3 UA Students Earn Hollings Scholarships

  • April 11th, 2016
Tzofi Klinghoffer
Tzofi Klinghoffer

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Three University of Alabama sophomores will receive the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship for 2016-2018.

They are Tzofi Klinghoffer, of Wilton, New Hampshire; Blair Morrison, of Finchville, Kentucky; and Kathryn Shay, of Crest Hill, Illinois.

The scholarship provides $9,500 a year for full-time study during the junior and senior years and $7,000 for a 10-week internship at NOAA or an NOAA-approved facility during the summer between the junior and senior years.

The Hollings Scholarship is given in addition to existing awards the student may already receive. Since the program’s inception in 2005, more than 30 UA students have been named Hollings Scholars.

About the students:

Tzofi Klinghoffer is a computer science major with minors in international studies and Chinese. He is also a member of UA’s University Fellows Experience. His research mentor is Dr. Aijun Song, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, who directs the Digital Signal Processing and Communications Group. Klinghoffer’s focus will be the development of network protocols to optimize underwater communication.

Blair Morrison
Blair Morrison

He developed an interest in computer science while still in high school, and he has been employed the past two summers with a government contractor working on the development of airdrop software for the U.S. Air Force. He hopes to use his programming and technology background to work in the public sector to predict and minimize risks to national security from both natural disasters and cyberterrorism.

Klinghoffer is an associate justice on the Student Judiciary and the assistant house manager of UA’s Rotary International House. His mother is Judith Klinghoffer.

Blair Morrison is a marine science-biology major with minors in French, geology and the Blount Undergraduate Initiative. She is an active member of the Honors College, Alabama International Relations Club, Marine Science Club, Blount Ambassadors and the Beta Rho chapter of Alpha Omega Epsilon.

Her research interests have taken her from the salt marshes of the Outer Banks; to the mangrove thickets of Tampa Bay; and most recently to the beaches of Dauphin Island. At UA, she studies the effects of ocean acidification on aggressive behavior expression in mangrove rivulus fish and will soon be executing an independent research project examining substrate effects on planktonic larval settlement. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Ryan Earley, associate professor of biological sciences. Her parents are Jeff and Tammy Morrison.

Katy Shay
Katy Shay

Kathryn Shay is an environmental science major, a member of the university’s Honor’s College and an Emerging Scholar. She always had a passion for her field and is planning on attending graduate school to pursue a doctorate combining anthropology with environmental science after completing her undergraduate studies at UA.

Her research at the university involves developing automated methodologies for quantifying avian composition and abundance utilizing algorithms and custom SongScope recognizers she builds.  Since her freshman year, she has worked in the Spatial Ecology and Conservation Lab under Dr. Eben Broadbent, assistant professor of geography, and Dr. Angelica Almeyda Zambrano, instructor in geography. Her mother is Gretchen Shay.


Dr. Gary Sloan, professor of biological sciences and coordinator of prestige scholarships and awards, 205/348-8444, gsloan@bama.ua.edu


Richard LeComte, media relations, rllecomte@ur.ua.edu, 205/348-3782

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.