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Congrats to Drexel's 2018 Hollings Scholar!

April 5, 2018

Congratulations to Drexel's 2018 NOAA Hollings Scholarship recipient -- Sophia Courtney!

Sophia (Sofi) Courtney (BS Environmental Science ’20, Honors) has received the 2018 Earnest F. Hollings Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Sofi is one of just 120 students from across the United States to receive this award, which recognizes the nation’s top undergraduates interested in pursuing research, public service, or teaching careers in the oceanic and atmospheric sciences.

Sofi transferred to Drexel University in 2016 after a career as a bicycle mechanic and horticulturist. As a member of the West Philadelphia community, Sofi has been a leader in many community garden and land maintenance projects. At Drexel she is studying environmental science with a concentration on ecology and conservation and hopes to use her education to promote the conservation of wild places through research and public engagement. Her research interest is focused on plant animal interactions in wetlands, particularly in swamps and bogs. Sofi's first co-op was with the wetlands section of Academy of Natural Sciences, where she still works today. This upcoming co-op she will be performing vegetation surveys in the panda reserves of Sichuan Province, China.

Sofi is the third Drexel student to be named a Hollings Scholar since the award was established. Huge congratulations, Sofi!


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, students 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.

For more information, visit our Hollings Scholarship page or contact fellowships@drexel.edu.