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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Introducing 2008-09 The Andrew W. Mellon Career Enhancement Program Fellows
by American Indian College Fund press release
Credits: Photos courtesy of The American Indian College Fund

Carmelita Lamb and Michael D. Tosee are the new 2008-09 fellows under The Andrew W. Mellon Career Enhancement Program. Fellows receive a $30,000 sabbatical fellowship with additional funding for research-related travel, with the purpose of increasing the intellectual capital among faculty at the 32 accredited tribal colleges and universities. In existence since 2004, the program has funded 15 Ph.D. candidates to date.

Carmelita Lamb (Lipan Apache) has resided in North Dakota for 29 years and teaches in various disciplines at the Turtle Mountain Community College. She is the project director for Native Ways of Knowing —Secondary Science Teacher Education, a program sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Lamb is a doctoral candidate in education at North Dakota State University. Her dissertation is about the cohort model learning community and how to implement best practices in teacher education student retention in tribal colleges, focusing on Native American student retention in professional degree programs offered in a tribal institution of higher education. She has three children: Dr. Lauren Dean Lamb, a practicing veterinarian; Felicia Marie Lamb, a zoology graduate from North Dakota State University; and Bianca Irene, a sophomore at Texas A & M University.

Lamb says, "Tribal colleges and universities have been contributing to the higher education needs of Native American students for over 30 years, yet very little is actually known about these culturally rich learning environments in mainstream institutions of higher education. Preliminary findings from this study describe a remarkable similarity between TCUs and mainstream institutions of higher education in their approach to knowledge building constructs like learning communities. Of even greater interest is the crucial role that student cultural identity plays in the overall theme of the cohort model learning community in a tribal college." She says her study may be useful for those tribal institutions who seek to develop four-year professional degree programs like teacher education while including a cohort model learning community to foster Native American student success. Other applications of Lamb's findings could be in future tribal college funding proposals targeted to agencies that direct a chain of accountability linked to empirical research.

Michael D. Tosee (Comanche) has taught at Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence, Kansas for the past 17 years. In 1994 Haskell began a four-year degree program by offering American Indian Studies as one of four baccalaureate degree programs. Tosee has been a member of the American Indian Studies program since that time, where he also teaches a History of American Indian Leaders, Past and Present and the American Indian Experience: A Twentieth Century History. In 1995 Tosee began to acquire American Indian elder interviews to complement his research. Since 1995 he has compiled 250 interviews about various 20th century American history topics, which he will use in his dissertation giving a 20th century historical review of the Comanche and Crow tribes.

“I have such a keen interest in discussing, teaching, and writing about the role American Indians played in 20th century American History, but what keeps me motivated to work in this area, interviewing elders, reading, writing, and researching this period of history is because of my appreciation for my grandparents. It is from the relationship with my grandparents that I have shaped my life, to value one's existence as if it were a gift. My effort to develop a 20th century American Indian History is an effort to give something back for the generosity and kindness my grandparents showed me,” Tosee says.

Media Contact: Dina Horwedel, Public Education Director, 303-426-8900

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