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Paubox Kahikina Scholarship Recipient 2021: Anna Marie Dumlao Puaala

Paubox Kahikina Scholarship Recipient 2021: Anna Marie Dumlao Puaala

The Paubox Kahikina Scholarship helps Native Hawaiian students pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and Tech in general. Its purpose is to offer financial support and create a strong network for these students. The scholarship makes education more affordable and connects students with professionals, giving them valuable opportunities to learn and grow in their chosen STEM or Tech fields. This scholarship is about more than just money; it's about building a community and empowering Native Hawaiian students to succeed in STEM or Tech careers.

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Currently enrolled at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, Anna is a senior pursuing a major in Biochemistry and a minor in mathematics. She was selected as a recipient of the Paubox Kahikina Scholarship 2021/2022. Here is a word from Anna: 

“Since being selected for the scholarship in 2021, I was able to travel abroad to Copenhagen, Denmark to take courses required for my major at Bates. Some of the courses that I enrolled in abroad were Immunology, Human Health and Diseases, and Epigenetics and the Environment — which continued to foster my interest in science and medicine. In addition, this past summer I was selected to participate in the SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship) program at the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. For 10 weeks, I worked on a renal cell carcinoma project where I was taught how to culture cells and how to perform experiments such as siRNA transfections, western blots, MTS assays, and more on the various human RCC cell lines that I was trusted with. This was my first time working in an experimental laboratory and it was an experience unlike any other that I have had thus far.

After working at the Mayo Clinic, I realized that I do not want to just become a doctor of medicine. I want to continue to do cancer research. Needless to say, I am now leaning toward an MD-PhD. I am a first generation student of native Hawaiian ancestry who comes from a low-income household on O’ahu. The Paubox Kahikina STEM Scholarship is helping me tremendously by relieving me of my college expenses and by simply believing in me. I could not have done this without the help of Hoala and the scholarship committee. I will forever be thankful for all that they have done for me. The journey continues as I go into my senior year on route to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a thesis. The dream to return home after obtaining the necessary knowledge and skills to practice medicine and conduct research to give back to the community remains.”

Read morePaubox Kahikina Scholarship Recipient Reflection | Anna Marie Dumlao Puaala

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