Dr. David Hoffman

Director, Office of Prestigious External Scholarships, Mentor, Presidential Scholars, and Associate Professor of Anthropology


Dr. David Hoffman
Office Phone
Office Mailing Address

P.O. Box #EH, Mississippi State, MS 39762




Ph.D., University of Colorado—Boulder, Cultural Anthropology, 2006 MA, University of Colorado—Boulder, Cultural Anthropology, 2000 BA, St. Lawrence University, Environmental Studies/Anthropology, 1997


David M. Hoffman is an Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology with a specialty in Environmental Anthropology. He joined the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures in the Fall of 2008. His research in Environmental Anthropology generally focuses on sustainable development, resource management, biodiversity conservation, and the interaction of parks and protected areas with the development and livelihood needs of adjacent human communities. From 2009-2015 he researched the movement of Costa Rican migrants to the edges of Costa Rican national parks, and he was awarded a three-year NSF project (2012-2015) that modeled these movements around three Costa Rican National Parks. Dr. Hoffman was also the PI of a three-year NOAA Saltonstall-Kennedy grant (2015-2018) investigating communications between fisheries agencies and the Vietnamese-American fishing communities in Alabama, Mississipp,i and Louisiana. In 2016, Dr. Hoffman was awarded the College of Arts & Sciences’ Dean’s Eminent Scholar Award in Social & Behavioral Sciences. In addition to research, Dr. Hoffman thoroughly enjoys teaching, and in 2013, Dr. Hoffman was awarded the College of Arts & Sciences’ Faculty Teaching Award in Social & Behavioral Sciences.

Dr. Hoffman started his service to the Office of Prestigious External Scholarships as the Fulbright Program Administrator, Boren Scholarship/Fellowship Advisor, and the Critical Language Scholarship Advisor for the Honors college in the Fall of 2015. As a former Fulbrighter (Mexico 2003-2004), Dr. Hoffman is a firm believer in the power of international research, study and language training via these scholarships! Under his guidance, MSU has had at least one Fulbright finalist for six years running (2017-2022).

Dr. Hoffman took on the role of the Director of OPES in the Fall of 2020 as interim and then became the permanent director in the Fall of 2021. Over that time he has helped guide students to winning the Astronaut, CLS, Boren, Goldwater, Humanity in Action, PPIA as well as finalists for the Rhodes and Truman scholarship.

OPES not only mentors for specific awards but also helps guide students in academic and research opportunities that help to build their profiles ahead of their applications. Please come see him early and often if you are interested in applying for one of these scholarship and fellowship opportunities.