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Project Imua Teams

*The community colleges participating in Project Imua this year are Windward Community College and Honolulu Community College.

Windward Community College Mentors


Dr. Joseph Ciotti: Investigator

Dr. Joseph Ciotti is a Professor of Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics at Windward Community College. He is the founder and director of WCC's Center for Aerospace Education, and acts as the college's Associate Director for the Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium. He designed WCC's Lanihuli Observatory as well as the planetariums at both WCC (Hokulani Imaginarium) and UH-Hilo ('Imiloa Astronomy Center). He also established the college's NASA AEL and serves as a NASA Space Ambassador.





Dr. Jacob Hudson: Team Official

Dr. Jacob Hudson Jr. is a lecturer of Physics and Astronomy at Windward Community College. After receiving his Ph.D. in High Energy Particle Astrophysics, Dr. Hudson has maintained an active interest in aerospace studies and, in particular, rocket propulsion. Dr. Hudson is the Coordinator for the NASA Aerospace Education Laboratory (AEL), part of the Center for Aerospace Education, and is the Associate Direcor for Rocketry in the Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium. NAR #82342 HPR Certified.




Honolulu Community College Mentors


Dr. Shidong Kan: Director

Dr. Shidong Kan is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Honolulu Community College. He is the college's Associate Director of the Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium (HSGC). Dr. Kan has taught various Physics courses at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and Honolulu Community College, including introductory physics, algebra based and calculus bases physics. He is also the Principle Investigator of a Federal Grant Pre-Engineering Education Collaborative II (PEEC II).





Helen Rapozo: IT Specialist/Mentor

Helen Rapozo is an Information Specialist at Honolulu Community College. Helen helps the team with using the University of Hawaii collaboration software tools and public web page, and also assists by taking photographs and advising on controller programming. Helen always has spare batteries, just in case.






Damien Apilando: Student Lead (WinCC)

Damien Apilando is a level 2 certified member of the Tripoli High Powered Rocketry Association, an experience programmer, and game designer. Damien played an instrumental role in Project Imua's RockSat-X project in 2017.

Julian Earle (WinCC)

Julian Earle is receiving his Associates in Natural Science's with an emphasis in Physics. He will be attending UH Manoa in Spring, 2018 to work towards his B.S. in Physics and minor in Astrophysics. He has a strong interest in theoretical physics.

Aspen Morgan (WinCC)

Aspen Morgan graduated from Windward Community College in Spring, 2017 with an Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts. She is currently taking classes at WinCC to transfer to a mainland college in Fall, 2018. Her current interests are applied mathematics and physics, but she has not decided on her future major.



Dylan Boeman (WinCC)

Dylan Boeman is working toward his Associates in Natural Science's at Windward Community College. He has seven years of experience in aerospace matienance, working on the C-17 and C-130 aircrafts for active duty in the Air Force. He participated in the 2017 ARLISS project and has attained level 1 certification with the Tripoli High Powered Rocketry Association.

Aolani Zidek (WinCC)

Aolani Zidek is currently in her third semester of college, and in her second semester at Windward Community College. She is working towards her Associates in Natural Sciences, and plans to major in some STEM field for her Bachelor's degree. Her academic interests include biology, mathematics, and physics.

hlaunch Knyte Bennett (HonCC)

Knyte Bennett is currently working on a degree in Audio Engineering with hopes of moving on to either Computer or Electrical Engineering. He has been a part of the Honolulu Community College MAG program for two semesters now and it has only added to his interest in the field. In this short period of time, he has gone from being an amateur with no real experience to the lead on designing an electrical payload.

Lauren Grzegorczyk (HonCC)

Lauren Grzegorczyk is an aspiring Neuroscientist. She is especially interested in the research of neurological and psychiatric diseases. On her free time she enjoys musical theatre, model rocketry, and learning about astronomy. She hopes to one day make big contributions to science and medicine to impact the world for the better.

Johnathan York (HonCC)

Johnathan York from Baltimore Maryland is a veteran of the United States Navy. His hobbies include playing basketball, watching movies, reading books and comics, working on cars, and volunteering. After seperating from the Navy he chose to remain in Honolulu to utilize his GI Bill for his bachelor's degree in an engineering field as well as his master's. He currently attends HCC for his Associates in Liberal arts.

Mia Fong (HonCC)

Mia Fong is currently pursuing an Associates In Natural Science - Engineering at Honolulu Community College.  Her future plans are to complete her degree and transfer to UH Mānoa for Electrical Engineering. She is very interested in combining modern science with Hawaiian culture to further current sustainability practices. By utilizing ancestral knowledge and scientific processes in conjunction, she hopes to bring out the best in both.


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last updated 7-14-18