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The Virgil Masayesva Native American Environmental Education Scholarship Fund

Scholarship Recipients

2012 - Alyandra Aday
Alyandra is a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. She is majoring in Forestry with a certificate in Wildland Fire Ecology and Management. In her own words, she said "I chose the certificate in Wildland Fire Ecology and Management because I have a strong desire to work with fire in a positive way to help better our forest or just to stop it from harming our tribal land. This is currently my third year in college, my second year in the Forestry program. I will be entering the professional program in the fall of this year.

A few clubs that I am involved in on campus is the Forestry club, the Student Association for Fire Ecology (S.A.F.E), and Native Americans United. I am a dedicated member of each club and currently the treasurer of the Native Americans United club. I am also a member of the Society of American Foresters and the National Society of Leadership and Success here at NAU. I have a strong passion for the outdoors and really enjoy doing all the outdoor recreation. Making a career out of it is something I always wanted to do. I am able to become knowledgeable within the field, enjoy the outdoors, better our forest, and enjoy my future job."

2012 - John Begay

John Begay John is a sophomore at Northern Arizona University studying Environmental Science applied Geology.

John is from Ganado, AZ, which is located on the Navajo Reservation. John has interned with the Nez Perce Reservation where he conducted outreach on environmental issues. He is currently an intern with the Navajo Nation Water Management Program in Ft. Defiance, Arizona.

2011 - Jamie Goudreau

Jamie Goudreau Jamie is a senior majoring in engineering. Jamie is originally from Valdez, Alaska and affiliated with the Sault Ste. Marie tribe of Chippewa Indians from Michigan. He is a member of the Northern Arizona University Hiking and Society of Hispanic Engineers clubs.

2010 - Beverly Maxwell

Beverly Maxwell Beverly is from Shiprock, New Mexico where she was born and raised. She has an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts from Dine College and a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Biology from Fort Lewis College. She is a first-year graduate student in the Master of Science Biology program at Northern Arizona University. Her thesis research plan is to characterize and analyze ant distribution along the elevational gradient on the Carrizo Mountain on the Navajo reservation. The research will integrate Navajo cultural values and the scientific method, provide an opportunity for undergraduate students to learn field research, and foster an appreciation for the ant diversity on the Navajo Reservation.

2009 - Julaire Scott
Julaire is Navajo and double majoring in engineering and geology. She is interested in working with Native American tribes to develop working solutions to their environmental issues. Julaire in her own words said, "Having grown up on the Navajo reservation, I have been able to see the environmental issues, we, as a tribal nation face. During my undergraduate studies I am learning, from a technical view point, the effects of these environmental issues we encounter. Therefore I am working on a double major of Environmental Engineering and Geology with a Hydrogeology emphasis. With this program, my goal is to work with tribal nations on their environmental issues and help develop working solutions to their environmental issues.

I believe an environmental career is important to the future of Native people as new ways are being developed to generate domestic energy sources. Since some of these sources of energy from natural resources that are mined on or near our reservations or in the process of energy production, new pollutants are being created. As a future tribal environmental professional, this will give an opportunity to ensure the health of the people and the land are being protected."

2008 - Christopher Thompson

Christopher Thompson Christopher, a Native Alaskan from the community of Bettles, AK, is seeking two degrees at Northern Arizona University (NAU), one in Mechanical Engineering, another in Civil Engineering. Although he has struggled to finance his college education, he believes the experiences gained while working have helped mold him into the person he is becoming.

Christopher has taken on important responsibilities as a young person and learned about leadership first hand. He was the site manager for the power plant for his community, responsible for keeping the lights on during the cold Alaska nights. He was also elected to the City Council in his home community of Bettles, AK.

Joanna Hale, someone that knows Christopher noted that, "He is highly respected and well-loved by both local elders and his contemporaries for his generosity, compassion and willingness to work hard."

Christopher plans to return to his home community to help them address a variety of issues, including power generation. He wants to focus on alterative and renewable energy sources for Alaska communities.

2007 - Lydia Edgewater

Lydia Edgewater B.S. Chemistry, 2006 NAU
Hometown: Teec Nos Pos, Arizona

Lydia is a Navajo tribal member from the community of Teec Nos Pos, AZ. She graduated from high school in 2003 and completed a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Northern Arizona University in 2006. She is currently working on a Masters in Science in Analytical Chemistry with an anticipated graduation date of 2008.

Lydia is devoted to addressing environmental impacts to her community and family. Her grandfather used to tell her stories about working in the uranium mines. She is currently doing research at NAU with Professor Jani Ingram to identify impacts of uranium on sheep and the Navajo People. She is interested in continuing the research to ensure that the Navajo people recognize the hazards of uranium mining and what needs to be done to mitigate the hazards. Her future plans include the possibility of a PhD in chemistry or pharmacy school

2006 - Ulaleya L. Stanley

Ulaleya Stanley Major: Environmental Engineering
Hometown: Tuba City, Arizona

Career Ambitions:
After getting my B.S.E. degree in Environmental Engineering from Northern Arizona University, I plan on working for an engineering company where I can gain enough experience to return to the Navajo Reservation. My ultimate goal is to return to the Navajo Nation and work as an environmental engineer. I am also interested in working for other Native American tribes around the United States.

I would like to thank the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) for awarding me with the Virgil Masayesva scholarship. With so many expenses, such as tuition, books, and class fees, I need all the help I can get. This scholarship will help me in my journey. I would like to thank everyone at ITEP, including the people who donate to the Virgil Masayesva scholarship. I would also like to thank the artist, Stacy Talahytewa, whose art raises money for the ITEP scholarship. Thank you all for your help in bringing me closer to my goal of becoming an environmental engineer. One day I hope that I can contribute back to ITEP in some way. Thank you.

    Northern Arizona University
©2002 Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals & Northern Arizona University
Last updated: June 8, 2012