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USF Students Receive Hollings Scholarship

Three USF sophomores, Sofia Gluskin, Kim Ho, and Olivia Tuckey, were honored this year with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship. This award includes academic assistance (up to $9,500 per year) for two years of full-time study and a 10-week, full-time paid summer internship at a NOAA facility. During their internship, students also complete research under a NOAA mentor and are provided funding to present that research at national conferences. 

Each of this year’s USF Hollings recipients are members of the Judy Genshaft Honors College and worked with the Office of National Scholarships (ONS) during their application process. In summer 2022, they will participate in their hands-on, practical experience with NOAA-related science, research, technology, policy, management, and education activities.

Kim Ho is a Tampa, Florida local pursuing concurrent degrees in Computer Science and Quantitative Economics. She is the president of USF’s Climate Action Coalition, and found out about the Hollings Scholarship opportunity after visiting ONS to discuss environmental programs on campus. Her current NOAA research interest is in the supply chain of fish and determining ways to reach the demand for them in a sustainable way. “Working with ONS advisor Lauren Roberts helped me see how my economics focus could fit in the NOAA platform,” she says.

Each Hollings recipient will learn their internship placements this fall. Ho is excited to get a jump start on experiential field work with her Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) at the Oakridge Institute for Science Education at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville this summer. There, she will intern with experts to research the predictive systems biology for circular and sustainable economies. “I am excited to bring what I learn from the REU experience to my NOAA internship next summer and hope that both opportunities help me further identify the ways that I can help the most with current environmental issues,” she says. “While the Hollings application was difficult at times, with ONS’ help it was well worth that effort, and will help me fine-tune my career path.”

Sofia Gluskin, from Brandon, Florida, is a Biology major who says she always knew that she wanted to attend USF and pursue scientific research. She found out about the Hollings opportunity through her biology department last fall and immediately contacted Roberts to begin the application process. “Protecting the environment has always been important to me, and I am excited to pursue a career that allows me to do just that,” she says.

Gluskin hopes to be placed with a NOAA internship opportunity that will allow her to study the impact of climate change on animal species. “I am particularly interested in studying the effects of human impacts, such as over-fishing and pollution, on the health and overall well-being of ocean environments and how changes to those environments can then impact humans. I am excited that this great opportunity will allow me to gain hands-on experience with experts in the field and apply what I have been learning in school to a practical setting,” she says. “ONS made the Hollings application process as streamlined as possible, and the hard work was worth it, as I am confident that this scholarship opportunity will help me determine my career path and how I can use my skills to best protect the environment for the future.”

A Cell and Molecular Biology major with an Anthropology minor, Olivia Tuckey is from Niceville, Florida. She received an email about the Hollings opportunity from her department and quickly began working with Roberts on the application. She is interested in conservation restoration and recently joined a research group working with copapods (small crustaceans found in both fresh and salt water) with the department of integrative biology. “ONS Director, Dr. Sayan Basu, helped me secure this research opportunity, and I have learned a lot from it,” she says.  

Tuckey says she is excited to complete an internship with NOAA next summer and hopes to gain experience with environmental lab research. “I want to put my skills to work helping to improve our natural habitats,” she says. “The Hollings Scholarship is a wonderful opportunity to refine this plan, and working with Lauren in ONS helped me express these aspirations.”

All three recipients plan to pursue graduate study after completing their bachelor’s degrees and look forward to using the knowledge they gain through their Hollings internships to determine their future plans.

“I am very proud of Sofia, Kim, and Olivia and know that they will complete 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 Scholarships for their work 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.