Big Island Press Club awards scholarships

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The Big Island Press Club is awarding scholarships totaling $5,600 to five students this year. The press club annually awards scholarships to students pursuing a higher education in journalism or a related field.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no scholarship dinner. Instead, the BIPC scholarship awardees will be honored via a Zoom online ceremony at 6:30 p.m. today.

The featured speaker is the Honorable Mark E. Recktenwald, chief justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court. A 1978 Harvard University graduate, Recktenwald was a reporter for the United Press International Honolulu Bureau prior to pursing a law degree, which he received in 1986 from the University of Chicago.

This year’s scholarship recipients are:

• 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 during the 2018-19 winter break, is pursuing a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Nevada at Reno. Morimoto, a two-time BIPC scholarship winner, is the recipient of the $1,500 Bill Arballo Scholarship.

• Jordan Virtue, a 2016 graduate of Hawaii Preparatory Academy and 2020 graduate of Harvard University, where she was on the editorial staff of The Harvard Crimson, the school’s student-operated daily newspaper. Virtue, who published a feature story in the Washington Post about shave ice, is entering University of Oxford, where she’ll pursue a master’s degree in history. A three-time BIPC scholarship winner, she is the recipient of the $1,000 Marcia Reynolds Scholarship.

• Danielle Brown, a 2017 graduate of Hilo High School, and junior English major at George Fox University, where she is also an intercollegiate tennis player. Brown is a two-time BIPC scholarship winner and the recipient of $1,000 from the combined Bob Miller and Jack Markey scholarships.

• Piper Haitsuka, a 2019 graduate of Makua Lani Christian Academy and sophomore journalism major at California State University-Sacramento. Haitsuka is, for the second consecutive year, the recipient of the $600 Yukino Fukabori Scholarship.

• Ku‘uhiapo Jeong, a 2020 graduate of Kamehameha Schools-Hawaii Campus, will enter the University of Hawaii at Hilo this fall, and announced his intentions to study communications and psychology. Jeong is the recipient of the $500 Hugh Clark Scholarship.

The public can view the scholarship ceremony live via the Big Island Press Club’s public Facebook Page. The ceremony will be archived on the page for later access, as well.

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The BIPC Scholarship committee for 2020 is: Robert Duerr, writer for Hawaii Fishing News and numerous national outdoor publications, BIPC treasurer and committee chair; Royelen Boykie, planned giving steward for Food &Water Watch and BIPC board member; and John Burnett, police and courts reporter for Hawaii Tribune-Herald, BIPC immediate past president and three-time BIPC scholarship recipient.

Since 1967, the Big Island Press Club has been an advocate for openness in government and protecting the public’s right to know. More information about the club can be found on its website at bigislandpressclub.org.