UHAA National Capital Region Chapter
Each year the National Capital Region Chapter (NCRC) of the University of Hawaii Alumni Association (UHAA) co-sponsors an Intern Program with the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Arts and Sciences. The students come to Washington DC where they take internships through The Washington Center or Pacific Asia Departments of the Smithsonian Institution. These internships are funded by the UHAA NCRC, the Sarah and Francis Sogi Smithsonian/Hawaii Fellow Scholarship Program and the Hiram L. Fong Endowment in Arts and Sciences. The internships allow the selected students to earn up to 12 academic credits and receive tuition waivers. Included in the internship package are round-trip airfare from Hawaii to Washington, DC, housing close to public transportation with other interns, and a monthly stipend for living expenses.
Eligible students must meet the following requirements:
o UH Manoa Arts and Sciences undergraduate with at least junior standing.
o Resident of Hawaii
o U.S. Citizenship
For the Sogi scholarship, the student must have taken at least one Ethnic Studies course at UH Manoa.
Students wish to apply must:
o Complete the scholarship application form
o Provide two letters of recommendation from professors/instructors
o Write a 1,000-word essay describing their internship interests
o Provide a copy of their current transcript of university-level academic work
The Sogi scholarship foundation was established in 1995 as part of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program. The scholarship was established in 2001 and according to Frank Sogi: "... the internship was an opportunity to give students from the University of Hawaii a chance to study and gain experience at the prestigious institute."
The Hiriam L. Fong Endowment in Arts and Sciences is named after the late U.S. Senator Fong, the country's first Asian American Senator. Senator Fong established the endowment in 1997 in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences to benefit students in the liberal arts.
In addition to their work during their 3 month (September through mid-December) stay in Washington, the interns work at assigned agencies learning about the different aspects of how the federal government operates. They take field trips, participate in seminars, meet government leaders, and interact with other interns from all over the county. During their off times, interns are hosted by NCRC members for holiday meals and tours of the city. The interns have also supported NCRC activities by attending group meetings, golf tournaments, and social gatherings.
Since the inception of the program in 1998, there have been 24 recipients of these internships. Each of them brought their own qualities and uniqueness to the program and each left their marks on the people with whom they have worked.
The UHAA NCRC Intern Program is financed through annual memberships to the UHAA and the NCRC, through private and corporate donations and from fundraising activities. The NCRC sponsors an annual golf tournament at which funds are earned by the sale of UH and Hawaii memorabilia, donation of door and game prizes, and corporate sponsorships of teams and specific tournament 'holes.' In addition to financial help, non-financial help is provided by members of the NCRC and their families and friends who provide invaluable hands-on work. Additional support also comes from local businesses that provide free or at cost services to support the UHAA NCRC and the Intern Program.