Allegheny College Student Grace O’Malley Awarded Prestigious NOAA Hollings Scholarship

Allegheny College sophomore Grace O’Malley has been awarded an Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). O’Malley is the third Allegheny student to win a Hollings Scholarship in the last two years.

The competitive scholarship includes two years of tuition support and a paid 10-week summer internship to conduct research, resource management or education projects while working with a NOAA mentor.

Through the Hollings Scholarship program, O’Malley plans to pursue an internship in marine ecosystem research. “I’ve become really interested in ocean conservation and hope to be able to see this work being done firsthand,” O’Malley, a biology major and Spanish minor, said.

O’Malley credits three people with cultivating her initial interest in science. First is her grandfather, who was a biology professor at St. Lawrence University and suggested she consider Allegheny. In addition, as a high school student, O’Malley conducted aquatic ecology research with Susquehanna University professors Jack Holt and Mike Bilger in her hometown of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

“Without these three mentors in my life, I don’t know if I would have the confidence and drive to pursue my dreams so forcefully,” she said.

At Allegheny, O’Malley has continued to explore her passion for science. She works as a project assistant with the Creek Connections environmental outreach program and as a chemistry teaching assistant.

O’Malley also has collaborated with Scott Wissinger, professor of biology and environmental science, to study caddisflies, a mothlike insect that lives near lakes or rivers. She will continue that research with him this summer in Colorado, working on a project in the Rocky Mountains.

Wissinger and Creek Connections Project Director Wendy Kedzierski encouraged O’Malley to apply for the Hollings Scholarship, she said. O’Malley also received assistance with her application from Patrick Jackson, director of fellowship advising in the Allegheny Gateway.

Jackson said that the Hollings Scholarship is designed to help NOAA ensure that young scientists in the educational system are prepared to advance the agency’s mission. NOAA is charged with keeping citizens informed of the changing environment around them — from daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce.

NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product, according to the agency’s website.

“The fact that Allegheny has now sent three students into the Hollings Scholarship program in the last two years is a testament to the work being done on our campus,” Jackson said. “Allegheny students are ready to get out into the world and do serious research, which is the only kind that NOAA engages in. They don’t have the time or resources to get students up to speed; they need them ready on their first day. And Allegheny students typically are.”

Jackson encourages Allegheny students who are interested in applying for the Hollings Scholarship to contact him at or (814) 332-2779.

According to NOAA, the Hollings Scholarship program is designed to:

  • increase undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology and education and foster multidisciplinary training opportunities;
  • increase public understanding and support for stewardship of the ocean and atmosphere and improve environmental literacy;
  • recruit and prepare students for public service careers with NOAA and other natural resource and science agencies at the federal, state and local levels of government; and
  • recruit and prepare students for careers as teachers and educators in oceanic and atmospheric science and to improve scientific and environmental education in the United States.

At the end of their summer internships, Hollings scholars present their results to scientists and peers during the annual Science & Education Symposium. Scholars also can apply for funding to present their research at up to two scientific conferences.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Phi Sigma Iota language honor society inducts new members

Language students honored

Global Citizen Scholars to host Refugee Awareness Week

The Global Citizens Scholars Program is hosting a Refugee Awareness Week beginning April 17th at 7 pm, with a Refugee Camp Simulation in Schultz Banquet Hall.

In this hour long, interactive simulation, participants will learn about the difficulties of life in a refugee camp, the struggle of crossing a border, and experience what more than 22.5 million refugees face worldwide.

Participants will gain insight as to what it feels like to be a refugee, facing a number of obstacles with the hope of being resettled. Space is limited for the simulation, and anyone interested can contact Emily Smith <smithe3> to sign up!

Then, on Thursday, April 19th at 7 pm in the Collaboratory, there will be a panel discussing access, inclusion, and community-building alongside academic learning in the case of refugee youth in America. Registration is not required for this event.

If you have any questions please contact Emily Smith or Professor Laura Reeck <lreeck>.

