.
Each of the students are either from Hawai’i or are enrolled at one of the University of Hawai’i System campuses. In addition, nearly half of the students are of native Hawaiian ancestry.
Student participants will receive credit from University of Hawai’i at Hilo and begin on June 13, with a preparatory course taught by Akamai instructors.
Following the preparatory course, students will complete a seven-week project at various observatories and facilities on Hawai’i Island and Maui.
Each student is matched with a mentor and is integrated as a member of the mentor’s group with daily guidance. Akamai mentors are prepared to provide an experience that will support their intern’s persistence in STEM, while they complete a real project valued by their host organization through a unique workshop offered in May.
Since the first class in 2002, nearly 330 college students have participated in the Akamai program and at least 140 alumni are now working in science and technology jobs, with nearly two-thirds of them working in Hawai’i contributing to the local STEM workforce, according to Akamai program officials.
Akamai accepts college students from Hawai’i, 80% of whom graduated from a Hawai’i high school or were born in Hawai’i, and a key objective is to increase the participation of underrepresented and underserved populations in STEM.
So far, the Akamai Workforce Initiative alumni demographics include 36 percent women, 25 percent Native Hawaiian, and 47 percent underrepresented minorities.
TMT became Akamai’s cornerstone funder and largest funding source this year.
Students and their placements can be reviewed below, in alphabetical order:
Maveric Abella – Hnu Photonics, Maui
Dutch Akana – University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, Hawai‘i Island
Daryl Albano – Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope, Hawai‘i Island
Jaren Ashcraft – Institute for Astronomy, Maui
Gregory Balinbin – Integrity Applications Incorporated, Maui
Christiana Bisquera – Subaru Telescope, Hawai‘i Island
Katelyn Chagami – W.M. Keck Observatory, Hawai‘i Island
Austin Corotan – Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority (NELHA), Hawai‘i Island
Jordan Enos – Gemini North Observatory, Hawai‘i Island
Joey Hashimoto – Institute for Astronomy, Maui
Alexander Hedglen – Air Force Research Laboratory, Maui
Zachary Ifo – Air Force Research Laboratory, Maui
Kaimi Kahihikolo – Gemini North Observatory, Hawai‘i Island
Kully Kekaula-Basque – Cellana, Hawai‘i Island
Christopher Kim – Akimeka LLC, Maui
Justin Kunimune – Subaru Telescope, Hawai‘i Island
Colleen Lau – Gemini North Observatory, Hawai‘i Island
Cheyenne Maio-Silva – W.M. Keck Observatory, Hawai‘i Island
Jason Mar – Submillimeter Array, Hawai‘i Island
Kyle Mauri – Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope, Hawai‘i Island
Kari Noe – Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, Maui
Brialyn Onodera – Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, Maui
Keanu Paikai – Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, Maui
Pauleen Pante – Akimeka LLC, Maui
Eric Paopao – Institute for Astronomy Hilo, Hawai‘i Island
Christine Joy Rioca – Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, Maui
Nicole Tabac – Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope, Hawai‘i Island
Travis Thieme – Submillimeter Array, Hawai‘i Island
Derrick Torricer – Maui High Performance Computing Center, Maui
Kyle Yoshida – Hnu Photonics, Maui