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Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College’s (NEO) Miss Indian NEO, Pre-Nursing Freshman Cheyenne Watson, and Native American Student Association (NASA) President, Sophomore Whitney Irons traveled to Norman, Oklahoma to participate in the tenth-annual Oklahoma Native American Students in Higher Education (ONASHE) Conference. At the events, Watson won the Underclassman of the Year Award and Irons won the Wahnee Memorial Award for her role as NASA president. The Intertribal Council funded the trip. “I was very excited to win this award,” said Watson. “Honestly, I was in shock for most of the night. I was competing against some really impressive schools, so it was an honor to win.”

“It was truly an honor to win the Bradley Wahnee Memorial Award,” added Irons. “I’m grateful to the family and to the organizers of the ONASHE conference for this very special recognition.”

Each year, the ONASHE conference prepares session topics for Native American college students from around Oklahoma. Sessions cover education and career topics such as graduate school advising and resume building, but also focuses on heritage and culture through traditional cooking and native history, among many others.

“The conference only distributes a few awards, so we are honored that two of our students were recognized,” said Rachel Lloyd, American Indian Center for Excellence director. “We are very proud of our NASA students and grateful to the Intertribal Council for providing the support to send NASA Sponsor Hannah Berryman and our students.” For more information on NASA or AICE, contact Hannah Berryman at Hannah.berryman@neo.edu. (Photo from left: Cheyenne Watson accepts her award from event organizers and Whitney Irons is joined by Hannah Berryman to accept her award.)

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