Nine Join AIHEC’s Leadership Program

Nov 15th, 2005 | By | Category: 17-2: Sustainability, Tribal College News
By Ron Selden

KELLOGG FELLOWS. The 2005-2006 nominees are (left to right, back row) Lola Doore, Sean Chandler, Larry Blacksmith, and Samantha Cameron; (front row) Karita Coffey, Francine McDonald, Burt Medicine Bull, and Melissa Cook. Not pictured is Diana Canku.

The third session of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium’s (AIHEC) leadership development program is now underway. New fellows from across the country are joining together to hone their skills and build a brighter future.

The year-long program is designed to prepare a new generation of senior-level leaders for AIHEC’s 36 member tribal colleges and universities.

Training topics focus on the history and purpose of minority-serving institutions, financial management and fundraising, tribal sovereignty, cultural issues, academic achievement, governing boards and program development, among other issues. The new fellows also will partner with tribal college presidents, who serve as mentors.

The W. K. Kellogg Foundation has funded the leadership program with a 4-year, $6 million grant to the Alliance for Equity in Higher Education. The alliance is a unique collaboration of AIHEC, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (representing the country’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities), and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

Nine educators were nominated by their individual schools to participate in this year’s AIHEC program. They are: Larry Blacksmith (Crow), dean of administration at Little Big Horn College; Diana Canku (Sisseton-Wahpeton), chief administrative officer at Sisseton Wahpeton College; Sean Chandler (Gros Ventre), director of American Indian Studies Department at Fort Belknap College;

Karita Coffey (Comanche), faculty member, 3-D Arts Department, Institute of American Indian Arts; Melissa Cook (Menominee), sponsored program specialist at College of Menominee Nation; Samantha Jackson Cameron (Bay Mills Indian Community), director of Business Administration Department at Bay Mills Community College;

Lola Doore (Blackfeet), administrative specialist to the president at Blackfeet Community College; Francine McDonald (Spirit Lake Dakota), director of Student Support Services at Cankdeska Cikana Community College; and Burt Medicine Bull (Northern Cheyenne), community coordinator at Chief Dull Knife College.

At the completion of this year, 28 upcoming tribal college leaders will have participated in the AIHEC Kellogg Leadership Program. One fellow, Olivia Vanegas-Funcheon, was named president of Tohono O’odham Community College this year.

Ron Selden is a freelance writer and photographer based in Helena, MT, and a frequent contributor to Tribal College Journal.

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