Western Finishes Third Nationally as a Producer of Prestigious Hollings/NOAA Scholars


Western Washington University finished tied with Stanford University for third nationally as producers of prestigious National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholars for 2018.

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Western produced five Hollings scholars this year; no other college or university in the Pacific Northwest produced more than two.

“These are very prestigious awards and we could not be prouder of these students. Their success really points to the strengths of our marine biology and environmental science programs,” said Steven VanderStaay, Western’s vice provost for Undergraduate Education.

The Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship was established in 2005 in honor of U.S. Sen. Ernest F. Hollings, who was well known for supporting ocean policy and conservation.

The Hollings Scholarship includes a two-year academic scholarship and a summer internship opportunity for full-time undergraduate STEM and education majors. Scholarship recipients receive an academic award of $9,500 per year, as well as a 10-week, full-time, paid summer internship at any NOAA facility nationwide, with all travel expenses included in the award. Scholars also receive funding to present their NOAA research projects at up to two national scientific conferences.

Western’s five Hollings scholars are:

  • Delaney Adams / Wichita, Kansas
  • Laura Anthony / Helena, Montana
  • Risa Askerooth / Mililani, Hawaii
  • Bobbi Bevacqua /  Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Michael Finley / Lake Stevens, Washington


More than 600 students nationally applied to be Hollings scholars; 125 were accepted into the program.

“NOAA welcomes the 2018 undergraduate scholars, an accomplished group of students ready to investigate our changing environment, from forecasting severe storms, to monitoring our climate, to managing the nation’s fisheries, and to restoring our coasts. We are proud to help educate the next generation of scientists, stewards, and educators,” said the Director of NOAA Education, Louisa Koch.

For more information on WWU’s Hollings scholars, contact Western’s Office of Communications and Marketing at news@wwu.edu or at (360) 650-3350.