CCCC Highlights Talent In Students and Faculty

Nov 15th, 2006 | By | Category: 18-2: Traditional Wisdom Our Strength, Tribal College News


SHINING STAR AT CCCC. Thalia Esser is awarded for outstanding work for teaching early childhood classes and working with faculty on accreditation.

Cankdeska Cikana Community College (CCCC, Fort Totten, ND) recently expanded its Talent Search program and recognized an outstanding faculty member.

The CCCC Talent Search program sponsored eight high school students to attend the United National Indian Tribal Youth conference in Buffalo, NY, July 14-18, 2006.

Participants, who were selected for their GPA and participation, included Kareena Whiteshield, Danae Black, Anthony Ironheart, Vernell Jackson, Dancia Jackson, William Black Jr., Cody Shaw, and Alice Wadsworth.

The gathering provided many opportunities for the students to grow spiritually, physically, mentally, and socially. Ironheart and Jackson participated in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament and won first place.

The students also attended a pow-wow on the Seneca Nation reservation, visited Niagara Falls, and met Native actors Adam Beach and Gary Farmer. The conference emphasized that students should choose positive pathways for themselves.

Thalia Esser was named CCCC Faculty Member of the Year, an award sponsored by the American Indian College Fund. Esser has been a faculty member for seven years. Now vice president for academic affairs and occasionally acting president, she holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education.

Esser teaches early childhood education courses, and according to student evaluations, she is well-liked and respected. “Ms. Esser is a dedicated and thoughtful faculty member and administrator. I am very proud to work with her and have her as part of the management team,” says Dr. Cynthia Lindquist-Mala (Spirit Lake Dakotah), CCCC president.

As vice president for academic affairs, Esser’s responsibilities are extensive and demanding. She has established a faculty forum, a learning assessment workgroup, and a curriculum committee that engages the faculty in self-evaluation and improvement.

“Ms. Esser was co-chair of the accreditation committee for 2 years wherein we were successfully removed from probation and granted 10-year accreditation status. This is significant for a tribal college and for our community,” says Lindquist-Mala.

For information on Talent Search, contact Imogene Belgarde, director, at (701)766-1112. For general CCCC information, contact Dixie Omen, public information officer, at or at (701)766-1314.

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