University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
- Communication (M.A.) 2010
- Biology (B.A.) 2006
What led you to where you are as a news anchor at KVAL (CBS 13 in Eugene, Oregon)?
My heart has always been and always will be in the field of science. It's definitely the coolest major to have ;) However, I knew that my real passion was always in television and entertainment. After graduating from the University of Hawaii with my BA in Biology, I really did some soul searching. My initial goal was to become a medical doctor but my gut told me that I wasn't doing it for myself. I went back to school for my masters in Communication and at the same time started to intern for a local television station and write for Ka Leo. That's when I realized that this was the field that I wanted to pursue as my career.
During my masters program was when I landed my first on air job as a traffic anchor and social media reporter at KITV. Three and a half years later my current boss at KVAL was vacationing in Hawaii, saw me on air and the rest is history!
Tell us a unique story.
I'm the oldest of four kids....three girls and a boy. When we were younger, my dad would line up my sisters and me and point to each one of us saying "You will be a doctor, you will be a lawyer and you will be a brain surgeon." Instead he got a news anchor, a NYC Hotel Manager and an online fashion consumer specialist for Diesel jeans. His last resort is my brother...hopefully he'll continue with medicine after graduating from West Point. LOL!
Tell us about your MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) experience.
When I first started the program it was originally called Haumana. For anyone who is in the science field wanting to get lab experience with some of the best scientists in the field and on campus.... this program was incredible for me! My mentor Dr. L.Takahashi not only taught me so much about the brain (specifically the amygdala) but he also taught me the importance of research and what we did was making a huge impact on many peoples lives.
I've made life long friends with people all over the country and was able to get two articles published, one from Dr. Takahashi's lab and the other from University of California San Diego (UCSD). Through the program, we were also given the opportunity to work in a lab at other Universities. I was fortunate to work at UCSD and study the heart. Living in San Diego was an experience on its own! I am still so grateful for all the opportunities that MARC has given me.
One of my favorite memories of the program was when we all went to Dallas, Texas to present our work at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. It was a conference with students from all over the US presenting the work that they've done in biomedical research and I got my first poster presentation award!