Written By Gregory Fischbach

June 21, 2023
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  • HPU students learn on location on the HPU Kaholo catamaran

    HPU students learn on location on the HPU Kaholo catamaran.

  • HPU's Aloha Tower Marketplace campus

    HPU's Aloha Tower Marketplace campus.

HPU has received a multi-year $3.8 million USDA NextGen Grant for student scholarships and internships to help build and sustain the next generation of food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences workforce. HPU has partnered with Arizona State University, University of Guam, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and FoodCorps on the $18 million grant.

HPU will provide opportunities for its undergraduate students to receive direct student-support scholarships that total $2.4 million over five years. HPU graduates will also be eligible to receive three (3) scholarships to enroll in Arizona State University’s Master of Science in sustainable food degree program.  

"At the heart of the USDA NextGen Grant is a commitment to equity and access in higher education,” said Jennifer Walsh, Senior Vice President and Provost. “By providing 75% of the grant funds to scholarships and paid internships for students from traditionally underrepresented populations and first-generation college students, we are also empowering the next generation to become leaders in the food sustainability movement. By investing in these students, we are investing in a brighter future for all.”

HPU students will have access to over $800,000 in paid internships over the next five years. These internships will provide valuable hands-on experience and professional development opportunities for students looking to build their skills and launch their careers.

The grant will also support 20 academic year internships and 80 summer internships for HPU students. These opportunities will be available across a range of fields, including agriculture, food science, and environmental sustainability, among others.

Internship opportunities include Oceanic Institute of HPU, Pacific American Foundation, Center for Marine Debris Research, 'Āina Momona, Umauma Farms, Kamehameha Schools, Waipā  Foundation, Maui Hub, County of Hawai‘i Research and Development, and USDA Farm Service Agency.

The multi-year grant will help to further enrich diversity at HPU, which is already one of the most diverse universities in the U.S. The grant will help strengthen collaborations with Alaska and Hawai‘i-based organizations and be a strong pipeline of high school applications who are interested in food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences at HPU.

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