Two UA Students Named as Hollings Scholars

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Two University of Alabama students in the College of Engineering will receive the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship for 2015-2017.

The awardees are sophomores Jason Britchkow, of Dresher, Pennsylvania, and Michael Dunn, of Merritt Island, Florida.

The scholarship provides $8,000 a year for full-time study during the junior and senior years and $6,500 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, 29 UA students have been named Hollings Scholars.

Jason Britchkow
Jason Britchkow

Britchkow is a computer science major with a German minor as well as a participant in UA’s Computer Based Honors Program. After taking the AP computer science course in high school, he decided to pursue computer science as a discipline.

His research as an undergraduate involves the programming and design of a tornado response virtual reality simulation with UA’s Center for Advanced Public Safety. This semester he has been working with the physics department on configuring the local RC2 computer cluster to adhere to the Open Science Grid and CERN software standards.

His mentors include Dr. Shane Sharpe, dean of the Honors College, and Dr. Brandon Dixon, associate professor of computer science.

He likes to compete in local chess tournaments, and he is a member of UA’s Climbing Club. His parents are Lisa and David Britchkow.

Michael Dunn
Michael Dunn

Dunn is a civil engineering major. He became interested in transportation and traffic engineering when he began driving as a teenager and noticed many issues with roadway and traffic signal efficiency.

He has channeled that interest into research with Dr. Alex Hainen in the department of civil, construction and environmental engineering, conducted through the Computer Based Honors Program.

The research deals with traffic analysis on the UA campus. Dunn is an active member of St. Francis Catholic Church and Student Center, and in his spare time he enjoys playing golf and music.

He plans to use his scholarship to conduct further research in his field and hopes to obtain an internship with NOAA researching natural disaster evacuation efficiency. His parents are Julie and Tim Dunn.

The Hollings Scholarship Program is designed to improve undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research technology and natural resource education; increase public understanding of the importance of stewardship of the environment; and improve scientific and environmental education in the United States.


Richard LeComte, media relations,, 205/348-3782


Dr. Gary L. Sloan, coordinator of prestigious scholarships and awards, 205/348-8444,