SUU to Everywhere

Celeste Maloy

Celeste Maloy | SUU to Public Lands Policy


After winning a full ride scholarship in an FFA soil judging competition, attending Southern Utah University became a “no-brainer” for Celeste Maloy.

Coming from a small town and a small high school, adjusting to college life was intimidating despite the comparatively small class sizes at SUU. One of Celeste’s first classes had more students than her entire high school combined. It proved to be a great learning opportunity.

“Learning to feel comfortable, and sometimes even confident, in new situations was one of the biggest benefits I gained from SUU,” said Celeste, “If I had been at a larger university, I probably would have been overwhelmed by the crowd. At SUU I had professors who knew my name and familiar faces in a lot of my classes. It created the perfect atmosphere for me to stretch my limits and grow without getting lost.”

As an agricultural science major, Celeste took advantage of an internship with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture. This internship turned into a full-time career as a soil conservationist with the NRCS the Monday after she graduated from SUU.

After working for the NRCS for over a decade, Celeste decided she wanted to play a bigger role in public lands policy so she decided to make some life changes and go to law school. In need of letters of recommendation for her law school applications, she reached out to two of her former professors at SUU, Dr. Jim Bowns and Dean Winward.

“It's hard for me to believe that many college professors would have much meaningful memory of a student who had been gone that long, but Dean Winward and Dr. Bowns took that type of interest in their students,” said Celeste, “I am grateful to have had them as professors.”

Following law school and carrying her passion for public lands that she acquired with the NRCS, Celeste now splits her time between the Washington County Attorney’s Office and working as a public lands policy advisor for the Utah Association of Counties. Celeste’s work has taken her all over the state and to Washington, D.C. as she helps to shape the future of public lands policy.

Celeste loves her job and continues to build on the confidence she gained at Southern Utah University.

Learn more about the Agricultural Science program.