|American Indian Student Services to host Celebration of Achievements|
The American Indian Student Services (AISS), will host a Celebration of Achievements by honoring UND American Indian graduates Friday, Feb. 27, in the Hopper-Danley Spirituality Center on the UND campus at 10 a.m.
President Robert Kelley, Robert Boyd, vice president for student and outreach services, and Leigh Jeanotte, assistant to the vice president for student and outreach services and director of American Indian student services will attend and help honor the graduates.
The honorees include: Lola Agard, J.D., Audrey Bercier, M.P.A.S., Ryan Eagle, B.P.A, John Gonzalez, Ph.D., Brandon Haskell, Current Student, Tammy Lawrence, B.S.N., and Nelda Schrupp, M.F.A.
Lola Agard received her juris doctorate from the University of North Dakota in 1999. She is currently an associate judge in the Standing Rock Tribal Court. Agard is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Audrey Bercier received her master's of physician assistant studies in May 2007. She is a physician assistant at the Quentin N. Burdick Memorial Health Care Facility in Belcourt, N.D. Bercier is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.
Ryan Eagle received his Bachelor of Public Administration from UND in May 2003. He is the assistant executive director of The Boys and Girls Club of Three Affiliated Tribes in New Town, N.D. Eagle is a member of Three Affiliated Tribes.
John Gonzalez received his Ph.D. from UND in August 2005 and earned a master's of arts in psychology in December 2002. He is now an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Bemidji State University in Minnesota. Dr. Gonzalez is a member of the White Earth Chippewa Tribe.
Brandon Haskell is currently an undergraduate student at UND majoring in psychology and aviation. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux.
Tammy Lawrence received a bachelor of nursing degree from UND in 2000. She is currently a clinical nurse at the Spirit Lake Health Center in Fort Totten. Lawrence is a member of the Spirit Lake Nation.
Nelda Shrupp received a Master of Fine Arts from UND in 1993 and earned a bachelor of fine arts from UND in 1990. She is a self-employed artist living in Lakota, N.D., and is a member of the Pheasant Rump Nakota Tribe.
American Indian Student Services was formerly called Native American Programs. This program was legislated and awarded state-appropriated funding in 1978, along with the Department of Indian Studies to address the need for providing support services to American Indian students attending the University of North Dakota. When Native American Programs was created, there were very few American Indian students and programs on campus. Since then, the number of Indian-related programs at UND has grown to 29, and the American Indian student population has grown to nearly 420.
American Indian-related programs and students generate approximately $13 million annually. A large majority of this funding is awarded by the Federal government for a variety of training programs designed for American Indian students. AISS staff members provide multifaceted student support services in the areas of admissions, financial aid, housing, and academic, personal, and cultural advisement.
The main goal of the program is to provide services that enhance the successful transition, retention, and graduation of American Indian students attending UND. Additionally, AISS works with UND administrators to maintain a climate that is responsive to the needs of American Indian students. AISS staff members also collaborate with the tribes of the state, tribal colleges and tribal entities.