9th Annual NASAI Conference at Arizona State University
9th Annual NASAI Conference at Arizona State UniversityJosé Rios, Director, Multicultural Communications
The College Board's Native American Student Advocacy Institute (NASAI) is more than just another event to network, learn, and collaborate at — it’s also an important convening of thought leaders addressing the role of relationships, hope, and love in advocating for native students. And it’s these important ingredients that made this year’s event at the campus of Arizona State University so special.
In collaboration with Arizona State University, the conference brought together different tribal leaders for two days to discuss new solutions, share best practices, and collaborate with colleagues to make a difference in the lives of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students. Sessions covered topics such as financial aid, developing cultural-based approaches to teaching, college preparation, and advancing Native students towards college success.
Conference speakers included: the Honorable Diane Humetewa, U. S. District Judge of Arizona; Shana Brown, teacher, author, curriculum designer; Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation President Bernandine Burnette; ASU President Michael Crow; and Amanda R. Tachine from the ASU Center for Indian Education.
Pamela Agoyo, a trustee at the College Board, director of American Indian Student Services, and special assistant to the president for American Indian Affairs at the University of New Mexico (UNM), presented this year’s Dr. Henrietta Mann Leadership Award to LuAnn Leonard. Leonard has shown outstanding leadership and a strong commitment to supporting native students, advancing indigenous communities, and fostering development of future leaders. She’s spent more than 29 years working with the Hopi Tribe government and is the first Native American (Hopi and Tohono O’odham) to serve on Arizona Board of Regents.
In an effort to connect more students to college success and an opportunity, the College Board also organized two community events at different tribal communities prior to the conference. The events, which brough college planning resources and information to local students and families, took place at the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Gila River Indian Community, each representing a distinct background and culture.
For more information on the NASAI conference, visit nasai.collegeboard.org.