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United Tribes News

Janurary 11, 2016

Feeling the Love

Tim Thomas received a room full of holiday warmth and encouragement December 17 during the United Tribes Holiday Staff party. Seen here seated at center with other “Years of Service” awardees, Tim received a standing ovation as a measure of the affection in which he is held by the campus community. A stroke in early September left him partially paralyzed, ending five years of service to UTTC as a well-liked member of the maintenance professional staff and friend to all.

With the help of his wife Bernice and his family, along with a measure of financial support from friends and colleagues, Tim is making a determined recovery. His faith, positive attitude and sense of humor has strengthened him through a long series of treatments and physical therapy. Follow his progress at Caringbridge.org.

Others pictured who received recognition for “Years of Service,” standing from left: Bud Anderson and Ron Newman, 40 years; Charlene Weis, 30 years; Sarah Massey and Vicki Stevens, 10 years; Scott Graeber, Jenny Iverson and Lisa Cantlon; 5 years; Karlita Knight, 15 years; Derek Schulte, 10 years. Front, from left, Brenda Rhone, 20 years; Tim; and Evelyn Orth, 15 years. Others not pictured: Vivian Hurkes, Dennis Lowman and Monte Schaff, 5 years; Anita Charging, 10 years; Juanita Reiner and Darcie Blue Earth, 15 years; and Debbie Painte, 20 years.

Look of a Leader
United Tribes Technical College President Leander “Russ” McDonald was honored as part of a photo exhibit by his alma mater in Grand Forks. The University of North Dakota included a photo of McDonald in the exhibit “American Indian Leaders in Higher Education,” premiered November 18 in the UND Memorial Union.

The exhibit features portraits of five current tribal college presidents who are UND grads: Twyla Baker-Demaray, Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College; S. Verna Fowler, College of Menominee Nation; Cynthia Lindquist, Cankdeska Cikana Community College; McDonald of UTTC; and Laurel Vermillion, Sitting Bull College.

UND says the photos are a permanent exhibition, “recognizing the exceptional achievements and contributions of individual American Indian alumni who have served as tribal college presidents. They are recognized as community leaders based on their commitment to higher education and life-long learning, their visionary contributions to tribal college development and growth, and their dedication to preserving and promoting American Indian cultures.”

Shawna Schill photo/University of North Dakota

New HR Director
Rae Gunn is the new Human Resources Director at United Tribes Technical College. She began November 30, guiding the college’s Human Resource Department. She’s been with UTTC since 2012 in various capacities, including directing the TCC DeMaND Workforce Program, a $18.9 million Trade Assistance Act project involving four TCUs in North Dakota and Montana. Rae earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Dickinson State University and an MBA through the Gary Tharaldson School of Business at University of Mary. She is married to Fred and they have three children: Amira 19, Gage 14 and Garrett 13.

New Wellness Center Director
Congratulations and welcome to Stephanie Isaak, the new United Tribes Director of Community Wellness Services in the college’s Lewis Goodhouse Wellness Center. Stephanie has over 11 years of experience working with Native youth and families primarily at Standing Rock. Most recently she directed the tribe’s Child Protection Services. She coordinated the SRST Circle of Care planning grant and managed the tribe’s Health/Mental Health/Nutrition services for Head Start. Prior to working with the tribe she worked at the Prairie Learning Center and also was an academic counselor for Sitting Bull College for three years.

Stephanie has a M.S. in Counseling, a B.S. in Psychology, a minor in Indian Studies, and is DD certified through Minot State. She was also a speaker in a webinar titled “Strategies for Successful Interagency Collaboration.” Please stop by the Wellness Center and introduce yourself or contact her x 1777.
– Kathy Johnson, Student Services VP

New Chemical Health Center Director
Congratulations and welcome to Anita Monek, the new Chemical Health Center Director at United Tribes. Anita is a professional with 20 years of experience in the addiction field. She earned a B.A. and B.S. in Psychology from the University of North Dakota and a M.A. in Community Agency Counseling with an emphasis in addiction. She worked at the North Dakota State Hospital for 19 years and during that time completed an M.B.A. at the University of Mary.

Anita is involved in Toastmasters International and has been a district officer since 2014. With that position she has had the opportunity to travel to Malaysia, Las Vegas and other cities as a part of her duties. She also continues to be involved in teaching DUI seminars and working with domestic violence. She spends her spare time with her grandson and quilts.

Anita’s office is located in the Lewis Goodhouse Wellness Center.
– Kathy Johnson, Student Services VP

Please welcome back to the campus community a former staffer, Alicia Hegland-Thorpe. She’s the new media specialist in the Office of Public Information (OPI). She circled-back to UTTC having working here in 2013 in the college’s Enrollment Services Department.

Alicia earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting from Minot State University. She anchored and produced TV newscasts in Minot, was a radio personality at stations in Williston and Grand Forks and worked in the media in Bismarck. She’s also an entrepreneur in the travel business and has lived in the Bismarck area for 10 years.

Alicia is enrolled with the Spirit Lake Oyate in Fort Totten. She and her husband Dean have a four-year-old boy named Connor.

