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A true Truman Scholar


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College of Social Sciences graduating senior Daniel Arakawa, double majoring in Political Science and Sociology, has been named a Truman Scholar, considered the nation’s premier graduate scholarship for aspiring public service leaders. Arakawa is the only Truman Scholar recipient from Hawaiʻi this year.

The graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama (KS Kapālama) and native of Kāneʻohe hopes to become an assistant U.S. attorney and eventually serve as a federal judge.

Truman Scholars demonstrate outstanding leadership potential, a commitment to a career in government or the nonprofit sector, and academic excellence. Each awardee receives funding for graduate studies, leadership training, career counseling, and special internship and fellowship opportunities within the federal government.

Arakawa was an intern with then-Lt. Governor Josh Green in 2022, and became a constituent services specialist for newly elected Governor Green in January 2023. Through these positions, Arakawa said he developed a passion for public service and an understanding of the political process by working closely with and supporting underserved communities. He intends to pursue a Juris Doctor focusing on criminal law.

Arakawa will also serve as a CSS student marshal at UH Mānoa’s Spring 2024 Commencement ceremony on May 11, and recently joined Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest academic honor society in the nation. He credits Sociology Professor David Johnson and Political Science Professor Jonathan Goldberg-Hiller with helping to develop his interest in law and the criminal justice system.

“Daniel is the most special student that I have encountered in 25 years of teaching at UH,” said Johnson, who had Arakawa in four Sociology classes. “Several qualities set him apart, including his desire to look carefully at the world and see it for what it is, his passion for asking questions without fear or favor, and his ability to drain heat and anger from controversial topics and replace them with wonder and curiosity.”

Added Political Science’s Goldberg-Hiller, “Daniel is an exceptional student with a strong commitment to public service. We are all very proud of the honor he has achieved with this prestigious scholarship.”

Additional news stories from the College of Social Sciences.

Daniel Arakawa
Daniel Arakawa