American Indian Leadership Program Announces Events to Celebrate 40th Anniversary
by Suzanne Wayne (September 2009)
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – The American Indian Leadership Program (AILP) in the Penn State College of Education will celebrate its 40th anniversary during the 2009–10 academic year. The College and University communities are invited to participate in a number of events planned throughout the year that will recognize the achievements of the program, its faculty, current students, and alumni.
Penn State's AILP is the nation's oldest continuously operating educational leadership program for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Since the program was founded in 1970, more than 220 American Indian and Alaska Native students have earned master's and doctoral degrees from the program and have gone on to pursue leadership positions at the local, tribal, state, and national levels.
Under the leadership of John Tippeconnic, professor of educational leadership, and Susan Faircloth, associate professor of educational leadership, the AILP is continuing this tradition of excellence. With the start of this academic year, the AILP has welcomed ten American Indian/Alaska Native graduate Fellows who are pursuing master’s degrees in educational leadership while earning their principal certification. The fellowships to support these new graduate students are part of a $960,000 grant from the Office of Indian Education, an office of the U.S. Department of Education.
To celebrate this important anniversary, the program has planned a variety of events in collaboration with a number of offices in the College and across the University, including the College’s Office of Multicultural Programs, the University Library’s Diversity Committee, the Alumni Association, the Equal Opportunity Planning Committee, and the Center for the Study of Leadership in American Indian Education. Within the College, the Diversity and Community Enhancement Committee has also selected the work of the American Indian Leadership Program as its theme for the upcoming year.
One of the first events planned in commemoration of the 40th anniversary is an art exhibit, "Tradition is My Life: Education is My Future," featuring artwork by American Indian and Alaska Native students (K–12) from across the country. The exhibit will be on display from Sept. 28 to Oct. 25 in the Diversity Studies Room, first floor, Pattee Library.
The exhibit features winning entries from an annual contest sponsored by the Office of Indian Education, U.S. Department of Education, which aims to inspire students to consider the connection between their education and culture. This year, students from 175 tribes and clans in 34 states entered the contest. The exhibit will be on display in museums and educational institutions around the country, including the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.
Also as part of the anniversary celebrations, Tippeconnic and Faircloth will present “The American Indian Leadership Program at Penn State: Celebrating a 40-Year Tradition of Leadership in Indian Education,” on Sept. 30 at 3 p.m. in Foster Auditorium, 101 Pattee Library. The presenters will discuss some of the current opportunities and challenges facing American Indian schools and communities and will take questions from the audience. This event is cosponsored with the University Library’s Diversity Committee.
Also on Sept. 30, Winona LaDuke, Native American activist, environmentalist, economist, and writer will present “Creating a Multicultural Democracy: Religion, Culture and Identity.” Her presentation is scheduled for 112 Kern Building at 6:00 p.m. LaDuke is the inaugural speaker in the new Holmes Scholar Speaker Series. The Holmes Scholars have spearheaded and coordinated LaDuke's visit. The event is partly funded by the Office of Multicultural Programs, the University Programs and Activities Council, and the AILP. LaDuke will also serve as a keynote speaker at the 14th Annual Values and Leadership Conference October, Oct. 1–3 at the Nittany Lion Inn.
On Oct. 17, AILP alumni will join other alumni of the College’s Educational Leadership program at a brunch before the homecoming football game against Minnesota. Interested alumni should e-mail email@example.com for more information.
AILP alumni are also invited to attend a reception hosted by the AILP program at the National Indian Education Association conference on Oct. 23, 6:30–8:30 p.m. in the Polaris Room, Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. More information about the reception is available from Susan Faircloth.
On November 3, the AILP will host a Leadership Forum on Indian Education. It will feature prominent scholars who will present on different aspects of American Indian/Alaska Native education. The forum will run from 9:00 a.m. until noon in 303 Rackley Building.
The presenters are Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz from Indiana University, Susan Banks-Joseph from Washington State University, and Grayson Noley from the University of Oklahoma.
Upcoming Events at a Glance
• Exhibit: "Tradition is My Life: Education is My Future," Sept. 28–Oct. 25, Diversity Studies Room, first floor, Pattee Library
• Presentation: “The American Indian Leadership Program at Penn State: Celebrating a 40-Year Tradition of Leadership in Indian Education,” John Tippeconnic and Susan Faircloth, Sept. 30, 3 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 101 Pattee Library
• Presentation: “Creating a Multicultural Democracy: Religion, Culture and Identity,” Winona LaDuke, Sept. 30, 6 p.m., 112 Kern Building
• Educational Leadership Brunch: Oct. 17, 9 a.m., Nittany Lion Inn
• Reception: National Indian Education Association Conference, Oct. 23, 6:30–8:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
• Forum: Leadership Forum on Indian Education, Nov. 3, 9 a.m.–noon, 303 Rackley Building