Alicia’s media talent and skills are producing results in marketing and promoting the college. Her office is in the new OPI location in building 6, the former registrar’s office. Contact her at x 1387, ahegland@uttc.edu.
– Editor

Photos from the ‘Rock’
Photos of several current and past United Tribes employees grace the pages of a new book by historian/scholar Donovin A. Sprague (Cheyenne River) and his son Rylan Sprague. “Standing Rock–Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Nation” was released Nov. 2 by Arcadia Publishing. Unlike his previous photo book about Standing Rock, and several others about tribes in the Dakotas and Oklahoma, this one contains modern, color images of places and people on ‘The Rock.’ Those from the United Tribes campus community who are pictured include David M. Gipp, UTTC President Emeritus; Scott Davis, ND Indian Affairs Commission director and former UTTC Development Director; Dakota Goodhouse, UTTC Native Studies Instructor; Dave Archambault II, Standing Rock Chairman and former UTTC DeMaND Program Director; Harriett Skye, UTTC Vice President Emeritus; Sharon Two Bears, former UTTC Board member; the late Theodore “Tiny Bud” Jamerson, former United Tribes Executive Director; Charles W. Murphy, former Standing Rock Chairman and former UTTC Board member; Joanie M. Ramey-Neumann, UTTC graduate and former UTTC Nurse; Cheryl Kary, Sacred Pipe Resource Center Director and former UTTC Research Director; the late Melvin White Eagle, former Standing Rock Chairman and former UTTC Board member; Wallace “Butch” Thunderhawk Jr., UTTC Instructor Emeritus in the Arts; and Phil Baird of the ND Cowboy Hall of Fame and former UTTC Interim President and Vice President of Academic, Career and Technical Education. Donovin Sprague lives in Rapid City and teaches American Indian Studies at Black Hills State University. The book is available at local book stores and online.
– Editor

Music Awards
The clock is ticking! You have until January 15 to cast an electronic ballot for winners of the 2016 North Dakota Music Awards. Here’s the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BC5NYTR. While you’re there, you’ll notice that a young, Native singer/song writer is among the contestants. Mercedes Gourneau is nominated in four categories. (She’s the daughter of Bill and Linda Gourneau and a former TJES student.) Yes indeed you may help by voting for Mercedes in the following categories: #9 (native band/group), #12 (female vocalist), #19 (best video, "darkness"), and #20 (best song, "darkness"). Winners announced February 13 during the second North Dakota Music Awards event at the Belle Mehus in Bismarck. Thank you from the proud parents!
– Bill Gourneau, VP Campus Services

Transition to Teaching
Congratulations to Dr. Angelique Gillis who enters the new spring semester as a member of the college faculty. You may now call her “Professor Gillis” having become a Psychology Instructor. Dr. Gillis is Arikara and Turtle Mountain Chippewa. She earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UND and formerly served as a Psychology Resident in the college’s wellness center. Best wishes!
– Editor

Go-To Guy
Please join me in welcoming Todd Goodsell to the Property and Supply Dept. Todd is the new Property Clerk and we’re very glad to have him onboard. Todd is your go-to guy for all your office supply needs on campus. He handles them through the Property and Supply Store located in our offices in Building 51 on Sisseton Street in the east part of campus. Todd says he’s excited to be here and that he looks forward to working with all departments and helping employees. Contact him for assistance: 701-221-1751 or x 1751, tgoodsell@uttc.edu.
– Melvin Miner, Property and Supply Director

Conference Goers
Several members of the UTTC Student Services staff attended professional training at the largest conference of its kind in the country. Scott Skaro, Jazalyn Corley, Karissa Smith, and Lydale Yazzie attended the Federal Student Aid Training Conference Dec. 1-4, sponsored by the US Dept. of Education. Six-thousand other professionals attended, making it the largest training program in the US serving the financial aid community. The training was specifically for those at schools and educational institutions that receive Title IV funds. The free training, held in Las Vegas, NV, updated our team on federal regulations, new legislation, and other topics and best practices related to student financial aid.
– Kathy Johnson, Student Services VP

Public Health Intern
Say hello to Melissa Parsons who selected an internship at United Tribes Technical College because the of college’s Land Grant and Extension programs.
Melissa is a grad-student from Des Moines University in an on-line Public Health Master’s program. 

During the fall, she served as an assistant for training and evaluation for the Regional Intertribal WIC Programs, explored food sustainability and community health worker certification options, and investigated how UTTC might offer AAS or BS degrees in public health. She has 13 years of experience with ND Dept. of Health as an epidemiologist and at the ND Dept. of Human Services as a research analyst. Her future interest is to maintain a connection with tribal health systems in the Northern Plains.

She says the internship improved her understanding about health disparities for Native People, in particular, that disparities cannot be addressed by measuring disease rates alone. Professionals are challenged to address broader public health issues, such as food insecurity, poverty, access to disease treatment services, roles and responsibilities of tribal health and the Indian Health Service, and the educational role of USDA public health programs (WIC, SNAP, school lunch, FDPIR, and Nutrition for Elderly). Melissa has two children and lives in Bismarck.
– Wanda Agnew, UTTC Culinary Arts/Foodservice Instructor

Artful Farwell
Wayne Pruse, the director of UTTC’s Art/Art Marketing Program, bid farewell in December to United Tribes after 18 years of outstanding service to the college. Wayne says it was not an easy decision for him and his wife Lynn to make. But he felt it was the right time. Mid-year is a time of least disruption to students’ graduation plans, when they’ve completed art foundation courses in the fall and turn their attention during spring to General Education requirements.

Wayne’s teaching legacy at UTTC includes caring for students, humor, passion for art and many innovations, like Sidewalk Art, public sculptures, Native murals, public partnerships and commissions, and a fanatical dedication to instill marketing values that help students avoid the “starving artist” syndrome.

As much as we're going to miss Wayne on campus, we wish him the best as he returns to focus full-time on his own art and gallery business. He offered to help us in the future with special projects and we'll certainly take-him-up on his offer. Stop at the Impact Gallery on the corner of 4th and Broadway to say hello to Wayne and Lynn!
– Lisa Azure, VP Academics


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