Begay awarded UTTC leadership fellowship

Nov 3rd, 2011 | By | Category: 23-2: Climate Commitment, Tribal College News
By Dennis J. Neumann

UTTC LEADER. UTTC President Dr. David M. Gipp, at left, with fellowship recipient Rolenthea Begay, her parents Phyllis A. and Roger T. Begay (Salina Springs/Whippoorwill), and Tex G. Hall, chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara Nation, keynote speaker for the fellowship dinner. United Tribes photo by Dennis J. Neumann.

Rolenthea Begay (Diné), a student in the United Tribes Technical College (UTTC, Bismarck, ND) Teacher Education Program, was awarded the 2011 David M. Gipp Leadership Fellowship.

The honor is a privately funded award for students who demonstrate leadership potential in their home communities and during their college work at United Tribes Technical College.

Begay was chosen based on her record of scholastic achievement and leadership. She is a recent graduate of the college’s Associate Degree Program in Elementary Education and is working on a bachelor’s degree.

She was the 2010-2011 president of the Student North Dakota Education Association, the first United Tribes student and first Native to be elected to the office. As president, she represented the student teachers of North Dakota on a national level, attending conferences and leading community service initiatives. She and other UTTC education students were involved in the “Outreach to Teach Program,” traveling to under-resourced schools to help with renovations and maintenance.

“Since residing in Bismarck, I have been welcomed respectfully, gained new friendships and extended family members,” Begay said upon acceptance of the award. “I am truly thankful and blessed for the positive influences, inspirations, and shared knowledge that I have gained being here as a student and part of North Dakota.”

Begay plans to return home to the Navajo Nation in Arizona to teach elementary school when she completes her baccalaureate degree. Her professional goal is to promote the importance of education to students she serves. She hopes to one day earn a master’s degree.

A plaque recognizing the award was presented to her by United Tribes President David M. Gipp, for whom the award is named. One hundred college friends and supporters attended the award ceremony May 9 during a banquet at Apple Creek Country Club.

Begay received a small, renewable stipend and will participate in further leadership development and mentorship activities.

For more information about the fellowship or to contribute, please contact Suzan O’Connell, development director, United Tribes Technical College, 3315 University Drive, Bismarck, ND 58504, call (701) 255-3285 x 1533, or email

Find similar: ,

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.