Tahlequah, OK Northeastern State University recently
inducted Miss Cherokee 2016-17 Sky Wildcat into its Hall of Fame
for bringing state and national recognition to the university in
her role as a tribal ambassador.
NSU recognizes students annually who have brought special recognition
to the university or who have made contributions to the school.
Wildcat, of Muskogee, was one of three 2017 NSU Hall of Fame inductees
recognized at this year's Hall of Fame Ovation Awards Ceremony.
Dr. Christine Hallman, geography associate professor, nominated
Wildcat, whose Miss Cherokee platform is environmental preservation.
The Hall of Fame Selection Committee reviewed the nomination before
recommending it to NSU President Dr. Steve Turner.
"The nomination was humbling," Wildcat said. "To be selected
to NSU's Hall of Fame, I never would have expected that. When I
went into NSU, I got to know more of my community and I got to know
more about my identity, and that really pushed me. My experiences
at NSU led me to mentors and advisers and friends to depend on.
I learned that we can't do it all on our own."
Wildcat double-majored in geography and psychology at Northeastern
State and is now enrolled in a master's degree program there, which
she'll begin in the fall. She plans to work in higher education
and hopes to one day obtain a doctorate.
As Miss Cherokee, Wildcat has traveled to Washington, D.C.,
to represent the Cherokee Nation during Cherokee Days at the Smithsonian's
National Museum of the American Indian and has acted as an ambassador
for the tribe at community meetings, at-large gatherings and during
She has also been involved in the American Indian Science and
Engineering Society, in which she served as vice president and secretary.
She was a member of Alpha Pi Omega sorority and is a NSU RiverHawks
Initiating Service and Engagement scholar, a former Miss Native
American Student Association and CN Tribal Youth Councilor.
Wildcat is expected to travel to Denver for the United National
Indian Tribal Youth Conference in July.
"I've watched Sky grow as a person and she always had these
great qualities, but those qualities blossomed over the time I've
known her," Hallman said. "She's definitely a leader and she's strong.
She has shared in class that we have unity through diversity and
that we can all come together, whatever the cause, to find common
ground. She has a way of pulling people together and she has these
incredibly insightful moments. Her journey is incredible. She's
taught me a lot of things like a role reversal."
Hallman said Wildcat is dedicated to environmental issues, especially
water and how it relates to the CN. Wildcat has advocated for land
preservation, recycling and awareness of environmental footprints
both in her college studies and as Miss Cherokee.
Wildcat's photo will be included among other NSU Hall of Fame
inductees inside the University Center on the Tahlequah campus.
She was also honored this year as an NSU outstanding senior
and graduated summa cum laude.