Native Education Forum Sessions

We’re excited to connect with you this week for the Native Education Forum! Each session this week has been carefully planned to encompass cultural topics within higher education. Below you can see what will be discussed each session as well as view prior presentations.

Session 1: Our Purpose

On the first day of our focus week, we’ll start introducing the college application process and provide explanations on how to develop a strong application. We will also cover the purpose of the Native Education Forum and the essential role that you play within the program.

We’ll welcome a guest speaker, Rachel Ensing, who created the Native Education Forum six years ago. Read more about Rachel below.

Speaker Bio:

Rachel Ensing is a proud member of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe and currently works as the Director or Recruitment and Admissions for VCU Brandcenter, a Master’s degree program in advertising/branding in Richmond, VA. Throughout her career, Rachel has been responsible for strategic recruitment and support of underrepresented students, working in a variety of roles in both university and non-profit settings. Most recently, Rachel has worked with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, overseeing the matriculation process of new scholarship recipients and providing academic advising for scholars towards graduation and preparing for graduate school. She has also worked in Orientation at the University of Miami where she oversaw transfer student transition efforts. Rachel has experience in Undergraduate Admissions, from her time at North Carolina State University where she was responsible for Native American student recruitment and worked with first generation student outreach. She holds a Master’s Degree in Higher Education with a focus in Enrollment Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Presenters: Justin Richardson and Rachel Ensing

View the presentation from today’s session here.

Session 2: Preparing for College

Have you ever been looking at colleges and come across words like “early action” or “early decision” and wondered what they meant? Today, we’ll take a deeper dive into the world of admissions. We’ll break down terminology and test some of the lingo you may already know so you feel confident when researching and applying to different institutions.

Presenter: Justin Richardson

View the presentation from today’s session here.

Session 3: Finding Your Community

When arriving to college, students are provided endless amount of opportunities. From courses you want to take, to the places you want or the student organizations you want to become involved in. With all of these choices, how do you navigate everything? How you will find your home away from home?

We will have guest speaker, Ian Stroud, join us to talk to you about how to find your community on a college campus. Read more about Ian below.

Speaker Bio: 

For 15 years, Ian has been a dedicated Student Affairs professional, American Indian Issue Advocate, and Educator. Since September 2019, Ian has been the Director of Student Success at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. Ian oversees an area that includes New Student Family Programs, Advising for Pre-Major/Exploratory Studies majors, a program dedicated to helping first year students of color transition into college called Aspire, and Student Support Services.

Prior to joining UW River Falls, Ian worked at the University of North Carolina Pembroke as an Assistant Director for Academic Engagement. Prior to UNC Pembroke, he worked at North Carolina State University as the Assistant Director for Native American Student Affairs. Ian’s other professional experiences includes Student Leadership Development and Residence Life.

Ian earned his Master’s Degree in Higher Education Student Affairs at the University of Vermont and his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of Arkansas. His scholarly interests include leadership development, social justice education, and serving underrepresented students in higher education.

Ian is originally from Tahlequah, OK and his tribal affiliations are Dine’ (Navajo), Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and Muscogee Creek.

View the presentation from today’s session here.

Session 4: Native Linguistics

Have you ever noticed that you and and your family/friends speak similarly? We all have a certain way we talk – and that’s what makes us all unique. The use of language is more than speaking words. It is a showcase of culture and who we are. Today, we welcome Dr. Walt Wolfram to speak to us about Native Linguistics. Read more about Dr. Wolfram below.

Speaker Bio:

Walt Wolfram is a William C. Friday Distinguished University Professor at North Carolina State University, where he also directs the North Carolina Language and Life Project. He has pioneered research on social and ethnic dialects since the 1960s and published more than 20 books and over 300 articles. Over the last two decades, he and his students have conducted more than 3,000 sociolinguistic interviews with residents of North Carolina extending literarily from Murphy to Manteo.

He has written books on Outer Banks dialects, Lumbee English, and African American English in North Carolina, and recently (2014) published with Jeff Reaser, Talkin’ Tar Heel: How our Voices Tell the Story of North Carolina. Professor Wolfram is particularly interested in the application of sociolinguistic information to the public, including the production of a number of television documentaries, the construction of museum exhibits, and the development of an innovative social studies dialect awareness curricula endorsed by the Department of Public Instruction.

He has received numerous awards, including the North Carolina Award (the highest award given to a citizen of North Carolina), Caldwell Humanities Laureate from the NC Humanities Council, the Holladay Medal at NC State, and the Linguistics, Language and the Public Award from the Linguistic Society of America. He has also served as President of the Linguistic Society of America, the American Dialect Society, and the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics.

Session 5: Student Round Table

For our last session of the Native Education Forum, you will have the opportunity to participate in a round table discussion with current NC State students. Come prepared with questions to ask our students. You’ll learn about what life is like at NC State and all that you can Think and Do.

Presenters: NC State Students