Haven Gourneau Selected as President of FPCCAug 14th, 2014 | By tcj | Category: 26-1: Celebrating 25 Years, Tribal College News
The board of directors at Fort Peck Community College (FPCC, Poplar, MT) has selected long-time employee and former student Haven Gourneau as the new FPCC president. Gourneau exemplifies the success of tribal college students, as well as the impact TCUs have on their respective communities.
Nearly 27 years ago, on the advice of her best friend, Gourneau visited FPCC for the first time. Although she was born and raised on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, she didn’t know where the campus was located. She had been working as a nursing assistant and home health care provider, and had six young children and a great-grandmother to care for. The day Gourneau decided to check out the college just happened to be registration day. Faculty and staff immediately took her under their wings and convinced her to enroll full-time.
A diligent student, Gourneau took advantage of the college’s work-study program and landed a job in the student services division. She was hired full time after she graduated and spent the next 24 years at FPCC as an administrative assistant, the financial aid director, a faculty member, and eventually as vice president of student services. “Students can’t tell me they can’t do it because they have children, they work or they aren’t smart enough, because I’ve been right there in their shoes, experienced the same struggles and uncertainty, [and] had the same fears and self-doubts. I know what advice to give them,” Gourneau says. “I look forward to working closely with AIHEC, the American Indian College Fund, and other TCUs to continue the important work tribal colleges do.”