WKU meteorology student receives NOAA Hollings scholarship

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(Photo by Clinton Lewis)

WKU student Abraham Tekoe is one of 120 undergraduates nationally selected for the Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship. He will receive up to $9,500 to support two years of college education and a paid summer internship at a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) facility.

Tekoe, a senior graduate in the spring of 2023 with a major in meteorology and geographic information systems, is the son of Edem and Adzowa Tekoe. A current resident of Clarksville, Tennessee, he hails from the country of Togo in West Africa.

“Abraham is having one of the best starts of any meteorology student in the history of our program,” said Dr. Greg Goodrich, associate professor and meteorology program coordinator at WKU. “Abraham will be the rare student to have paid summer research experiences for his first three summers as a university student. The Hollings scholarship puts him on the right track to be a highly competitive candidate for graduate school.

Last summer, Tekoe completed a National Science Foundation (NSF) Undergraduate Student (REU) Research Experience in Alpine Meteorology at the University of Utah. There he worked with Dr. William J. Steenburgh and WKU alumnus Dallas McKinney on a project titled “Snow-Liquid Ratio Climatology in the Wasatch Mountains of Northern Utah”. He will soon be completing another NSF REU in Earth System Science at Colorado State University.

Administered by NOAA, the scholarship honors the legacy of Senator Ernest Hollings of South Carolina. Senator Hollings played a major role in the creation of NOAA and the enactment of a number of laws to protect the environment, such as the Sustainable Fisheries Act and the Oceans Act. The Hollings Fellowship is designed to increase undergraduate education in ocean and atmospheric science and recruit students for public sector careers with NOAA and other science agencies at all levels of government.

After earning his bachelor’s degree from WKU, Tekoe will pursue graduate studies to become a research meteorologist at one of NOAA’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Laboratories.

“I want to thank my parents for their love and support, especially in my decision to pursue studies in meteorology,” Tekoe said. “I would like to thank Dr. Melinda Grimsley and Dallas McKinney for their assistance throughout the application process. And finally, I want to thank Dr. Gregory Goodrich from WKU and Dr. Jim Steenburg from the University of Utah for taking the time to write my letters of recommendation.

McKinney is the third WKU student to be selected for the scholarship since 2013. He sought advice from the Office of Academic Development through their weekly writing lab to prepare his Hollings scholarship application.

About the Office of Scholar Development: The Office of Scholar Development is committed to helping WKU students in all honors and degree programs develop the vision, experience, and skills necessary to become independent and committed academics. OSD welcomes the opportunity to work with students interested in nationally competitive scholarships.

Contact: Melinda Grimsley, [email protected]

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