2 UA Students Earn Hollings Undergraduate Scholarships

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – University of Alabama students Raeed Kabir, of Biloxi, Mississippi, and Blake Yuenger, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, are the recipients of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship.

The Hollings Scholarship includes a two-year academic award of $9,500 per year and a 10-week, full-time, paid summer internship opportunity at a NOAA facility. Scholars also receive funding to present their NOAA research projects at two national scientific conferences.

Forty-three UA students have received scholarships since the program’s inception in 2005.

A headshot of Raeed Kabir

Kabir is pursuing a dual mathematics and economics major and dual master’s degrees in mathematics and quantitative economics through the Accelerated Master’s Program. An Honors College student and Randall Research Scholar, he works with Dr. Michael Price to study the impact of uncertainty on decision-making by combining economic theory, econometric modeling, and data – both experimental and non-experimental. Kabir has spent summers working at Harvard University and the University of Chicago, assisting faculty in the design, implementation and analysis of experiments that test behavioral economic theory. He is spending this summer at the University of Chicago.

Outside of research, Kabir is chief counselor of the judicial board with the Student Government Association, an Honors College ambassador and research ambassador. He previously received the Rising Star award and Outstanding Sophomore award in the Randall Research Scholars Program.

A headshot of Blake Yuenger

Yuenger is a Randall Research Scholar and Honors College student majoring in chemistry with a minor in mathematics. He is also part of the Accelerated Master’s Program in chemistry. Yuenger conducts research under Dr. Kevin Shaughnessy to improve palladium (II) precatalyst activation through labile ligand substitution, facilitating C-N bond formation. Over the summer, he will be at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, studying nuclear chemistry through the American Chemical Society’s Nuclear Chemistry Summer Schools program.

Outside of research, Yuenger is editor for JOSHUA, the UA undergraduate research journal and was recently named Outstanding Sophomore in the Randall Research Scholars Program. He also plays guitar for the Tuscaloosa Big Band.

The UA Office of External Scholarships and Fellowships assists students in the pursuit of national and international awards including the Hollings, Goldwater, Rhodes and Boren, among others. Students interested in applying for awards that require an institutional endorsement can learn more on the External Scholarships and Fellowships website.

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.


Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, bryant.welbourne@ua.edu, 205-348-8325