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30 Students to Begin Akamai Internship Program

The Akamai Workforce Initiative, a local program dedicated to advancing Hawai‘i college students into science and technology careers, has accepted 30 students into its 2016 summer internship program.

With lead funding from the Thirty Meter Telescope, the Akamai Internship Program provides community college students and undergraduates with summer projects at observatories and other high tech companies in Hawai‘i.

All 30 students are from Hawai‘i or are enrolled at a University of Hawai‘i campus, and nearly half are of native Hawaiian ancestry.

The students receive credit from UH Hilo and begin on Monday, June 13, 2016, with a preparatory course taught by Akamai instructors.

They will then complete a seven-week project at various observatories and facilities on Hawai‘i Island and Maui.

The Akamai Workforce Initiative is designed to build tomorrow’s high-tech workforce by providing support to local college students over a broad range of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

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. The careful attention to mentoring, the preparatory course, and an ongoing communication course, are all important elements of the program and have been attributed to the program’s success.

This year’s interns and their placements include:

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

Since launching 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.

Akamai accepts college students from Hawai‘i (80% 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% women, 25% Native Hawaiian and 47% underrepresented minorities.

The Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory has become Akamai’s cornerstone funder, and continues as the program’s largest funding source in 2016.

This year, funding is also provided by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Hawai‘i STEM Learning Partnership at Hawai‘i Community Foundation (with support from nine funders, including the THINK Fund and the Maunakea Fund), Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, National Solar Observatory and the National Science Foundation.

Akamai is managed by the Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators at University of California, Santa Cruz.

The Thirty Meter Telescope Project has been developed as collaboration among Caltech, UC, the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA), and the national institutes of Japan, China and India with the goal to design, develop, construct and operate a thirty-meter class telescope and observatory on Mauna Kea in cooperation with the University of Hawaii (TMT Project).

The TMT International Observatory LLC (TIO), a nonprofit organization, was established in May 2014 to carry out the construction and operation phases of the TMT Project. The Members of TIO are Caltech, UC, the National Institutes of Natural Sciences of Japan, the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Department of Science and Technology of India, and the National Research Council (Canada); the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) is a TIO Associate. The Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation has provided major funding.

For more information about the TMT project, visit tmt.org.