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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

NOAA Hollings fellowship awarded to five South Carolina undergraduates

Five University of South Carolina students were named NOAA Hollings winners for 2020-2021. This elite fellowship supports undergraduates studying oceanic, environmental, biological and atmospheric sciences, as well as mathematics, engineering, remote sensing technology, physical and social sciences including geography, physics, hydrology, geomatics or teacher education that support NOAA's programs and mission.

The 2021 winners are Emma Jackson, a marine science major and Capstone Scholar from Missouri; Erin (Maggie) Kemp, a civil engineering major and Honors College student from Maryland; Harrison Bench, a BARSC environmental policy major and Honors College student from New York; Heather Bruck, a biological science major and Honors College student from Ohio; and Kaitlyn Dirr, a biological sciences major and Honors College student from North Carolina.

Why it matters:

  • NOAA Hollings scholars are students who show promise of becoming innovative and influential researchers early in their careers.
  • The NOAA Hollings fellowship is awarded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and covers a significant portion of the students’ academic expenses and a ten-week full-time summer internship at a NOAA facility.
  • The 2021 winners are an achievement that aligns with the university’s "A Path to Excellence" strategic plan, specifically priority No. 8, Win With Character.
  • UofSC has produced 66 NOAA Hollings winners since 2005 and continues to be a top three producer of Hollings scholars nationally.
  • Hollings Scholars often go on to win other major awards after their experiences with NOAA – including the Goldwater, the Truman, the NSF GRFP, the DoD NDSEG, and the Rhodes scholarships.

"We are so excited for our Hollings Scholars,” says Claudia Benitez-Nelson, professor of and advisor to NOAA Hollings applicants. “Hollings Scholars go on to do amazing work in helping address our most important environmental issues."

The NOAA Hollings fellowship application process is administered at South Carolina by the university’s National Fellowships and Scholar Programs. Applicants are also supported by experienced and dedicated Hollings faculty advisors Claudia Benitez-Nelson and Tammi Richardson from the School of Earth, Ocean and Environment. Richardson says that "[t]he NOAA Hollings Scholarship is one of the most prestigious scholarships available for students with interests in the environment. We are very proud of our Hollings winners!"

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