|Dr. Urla Marcus (left), director of the Center for American Indian Studies at Black Hills State University President, and, BHSU Kay Schallenkamp (right), congratulate Lila Mehlhaff, senior political science and American Indian Studies major from Rapid City, who was recently named to the prestigious list of Udall Scholars by the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation.
Black Hills State University senior, Lila Mehlhaff, was recently named to the prestigious list of Udall Scholars by the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation. Mehlhaff was the only South Dakota student to receive the award in 2012 and is the second BHSU student to ever receive the Udall scholarship.
The award includes a scholarship of up to $5,000 for Mehlhaff’s senior year at BHSU. Mehlhaff, a political science and American Indian Studies major from Rapid City, was one of 80 students nationwide to be named an Udall Scholar in the 2012.
"It's a tremendous honor to be chosen as a Udall Scholar,” notes Mehlhaff. “I look forward to traveling to Tucson, Ariz. in August to meet the other 80 scholars and the Udall Foundation staff, as well as working to craft real solutions in the area of tribal public policy. I'm really thankful to have been given this uniquely wonderful opportunity and look forward to my upcoming senior year at Black Hills State University."
“Lila is a very deserving recipient of the Udall Scholarship,” said Dr. Urla Marcus, director of the Center for American Indian Studies at BHSU. “She is a great example of what hard work and motivation can accomplish both in and out of the classroom.”
Mehlhaff has 20 years of business development experience. She is the founder of Native Legacy magazine, and was a co-founder of the Rapid City Networking Roundtable. She hopes to work in some capacity of tribal economic development after graduating from BHSU. Mehlhaff is married and has four children, ages 10 to 23, and one grandchild.
In August, Mehlhaff will travel to Tucson, Ariz., to receive her award, network with other Udall Scholars and meet policymakers and community leaders involved in environmental fields, tribal health care and government affairs.
A 14-member independent review committee selected this year's group of Udall Scholars on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, health care or tribal public policy, leadership potential, and academic achievement. This highly qualified class of Udall Scholars was selected from 585 candidates nominated by 274 colleges and universities.