Navajo students share experiences
Published: Thursday, May 5, 2011
Updated: Thursday, May 5, 2011 10:05
Students from a Navajo reservation located in Arizona are visiting ISU this week to experience higher education first hand, as well as give presentations on their culture in the library events area Thursday.
"Twleve students from Pinon, Arizona—on the Navajo Nation—will be presenting information, stories and traditions about their culture and lives," said Kristin Monts, a teacher from the reservation's Pinon Middle School and ISU alumna.
ISU honors students, as part of a poverty and education siminar, worked with Monts to organize the trip.
"[The] students looked at issues such as social justice, multi-faceted issues and real world circumstances," said Linda Maule, women's studies professor and general education program coordinator.
A recently acquired grant paid for the Pinon students' travel and boarding arrangements.
"[This opportunity] was funded by the Lily Endowment grant, which is related to a grant written for students outside of student services," said Greg Bierly, director of the university honors program and associate professor of geography.
"[The grant] is targeted to students in fields such as social sciences, communication, education, et cetera," Bierly said.
The students' activities while staying at ISU will include visiting several classes, having dinner with President and First Lady Bradley and attending a ghost walk led by Nan McEntire, associate professor of English.
The idea of hosting the students was influenced by a visit to the Charter School of the Dunes in Gary, Ind.
As a result of this trip ISU decided that Pinon was the next candidate for opening up higher education experiences to students.
"[We] went to Gary and presented to the Charter Schools of the Dunes: tie-dyed shirts, created globes and read Earth Day-appropriate literature, and [found] a bigger grasp of the subject, [and felt] that Pinon was the next step in allowing students to share their experiences," Maule said.
Bierly and President Bradley visited Pinon last summer for two days.
"This allowed students exposure and to learn, create and expand cultural experiences," Bierly said.
ISU is considering hosting similar campus tours and the possible inclusion of an Alternative Spring Break trip to Pinon.
The students' presentations will take place on April 28 in the library events area from 3:30 pm. to 5 p.m.