A generous donation from an NAU alumnus led to the creation of the Honors Native American Summer Research Program, aimed at giving Native and Indigenous students research experience to help them be increasingly competitive in their fields.
The Honors College, which is administering the program, is accepting applications from interested students through March 1; the program is open to Honors and non-Honors Native American students. Selected participants will live on campus in the Honors College residence hall for the first five-week summer session. Program participants would conduct independent research with a faculty member and regularly meet with the program cohort and peer mentor. The program covers the cost of living in the Honors residence hall for five weeks in a single room, tuition and fees for three credit hours of independent research in HON 495 or HON 497, and $1,050 Dining Dollars.
Brian (Engineering, ’76) and Cheryl Connors fully funded the program, which supports NAU’s mission of becoming the leading university serving Native Americans. It is open to students of all majors.
“The NAU Honors College in collaboration with the Office of Native American Initiatives has partnered with the NAU Foundation identifying donors supporting undergraduate research opportunities for NAU Native American students,” said Andrea Graves, coordinator of national scholarships in the Honors College. “It’s this type of program that offers full financial support for students to focus in the summer session on starting new or completing ongoing research which, in turn, elevates the students’ competitive edge in prestigious national scholarship competition such as the Goldwater and Udall Undergraduate Scholarships.”
Although each day will be a little different, as in all research, an average day in the life of the student in this summer program will include time working on their project, such as conducting research and discovery in one of the NAU libraries, a lab or out in the Flagstaff community. Students also will work closely with their faculty mentor in ensuring their project goals and timelines are staying on track. The Native American Peer Mentor will facilitate fun ways for this small cohort of student researchers to gather, share their challenges and triumphs in their research projects and have fun on campus and in the Flagstaff and surrounding community.
Honors College Dean Kevin Gustafson and Ron Lee, director of development for Native American Initiatives, were instrumental in getting the program started.
Applications are open to first-, second- and third-year undergraduate students who are a member of a federally recognized Native American tribe. Applicants do not need to be a part of the Honors College to apply. Interested students should apply online by March 1.
If you have any questions regarding the Honors Native American Summer Research Program, please contact Kevin Gustafson, dean of the Honors College, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (928) 523-3334.