Press Releases

LSU Senior and Water Institute intern Alexia LaGrone named Udall Scholar

Jun 1, 2021

BATON ROUGE, La. (June 1, 2021) – Alexia LaGrone, LSU senior and intern with The Water Institute of the Gulf, was recently named as a Udall Scholar by the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation. She was selected as one of 55 sophomores and juniors from across the country, and the only student from Louisiana, to be recognized with this 2021 scholarship which provides $7,000 for academic study.

The Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to Native American nations or to the environment.

LaGrone spent the spring semester as an intern at the Water Institute’s Applied Geosciences group through the Louisiana Service and Leadership Scholar program within the LSU Honors College and agreed to stay on with the Water Institute as a summer intern. She is working on a variety of projects including Lake Borgne water quality, habitat assessment of the endangered Gulf sturgeon, Mississippi River crevasse sediment/vegetation interactions and the Louisiana Governor’s Climate Task Force.

“Lexie is brilliant and a great joy to work with. She has provided a refreshing new perspective that has improved some of our workflows,” said Mike Miner, director of Applied Geosciences at the Water Institute.

LaGrone is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Ecology and Management with a minor in oceanography. Her honor’s thesis is examining how the stability of river and stream channels can impact the food web by measuring differences in nitrogen uptake by a single fish species. She is currently president of the state collegiate 4-H in Louisiana and restarted LSU’s 4-H club last year.

Born and raised in Lafayette, LaGrone remembers exactly when her love of ecology began back in second grade when the teacher gave them a non-fiction book about manatees.

“I love manatees,” LaGrone said, even working as an intern for the Save the Manatee program last year.

After graduation LaGrone plans go to graduate school and eventually law school.

“All of the skills I’m learning in data management at the Water Institute are skills that will be transferable to whatever future career path I take,” LaGrone said.

The Udall Scholar award is the latest in a line of awards LaGrone has received for her scholastic pursuits. Other awards include: Louisiana State University Stamps Scholar, Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) Star Scholar, LSU President’s Honor Roll Distinction, Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) Recipient, Dean Carolyn Collins Award from LSU Black Student and Faculty Caucus, 1st Place Sigma Alpha National Outstanding Leader, and LA Writes! 1st Place for Nonfiction.