MSU honors biological engineering major wins NOAA scholarship

September 6, 2005

STARKVILLE, Miss.–A Mississippi State biological engineering major from Ocean Springs is receiving a national scholarship designed to promote training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology, and education.

University honors student Claire L. Fellman has been awarded a 2005 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship, which provides up to $8,000 in academic assistance during her current senior year of study.

A President’s List Scholar who has maintained a perfect 4.0 grade-point average, she is the daughter of Randall and Kerry Fellman. The Bagley College of Engineering student also is a member of the University Honors Program.

“It’s obvious the potential we saw in Claire as a freshman has been fulfilled by her record of multidisciplinary achievements at MSU,” said Nancy McCarley, director of the University Honors Program and Distinguished Scholarships.

“She has taken advantage of the opportunities we offer talented students and, with the Hollings Scholarship, is poised to do the same on a national level,” McCarley added.

Fellman also is a Schillig Scholar which, along with Presidential scholarships, represent the highest honors MSU bestows on incoming freshmen. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic and leadership accomplishments.

The Hollings Scholarship, named after the former longtime U.S. senator from South Carolina, seeks to increase public understanding and support of environmental literacy related to oceanic and atmospheric issues. It also is designed to prepare students for teaching assignments in the field and for possible careers with NOAA.

NOAA was expected to award about 100 of the scholarships nationally for the fall 2005 school term. They are open to undergraduates studying biological, life and agricultural sciences; physical sciences; mathematics; engineering; computer and information sciences; social and behavioral science; and teacher education.

The scholarships require recipients to participate in a 10-week summer internship at NOAA or a NOAA-approved facility. In addition to academic assistance, they provide a housing subsidy and travel expenses to recipients during the internships.

Fellman said she is “excited and very honored” to receive the scholarship. Her future plans include helping monitor ecosystem health and animal populations next summer while performing her internship at a NOAA national marine sanctuary, she explained.

“I am interested in a career in conservation, and this scholarship provides a unique opportunity to gain experience and understanding of current issues in habitat protection,” said Fellman.

“I am planning to attend veterinary school after I finish my undergraduate work in biological engineering, and I am grateful this scholarship will allow me to explore a career field I may very well enter,” she added.

NEWS EDITORS/DIRECTORS: For more information, contact Fellman at (228) 424-2741 or, or Dr. McCarley at 325-2522 or