MSU's Langstaff named university's latest Udall Scholar

By: Carl Smith

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Posted: 5/2/2024

MSU's Langstaff named university's latest Udall Scholar Photo By: Photo by Grace Cockrell

Mississippi State is announcing a junior wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture major from Southaven as the university's latest Udall Scholar.

Lily Langstaff is the university's fifth recipient of the prestigious national award given annually to approximately 55 students across the country interested in conservation and environmental issues, and Native American learners working toward careers in Tribal policy and health care.

As a Udall Scholar, Langstaff will receive up to $7,000 for academic expenses, have access to the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation's alumni network and participate in its scholar orientation program.

"Lily Langstaff will serve as an outstanding representative of Mississippi State as our newest Udall Scholar. This is a great honor for both her and the university," said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. "We are proud of Lily and our world-class faculty and mentors who prepared her to compete for such a prestigious national scholarship."

Langstaff, an Ottilie Schillig Presidential Endowed Scholar and member of the Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College, as well as the College of Forest Resources, said she is studying conservation biology to become a professional whose policy work profoundly supports the Mississippi River. Specifically, Langstaff said she plans on working as a government affairs liaison for a nonprofit organization focused on water resources conservation, wetland restoration, flood mitigation and nature-based management of seasonally flooded areas such as the Mississippi Delta.

She also recently was awarded a prestigious summer fellowship as part of the Public Policy and International Affairs Program's Junior Summer Institute.

Langstaff's selection marks the second consecutive year for MSU honorees to receive the award. She follows 2023 MSU recipients Lucy Mellen, a senior geosciences and political science double major from Hattiesburg, and Grant C. Peterson, a senior wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture major from Starkville.

The Udall scholarship honors the legacies of Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on Native American self-governance, health care and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources. For more about the Udall Scholarship program, visit

MSU nominations for the Udall Scholarship are managed by the university's Office of Prestigious External Scholarships and Director David Hoffman, who also is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures. Contact Hoffman for information on applying or visit

MSU's College of Forest Resources and Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College are online at and, respectively.

Mississippi State University is taking care of what matters. Learn more at

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