CNC, Oklahoma INBRE Partner for Empowerment

Aug 15th, 2007 | By | Category: 19-1: Tribal College Students Today, Tribal College News


RESEARCH ENTHUSIASTS. Comanche Nation College President Dr. Kim Winkelman (right) and Professor LaNeal Pewewardy (left) help science and math students such as Michael W. Harjo-Murrow (center) try their hands at biomedical research.

Comanche Nation College (CNC, Talequah, OK) and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) are collaborating to address the science and math needs of diverse learners.

The grant program is administered through the National Institutes of Health INBRE program (IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence). This program builds state capacity to carry out biomedical research by supporting new faculty, recruiting students into biomedical research careers, and sustaining vital core facilities.

CNC officials say the program fits well with the two guiding principles of a Comanche-centered education: (1) re-traditionalization and (2) empowerment.

The CNC instructors for the classes are Assistant Professor of Science Johnny Poolaw (Delaware-Kiowa-Comanche and Chiricahua Apache) and Assistant Professor of Math LaNeal Pewewardy (Comanche-Kiowa). In addition to the math and science classes they teach, they tutor students.

The grant also enabled CNC to purchase vital science and math-related equipment.

INBRE funds a summer undergraduate research program to expose promising students to research, which Michael W. Harjo-Murrow (Comanche) attended in 2006. A junior at CNC, he is majoring in criminal justice. He researched microscopic DNA from worms, injecting them with fluorescent enzymes associated with polymer chain reactions. The experience used technology to better understand genetic fusing of DNA.

Harjo-Murrow says of his INBRE experience, “Forensics is the area of concentration that interests me the most. I strongly recommend this program to all students.”

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