Student Leadership and Mentorship Award

Student Leadership and Mentorship Award

The ESPP Leadership and Mentorship Award (LMA) is designed to recognize student leadership or mentorship efforts at the nexus of environmental science and policy. The environmental science and policy relevant research, creative, or teaching activity within which the leadership or mentorship occurs need not be led by the student, but the application should detail the student’s specific contribution and commitment to leadership and mentorship or other students. Self-nominations are encouraged.


Nominees must be:

  • currently enrolled in a graduate program at Michigan State University
  • currently enrolled in one of ESPP’s graduate programs (i.e., Dual Major Degree Program, Master’s Specialization, or Modeling Certificate).

ESPP encourages nominations that demonstrate:

  • impact on research teams or individual mentees (letters of support are encouraged—see below)
  • and the student’s internalized commitment to leadership or mentorship.

Application Materials

To apply, students must send an email to with the subject line, “ESPP LMA Nomination”, and a single PDF containing the following information in the order noted below. All application materials must be submitted by 11:59pm on November 15th, annually.

  • Leadership or Mentorship Nomination (approximately 1000 words). Nominations should explicitly the nominee’s leadership or mentorship activities. These may but need not occur within a specific research project or creative activity and may include, for example, efforts in student organizing or on-boarding new students. What should be clear however is the nominee’s internalized commitment and capacity in leadership or mentorship.
  • Short Research, Creative, or Teaching Activity Description (approximately 300 words). If relevant, nominations should briefly describe the goals and approach of the broader research, creative, or teaching activity in which the student’s leadership or efforts are situated. The lead and the student’s roles should be clearly noted.
  • Letters of Support (optional). A maximum of three, brief (less than two page) letters of support may be included to help demonstrate the student’s impact or commitment to leadership or mentorship.
  • Current CV or resume. Applications should include a current CV or resume for the nominee.

The ESPP Graduate Program Council will review proposals and make recommendations to the ESPP Director based on the encouraged criteria listed above. The ESPP Director will make final award decisions based on the reviews and availability of funding. Recipients will be notified by the 15th of December.

2023-2024 Recipient

Pei-Jyun Lu

Congratulations to the 2024 ESPP Leadership and Mentorship Award recipient Pei-Jyun Lu, a dual major doctoral student in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE) and the Environmental Science and Policy Program (ESPP). The recommendation from the Graduate Program Council is based on her exemplary leadership within the Graduate Student Organization in AFRE and her active engagement in various ESPP activities. 

2022-2023 Recipient

Jing Zhou

Congratulations to the 2023 ESPP Leadership and Mentorship Award recipient Jing Zhou. Jing is a doctoral student in the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction and the Environmental Science and Policy Program. She was recommended for this award by the ESPP Graduate Program Council for her leadership role in the ESPP and SPDC student community. Jing is a member of the ESPP Student Leadership Council (SLC), a member of the SPDC DEI committee, and serves as the President of the SPDC Doctoral Student Society.