BIPC Awards 5 Scholarships to Students

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The Big Island Press Club awarded scholarships totaling $4,600 to five students on Thursday, May 9, 2019, at its annual scholarship dinner at Hilo’s Seaside Restaurant. The press club annually awards scholarships at this dinner to students pursuing a higher education in journalism or a related field.

Emily Tsuji talks to members of the Big Island Press Club. Courtesy photo.

The scholarship recipients are:

  • Jordan Virtue, a 2016 graduate of Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy and student at Harvard University, where she is on the editorial staff of The Harvard Crimson, the school’s student-run daily newspaper. For the second consecutive year, Virtue is the recipient of the $1,500 Bill Arballo Scholarship.
  • Tianna Morimoto, a 2015 graduate of Konawaena High School and 2019 graduate of Chapman University with a degree in communication studies with a broadcast journalism minor. Morimoto, who interned at West Hawaii Today this past winter break, will be pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Nevada at Reno. She is the recipient of the $1,000 Marcia Reynolds Scholarship.
  • Emily Tsuji, a 2019 graduate of Waiakea High School who will be studying film and electronic arts at California State University-Long Beach. Tsuji, who was described as a “once in a generation student” by Waiakea teacher and technology coordinator Donn Yamamoto, is the recipient of the $1,000 Hugh Clark Scholarship.
  • Piper Haitsuka, a 2019 graduate of Makua Lani Christian Academy who will attend California State University-Sacramento this fall, is the recipient of the $600 Yukino Fukabori Scholarship.
  • Clara Scheidle, a 2017 graduate of Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, California, and student at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Scheidle, an astronomy major who aspires to be a science writer, is a staff writer for Ke Kalahea, UH-Hilo’s student-run newspaper. She is the recipient of the $250 Bob Miller and $250 Jack Markey scholarships, for a $500 total.

The dinner’s guest speaker, Barbara Garcia, publisher and co-creator of Ke Ola Magazine, noted paradigm shifts in publishing and communication technology and provided a message of hope to those starting or about to start their own careers from her own experiences in self-reinvention. Garcia added her message is of particular relevance to young women.

“I find it heartening and encouraging that the press club’s scholarship winners this year are all women,” Garcia said.


The BIPC Scholarship committee for 2019 is: Lara Hughes, freelance writer, BIPC board member and immediate past president, and committee chair; Robert Duerr, writer for Hawai‘i Fishing News and numerous national outdoor publications, and BIPC treasurer; and John Burnett, police and courts reporter for Hawai‘i Tribune-Herald and BIPC president.


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