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Honors awarded at UTTC fall break
19 December 2003
More Information - Dennis Renville 701-255-3285 ext. 1386, drenville@uttc.edu

Bob Parisien photo
Bob Parisien, master of ceremonies, announced that today is the graduate's victory for staying in school.

BISMARCK, ND - A new crop of tribal college graduates received honors at United Tribes Technical College. Fifteen students who earned Associate of Applied Science degrees were honored at the college during a program Friday, December 19, the last event of the Fall 2003 academic calendar.

      "The Fall Honoring is a way to recognize students who complete their course of study and may not be able to return in the spring for the formal graduation ceremony," said master of ceremonies Bob Parisien, UTTC's Financial Aid Director.

Graduates photo
Honored graduates were seated in the front row of the audience that filled the lower level of the Barden Center.

      Over 10,000 students have graduated from the school during its 34-year history. The school provides on-campus housing, day care, an elementary school and other support services for the many students who attend along with family members.

UTTC Board Chairman Charles Murphy photo
UTTC Board Chairman Charles Murphy said he identified with the graduates; like many UTTC students, he too had been a single parent.

      "I see the things that students struggle with," said Russell Swagger, Dean of Student and Campus Services. "The day-to-day problems can easily get overlooked and going to class can be taken for granted. But you're here today. It's your day. You worked hard for it. Congratulations!"

Dr. Jacqueline Quisno photo
Guest speaker Dr. Jacqueline Quisno, who earned a medical degree at the University of Washington Medical School, explained that the young daughter of a friend once said Quisno couldn't be a doctor because she was a girl. "Girls are nurses," the youngster said, repeating conventional thought. At rear from left, Russell Swagger, UTTC Registrar Joey McLeod, and Bob Parisien.

      UTTC enrollment has more than doubled in the past two years, making it one of the fastest growing of the nation's 35 tribal colleges and universities. The college expects to educate 650 students for the academic year.

      "Have you heard the story of the two mice that fell into the cream pail?" asked guest speaker, Dr. Jacqueline Quisno, who practices medicine with the Indian Health Service in Fort Yates, ND. "One of them gave up and drowned and the other one kept on paddling and swimming until the cream turned into butter and made it possible to climb out." Quisno's story fit her rural upbringing on the Fort Belknap Reservation in north central Montana. "That's what you graduates are doing," she said. "Keep on swimming to turn that cream into butter."

Dean of Student & Campus Services Russell Swagger photo
In his welcoming remarks, Russell Swagger, Dean of Student and Campus Services, talked about the "family atmosphere" on the UTTC campus.

      "You set your goals and no one can take them away from you," said another speaker, Charles Murphy, chairman of the UTTC board and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. "Congratulations from the board and keep going, don't give up now."

Merry Brunelle photo
Congratulations and a handshake for Tribal Management graduate Merry Brunelle.

      The students earned their degrees in eight different fields of study: Automotive Technology: Fredrick Medicine Stone, Fort Peck, MT; Criminal Justice: Douglas Gover, Assiniboine Sioux, MT; Computer Support Technology: Francis Bosch, Turtle Mountain, ND, Joseph Mountain, Standing Rock, ND; Early Childhood Education: Linda Schultz, New Salem, ND; Nutrition /Food Service: Lisa Anderson, White Mountain Apache, AZ; Office Technology: Toni Lynn Arcoren, Crow Tribe, MT, Chris D. Harrison, Standing Rock, ND, Shannon Leigh Pease, Crow Creek, SD, Darla D. Stricker, Cheyenne River, SD, Rhonda R. Yankton, Cheyenne River, SD; Small Business Management: Nancy M. Big Crow, Oglala, SD; Tribal Management: Barbara Lynn Abrams, Seneca, NY, Mary Ankerpont, Uintah, UT, and Merry Brunelle, Turtle Mountain, ND. Eight of the graduates were on hand for the honoring.

Wanda Agnew & graduates photo
Wanda Agnew, head of UTTC's Land Grant Programs, offers her congratulations in the receiving line. Graduates, from right, Merry Brunell, Barbara Lynn Abrams, and Nancy Big Crow.

      UTTC students named to Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges: Tribal Management: Mary Ankerpont; Office Technology: Andrea Gladson, Emmett Whiteman, Geri Fisher, Luann Carry Moccasin, and Shannon Pease; Tribal Tourism: Caroline Hankinson; Licensed Nursing: Chenoa Gipp and Dawn DeCoteau; Computer Support Technology: Elizabeth Hamilton; Criminal Justice: Helen Reed; Small Business Management: Ina GoodShield, Nancy Big Crow, and Natasha Old Elk; Art/Art Marketing: Teata Decorah.

John and Barbara Lynn Abrams photo
The bouquet of roses held by UTTC Tribal Management graduate Barbara Lynn Abrams (Seneca) came from her dad, John Abrams, who attended the Fall Honoring program in Bismarck. Afterward the two hopped in a car to make the 23- hour drive home to Salamanca, NY.

      Students recognized for perfect attendance during the Fall 2003 term: Tribal Tourism: Tracey Brown; Office Technology: Luann Carry Moccasin; Licensed Nursing: Balynda Casey, Kateri Dubray and Jessica Wiest; Office Technology: Geri Fischer; Nutrition/Food Service: Kent Kadrmas; Art/Art Marketing: Todd Trottier.

      The drum group Cannon Ball Singers provided honoring songs. Attendance by relatives, friends, UTTC faculty, and staff filled the lower level of the Jack Barden Center, the college's new student life and technology building. The event was followed by a meal of prime rib at the UTTC cafeteria.


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