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Leah Mata-Rodriguez was recently awarded the 2021 American Meterological Society/Karen Hauschild Friday Scholarship.
The AMS Freshman Undergraduate Scholarship is intended to encourage outstanding high school students to pursue careers in the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences. The scholarships are sponsored by industry and through the support of AMS members. Eight freshman scholarships have been awarded this year. Awards are based on academic merit, faculty recommendations, and a written essay that demonstrates their desire to enter an atmospheric or related sciences academic program. The two-year scholarships include a $5,000 stipend ($2,500 per freshman and sophomore year) and travel support to attend the AMS annual meeting while in their junior year of study.
Leah is a graduate of Pearsall High School and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in meteorology at Texas A&M University.
The scholarship was established by the family of Karen Hauschild Friday in her memory. Karen was born December 3, 1940 in Fairview, Oklahoma. The dust bowl was particularly severe in northwestern Oklahoma, and upon failure of the family farm, Karen’s father moved to work at Tinker Air Force Base in the Douglas Aircraft plant in support of the War effort. She married Dr Elbert W. (Joe) Friday in 1959. She was a supportive wife during Joe’s 20-year career in the Air Force, during his terms as deputy director and director of the National Weather Service and during the rest of their 47 and a half year marriage. She lost a two and a half year battle with cancer on March 21, 2007.
Founded in 1919 and headquartered in Boston, with an office in Washington DC, AMS has more than 13,000 members, including researchers, scientists, broadcasters, educators, and other professionals, as well as students and weather enthusiasts.
Mata-Rodriguez is the daughter of Nasario and Dora Rodriguez of Pearsall.