News & Recipients

Two USF Students Receive Hollings Scholarship

Two USF sophomores, Danya Awshah and Abigail Reed, were honored this year with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship. This program includes an academic scholarship and a 10-week, full-time paid summer internship at a NOAA facility. During their internship experience, students also complete research under a NOAA mentor and are provided funding to present at national conferences. 

Both of this year’s USF Hollings recipients are members of the Judy Genshaft Honors College and worked with the Office of National Scholars (ONS) during their application process. Their NOAA internship and research experience will take place in summer 2023.

Danya is an Environmental Science and Policy major, with a minor in Chemistry. She is involved across campus, including currently serving on the executive board of the USF Student Environmental Association. Danya participates in undergraduate research as an assistant in Dr. Ping Wang’s Coastal Geology Lab, analyzing sediment samples. She hopes to eventually obtain her Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry and spend her career researching climate change and its effects on the oceans and atmosphere. Danya hopes that she can utilize her skills in multiple disciplines to expand her impact. Last year, she participated in an internship with B is for Benefit, a company that works with businesses to promote economic growth while focusing on positive environmental impact, much like the mission of NOAA. Her experiences in research, leadership, and communication will allow her to not only make discoveries in the lab, but apply them in protecting our world.

Abigail is also an Environmental Science and Policy major, pursuing minors in Philosophy and Geology. She began research on water quality in southwest Florida in middle school, attending numerous science fairs, winning the Stockholm Junior Water Prize twice, and being recognized by the American Meteorological Society. She also created a program teaching inclusive sex education for LGBTQ+ high school students, which led to her being named a Point Scholar in 2020. Abigail hopes to promote environmental stewardship and justice through her work, pursuing potential careers in environmental law and water management. She is currently assisting within the Ecohydrology Research Group at USF, under Dr. Kai Rains. Their project, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, focuses on how geographic information systems can be used to establish priorities for watershed restoration in the Indian River Lagoon. Abigail looks forward to her experience with NOAA and graduate school in the future.

“I am very proud of Danya and Abigail and know that they will contribute important work to protect our environment for future generations,” says Judy Genshaft Honors College Endowed Dean, Dr. Charles Adams. “I am also grateful to our staff in the Office of National Scholars for helping these talented students identify and pursue these life-changing opportunities.”

Read more about the Hollings Scholarship here, or email our advisors to schedule an appointment to discuss the application process.