This site is optimized for use with Firefox version 3.6 or higher and Internet Explorer version 7 or higher.

For an optimal user experience, please utilize a newer version of either of these browsers.

Highlights Archive
NOAA Office of Education NOAA Office of Education NOAA Homepage


Highlights Archive


LEADERSHIP:Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Assistant Secretary of Commerce Speaks at Student Symposium

Published July 2012

On July 31, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction and Deputy Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as Acting Chief Scientist was the keynote speaker at the awards ceremony for the Office of Education's 2012 Student Science and Education Symposium. She provided a sweeping summary of NOAA accomplishments during the 9 weeks of the students' internships, helping them envision how their dynamic summers had contributed to NOAA's achievements. She congratulated all the student scholars for a job well done, gave kudos to Office of Education staff for a successful scholarship program, and posed for a photo with each student award winner.

Sullivan with students

Left to Right: Kandace Kea, Genki Kino, Tricia Thibodeau, Maria Tarduno, Ethan Coffel, Dr. Kathy Sullivan, Collin Perkinson, Vinoo Ganesh, Kelly Gregorcyk, Ellen Ward, Jennifer Mills, Neesha Schnepf

This annual Student Symposium is comprised of 3 days of sessions and information sharing, the culmination of internships at NOAA locations around the United States for 130 Hollings and EPP student scholarship recipients. These fortunate undergraduates selected scientific projects designed by NOAA scientists, and spent 9 weeks of the summer contributing to research and analysis associated with these projects. During their 10th week, all of them participated in this opportunity to share a summary of their results with the NOAA community. NOAA scientists and policy staff judged each oral and poster presentation. Scholar presentations were grouped in concurrent sessions according to NOAA's four long term goals; healthy oceans; resilient coastal communities and economies; a weather-ready nation; and climate adaptation and mitigation.

The event was conducted in the same manner as numerous professional conferences, providing many of these students their first opportunity to experience an oral or poster presentation before an audience. The judging process had clearly-defined criteria, with numeric scores awarded. Winning presentations for each category were based on the highest point score, and first place winners received a cash award. These scores, along with judges' comments and suggestions are subsequently provided to each student, to assist them in improving their presentation skills. Furthermore, each year, students are surveyed about their experiences during the summer internship and at the Symposium, to ensure that each subsequent gathering provides the best possible experience for these ambitious student scholars!

Award Winners

Weather-Ready Nation
1st Place – Genki Kino, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI
Climate Adaptation and Mitigation
Honorable Mention – Ethan Coffel, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Weather-Ready Nation
1st Place – Neesha Schnepf, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Honorable Mention – Jennifer Mills, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Climate Adaptation and Mitigation
1st Place – Tricia Thibodeau, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME
Honorable Mention – Ellen Ward, Columbia University, New York, NY
ORAL - Resilient Coastal Communities
1st Place – Maria Tarduno, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY
1st Place (tie) – Kandace Kea, Howard University, Washington, DC
Honorable Mention – Kelly Gregorcyk, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC
Healthy Oceans
1st Place - Collin Perkinson, Reed College, Portland, OR
Honorable Mention – Vinoo Ganesh, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Back to top