With community at the center, this Native-led research program is breaking ground

Four students stand around the Honors College sign

At the dawn of last summer break, four students embarked on a five-week journey to blend their culture and education into community-centered action. Seniors Kaylin McLiverty and Matthew Greyeyes, alongside juniors Kaly Arvizu and Beyoncé Bahe, made up NAU’s 2022 Honors Native American Summer Research Program (HNASRP) cohort. The program empowers students to gain career experience in their area of study while conducting supervised research on a topic of their choice. From Bahe’s investigation into Indigenous peer mentoring to Greyeyes’s examination of insulin resistance and blood pressure, the 2022 participants exemplified multidisciplinary research at its best.

The program also featured a variety of guest speakers, many of whom focused on their experiences in and after college, the resources and mentors they found, and the various paths they took to success.

The participants found the program life-changing. In a survey of the 2022 cohort, every student rated their experience as “excellent” and agreed the program helped them prepare for their post-undergraduate path.

The programoffers a generous package of support to help students pursue independent research. Participants receive a grant to cover the costs of housing in a single room in the Honors Residential Hall, an inclusive meal plan, and tuition and fees. Once the students are settled into their new accommodations, the five-week program begins. Each student works with a faculty mentor to develop a research project. The student and mentor work in tandem to identify experimental activities, thought avenues and emerging trends. When the day’s work is done, the cohort is encouraged to enjoy time on campus and in the community.

With the first program completed, the students developed forward-thinking solutions that are grounded in research and integrally tied to the Indigenous perspective. Their research can be used and showcased for scholarships, conferences, post-graduate applications and more. Some students may choose to continue developing their research.

Applications for the Summer 2023 cohort open soon. The program is designed for undergraduate students who are a member of a federally recognized Native American tribe. Membership in the Honors College is not required. Learn more and apply on NAU’s website.

NAU Communications