Brandon student named MSU’s newest Rhodes Scholarship finalist

Studio portrait of Semaj Martin-Redd
Semaj Martin-Redd (Photo by Megan Bean)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State’s fourth finalist in eight years for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship is a senior political science major in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College.

Semaj C. Martin-Redd of Brandon interviews Nov. 22-23 in Birmingham, Alabama, for what is widely considered the world’s oldest and most celebrated international fellowship. Criteria for selection include demonstrated scholarly achievement, character, commitment to others and the common good, as well as leadership potential.

The scholarships are provided by the Rhodes Trust, a British charity established in the will of businessman and mining magnate Cecil J. Rhodes. The scholarship program’s goal is to promote international understanding and provide full financial support for students pursuing graduate degrees at the University of Oxford, the first of its kind in the English-speaking world and one of the world’s leading institutions of higher learning. For more, visit

Martin-Redd is a recipient of the MSU College of Arts and Sciences’ Hunter Henry Undergraduate Excellence Program Scholarship. He also received a 2019 Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Fellowship and spent this past summer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in a cohort with 30 other fellows selected from universities across the nation.

Tommy Anderson, director of MSU’s Office of Prestigious External Scholarships, commended Assistant Professors Vasabjit Banerjee and Thessalia Merivaki and Associate Professor Brian Shoup—all in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration—for their role in Martin-Redd’s growth as a scholar and leader. Anderson also is the College of Arts and Sciences’ associate dean for academic affairs and a professor of English.

At MSU, Martin-Redd has served in various leadership roles, including president of the Mississippi State College Republicans organization, Resident Advisor Association president, and co-director for the Student Association Cabinet’s community and governmental relations committee. He also has been actively involved with the Mississippi Model Security Council and aspires to become a member of the U.S. Congress.

Learn more about the Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College and Office of Prestigious External Scholarships at; the College of Arts and Sciences and its Department of Political Science and Public Administration at and

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