Senior Samantha Bretz Sets Her Sights on Becoming Miss Pennsylvania

Allegheny College senior Samantha Bretz will compete for the title of Miss Pennsylvania in June, now that she already carries the banner of Miss Crawford County.

Allegheny senior Samantha Bretz from Adrian, Michigan, won the title of Miss Crawford County. Photo Credit: Julie Haemer-Scott/Cambridge Springs

Bretz was crowned Miss Crawford County 2018 in February, competing against eight other contestants in Conneaut Lake. She won the interview, talent and evening gown awards as well as the first-place scholarship. Bretz performed a ballet routine to the Cupid Variation “Act III: Amour” from Don Quixote, a routine known for requiring impeccable balance and lightness.

“In the interview room, the judges asked me ‘Why are you here today?,’ Bretz recalls from her February pageant competition. “I replied ‘Crawford County is the reason.’ Out of all the places in the world I’ve traveled to, this is the place where I discovered a passion for experiential education. Now I’ve made it my mission to bring creativity, collaboration, and reflection to classrooms across my communities. I work toward a future where students can develop a sense of purpose in their education and can learn by play rather than by rote.

“For me, it’s all about personal development,” says Bretz, who is from Adrian, Michigan. “Each category of the competition challenges you to express your best self, and that comes from the preparation and practice. Titleholders should be able to eloquently communicate their thoughts and ideas, exude passion for their platforms, exhibit poise and confidence, think on their feet in stressful situations, and work toward presenting their talent beautifully.

“Once crowned, a titleholder has a “year of service” promoting her personal platform by advocating and leading in her community. I started competing as a creative means to fund my education. The Miss America Organization is the leading scholarship provider for women in the U.S., and I have been fortunate to receive multiple scholarships toward my Allegheny education.”

On campus, Bretz is an economics major and minoring in both French and dance and movement studies. She has been involved for her four years with the Orchesis Dance Company, serving as both choreographer and president, and has been a member of Delta Delta Delta, the Jazz and Dance Ensemble (JaDE), the Allegheny College choirs, Lambda Sigma sophomore honor society, the Finance and Facilities Committee, and Omicron Delta Epsilon. She volunteers with Civic Engagement, is employed as a Center for Business and Economics fellow, and interns for the Gifted/Talented middle school enrichment program.

Last year, Bretz competed in a pageant in Michigan and won the title of Miss River Raisin Festival. For Bretz, pageants have helped her to become the best version of herself — able to speak confidently, keep well-informed, and further her passion for progressive education methods.

“I would not be the successful individual I am today without the Miss America Organization,” says Bretz. “For my very first pageant interview, I was shaking in my heels as the judges asked controversial questions about current topics. By staying informed and engaging in civil discourse with my peers, I became so much more self-assured in expressing myself, and now I can confidently give an opinion on any topic in front of any audience.”

Bretz has accepted a position with Boston Scientific as a finance leadership development program associate immediately following her graduation in May. Her experience at Allegheny, as well as the rigorous practice of interviewing through the Miss America Organization, has helped her to become an ideal candidate for the position, she says.

“Even after I stop competing, I will always have this passion for education and will continue to seek ways to change the world,” she says. “It’s not just a crown in a beauty contest, but a platform to create meaningful change, and that’s what I love about Miss America. … Who knows what new and exciting opportunities await? Next stop, Miss Pennsylvania!”

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Culture 2 Culture: Be a mentor & guide to an International Student!

Join the Chinese New Year Celebration on Friday!

There will be a celebration for the Chinese New Year which will include prizes, games, and food at 5 p.m. Friday, February 16, in Campus Center 206.

Study the ecology of the Azores this summer – led by Dr. Erik Zettler ’82

Ecology of the Azores Islands

Prof. Erik Zettler (Sea Education Association, MA) & Prof. Linda Amaral-Zettler (Dept. of Geological Sci., Brown University)

This course provides a panoramic view of Azorean Natural Heritage and will explore emblematic aspects of Azorean biodiversity and environment. Includes guided tours of the Azores Islands.

