Thirty-three Students Honored as American Indian College Fund Student of the Year

Mar 28, 2000 | Blog


Thirty-three Students Honored as American Indian College Fund Student of the Year

March 28, 0000


Dr. Verna Fowler, president of the College of Menominee Nation (right), is congratulated by Dr. David Yarlott, president of Little Big Horn College, after Dr. Fowler was awarded the Tribal College President of the Year award.

The American Indian College Fund honored 33 American Indian scholarship recipients at its 2011-12 Student of the Year reception at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium Student Conference in Rapid City, South Dakota. The program, sponsored by the Adolph Coors Foundation, awarded each honoree a $1,000 scholarship.

American Indian College Fund President and CEO Richard B. Williams also presented Dr. Verna Fowler (Menominee), President of the College of Menominee Nation, Keshena, Wisconsin, with the Tribal College President Award for her contributions to American Indian education during her career. Dr. Fowler is the founding president of the college. She earned a master’s degree in 1986 and a doctorate in 1992, both in education administration from the University of North Dakota. In 1999, she was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities and was reappointed by President George W. Bush in 2006. Dr. Fowler also received a $1,000 award.

Dr. Fowler said, “I am extremely grateful to the American Indian College Fund and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. If it were not for those two organizations that were the pioneers that had the initiative and the drive and the determination… none of us would be here today. I also owe a lot to the tribal college presidents, both the current and the past, who set a path and called us all to a higher excellence in education. Way back in 1912 the Menominee sent a letter to the Bureau of Indian Affairs asking for a tribal college. It was finally these two organizations that came along and brought it to fruition.”

Students of the year for each tribal college and university are as follows:

  • Aaniiih Nakoda College 
    Jeremy Richey, Allied Health
  • Bay Mills Community College
    Daraka McLeod, General Studies
  • Blackfeet Community College
    Paula Bremner, Business Management
  • Cankdeska Cikana Community College
    Ryan Brown, Pre-engineering
  • Chief Dull Knife College
    Wade Longie, Engineering
  • College of Menominee Nation
    Therese Coon, Biological & Physical Sciences
  • Diné College
    Alvin Dahozy, Environmental Science
  • Fond du Lac Tribal College
    Chad Auginash, Electrical Utility Technology
  • Fort Berthold Community College
    Noel Baker, Environmental Science
  • Fort Peck Community College
    Beau Plummer, Business Technology
  • Haskell Indian Nations University
    Curt Pahmahmie, Business Administration
  • Ilisagvik College
    Jacqueline Aamodt, Allied Health
  • Institute of American Indian Arts
    Charles Rencountre, Studio Arts
  • Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College
    Sarah Garver, Liberal Arts
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Community College
    Daryl Coons, Native American Studies
  • Leech Lake Tribal College
    Kim Dickson, Indigenous Leadership & Liberal Arts
  • Little Big Horn College 
    Ronnea Gramling, Pre-med (Science)
  • Little Priest Tribal College
    Jessica Stout, Liberal Arts
  • Navajo Technical College
    Dwight Carlston, Environmental Science
  • Nebraska Indian Community College
    Brian Morris, Human Services
  • Northwest Indian College
    Eric Lewis, Native American Studies
  • Oglala Lakota College
    Lester Wells, Early Childhood Education
  • Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College
    Brenda Walker, Native American Studies
  • Salish Kootenai College
    Amy Stiffarm, Life Sciences
  • Sinte Gleska University
    Dera Iyotte, Cultural Resource Management
  • Sisseton Wahpeton College
    Anna Iskra, Nursing
  • Sitting Bull College
    Palani Luger, Environmental Science
  • Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
    Vincent Waquiu, Natural Resource Management
  • Stone Child College
    Teena Thompson, Elementary Education
  • Tohono O’odham Community College
    Benedict Jose, Business Administration
  • Turtle Mountain Community College
    Renee Belgarde, Nursing
  • United Tribes Technical College
    Laramie Plainfeather, Small Business Management
  • White Earth Tribal and Community College
    Pamela Fairbanks, Human Services

Grant Weston, on behalf of the guest singers Bad Nation Singers, gives a touching speech to honor the students saying, “Remember your identity. We are here as college students, also. Your mind, your ears and your heart need to hear these songs — it’s going to keep you ‘home’.”


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