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Five Eckerd College Students Are Selected As Hollings Scholars by the NOAA

posted on 10/09/2006



Eckerd College students Kelli Hoover, Courtney Nosach, Kimberly Schmidt, Andrew Stoffa and Daniel Widener have been selected as 2006 Hollings Scholars. Awarded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program is in its second year.

Hollings scholarships were awarded to 101 students from 74 colleges and universities across 37 states. Eckerd College tops the list of having the most award recipients, more than any other school, including Harvard, Brown and the University of Michigan.

The undergraduate scholarships, awarded in honor of Senator Hollings (South Carolina-D) who championed the creation of the NOAA and was among the most vocal of ocean advocates during his 36 years in Congress, are awarded annually to accredited college or university students interested in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology and education.

The purpose of the Hollings Scholarship Program is to increase public understanding and recruit and prepare students for public service careers or careers as teachers and educators in oceanic and atmospheric science. Students are required to participate in a 10-week summer internship and attend the Hollings Scholarship Program conference at the completion of the internship.

Eckerd's Hollings Scholars

Kelli Hoover is majoring in marine science with a concentration in chemistry and intends to minor in physics and Spanish. She's a Ford Scholar in the Honors Program, and in 2004-05, she was a freshman research associate for a paleoclimatology internship researching the historical sea surface temperature record of Tampa Bay. That same year, she was a member of the women's cross-country team. Currently, Kelli is a member of the Eckerd College Search and Rescue Team, swim club and is a chemistry stockroom assistant. She is the daughter of Murrel Brewer Hoover of Elkview, West Virginia and Joe Hoover of Pinch, West Virginia and attended South Charleston High School in South Charleston, WV. Kelli plans to spend her 10-week paid NOAA summer internship studying the relationship between the oceans and atmosphere in climate changes, in Miami, Boulder, CO, or Seattle.


Courtney Nosach is majoring in marine science with a concentration in biology and minoring in Spanish. At Eckerd, she serves as president of the and as an officer of the Ballet Club; she has been a member of the Sailing Team. Last summer, she interned at Save The Bay in Rhode Island studying eelgrass restoration and training volunteers. This past summer, she worked in conjunction with Dr. Brad Robbins of Mote Marine Laboratory performing a seed germination experiment on wild celery, a type of seagrass. Courtney may spend her 10-week paid NOAA summer internship studying at the marine sanctuary in Hawaii or doing undersea research in Monterey Bay, CA. Courtney is the daughter of John & Jill Nosach of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, where she attended North Kingstown High School.


Kimberly Schmidt is majoring in marine science, minoring in chemistry, is on the Dean's List and is in Eckerd's Honors Program. She has served as a writing tutor and as a teaching assistant in marine science and marine invertebrate biology. She is a member of Eckerd's Earth Society and Herpetology Society and has volunteered for the SunCoast Seabird Sanctuary in St. Pete.

Kimberly has extensive experience as an intern and as a volunteer field assistant; including, assisting with necropsy, tissue maceration, tissue extraction and feather isotope processes of marine and estuarine birds at Seabird Ecological Assessment Network at the University of South Florida, researching the sea turtle population in Uruguay, assisting in an annual census of a quadrat survey of parasitized marine snails in mangrove swamps, assisting with a gopher tortoise research population recapture survey, and assisting with a freshwater turtle population recapture survey. Kimberly has received the Girl Scout Gold Award and Girl Scout Silver Award. The daughter of Robert A. and Mary Ellen Schmidt of Hoffman Estates, IL, she attended William Fremd High School in Palatine, IL.


Andrew Stoffa is double majoring in environmental studies and political science. He is a residential advisor (RA) and is involved in Eckerd College EMS. Andrew is the son of Dennis and Margie Stoffa of Carmichaels, PA, where he attended Carmichaels Area High School. He plans to spend his 10-week paid NOAA summer internship working for the NOAA office in St. Petersburg, FL, on fisheries management and fisheries law enforcement.


Daniel Widener is majoring in marine biology and minoring in computer science. He is on the Dean's List and participated in the 2004 Advanced Computing & Mathematics Competition. Daniel is the son of Stanley & Carolyn Widener of Greenville, SC, where he attended J. L. Mann High School. He plans to pursue a position that focuses on the applications of computer science to marine biology, either in application programming, database systems, or GIS systems.

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