UH Mānoa Enrollment Increases, Draws Top Caliber Freshmen from Local High Schools

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Fall 2011 enrollment at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa has increased to 20,313, representing a nearly 1 percent gain of 176 students compared to last fall—powered by more enrollees from Hawai‘i, a surge in the number of Native Hawaiian and Filipino students, and a freshmen class filled with top graduates from local high schools.

            Members of the incoming freshmen class who have selected UH Mānoa as their destination of choice to pursue higher education include:

  • Chas Okamoto of Kapa‘a High on Kaua‘i, who wants to earn a bachelor’s degree and professional license in the College of Engineering.  From 2003 to present, tennis player Okamoto has ranked #1 in every age group in the state in the USTA Hawai‘i Section (singles), and within the Top 100 of every age group in the nation.
  • Reuben Tate of Hilo High in Hawai‘i County, who plans to major in computer science and pursue a career in software development.  While at Hilo High, he founded, chartered and served as president of the Creative Factors Club, which now oversees the school’s video morning announcements and innovative video projects for the community.
  • Daniella Reyes of Leilehua High in Wahiawa, who aspires to become a marine researcher while pursuing a minor in literature.   At Leilehua, Reyes was captain of the girls varsity tennis team, president of the National Honor Society and founder of the school’s Writing Center.
  • Angela Kent of Kalaheo High on O‘ahu’s Windward side, who is fascinated by marine and environmental sciences, and hopes to major in civil and environmental engineering.  While at Kalaheo, she competed on the varsity swim and water polo teams.  In her senior year of high school, she held two internships—one at Coconut Island with the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology and the other as a Laulima A ‘Ike Pono intern.
  • Jacob Castro of Damien High in Kalihi, who is focused on earning a bachelor’s degree in biology and an MD in neurosurgery, after which he would like to serve his residency and practice medicine in Hawai‘i.  While at Damien, he was presented with the Saint Michaels Book Award for Academic Achievement and Social Conscience, and received recognition for his scores on AP Chemistry, Physics and Calculus exams.
  • Bryson Yee of Castle High in Kāne‘ohe, whose goals include pursuing a bachelor’s in physics, a PhD in astronomy, and eventually conducting research in astrophysics.  At Castle High, he was captain of the Science Bowl Team, brass section leader of the marching band, and in his senior year was mentored by Dr. Gareth Wynn-Williams of the UH Mānoa Institute for Astronomy.

Said Vice Chancellor for Students Dr. Francisco Hernandez, “We are proud to be able to attract so many wonderful students from Hawai‘i schools.  We know that they will enjoy their college experience at UH Mānoa.”

Fall 2011 opening enrollment for the entire UH system reached a record high of 60,519 students, with gains experienced at its three university campuses at Mānoa, Hilo and West O‘ahu, and at the community college campuses of Hawai‘i, Maui and Windward.  Compared to five years ago, over 10,000 more students are attending classes within the 10-campus UH system on three islands.