Tuesday | January 16, 2018
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Aspiring journalists win scholarships

Four Hawaii Island students were awarded a total of $4,600 in scholarships by the Big Island Press Club at its annual scholarship dinner July 19 in Hilo.

— Alexander Bitter, a 2012 graduate of Waiakea High School, was awarded $1,500.

Bitter attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa as a Regent’s Scholar, majoring in Journalism and Political Science.

This fall he will attend the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities on the National Student Exchange program, returning to Manoa in Spring 2014.

Alex showed his aptitude for reporting in his high school years as staff writer for Ka Leo O Ke Koa and founding editor of Ka Leo O Waiakea Online. At Manoa, he served as staff writer and associate news editor for Ka Leo O Hawaii.

This summer, Bitter is completing an internship at Honolulu Magazine awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists. In the future, he hopes to establish an All Things Considered-type show on Manoa’s KTUH radio station.

— Malina Fagan, a 2010 graduate of Hilo High School attending Chapman University in California as a Film Production major, documentary emphasis, with a self-designed minor in litigation, was awarded $1,000.

Fagan’s career goal is to direct and produce investigative documentaries on social and environmental issues. She’s been producing short films and public service announcements since she was 10 years old, and has been adding to her reel through her college career. Her latest expedition: filming a documentary in Uganda.

— Alexandra Roth, a 2011 graduate of Waiakea High School, won $1,000.

Roth is pursuing a double major in Japanese and communications to prepare her for a career as a broadcast journalist, where she hopes to be a foreign correspondent.

A scholarship winner in 2011 who went off to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, she spent the last year studying in Japan as an international exchange student. This fall, Roth will be back at Manoa.

— Kaitlyn Chock, a 2010 graduate of Waiakea High School, was awarded $600.

Chock will be a senior this fall at the University of Oregon, majoring in public relations, communication studies, and humanities. She is also taking a minor in Business Administration. She plans a profession in public relations.

— Alex Var, a 2013 graduate of Waiakea High School who has a passion to promote the goings-on of our Hawaii Island community on the airwaves, was awarded $500.

Var, son of BIPC President Yisa Var and Klay Burchett, will be attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa this fall majoring in journalism and communications. Growing up, he was part of Hilo’s performing arts scene and an award-winning essayist. A senior year internship with BIPC Board member Patsy Iwasaki guided him to pursue journalism in his college years.

The awards honor friends and members who have contributed service to the Big Island Press Club over the years, including former UPI reporter Robert C. Miller, BIPC founder and former UPI reporter Bill Arballo, former Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter and BIPC President Marcia Reynolds, former Tribune-Herald reporter Yukino Fukabori and former radioman Jack Markey.


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