U of A Establishes Native American Student Services Director Through Grant-Funded Initiative

From left: Marty Matlock and Chas Nystrom, the Emerson Hunger Fellow, discuss Indigenous People's Day.
Tishina Mindemann

From left: Marty Matlock and Chas Nystrom, the Emerson Hunger Fellow, discuss Indigenous People's Day.

The U of A and the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative proudly announce the newly created Native American Student Services director position on the U of A campus. This position, funded through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Tribal New Beginnings Grant, will serve as a cornerstone in the university's dedication for Native American student support. 

"Investing in the next generation of Native American food and agriculture leaders is an integral part of the broader mission of IFAI, which exists to address the unique needs and challenges of Native American communities through research and educational support," said Erin Parker, executive director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative. "The creation of the Native American Student Services director aligns perfectly with IFAI's goals, and we thank Dr. Marty Matlock for his commitment to students and vision for the creation of this position." 

This program is a partnership between the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative and Matlock, professor of biological and agricultural engineering in the College of Engineering.

The Native American Student Services director will play a central role in enhancing the overall college experience for U of A Native American students. 

"The establishment of the Native American Student Services director position is a testament to the University of Arkansas' unwavering commitment to fostering a supportive, empowering educational environment for all its students," said Summer Wilkie, IFAI youth coordinator. 

"IFAI is grateful for the opportunity to support this position, which aims to ensure students have resources, guidance and community necessary to thrive academically, personally and professionally," she continued. 

The grant also provides funding for internship opportunities and support for establishing an official on-campus program charged with increasing Native American student enrollment and improving Native American graduation rate from 63% to 90% by 2028.  

For further information about the Native American Student Services director and how to apply, visit bit.ly/NASSDUOFA. 

Learn more about the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at indigenousfoodandag.com. 

About the IFAI: The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative enhances the health and wellness of Tribal communities by advancing healthy food systems, diversified economic development, and cultural food traditions. IFAI provides strategic legal analysis, policy research, and educational resources to empower Indian Country through food sovereignty, agriculture, and economic development. To learn more, visit indigenousfoodandag.com.  

Contacts

Mary Belle Zook, communications director
Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative
580-732-0109, mzook@uark.edu

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