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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Martin Earns 'Seniors of Significance' Award At U Of A
by Will Chavez - Senior Reporter Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen and University of Arkansas senior Taylor Martin has been named to the Arkansas Alumni Association's first class of "Seniors of Significance." Here she is presented a gold chord to signify the honor, which she is expected to wear during the university's May 9 commencement. (courtesy photo)

Fayetteville, AR – Cherokee Nation citizen and University of Arkansas senior Taylor Martin has been named to the Arkansas Alumni Association's first class of "Seniors of Significance."

The 22-year-old from Tontitown was expected to receive a bachelor's degree in computer engineering in May. She was among 71 graduating seniors, commemorating the university's founding date of 1871, chosen from 400 nominees to receive the "Seniors of Significance" award.

Each "Senior of Significance" received a special honor gold cord to wear during graduation.

"I felt so honored to have even been nominated for this award, as many of my fellow students were just as qualified for it. I am so blessed to have received the award and it means the world to be able to represent our senior class with such an honor," Martin said.

The 71 students represent each Arkansas undergraduate academic college, 11 states and two countries.

"These are exceptional seniors who combine academic achievement, leadership skills and substantial extracurricular campus and/or community activities," stated a university press release.

Martin said her experience at the university has been "incredible."

"My degree program has proved to be very demanding, but the community that I have been surrounded with through it all, faculty and students included, has made it so enjoyable," she said. "I would have to say that the group of friends that I have made within my degree program has been one of the most memorable aspects of my time here at Arkansas. They have been there for me through thick and thin, and I wouldn't trade that for the world."

Her father, David Martin, said Taylor was the recipient of a CN scholarship for the past three years, which assisted her in covering the college expenses "she was 100 percent responsible for."

"The Cherokee Nation scholarship was a tremendous help for my college career. Between it and a university-sponsored scholarship, I was able to attend college and come out debt free, which is a blessing in itself," she said.

After graduation, she is expected to work for Wal-Mart's Information Systems Division in Bentonville, where she said she would be part of an information technology program.

Her father agreed with the words of Principal Chief Bill John Baker who recently wrote, "Our college scholarship recipients embody some of the most important values we hold as a tribe, including personal accountability and community and responsibility."

"I believe Taylor's accomplishment demonstrates those values and understanding the necessity of a college education in order for one to realize a better quality of life and bright future for Cherokees," David said.

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