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Director of the American Indian Center for Excellence and Native American Student Association organization sponsor, Claudia Little Axe, of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) was recently selected by the Oklahoma Native American Students in Higher Education (ONASHE) to receive the Outstanding Role Model Award honoring someone who has inspired others to achieve successes through selflessness. This year’s conference theme was “A New Breed of Warriors: Native American Students for Change.”

“As director of the American Indian Center for Excellence at Northeastern A&M, you essentially embody the idea of the ONASHE Role Model Award by helping to empower Native American students, not only on the NEO campus, but also within the community. The critiques of the award are that the nominator submits your work resume, two letters of recommendation, and a CDIB if applicable,” said Michael Meeks, president of H.O.P.E. Native American Club at the Cheyenne Arapaho Tribal College. “After serving as last year’s host for the ONASHE Conference, NEO and AICE had set the bar extremely high for future host schools.”

The award was presented February 21, 2015 during the ONASHE conference at Southwestern Oklahoma State University and Cheyenne Arapaho Tribal College in Weatherford, Oklahoma. A recipient for the award is selected annually to recognize exceptional educators, faculty, staff and advisors in their particular educational professions. Little Axe was nominated to receive the award for her part in leading the American Indian Center for Excellence and sponsoring the Native American Student Association. She was also credited with increasing NEO’s Native American community and student led activism. She is a strong supporter and champions for Native American Education. “Claudia works tirelessly to make sure our students are well prepared to ensure their success. She genuinely has their best interest at heart and is very deserving of this recognition. She is a great role model for many students on campus. I’m proud of Claudia and pleased she has been recognized for her important work,” said Dr. Jeff Hale, NEO president.

The Oklahoma Native American Students in Higher Education provides superb networking opportunities for Native Students in trade schools, college, and university settings —from both public and tribal institutions in Oklahoma and beyond. Little Axe has also presented at conferences on the American Indian Center for Excellence on the state, national and international level and most recently at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education in Honolulu, Hawaii. Little Axe is in her fourth year at NEO and has held the positions of cultural specialist and director for American Indian Center for Excellence. For more information, email rlloyd@neo.edu.

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