Skip to main content
February 28, 2024
  • Alice Ball

Since its inception in 2017, seven students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa have been awarded a total of $6,250 through the Alice Augusta Ball Endowed Scholarship.

It was established in her honor by retired faculty librarian Paul Wermager, supporting and empowering students to pursue and earn degrees in chemistrybiology or microbiology at UH Mānoa.

The scholarship not only eases financial burdens but also serves as a source of inspiration, connecting recipients to the legacy of a pioneering scientist.

Four of the recipients share how the scholarship has impacted them.

Destiny ApiladoDestiny Apilado

Apilado graduated with a BS in biochemistry in spring 2021 and is set to graduate this spring with her master’s in environmental management focusing on traditional food production.

“Alice Augusta Ball’s story is an empowering display of a woman’s healing abilities,” she said.

“As I was awarded during the pandemic when food insecurity and isolation were causes for concern in my community, they became the adversities I dreamt of curing. Alice Ball inspires me to find ways to give power back to people through their health.”

Taha ElwirTaha Elwir

Elwir graduated with a BS in chemistry in spring 2021, and is currently working as an EMT in Honolulu.

He will be attending medical school this year to start his journey to become a physician.

“Having this scholarship gave me the freedom to focus on my studies and to work diligently on becoming the best chemist I can be,” Elwir said.

“I will forever be indebted to the people who gave me this scholarship and for that I owe them my undying gratitude.”

Bianca EspejoBianca Espejo

A third-year biochemistry student graduating in December 2024, Espejo plans to attend medical school to become a physician. The scholarship has provided her with financial, mental and physical support.

“I only discovered who Alice Ball was when I was informed that I would be a recipient of the award. Since then, she has become one of my biggest inspirations,” Espejo said.

“I very much relate to her because she was also someone who was passionate about her work despite her background. I believe every recipient, including myself, is lucky to have received a reward under her name.”

Alison Nguyen

Nguyen graduated in spring 2019 with a BS in chemistry. The scholarship allowed her to focus on her studies and provided her with the encouragement and resources to explore scientific endeavors.

She traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand to participate in MRI research and worked as a chemical analyst at a medical cannabis testing laboratory. Currently, she is a criminalist at the Honolulu Police Department and conducts chemical analysis on controlled substances.

“I discovered my interest in working with analytical instrumentation and wanted to gain more experience in this field. I find great fulfillment in knowing the work I do contributes to the betterment of our community. Mahalo to Paul Wermager for not only establishing this scholarship, but also putting a spotlight on the legacy of Alice Augusta Ball.”

UH Mānoa will honor Ball’s legacy on February 28, “Alice Augusta Ball Day” at a noon event held at the Chaulmoogra tree near Bachman Hall. In attendance will include Wermager who will share some reflections.

If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this, please contact us at 808 376-7800 or send us a message.