Biology Undergraduate Receives Hollings Environmental Science Scholarship

Provides $9,500 per Year for Two Years plus NOAA Summer Internship

Rachel Sanchez-Ruffra, a University of Houston biology major, was selected as a recipient of a Hollings Environmental Science Scholarship.

NSM Students Rachel Sanchez-Ruffra and Jacob “True” Furrh at the 2018 NOAA Undergraduate Scholars Orientation in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The Hollings Scholarship, instituted in 2005, pays tribute to Senator Ernest Hollings of South Carolina, an advocate for ocean policy and conservation. The scholarship supports undergraduate education in the environmental sciences through scholarships and internships with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The scholarship, open to university sophomores, offers up to $9,500 in tuition per year for the junior and senior year, as well as a 10-week, paid internship at a NOAA facility during the summer. Jacob “True” Furrh, a UH environmental science and civil engineering major, was also selected for the honor.

In 2017, Sanchez-Ruffra, a member of the Honors College, participated in GalapaGO, a month-long, research-based study abroad experience in the Galápagos Islands organized by NSM. Through this experience, she developed an appreciation for ecological field research. She hopes to pursue a graduate degree and a career conducting research in environmental protection and preservation.

By offering hands-on experience in environmental science, research, technology, policy, education, and management, internships with NOAA have a proven track record of launching successful careers in environmental science. NOAA reports that 75 percent of Hollings recipients go on to graduate school, and more than 7 percent have since received National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

Applicants to the Hollings Scholarship must be sophomores at the time of application and should have an interest in pursuing a career related to public service or oceanic and atmospheric research. The application for 2019 will be available on September 1.

- Excerpted from an article by Mallory Chesser, Honors College