Cultural Engagement Center

NOC Lectureship Livestreamed to the Kinzer Performing Arts Center

Best Selling Author David Grann will be appearing at Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa Oct. 17 as part of the NOC Lectureship Series.

Tickets for the dinner are sold out but Grann’s lecture will be livestreamed to the Kinzer Performing Arts Center at NOC Tonkawa.

Tickets for the livestream event are free but should be reserved from the NOC Community Development Office in the Vineyard Library/Administration Building at NOC Tonkawa. Call 628-6214 for more details.

The event is sponsored by the Carl and Carolyn Renfro Endowed Lectureship Program, Northern Oklahoma College and the Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions (NASNTI) Cultural Engagement Center located in the Vineyard Library at NOC Tonkawa.

Grann’s most recent book, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, was on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list more than 30 weeks and was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Northern Oklahoma College, the state’s oldest community college, is a multi-campus, land-grant institution that provides high quality, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities and services which create life-changing experiences and develop students as effective learners and leaders within their communities in a connected, ever changing world.

Serving nearly 5,000 students, NOC is a public, two-year community college with locations in Tonkawa, Enid and Stillwater. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and offers associate degrees in three general areas: Arts, Science and Applied Science. The associate degree fulfills lower-division course work which is applicable towards a bachelor’s degree.

For more information about Northern Oklahoma College or giving to the NOC Foundation, please contact the development office at (580) 628-6208 or visit the NOC website at

Hanna Wensman Speaks at "Natives Guiding Natives" Discussion

Northern Oklahoma College Native American Mentor Hanna Wensman shared her thoughts on student mentoring at a “Natives Guiding Natives” Panel Discussion at the Cultural Engagement Center at NOC Tonkawa Thursday afternoon

Wensman is of Shawnee, Red Lake Ojibway and Muskogee (Creek) descent. She is one of 10 mentors for over 400 Native American students at NOC.

The mentoring program is managed by Native American Success Specialist Ted Moore as part of the Native American Serving Nontribal Institutions (NASNTI) grant.

Wensman earned a bachelor’s in Health Education and Promotion at Oklahoma State University where she served on the Sports Medicine Staff for Cowboy football. She is currently a Masters of Public Health student at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa.

When her graduate degree is completed, she wants to work within a tribal clinic’s health and wellness department.

Wensman addressed a number of issues in the panel discussion including advice for native American students.

“Find the proper balance between cultural obligations, school, and work,” she said. “I spend a lot of time talking to students about time management and how to balance all aspects of their lives. It is the most important thing to do.”

“It’s a challenge to balance school and culture together,” she added. “Family and culture are both so important to Native Americans and so there is pressure for students to go back home for cultural events that can interfere with school. That is a challenge to balance the two things because they both are important.”

Wensman said she is thrilled to be part of the mentoring program where she stays connected with around 35 students by e-mail every two weeks.

“I didn’t have mentors when I was in school at OSU,” she said. “It is so valuable to have someone that you can turn to when you’re having problems or just someone to talk to that has been where you are at. If nothing else, I try to encourage students to continue their education. I tried to find upper classman that could give advice on certain classes but I would have enjoyed that mentor relationship as a student.”

“I try to explain to students that I mentor that it’s not going to be easy and there are going to be challenges,” she added. “But the rewards of that degree are so important. Doors are opened that were never opened before. Students have to keep the ultimate goal of a degree as an incentive to work toward.”

She also tries to convey financial literacy to students that she mentors.

“That new pair of shoes may be cute or that video game may be a lot of fun to play but you have to take care of the priorities,” she said. “When you have rent to pay or an electric bill to pay, you pay it first and then you do the fun things later. You have to sacrifice the short term pleasure for long term goals.”

Wensman discussed her biggest challenge as a student.

“As an undergrad finding a study groove was hard for me,” she said. “It took the longest time for me to learn to manage my time. I had two jobs and was going to school, that’s tough to do. By my junior year, I found the balance that I needed.”

“As a graduate student, I lost two cousins to suicide and that’s been difficult. I was in Oklahoma City and alone and that was tough. That has been a challenge to overcome.”

