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Congrats to Drexel's 2016 Hollings Scholars!

April 4, 2016

Congratulations to Drexel's first Hollings Scholarship recipients -- Nick Barber and Vincent O'Leary!

Two Drexel students have received the 2016 Earnest F. Hollings Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A total 125 students from across the United States received this award, which recognizes the nation’s top undergraduates interested in pursuing research, public service, or teaching careers in the oceanic and atmospheric sciences. 

Nick Barber Nicholas Barber (BS Geoscience ’18, Honors) is a third year geoscience student minoring in chemistry and President of the OUR Undergraduate Research Leaders program. At Drexel, Nick has conducted research on sediment transfer dynamics under Dr. Ken Lacovera in the Drexel Paleontology lab and on freshwater steam energetics with Dr. Jerry Mead.  Nick is currently conducting research with Dr. Loÿc Vanderkluysen on the chemical evolution of the Deccan Trapps large igneous province in Western India.

As a Hollings Scholar, Nick hopes to work with the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratories (PMEL) Earth-Oceans Interactions Program, which focuses on understanding deep-sea processes such as hydrothermal vents and submarine volcanism, and their effects on the physical, chemical and biological properties of the ocean. This experience will contribute to his understanding of the physical mechanisms driving the engine of earth systems, plate tectonics. After Drexel, Nick plans to pursue a PhD in Geochemistry, focusing his research on trace element geochemistry. He hopes to study the evolution and origin of plate tectonics on Earth, with a focus on fieldwork in Southeast Asia.

OLeary SizedVincent O'Leary (BS Environmental Science & BS Geoscience '18, Honors) is passionate about the intersection of the environment and society, as well as freshwater ecology and conservation. At Drexel, Vincent has worked with Dr. Jerry Mead at the Academy of Natural Sciences on a project using geographic information systems (GIS) and data analysis to map land snail biodiversity across Jamaica, with the goal of informing policies on sustainable development and agriculture. He has also conducted research with Dr. Mead on a project that uses satellite imagery to model stream ecosystems throughout the Delaware River. He is currently working as a Curatorial Assistant to Dr. Ted Deaschler in the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

As a Hollings Scholar, Vincent hopes to work with NOAA teams on using predictive modeling to understand and communicate changes in our ocean and climate systems. After Drexel, he plans to pursue a PhD in Environmental Science. He hopes to become an active university researcher and educator, which will allow him to share discoveries and passions with the wider public while educating the next generation of environmental scientists.

Nicholas and Vincent are the first Drexel students to be named Hollings Scholars. Huge congratulations to you both!

About the Hollings Scholarship

The NOAA Hollings Scholarship is awarded annually to students seeking careers in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology and education, in honor of long-time South Carolina Senator Ernest F. Hollings. Hollings served in Congress for 36 years, where he was instrumental in the creation of NOAA and was an advocate in creating legislation designed to protect the world’s oceans.

As Hollings Scholars, these students will receive academic assistance for full-time study, as well as hands-on, practical educational training experience in NOAA-related science, research, technology, policy, management, and education activities. Awards also include travel funds to attend a mandatory NOAA Scholarship Program orientation, conferences where students present a paper or poster, and a housing subsidy for scholars who do not reside at home during the summer internship.

This is the first year the Drexel Fellowships Office has included the Hollings Scholarship as one of its Priority Awards, a list of fellowships of particular interest to students at Drexel. 

For more information, visit our Hollings Scholarship page or contact Dr. Meredith Wooten, Director, Fellowships Office.