Honors Students Make List of Hollings Scholars

Friday, May 22, 2020

UNCW Honors students Ashton Cloer ’22 and Ryan Walsh ’22 are among the 2020 class of Hollings Scholars. The prestigious scholarships are awarded annually to students planning careers in oceanic or atmospheric science, research, technology or education. Awarded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, they are named in honor of the late U.S. Senator Ernest F. Hollings, who was instrumental in the creation of NOAA.

Scholars receive a two-year academic scholarship for their junior and senior years, paid summer internship opportunities, and funding to participate in two national scientific conferences. The ongoing threat of COVID-19 will cause the orientation and all 2020 internships to be conducted virtually.

Cloer, who is double majoring in marine biology and political science, has always aspired to be a marine biologist and said UNCW is “the perfect school” for those aspirations. She is an active member of the Marine Mammal Stranding Club; a fitness supervisor at the Student Recreation Center and served as the vice president of sustainability and service for the Resident Hall Association for the 2019-20 school year.

“My mentor at my internship last summer was a past Hollings scholar and recommended that I apply for it,” she said. “I was honestly shocked when I read the email confirming I was a recipient,” she said.

Walsh, who is majoring in biology and environmental science and minoring in Spanish and chemistry, learned about the scholarship through the UNCW Honors College.

“UNCW has a great reputation for producing Hollings scholars and I knew I wanted to be one of them,” he said. “This opportunity, along with the experience of presenting my research at scientific conferences, is one that I couldn’t pass up. I am honored to receive such an award and I can’t wait to see where it brings me.”

Preparing students for post-graduation success and increasing post-graduation career placement is a major initiative of UNCW’s Strategic Plan.

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-- Caroline Cropp