• Full-time ndergraduate or graduate Ethnic Studies major/minor
  • Good academic standing
  • Demonstrates prior or intented community work or advocacy in the area of Socioeconomic Development
  • Preference shall be given to students who can demonstrate Hawaiian Home Lands residents or students with a Federal Indian Reservation residency


When the Department of Ethnic Studies was the Center for Applied Studies in American Ethnicity (CASAE) a bright, young woman enrolled in its program specializing in Asian American/Pacific American Studies. As a young Center, CASAE had only been in existence for three years when Tamar deFries Saronitman, a student with a strong mind, a heart of gold, and a streak of activism, graduated (1997) with a certificate in Asian American/Asian Pacific Islander Studies. Tamar went on to receive her Master’s from University of Hawaii, Manoa, started a family, and is now principal of Pacific Growth Associates, a certified Community Development Entity specializing in New Market Tax Credits. Tamar’s work closely follows the tenets extolled in the mission of Ethnic Studies: “to challenge paradigms that systematically marginalize the experiences of diverse populations. In doing so, we bring to bear issues of power, privilege, and social justice pertinent to aggrieved groups in the United States and abroad. We are especially committed to nurturing civic-minded and culturally informed students who strive to strengthen communities and bring meaningful change in public policy and social life.”

Tamar follows a long line of CSU graduates: Tamar’s father, Hiram deFries, played football for CSU and graduated in 1963 with a business degree; her grandfather graduated in 1932 with a degree in mechanical engineering; Ray Clapper, her uncle, graduated in 1969 in economics; Phillip Dougherty, her uncle, graduated with a Bachelor’s in natural science in 1962, and a Master’s in chemistry in 1966.

Tamar’s establishment of the Hiram and Trudi deFries Scholarship is borne out of her great love for CSU, and for the work of the Ethnic Studies department. This scholarship will, in perpetuity, assist students engaging in community work or advocacy in the area of Socioeconomic Development, especially for those students hailing from Hawaiian Home Lands established under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1921 or Federal Indian Reservations in the continental United States.