Haskell Displays Alumni Success

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Students who need some academic inspiration can now get their motivation from a simple walk down a hallway. Replacing the Rinehart photos on the wall that leads to the post office in Navarre Hall are the pictures and success stories of Haskell Alumni.

By Lori Hasselman

The Haskell Wall of Success in Navarre Hall.

The Haskell Wall of Success in Navarre Hall.

According to Steve Prue, Executive Assistant to the President, the idea came from President Chenault.

“Dr. Chenault wanted students to see the accomplishments of people who are just like them, who have been where they are now so students could say to themselves, ‘if they can do it, so can I.’” said Prue.

Putting Dr. Chenault’s idea into motion was Manny King and Amy Deer who began contacting Alumni. King says “Alumni” covers a broad spectrum for Haskell since our university has gone through so many different stages in its history: high school, junior college, and university. After some fine tuning of the project, King began contacting people.

“I started off sending out messages to Alumni letting them know I wanted to nominate them for the Haskell Wall of Success that would be featuring successful Alumni who are working with their tribes, in education, or representing native people, youth, etc., throughout the country,” said King.

Along with the message, a bio form was included to be filled out and a picture was also requested. King personalized each message and made sure the Alumni knew how proud Haskell is of all their accomplishments and for representing Haskell in a positive way.

Deer was also involved in contacting Alumni and coordinated the logistics of displaying the information once it was received. King followed up with Alumni with pictures of their information on the Haskell Wall of Success.

“You wouldn’t believe how many people who responded were just overwhelmed. It is a huge honor for them. It really means a lot to them,” said King.

Melinda Adams-Crow, Haskell Environmental Science faculty, is one of the Alumni featured on the Haskell Wall of Success.

“Now that Dr. Chenault is in this position to make some changes, I love her vision and the breath of fresh air that she’s bringing and emphasizing what Haskell stands for. We are resilient; 130 years of resilience and now we’re succeeding and it needs to be said and heard to our graduating students but even more so to our younger students who may or may not understand the breadth of what they can do,” said Adams-Crow.

Students stop to take in alumni success.

Students stop to take in alumni success.

Since graduating from Haskell with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science, Adams-Crow went on to become the first tribal college graduate to receive a Master of Science degree from Purdue University. In addition to teaching at Haskell, she is a mentor/instructor for the Haskell Environmental Research Studies (HERS) Institute summer research program and also spends her time outside the classroom mentoring Haskell students by guiding them through the path to graduate school. She has helped many students through her connection with Purdue University and very proudly reports that now four Haskell students have graduated with Master Degrees from Purdue.

Being asked to submit her information for the Wall of Success was an honor for Adams-Crow.

“I was very surprised. I guess because I know the things that I’ve done and the transitions that I’ve made at Haskell and beyond, but to have somebody recognize it that’s a colleague of mine and really break it down to me that ‘you are successful and what you are doing is unique and special,’ I was really honored and very humbled,” said Adams-Crow. “I do think it’s important to have all of our success stories on the wall and for me in particular, I wouldn’t have success without coming to Haskell.”

King says some aspects of the display are still in the planning stages with regard to rotating nominated alumni onto a place on the wall in the future. Anyone can suggest alumni for nomination by contacting King in the Student Success Center in Sequoyah Hall.