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Honolulu - The University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center and University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) have each received $1.5 million from Denise B. Evans's estate.

The Denise B. Evans Fund for Oceanographic Research funds students conducting oceanographic research and is administered by the Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology.  "By establishing a quasi-endowment, this gift will continue in perpetuity to enrich the lives of our graduate students conducting oceanographic research across many disciplines – from microbes to whales, from the seafloor to the air-sea interface, from ocean acidification to coral reefs, and from sea level rise to ocean engineering," said Brian Taylor, dean of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST).

The first Denise B. Evans Fellowships in Oceanography have been awarded to:

Ms. Yoshimi Rii (Oceanography Dept.) received the two-year award

Ms. Alice Colman (Geology and Geophysics Dept.) received the one-year award

This fellowship money will give me the freedom to pursue research ideas that may not have been possible if my time and project were tied to a funded project," said Yoshimi Rii. She continued, "This fellowship also provides me with a set date for graduation, and financial security for the remainder of my time in graduate school.  Lastly, this fellowship symbolizes prestige and helps to set me up for my future successes."

Alice Colman, Denise B. Evans Fellow added, "This award gives me the freedom to pursue more and different research to that which was funded by the grant that originally brought me here. Having an additional year of funding has allowed us to develop a project using the ion microprobe at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to measure the volatile contents of melt inclusions (tiny pockets of magma trapped inside olivine crystals) from samples we collected along the Galapagos Spreading Center – a mid-ocean ridge located 200 km north of the Galapagos Islands. These measurements will help us to constrain the depths at which the magmas crystallized prior to erupting."

Peter Mouginis-Mark, director of the Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology continued, "This gift from the Estate of Denise B. Evans is a wonderful opportunity for all of our students conducting ocean research." He continued, "The awards will enable them to explore their full potential and research interests, knowing that they have the financial independence to take them where the science leads.  In addition, the awards will demonstrate the excellence of each graduate student that will surely be of great benefit as they pursue their research careers."

The University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center also gratefully acknowledged the impact gifts like Ms. Evans's gift will make. "Ms. Evans’s generous gift gives us additional resources to take timely advantage of opportunities that arise," said Michele Carbone, M.D., Ph.D., director of the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center. Carbone continued, "Philanthropic funds allow us to move forward quickly in our efforts to build a world-class cancer research program that will benefit Hawai‘i and the greater community.  We are so grateful to Ms. Evans for this wonderful gift."

To find out how you can remember the University of Hawai‘i in your will or trust, please contact Michael Coppes at or (808) 956-3589.

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The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawaiʻi System. The mission of the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation is to unite donors' passions with the University of Hawaiʻi’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawaiʻi and our future generations