Crownpoint, NM — On November 10, 2017, Navajo Technical University Skyhawks will travel to Virginia Beach, Virginia to compete in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Cross Country Championships. Each year, teams from across the country compete to earn accolades in the race and as all- academics. The Skyhawks will have the opportunity again this year and the teams have been preparing for this race all season long.
This year’s men and women cross country teams have been training hard for this year’s championship and we are excited to show our competitiveness,” said Athletic Director George LeFrance. “Our student athletes have showed their discipline on the field and most importantly in the classroom.”
Head Coach Tyson Ramone oversees both teams and has a dedicated team who are enthusiastic about this year’s championship race. "The teams have put countless hours of running and weight lifting/training that has led to the National Championships.” Said Coach Ramone. “This is the meet that determines where we stand as a program against other east coastal schools, a majority of the Skyhawk runners are freshman and they deserve to win a national title"
The Skyhawk men’s team who will be competing are; Clifford Anderson, Mathew Todacheenie, Kevin Bia, Joel Yazzie, Pashen Quintana, and Iddrissu Osman. On the field for the women are; Felicia Chischilly, Emmalena Todacheenie, Wynona Wilson, Shaylene Paul, Shalii White, and Kristen Chiquito.
Last year, the team competed at the championships with Chelsey Largo and Wilsonya Clay earning all-academic team honors. The 8K race features top runners of the USCAA, the Skyhawks are aiming high and would like best their past results in the national competition. With over 25 teams at the championship race, the Skyhawks represent one of the two institutions from the Navajo Nation.
Crownpoint, NM - While many students were enjoying their much anticipated fall break at Navajo Technical University, students from the SkillsUSA NTU Chapter were diligently applying their skills to assist with some modifications and improvements at the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary at Candy Kitchen, NM.
From October 12-14, 2017, the students from various disciplines in trades programs at NTU were at the wolf refuge preparing for their Statesmen Awards by working on relevant assignments. Students have been supporting the sanctuary throughout the year and have been returning to complete projects that were still in progress. Julie Bales, advisor for the SkillsUSA at NTU, was at the refuge with the students facilitating their tasks.
“Last year students from the SkillsUSA attended the [leadership] conference in Carlsbad, this year we decided to come to Wild Spirit and utilize their skills to help improve areas that needed some work,” explained Bales. “They are a talented group and are able to use what they’ve learned to help communities in the area and this is a great place for them to do that.”
Each year, members of the SkillsUSA at NTU attend the New Mexico statewide outreach leadership conference to earn their Statesman Award, a recognition granted in their respective trades they are studying. The student organization at NTU did not attend this year, but decided to recognize its own members at the wolf refuge.
The various projects the students completed over the weekend ranged from repairing the decks of a cabin, making modifications to a wolf enclosure, and cleaning in and around selected cabins. Located near Ramah, NM, the sanctuary has been providing its services to the region for over 60 years. With limited resources, the non-profit refuge relies largely on volunteers to continue its operations. Marrell Charley, Early Childhood Multicultural Education major at NTU, was part of the team that helped maintain the cabins.
“We cleaned the inside and around some of the cabins,” said Charley. “Some of the guys worked on replacing the decks and put up a rail, too. As a member of SkillsUSA, we work on teambuilding concepts that enable us to work interdisciplinary with other members.”
The students were invited to work at the Wild Spirit in April to place some fencing of some wolf enclosures at the refuge. During the weekend, some of the students assembled frames that were welded by other NTU students. The frames were constructed to increase the height of one wolf enclosure. Aaron John, Building Information Modeling and Electrical Engineering major, was also at the refuge assisting on various projects including the enclosure project.
“What I consider really important about when we go out and volunteer, whether it’s on our own or during fall conference, is that it gives students a chance to broaden their skill sets while exploring other fields while working together. Most importantly we gain leadership skills,“ John said.
At Navajo Technical University the SkillsUSA chapter has 30 active members with 13 of the members volunteering at Wild Spirit. The diverse group of students consisted of Culinary Arts majors Randy White, Garilyn Moore, Ferlin Keedo, and Emerson Jake; Automotive Technology majors Pashen Quintana and Mario Gordo; Electrical Trades major Ivan Holiday; Construction Technology major Gregory Gruber; Welding and Electrical Engineering major Victor Billy; Engineering major Gerard Emerson; and Welding major Ericson Chavez.
SkillsUSA serves more than 300,000 students and instructors annually. The organization has 13,000 school chapters in 54 state and territorial associations. More than 14,500 instructors and administrators are professional members of SkillsUSA. For more information about NTU’s SkillsUSA chapter contact Julie Bales at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crownpoint, NM - On October 25, 2017, high school students from the region and across the Navajo Nation assembled at Navajo Technical University to showcase their talents in academic contests and to explore higher education opportunities.
NTU’s Open House & Skills Fest welcomed 21 high schools and over 490 students to the event, many of which competed in academic competitions such as automotive technology, welding, carpentry, culinary arts, baking, new media, electrical trades, electrical engineering, office assistant, job readiness, and law enforcement. The event also included a scavenger hunt that familiarized students with the layout of NTU’s campus, as well as the college registration process.
“It was a real pleasure to see all those high school students come to our campus and enjoy the activities tailored to increase their knowledge about Navajo Tech,” said Freda Joe, NTU’s dual credit coordinator. “For a couple hours today, we hopefully helped them to interactively decide on their future plans to continue their educational goals.”
In its fourth year hosting the event, NTU sought to provide more interactive opportunities for students, which included guided tours and a program open house where each of NTU’s departments could interact with students on a one-on-one basis. NTU’s intercollegiate athletic programs also provided activities for students, such as an archery target shoot and a mechanical bucking bull. NTU’s SkillsUSA student organization also took the lead in organizing the student competitions, modeling many after the state SkillsUSA competitions that take place each year in April.
“The students demonstrated outstanding abilities and skills for the competitions, and they got to engage with current NTU students and staff on an intimate level,” explained Daniel Vandever, communications director at NTU. “The collaboration that went into the event really made it a success because everyone was committed to seeing the students succeed.”
Navajo Transitional Energy Company, Arizona Public Services, and Raytheon were sponsors of the Skills Fest event, helping with the production of each competition. Nicole Shaw, Project Engineer at Souder, Miller & Associates in Santa Fe, NM served as the event’s motivational speaker, and discussed her quest through high school to earning a degree in civil engineering at Northern Arizona University. The Open House also received a visit from Grandma Emma Thompson, a Navajo elder from Tohatchi, NM, who was walking through Crownpoint in her effort to bring awareness to victims of domestic violence.
For more information about NTU’s Open House and Skills Fest or NTU’s dual credit programs, contact Freda Joe at email@example.com.