Budding Atmospheric Scientist Earns Hollings Scholarship
Scholarly advancement, recognition, access to leaders in his field, and a financial load off his mind — these are but a few of the benefits for junior William (Will) Komaromi as the winner of a prestigious Hollings Scholarship Award in Atmospheric Science.
Komaromi, a UAlbany Presidential Scholar who is a double major in atmospheric science and physics, is applying the award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to his junior and senior years of study at the University.
The Hollings Scholarship program, established by the U.S. Congress in 2005 to honor retiring Senator Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina, includes up to a maximum of $8,000 per year of academic assistance and housing during a summer 2007 internship, which is a 10-week, full-time paid summer position at the NOAA or a partner facility.
"The scholarship will help me financially so I can focus more on my studies, and less on how to pay for them," said Komaromi. "The internship will provide me opportunities to meet actual meteorologists and research scientists in the field, while allowing me to discover and present findings of my own. Ultimately this will allow me to make a name for myself in the field, which is essential to being successful."
Komaromi aims to earn master's and doctoral degrees in atmospheric science. He envisions pursuing either specialized storm forecasting or a research position in the study of atmospheric physics.
"Will is cheerful, organized, and bright," said William A. Lanford, physics professor and Komaromi's advisor. "He's just the sort of student we love to have in our classes and he'll be a great success in graduate school."
Komaromi is one of seven Hollings scholarship recipients this year from New York State and the second UAlbany awardee in the past two years — the other being atmospheric science major Robert Tracey Jr. in 2005. He calls atmospheric science "a very competitive field — therefore, it's important to get recognized and to look for these types of internships." His plan is to pursue a UAlbany internship, where he can engage in hands-on operational meteorology, and use the Hollings summer internship for research experience.
In addition, Komaromi has displayed extra initiative in volunteering his meteorology skills locally as both a SkyWarn Spotter, supplementing Doppler radar information on severe weather for the National Weather Service, and a WeatherNet 6 spotter, reporting current conditions to Channel 6 News.
Known to the public through its subsidiary, the National Weather Service, the NOAA awards approximately 100 Hollings scholarships annually to juniors majoring in a discipline related to oceanic, environmental, biological, social, physical, and atmospheric sciences, mathematics, engineering, remote sensing technology, computer and information sciences, hydrology, geomatics, and teacher eduction. The internship is designed to provide hands-on multidisciplinary educational training experience involving scholars in NOAA-related scientific, research, technological, policy, management, and education activities.