East Hawaii News

Akamai Workforce Initiative Introduces Student Selection

May 23, 2016, 1:40 PM HST
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STEM PIXABAYHawai’i college students taking part in the Akamai Workforce Initiative’s 2016 Summer Internship Program have been selected.

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


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