BISMARCK, ND – On March 11 - 14, 2018, Navajo Technical University participated in the American Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) annual student conference. Standing with 36 other tribal colleges and universities across North America, NTU students were among those, who competed in academic and athletic events. At the conference, NTU students earned top honors and performed exceptionally in their respective competitions.
“Each year we bring several students to take part in the AIHEC student competitions, this year the students we brought were outstanding and I can’t say enough about their competence,” said Casmir Agbaraji, Dean of Undergraduate Studies at NTU. “The venue this year was accommodating and we are pleased with how well NTU students performed. We appreciate all the support and thank the North Dakota TCU’s for hosting this year’s event.”
Competitions were held across several athletic, artistic, and scholarly events, with NTU students receiving recognition in 10 categories. The most decorated of the NTU students was Keanu Jones of Grand Falls, AZ, a double major in Creative Writing and New Media. He would place third overall in the men’s archery individual category, and winning the Tribal College Journal’s writing contest for his poem “Resting Teachings,” and the AIHEC film festival for his film, “Under the Paper.”
"You never know what you can do until you try. Without the support of everyone I wouldn't have gotten where I'm at," stated Jones, a sophomore at NTU. "It was an honor to represent NTU and know that NTU molds you to succeed in these competitions."
Jones’s animation talents also played a role in NTU’s One Act Play, which took first out of five plays. Jones helped bring NTU Communication Director Daniel Vandever’s children book, “Fall in Line, Holden,” to life while telling the story of a boy’s imagination as he traverses the hallways of his militant boarding school. The play involved twelve students led by Diné Culture, Language, and Leadership major Dana Desiderio, who transformed the book into a play and assumed the lead role of Holden.
For the fifth year in a row, the NTU men’s archery team aimed high and succeeded in the 3D target shoot. The team ended up on top after overall scores were tallied, with contributions from students Keanu Jones, Rashaundal Combs, Jared Tunney, and Creighton Benally. Each team member had shot between a 340 and 370, bookended by Tunney’s 346 and Jones’s 366.
As in archery, NTU found repeat success in the Web design contest when Computer Science major Tex Etsitty took first place for a hypothetical entrepreneurial website he designed that featured an IT company that specialized in computer security. Whereas last year Etsitty participated on a team in taking the top prize, this year he was able to accomplish the task as an individual. Etsitty was also recognized in the AIHEC Art Competition where he placed second in the Digital Art category for an art piece he created in the Adobe Creative Suite.
For the first time in five years NTU placed in the AIHEC business bowl. The team of Judith Sam, Cinandre Dolfin, Micheryl Miller, and Kari-April Gibson placed third after defeating the College of Menominee Nation and Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College from Wisconsin. The business bowl required students to buzz in to answer questions in the categories of marketing, management, accounting, personal finance, and economics. NTU also placed third in volleyball competition, while Advanced Manufacturing major Lennie Reynolds placed third for his Science Oral presentation, “Precision Measurement and Quality Control of Ultra-small Dimension Products Using Laser Light.”
For more information about Navajo Technical University and its participation in the 2018 AIHEC student conference, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 505.786.4100.