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Wicaho—April 2019

Welcome Our New Diversity & Outreach Engagement Coordinator

val big eagle
Valeriah Big Eagle

Please welcome our new Diversity Outreach & Engagement Coordinator, Valeriah Big Eagle! Valeriah, or “Val”, comes to us from Rapid City’s Black Hills State University campus where she served as a Student Success Advisor and provided academic advice, scholarships sessions, and mentoring to students. Val is Ihanktonwan Yankton Sioux, a wife, and a mother of three beautiful children; two girls and one boy. She and her husband, a BHSU student, are Black Hills Habitat for Humanity volunteers and a Partner Family. During her downtime, she enjoys playing basketball, volleyball and spending time with her family. She also enjoys watching her daughter’s play sports and she coaches youth basketball at the Rapid City YMCA. Val graduated from South Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. From here, Val went on to obtain a master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration and is now working on her doctorate in Adult and Higher Education Administration. Val has been recognized in the 2018 40 Under 40 List in the Prairie Business Magazine. This list includes inspiring and dedicated professionals from a wide range of industries who have made significant impacts within their communities. Val was nominated and participated in the Native Nations Rebuilders cohort leadership experience. Through this program, she had the opportunity to learn more about developing the knowledge, skills, and connections needed to effectively lead nation-building efforts within communities.

Congratulations Sarah!

Sarah Kiser

Please join us in congratulating Ms. Sarah Kiser, as she will be graduating from the South Dakota State University Nursing Program on Thursday, May 2nd. We are grateful to have worked with you along the way and wish you all the best in your future endeavors!


March Wohanpi na Wounspe (Soup & Learn)

Thank you to all who participated in March’s Wohanpi na Wounspe (Soup and Learn)! We would also like to thank our guest speaker that joined us, Stephanie A. Two Crow, B.A., for sharing her time and speaking about cultural preservation. We hope you all join us for the next Wohanpi na Wounspe to be held on Friday, April 26th, from 11:30am-1pm. Stephanie will be discussing the history of the honoring ceremony.

Stephanie speaking to students and faculty after the Soup & Learn. Left to right: Shannon Burnette-Meek, Stephanie Two Crow, Dr

NANEC Student Receives AAUW Success Award

Andrea Hearting

South Dakota State University NANEC Faculty and Staff would like to congratulate Pre-Nursing student Andrea Hearting for receiving the 2019 AAUW Success Award!

The purpose of the Rapid City AAUW Success Award is to provide stipends up to $500 for local women and girls as they strive to improve their lives through education. The financial support from the stipend could be used to defray a wide array of education costs such as tuition, gas, books, babysitting fees, etc. The help requested should adhere to the AAUW mission to advance equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy.

Andrea is a mother, fiancé, an enrolled member for the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and works as Patient Care Champion-ONS at Rapid City Regional. She has been accepted into SDSU's nursing program and will start her coursework and practicum hours this Fall 2019.

Congratulations again Andrea! Way to go!