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Dina Horwedel, Director of Public Education, American Indian College Fund, 303-426-8900,

Colleen R. Billiot, Public Education Coordinator, 720-214-2569,

Mar 23, 2022 | Press Releases

American Indian College Fund Honors Tribal College Students of the Year, Coca Cola Scholars at Virtual Ceremony

Scholarships to Be Awarded at Virtual Ceremony on April 4, 2022

Denver, Colo., March 24, 2022—The American Indian College Fund will honor 35 Tribal College and University Students of the Year and 46 Coca Cola First Generation Scholars at a virtual ceremony April 4 from 6-7:30 p.m. M.D.T. Honorees and their guests can register in advance for the virtual ceremony at

The Adolph Coors Foundation sponsors scholarships for Tribal College and University Students of the Year with the American Indian College Fund. Tribal college and universities select one student representing their institutions. Each honoree will receive a $1,200 scholarship.

The Coca-Cola Foundation sponsors scholarships with the American Indian College Fund for first-generation Native students who attend a tribal college or university. The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded more than $5 million to the College Fund since 1990 to assist more than 400 first-generation Native Americans in their college education. The scholarship is renewable throughout students’ college careers if they maintain a 3.0 grade point average and are active in campus and community life.

Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “Each year, my heart is filled by the joy of supporting our Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars and Students of the Year. Each of these students represents not only themselves and their families but also their tribal nations – they are the living proof of our ability to thrive and prosper in the face of tremendous challenges. We look forward to the continued great things they will do with their lives and for our communities.”

The 2021-22 Tribal College Students of the Year are:

Aaniiih Nakoda College: Mella Stiffarm
Bay Mills Community College: Crimson Lewis
Blackfeet Community College: Steve Gallineaux
Cankdeska Cikana Community College: Randy Leben
Chief Dull Knife College: Taylor Dennis
College of Menominee Nation: Christina Petrakis
College of the Muscogee Nation: Aaron Wesley
Diné College: Crystanya Begay
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College: Alysia Oswald
Fort Peck Community College: Miracle Spotted Wolf
Haskell Indian Nations University: Bryan Strom
Iḷisaġvik College: Kristen Reece
Institute of American Indian Arts: Jacquelyn Yepa
Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College: Brendon Pasino
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College: Roberto Pacheco
Leech Lake Tribal College: Dylan Chase
Little Big Horn College: Charlena Blaine
Little Priest Tribal College: Kyle St. Cyr
Navajo Technical University: Marcie Vandever
Nebraska Indian Community College: Andrea Thomas
Northwest Indian College: Candice Ellis-Thomas
Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College: Patricia Dubois
Oglala Lakota College: Glenda Red Feather
Red Lake Nation College: Mitchell Johnson
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College: Jacquenette Mandoka
Salish Kootenai College: ArriAnna Henry
Sinte Gleska University: Brandi Bettelyoun
Sisseton Wahpeton College: Dakotah Gonsoir
Sitting Bull College: Lawrence Village Center
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute: Derrick Shirley
Stone Child College: Jade Saddler
Tohono O’odham Community College: Elizabeth Palmatier
Turtle Mountain Community College: Shyanna LaRocque
United Tribes Technical College: Jayce Archambault
White Earth Tribal and Community College: Dayna Thompson

The 2021-22 Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars are:

Aaniiih Nakoda College: Ernest Siers
Bay Mills Community College: Crystal Hickman
Blackfeet Community College: Jocelyn Big Throat
Blackfeet Community College: Tomi Calf Robe
Cankdeska Cikana Community College: Gina LaFontaine
Chief Dull Knife College: Rebekah Threefingers
College of Menominee Nation: Martina Thomas
College of the Muscogee Nation: Jessica Hunnicutt
Diné College: Eldrida Lewis
Diné College: Kristy Manuelito
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College: Michael Reynolds
Fort Peck Community College: Brinton Sears
Fort Peck Community College: Trini Bissonette
Haskell Indian Nations University: Makayla Sloan
Haskell Indian Nations University: Zachary Arquette
Iḷisaġvik College: Thomas Fields
Institute of American Indian Arts: Elizabeth Lukee
Keweenaw Bay Ojibwe College: Jennifer Curtis
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College: Carlena Dennis
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College: Jody Quaderer
Leech Lake Tribal College: Christopher Erle
Leech Lake Tribal College: Melani Bedeau
Little Big Horn College: Shelley Covers Up
Little Priest Tribal College: Mariah Rave
Navajo Technical University: Berlicia Frank
Navajo Technical University: Davina Spencer
Nebraska Indian Community College: Andrea Thomas
Northwest Indian College: Jandy Pierre
Northwest Indian College: Lillian Hall
Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College: Irene Hale
Oglala Lakota College: Shai Bruce
Red Lake Nation College: Carlos Davila Jr.
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College: Chyann Haas
Salish Kootenai College: Nicole Crawford
Sinte Gleska University: Kohte James
Sinte Gleska University: McKenzie Bechtold
Sisseton Wahpeton College: Kenna Heminger
Sitting Bull College: Elena Rodriguez
Sitting Bull College: Kandice Little Dog-Hastings
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute: Rachelle Wilson
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute: TiShai Yazzie
Stone Child College: Tracy Standing Rock
Tohono O’odham Community College: Clay Begay
Turtle Mountain Community College: Robert Upton
United Tribes Technical College: Aubrey Walters
United Tribes Technical College: Sharnell Seaboy
White Earth Tribal and Community College: Angel Roy

About the American Indian College Fund —The American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 32 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided $15.5 million in scholarships and other direct student support to American Indian students in 2020-21. Since its founding in 1989 the College Fund has provided more than $259 million in scholarships, programmatic and community support. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit

Reporters: The American Indian College Fund does not use the acronym AICF. On second reference, please use the College Fund.

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