HPU Students Awarded Prestigious Scholarship to Study Abroad

November 26, 2014

Hunter Haas

HONOLULU — Two Hawai‘i Pacific University students were recently awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

Demie Grace Delos Santos, a 3-2 Engineering student and Hunter Haas, an International Business student, were selected for the scholarship, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, to study abroad during the spring 2015 academic term. This marks a total of six Gilman scholarship recipients from HPU in the past two years.

Delos Santos will study in South Korea at Soonchunhyang University, and Haas will study in Thailand at Mahidol University.

“Studying in another country can be a transformative experience,” said Melissa Matsubara, director of Study Abroad and International Exchange Programs at HPU. “Students have had the time of their lives while deepening their proficiency in their academic fields, developing invaluable life skills that will support their success in anything they pursue, and help them stand out to future employers.”

Congressman Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee, commented, “Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates. Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”

Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. The program aims to diversify the students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go. The program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

Matsubara noted that for students who express an interest to study abroad, competitive scholarships, such as the Gilman scholarship, are offered by a number of organizations.

“Connecting students with funding and resources to increase their ability to study abroad is incredibly important to me. We’re happy to work with any student on their scholarship or fellowship application,” she said.

For information about HPU’s study abroad programs, visit For more information about the Gilman scholarship, see

Delos Santos
Demie Grace Delos Santos