University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
 
March 25, 2009
Contact: Joy Crawford-Washington, Office of Public Relations, (251) 460-6211
            
USA Student Wins Prestigious Hollings Scholarship
     


Meghan Mee
  University of South Alabama meteorology major Meghan Mee, a junior, has won the Ernest P. Hollings Scholarship, which promotes increased undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology and education. The scholarship is awarded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Mee, a native of Biloxi, Miss., competed against more than 800 students nationwide and is one of 108 students to be selected for the 2008 Hollings Scholarship. She was awarded more than $30,000 for tuition and expenses.

“I had to write several essays regarding why I would be a good candidate for this scholarship,” Mee said. “When I received the news that I had won, I was overjoyed. I’m grateful to Mr. Ryan Wade, my instructor and mentor, for encouraging me to apply for the scholarship.”

Mee, with a 3.94 grade-point average, wants to be a broadcast meteorologist and earn a master’s degree in meteorology. Prior to college, she spent many hours reading and learning all she could about this particular science.
    

Mee’s advisor Dr. Bill Williams, associate professor in the department of earth sciences at USA and director of its Coastal Weather Research Center, said she is a well-rounded student who exemplifies strength as a speaker, in math and English.

“Meghan is a very gifted student,” Williams said. “As a top-notch student, I know she will make significant contributions to the field of meteorology, either in television or research.”

Wade, an earth sciences instructor at USA, said Mee is a bright and determined student who has earned this scholarship.

“Meghan is a very meticulous student whom I have enjoyed teaching,” he said. “She is extremely driven and focused on helping others through the field of meteorology.”

Growing up on the Gulf Coast, Mee was extremely fearful of storms, but she was determined to not let fear defeat her.

“When I was small, storms would frighten me,” she said. “So instead of being afraid, When I was in the second grade, I decided to educate myself about storms by watching national and local Meteorologists on television. I also visited Keesler Airforce Base, where the Hurricane Hunters are located.”

Overcoming her fear has placed Mee in the path of numerous scholarship opportunities. This summer, she will work locally at the National Weather Service Forecast office for Mobile/Pensacola with Jeffery Medland, science and operations manager, on the Convective Cell and Severe Weather Research Project.

Once her research is completed with Medland, she will travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in a 10-week summer research internship at NOAA in July. She will present her findings to the Hollings Scholarship Committee. The students with the best projects will receive additional awards.

Recently, Mee received an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to attend the orientation and conference for all Hollings Scholars.

Mee is also the recipient of a $1,000 AccuWeather Undergraduate Scholarship in Meteorology, which is given by the National Weather Association. She also received a one-year organization membership in the NWA.

In addition, the Biloxi High School graduate, served as a Project Team Leader for the NASA Develop Program at the Mobile County Health Department. At the end of the internship, Mee traveled to Washington, D.C., to present the results of her research. The presentation was shown on NASA television. She was one of 100 students who presented research to top NASA administrators. She also interned in the fall with meteorologist Alan Sealls at WKRG television in Mobile.

Mee is a Presidential Scholar and a recipient of the Naval Weather Service Association Scholarship. She is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, Freshman Leadership Council and the Future Leaders of America.

She knows this opportunity would not be possible without the support of her parents, Raymond and Carmen Mee, family and professors.

“I’m grateful to my family because I would not be where I am today without them,” Mee noted. “I’m also fortunate to have the support of Dr. Bill Williams, Gina Wade, and Ryan Wade as my mentors. I’m having an amazing educational experience.”

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