When asked about her inspiration for getting and education, she talked about her mother.

“I apologize for getting emotional,” she said as her voice quivered. “But my mother drove 90 minutes to Northeastern State every day to go back to school when me and my brothers were little. She did it for us and now I see the sacrifice she made and the reason she did it. When I would complain about driving to Stillwater in the rain I would stop and think what my mom did and that inspired me to stay the course and reach my goals of a degree. She was such a great example.”

She also talked about maintaining her cultural identity from both native and non-native Americans.

“I’ve been told that I am ‘too white’ to be native,” she said. “That is very hurtful to hear but you can’t let what people say bother you. I am proud of my culture and just because I can’t go home for every cultural event doesn’t mean that I don’t love my culture and my family. I want to use the education I receive to help my culture in the future.”

Wensman also talked about giving back.

“I am studying Public Health because I want to give back to my community,” she explained. “I will never forget my roots and where I come from and that is so important for me. I hope the students I mentor can see that passion and encourage them to get an education and give back as well.”

The conversation was recorded and will be available for viewing on-line at a later date.

Native American Mentoring Service

The Maverick - November 15, 2017 - Story on Ted MooreBeginning October 2017, Native American mentors will be available for NOC Native students to receive personal attention, guidance, encouragement, and communication outside of traditional advising, or tutoring. The mentors are Native American college graduates and leaders from different fields of study. Any Native American student taking courses through NOC - Tonkawa, Enid, Stillwater, or online courses, is eligible to receive this one-on-one guidance. If you are interested, please contact Ted Moore. And please, share this opportunity with others. 

Thank you,

Ted Moore
Native American Student Services Specialist
Phone: (580) 628-6384
Office: 100 H - Cultural Engagement Center
(in the Vineyard Library Building, Tonkawa Campus)

Title III Native American - Serving Nontribal Institutions

Program Description:

This program provides grants and related assistance to Native American-Serving, Nontribal Institutions to enable such institutions to improve and expand their capacity to serve Native Americans and low-income individuals.

This website provides information on the Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions Program authorized by the Higher Education Opportunity Act, 2008 (HEA, Title III, Part A, Section 319; CFDA# 84.031X) as well as the Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions Program Program originally authorized by the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (HEA, Title III, Part F, Section 371; CFDA# 84.382C).

NASNTI Part F Highlights:

  • The Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions (NASNTI) program, part F is a federally funded grant through the U.S. Department of Education. It is for Institutions of higher education (IHEs) that have “an enrollment of undergraduate students that is not less than 10 percent Native American students; and are not a tribal college or university (as defined in Section 316 of the Higher Education Act)” (U.S. Department of Education).
  • The grant awarded under part F is a developmental grant that can be used for a particular set of activities as listed by the Department of Education’s website.
  • The project, entitled Merging Tradition and Technology: Engaging Native American and Low Income Students to Complete College, has identified a wide variety of activities through three main initiatives approved by the grant that will be implemented throughout the five years of the grant, October 2016-September 2021.
  • The first initiative will expand access to high demand, high quality courses by revising 30 existing online courses to meet Quality Matters standards; equipping access sites within tribal centers for each of the service area’s six tribes designed to serve as a computer lab and ITV classroom.
  • The second initiative is to develop high quality, interactive online services to support both on-campus and distance education students. NOC will have new and redesigned online services backed by a new data analytic tool that will allow staff to readily access student-level data in real time; provide an online learning readiness assessment, financial aid advising, academic advising, degree mapping, and transfer services.
  • The third initiative is to target Native American student success by establishing a Cultural Engagement Center (CEC) (COMING FALL 2017) within the Vineyard Library Administration building that will provide student support services, cultural activities, and professional development.
  • NOC will also provide resources to highlight Native American culture through language resource library within the Cultural Engagement Center and provide professional development opportunities for faculty and staff on approaches to support Native American student success.
  • Ted Moore, our Native American Student Success Specialist, will run the CEC by leading the development and piloting of culturally aligned individual coaching and other student support services. For more information, please see our contact page.