Alison Black graduated from Pawnee High School in 1998 and went on to earn an AS in General Studies from Northern Oklahoma College and a BS in Applied Sociology from Oklahoma State University. Currently, she is a graduate student at Oklahoma State University in the Curriculum Studies and Leadership program under the College of Education.
Ms. Black is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma but is also a descendant of the Ponca Nation, Osage Nation and Prairie Band Potawatomi people. Education is extremely important to Alison as she strives to serve Native American students personally and professionally.
During her graduate studies at OSU she developed an organization aimed at empowering Indigenous women in Oklahoma through aesthetic experiences garnered by discussions of contemporary Native and women’s issues. This grassroots organization and it’s development was the topic of a published article in the peer reviewed journal, Creative Education in 2013 of which she co-authored. Additionally, she is an active member of the Indigenous women's group Matriarch in Oklahoma City and the quarterly Indian Woman Power luncheon in Northern Oklahoma. She also is a member of the Alpha Pi Omega Sorority and has served as Vice President of professional chapter, Delta Pi.
Currently, she serves the Frontier Public School district as Director of Indian Education and was elected to the Oklahoma Council for Indian Education Board of Directors in the spring of 2016. Alison is also an avid runner, a world traveler and a fan of watching her kids compete in athletics. Her future plans include obtaining a Ph.D, obstacle course racing, and studying and living abroad.
Alexandria Chino is an enrolled Iowa Tribal member and descendant of Pawnee Nation, Muscogee Creek Nation, Seminole Nation, Pueblo of Acoma, and Hopi.
Ms. Chino is a first generation college student, classified as a senior at Oklahoma State University with a major of Sociology emphasizing in Social Justice and Social Work. Ms. Chino graduated from Northern Oklahoma College with Associates in Arts of Social Science in 2014. Awards include 2016 President’s Volunteer Service Award presented by Barack Obama and 2014 Outstanding Tribal Youth award from Iowa Tribe. Currently Ms. Chino is employed at Pawnee Nation Education Division as Education and & Training Specialist.
Michael K. Davis is a 22-year veteran of the Oklahoma National Guard. He is currently working to complete his Associate of Science from NOC-Stillwater with plans to pursue his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration-Management of Information Systems at OSU in the future. He is married to his wife of 16 years Melanie and they have three beautiful daughters: Kennedy (17), Kinzie (13), and Kambree (11).
Michael is Osage and Pawnee.
Kristin Gentry is passionate about using her art to create different ways to preserve her traditional Native American tribal culture. Kristin has exhibited her artwork in numerous juried, invited, open, and group shows across the Midwestern United States. She works as a professional visual artist in the areas of relief and monotype printmaking, painting, jewelry and photography. She also works as an a writer, designer, and curator. She worked as a full time arts educator in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and now works full time as an artist.
Kristin is an enrolled member and registered artist of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in fine arts from Oklahoma State University in 2009 and her Associate of Arts degree in education from Tulsa Community College in 2005.
Charlene Le is a Workforce Development professional with 10 years of experience working directly in the Workforce Oklahoma One Stop Operations. Five years of experience have been dedicated to working with at-risk youth between the ages 14-24. Notable skills include helping people with developing education, employment plans, and assisting people with work readiness and soft skills training. Currently working and serving the intellectually disable population at this time. Administrative experience in various areas procurement of company purchases, accounting, payroll, and Human Resources.
Charlene is Osage, Pawnee, Kiowa, and Euchee.
|Mary Jo Pratt|
Upon obtaining her undergraduate degree in Forensic Accounting, Mary Jo Kipp Pratt focused on her MBA, concentrating on both IT Management and data driven strategic solutions. She currently serves as a Financial Analyst for Cherokee Nation Businesses.
She is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma as well as a descendant of the Osage, Piikani band of Blackfeet, Shawnee, Chippewa band of Cree, Delaware, & Peoria tribes.
|Susan Michele Sheldon|
Osiyo. Hello, I am Susan Michele Sheldon, citizen of Cherokee Nation, my paternal grandmother is from the Waya or Wolf clan. I have recently completed my Master’s degree in Native American Leadership from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. I received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Indigenous and American Indian Studies from Haskell Indian Nations University.
While at Haskell, I worked as a tutor for the Upward Bound program that provided tutoring for Native American students in the Topeka and Lawrence area, and for Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas. This gave me the unique opportunity to work with both urban Native populations and reservation and rural. I learned through that three year experience the different needs of different students and how to apply my knowledge of both core subjects and Native values. Working with a Trio program such as Upward Bound I learned how grant programs work at tribal and state colleges.
I have always been interested in perpetuating Native history, culture, law, language, and ideals in hopes of improving the lives of Native peoples. With my current position working for the Indian Education Program in the public schools, I have had the opportunity of working with students, parents, teachers, administrators, and tribes so our organization can provide the best information to our Native youth.
Courtney Tsotigh-Yarholar is a citizen of the Kiowa Tribe. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Oklahoma City University in 2010 and her Master of Education in Adult and Higher Education from the University of Oklahoma in 2012.
Courtney currently serves Edmond Public Schools Indian Education Program as a High School Teacher and College and Career Advisor. Prior to joining Edmond Indian Education, she spent five years in Career Services with the University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University. She has a passion for supporting students in reaching their goals through one-on-one coaching and by connecting them to education and career-related opportunities. Courtney lives in Oklahoma City with her husband Cortney Yarholar and their two children, Jude Scout and Nora Joy. Courtney looks forward to serving as a mentor to Northern Oklahoma College Native American students this year!
Aho! Hello! My name is Hanna Wensman. I am a Shawnee, Red Lake Ojibway and of Muskogee (Creek) descent.
I am a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s in Health Education and Promotion. While I was at OSU, I was on the Sports Medicine staff for Cowboy football. I had the opportunity to learn from Big 12’s top physicians, athletic trainers and sports management while making lifelong memories and friends. I am currently a Master’s of Public Health student at University of Oklahoma-Tulsa pursuing my MPH in interdisciplinary studies. I want to complete my MPH degree and then work within a tribal clinic’s health and wellness department. My hobbies are running, participating in my tribal ceremonies, beading and sewing regalia, reading, kickboxing and practicing yoga.
Opal Oranchak is a tribal member of the Seminole Nation. She graduated from Northern Oklahoma College in May of 2015 with Associates in Science degree. Opal Oranchak is employ with the Tonkawa Tribe as MSPI Assistant Project Coordinator and works with the youth from ages 10-24. As part of her work duties, she can offer cultural classes, activities, and speakers. Opal Oranchak states, “Hopefully, with the age up to 24 we can work together and do something with the students. Let me know if you have any ideas.”