Tiffany Barber has big plans.

They include graduating from CSU Monterey Bay, earning a Ph.D., and serving others.

Tiffany BarberThose plans got a boost when she was accepted into the undergraduate scholarship program sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The program recruits students from minority-serving institutions who are majoring in fields related to NOAA’s mission. This year, 11 students were accepted from across the country.

The scholarship will provide financial aid for the last two years of her undergraduate education. But the real value is the hands-on research opportunity she’ll have during two summer internships.

Barber, a marine science major from South Central Los Angeles, will head to Washington, D.C., right after the semester ends. After an orientation, she’ll be assigned to a NOAA facility in the Washington metropolitan area where she will get experience in operations or research. She’ll be assigned a mentor who will provide guidance for her research project.

She’ll be able to choose where she spends her second summer in the program.

Her involvement with the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center at CSUMB has prepared her for the experience. She has been involved with UROC's peer-to-peer program since she was a freshman. She's also a part of the UROC research seminar series for students who have been identified as  having the potential for research. Through participation in the series, students receive support in applying to summer research programs. 

Barber's persistence, determination and love of learning have propelled her this far. With the NOAA scholarship – and the opportunities that go with it – she’s well on her way to that Ph.D.

“I’m motivated to pursue a doctorate in order to pursue my scientific curiosity, contribute to the academic community and serve others,” Barber says.

“As an African American woman with a Ph.D., I will be an inspirational example to the younger generations and prove that going to college and achieving an advanced degree is possible.”