The American Indian College Fund congratulates the three 2017 graduates from its Mellon Faculty Master’s Degree Program. The program provides financial assistance to tribal college and university faculty and staff with teaching responsibilities who are likely to become faculty and who are pursuing a master’s degree. Candidates may qualify for up to $20,000 in assistance under the program, with preference given to individuals studying the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

Waylon Baker graduated with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes and the Vice President of Academics at Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College (NHSC) in New Town, North Dakota. Baker pursued his degree with a focus on screenwriting to teach creative writing and screenwriting courses at NHSC. Prior to earning his MFA degree he completed a Ph.D. in Communication and Public Discourse.

Mary Deleary graduate

Mary Deleary

Mary Deleary graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Tribal Administration & Governance from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She is an enrolled member of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation and the Gallery Coordinator and Adjunct Instructor in the Museum Studies department at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She earned a bachelor degree in Museum Studies in 2010 from IAIA and was awarded the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) Native American Fellowship in Salem, Massachusetts. In 2013 she served as the Governance Coordinator for her First Nation. Deleary plans to share her education and experience to help her students understand the vast and complicated networks tribal governments operate in and that impact on local cultural institutions.

Elisha Wortham graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico with a concentration in physical (infrastructure) to better understand land use policy, development, sustainable models, and approaches to implement resiliency on tribal lands. She is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and a faculty member in the Building Information Modeling (BIM) department at Navajo Technical University (NTU) in Crownpoint, New Mexico. She first served as a Lecturer in the Computer Aided Drafting department in 2012. With the support of her colleagues she developed and implemented new curriculum for an Associate of Applied Science degree in BIM in 2013. Wortham is passionate about giving back to her community.