View the brochure.

See the full syllabus.



Share your Language Story! “Lead With Languages” Advocacy Month

We’re Celebrating and Sharing Your Language Stories!

Throughout the month of February, Lead with Languages will be celebrating stories from students, parents, teachers, and other community members who advocate for language education across the United States. We want to hear from you!

There are so many ways you can join us to raise your voice in support of language learning, including:

  • Submitting a #LeadwithLanguages selfie (like in the photo above!),
  • Changing your profile picture on social media platforms,
  • Engaging with @LeadWLanguages by tweeting & posting, and
  • Sharing all of the Lead with Languages resources you love with others in your network.

Together, we’re creating a new generation of Americans competent in other languages and cultures and fully equipped to compete and succeed in a global economy. Have you told us why learning languages is important to you?

February 2018 is Lead with Languages Advocacy Month: Check Out the Kit!

ALLEX Foundation offering Intensive Chinese & Japanese this summer at Washington U. in St. Louis

The WUSTL-ALLEX Intensive Chinese and Japanese Institute will offer intensive beginning level classes in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese at Washington University in St. Louis for seven weeks this summer. Each class meets for 2 hours per day, 5 days a week for 7 weeks. The course is intensive and requires 3-5 hours of mandatory self-managed study per day.

This program is designed to train students to speak and listen to Chinese or Japanese, and to introduce students to reading and writing the language. At the end of the course students will be expected to perform in all four skills—speaking, listening, reading and writing—at a basic level of proficiency.

Students will not only learn to speak the language; they will also develop an understanding of Chinese or Japanese interpersonal behavior. The ultimate goal is to teach students not just to speak Chinese or Japanese, but to function successfully in Chinese or Japanese culture—to present yourself as an intelligent person in the culture using the language. Students will learn to speak and perform correctly in a variety of social situations.

Scholarships are available to qualified students.

Please visit our webpage for more information:

2018 Grads: Openings for English tutors in Hong Kong, Aug ’18-Jun ’19

Lingnan University cordially invites fresh graduates from our partner institutions in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Australia and New Zealand to apply for a Visiting English Tutor position. Duties would begin in mid-August 2018.

 Visiting English Tutors (VETs) work in the Centre for English and Additional Languages (CEAL) They work in CEAL’s English Language Support Service (ELSS) ( where they provide advice to undergraduate students and aid in the development of self-access materials.

 VETs also design and run workshops for students aimed to develop their writing, reading, speaking and listening skills, with topics covering a wide range of academic and cultural themes. Other duties include organising cultural activities such as English Café’s, Movie Nights, Outings, TEDxLingnanUniversity, etc.

 A major objective of the Visiting English Tutor scheme is to provide opportunities for Lingnan University’s local students to mix with people of a similar age group but from different cultural backgrounds. All applicants for this post must:

§  be about to graduate or recently graduated from one of Lingnan’s partner universities or members of the Global Liberal Arts Alliance in the above-listed countries with a first degree

§ be a native speaker of English

§ be interested in spending a year or two living and working in Hong Kong

§ be interested in interacting with students in Hong Kong

§ be interested in gaining experience in the ESL field at tertiary level

§ have an outgoing personality

§ have a basic Certificate-level teaching qualification, with a minimum of 100 hours input, such as the following:

Such a qualification can be gained once a provisional offer has been made.

Benefits are as follows:

§ The position is tenable from mid-August to mid-June and with the possibility of a further extension.

§ The monthly salary is fixed at $HK16,000 per month (approx. $US2,100).

§ Visiting English Tutors are each provided with fully furnished and equipped apartments on campus.

§ Medical and dental benefits are provided by Lingnan University.

§ Assistance will be given in obtaining a valid Hong Kong work visa from the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

 If you wish to be considered for the Visiting English Tutor position, please send your CV with a covering letter to our ELSS Coordinator by email –

Applications close on 28th February 2018