From the UA News Center | University of Alabama students Aurora Baker, of St. Louis and Kylie Overton, of Brentwood, Tennessee, are recipients of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship.
The Hollings Scholarship Program provides successful undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance up to $9,500 per year for two years of full-time study and a 10-week, full-time paid internship at a NOAA facility during the summer.
Forty-one UA students have received scholarships since the program’s inception in 2005.
Baker is a Randall Research Scholar and UA Honors College student majoring in environmental science and minoring in Spanish. She is also an accelerated master’s program student studying geography with a concentration in geographic information systems. Under Dr. Justin Hart in the Forest Dynamics Lab, Baker studies the topographic effects on residual tree spatial patterns after catastrophic wind disturbance in longleaf pine woodlands. This summer, she has accepted a research experience for undergraduates, or REU, position in cave and karst science at James Madison University.
Outside of research, Baker is the president of the UA Forest Stewards Guild, the Randall Research Scholars representative on the Honors College Advisory Board and Randall Research Scholars intramural sports manager. She has previously received University honors including the Honors College Student of the Month, Randall Research Scholars Outstanding Service Award and Randall Research Scholars Outstanding Freshman.
Overton is an Honors College student pursuing a dual bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and environmental science with minors in the Randall Research Scholars Program and Blount Scholars Program. She conducts research on membrane filtration and materials synthesis for wastewater purification within the Elliott Water Research Group under Dr. Mark Elliott and Dr. Mostafa Firouzjaei. She also conducts research on food insecurity within the Ancient People and Plants Laboratory under Dr. Katherine Chiou.
Overton is the director of service of the New College student-led course called Outdoor Leadership and Service. She serves as the director of advocacy with the Environment Council and as the vice president of the Veg Club. She is also part of the rock-climbing club and enjoys volunteering at Jeremiah’s Community Garden.
The UA Office of External Scholarships and Fellowships assists students in the pursuit of national and international awards including the Hollings, Goldwater, Rhodes and Boren, among others. Students interested in applying for awards that require an institutional endorsement can learn more on the External Scholarships and Fellowships website.