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The University of Alabama

Two UA Chemistry Majors Named Hollings Scholars

eRichard Cockrum

Richard Cockrum (Photo by Kayla Evans)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Two University of Alabama students have received National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarships for 2009–2010.

The students, Richard Cockrum and Emily Wayman, are both chemistry majors in UA’s College of Arts and Sciences and were among some 100 students nationwide awarded the scholarship this year.

Fifteen UA students have been named Hollings Scholars since the inception of the scholarship in 2005.

“We’ve just been really lucky to have such accomplished students, and they’ve really helped us accomplish some of the research goals of the University,” said Dr. David Dixon, professor and Robert Ramsay Chair in the College’s department of chemistry. Both Cockrum and Wayman are doing research under Dixon’s direction.

The scholarships provide $8,000 per year for full-time study during the junior and senior years and $6,500 for a 10-week internship at NOAA or a NOAA-approved facility during the summer between the junior and senior years.

Students studying biological and agricultural sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, engineering, computer and information sciences, social and behavioral sciences and teacher education are eligible to apply.

Cockrum, a junior from Tuscaloosa, said his research relates to the decomposition of chemical weapons of mass destruction. Ultimately, the research will help develop better knowledge about weapons of mass destruction and ways to neutralize them.  

Cockrum is a University Fellow, an Honors College Ambassador, a member of the Computer-Based Honors Program and a recent member of the Honors College Student Advisory Board. He is secretary for Gamma Sigma Epsilon, associate editor for JOSHUA (Journal of Science and Health at UA) and he is also a member of the SOURCE: Organization Leadership Team. 


Emily Wayman

Emily Wayman (Photo by Kayla Evans)

Wayman, a junior from Brownstown, Ind., is researching homogeneous catalysis, or how to control chemical reactions, Dixon said.

She is involved in the University Fellows Experience, Computer-based Honors Program, Honors College Ambassadors, University Honors Program, Gamma Sigma Epsilon, Cardinal Key, and she also is an elementary school mentor.

“They’re both extraordinary students who are following in the paths of the people who went before them,” Dixon said.

The Hollings Scholarship Program, administered by the NOAA, is designed to improve undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research technology, and natural resource education; increase public understanding of environmental stewardship; and improve scientific and environmental education in the United States.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Angie Estes, communications specialist, College of Arts and Sciences, 205/348-8539,