Students were informed of their win via email during the first week of April. “I was in my room taking a break between classes,” recalled Hudson—whose marine science interests include macrofaunal ecology, especially predator-prey interactions, shifting community structures, and population dynamics. “In the couple of seconds it took to load the email, my brain registered that I had also seen the words ‘Hollings’ and ‘congratulations!’ I jumped out of my bed, shaking but trying to keep quiet so as not to disturb my roommates who were working.”
As the good news spread, students texted one another to learn of each other’s fate. Successful applicants like Sophia, an aspiring marine wildlife veterinarian, credit their Eckerd research experiences with helping them stand out. “I was awarded the First-Year Research Associateship, so I was able to start working for a microplastics research project as soon as I started college here at Eckerd,” Sophia said. “This gave me a lot of experience in the lab, and I even got the chance to participate in research cruises to collect data. I also joined the Eckerd College Search and Rescue Team, which has taught me boat skills as well as given me leadership opportunities that apply well to working in teams of all kinds.”
Fellowship and Scholarship Advisor Kat Robinson, Ph.D., annually invites first-year students to learn more about the Hollings Scholarship and outlines the intensive application process for those interested. “[Dr. Robinson] advised me throughout my application process, and the overall accessibility of professors at Eckerd helped tremendously in getting guidance and preparing for the Hollings,” said Lily, who plans to study cephalopods in the future.