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Native American Advisor Position Opens At University

Anna Rader

The University of Wyoming has a job opening for a Native American Program Advisor. The hope is for the person to help bring up native enrollment numbers which are at an all-time low.

Since her arrival, UW President Laurie Nichols has made Native American enrollment a priority. James Trosper is the director of the Native American Education and Research Center. He said her message of inclusion is already starting to resonate and more Native Americans applied for tribal scholarships this year than last.

But he said once this advisor is hired, they can do lots more, like recruiting high schoolers on the reservation, hosting welcoming cultural events and going one step further,

“You know, a lot of times students come here and maybe because they’re not working and they’re going to school full time, you know, helping them get connected to resources that are going to help support them,” Trosper said. “A lot of these students that come here from the reservation bring their families with them.”

Trosper said the position isn’t actually new, it’s just been left unfilled for many years. But he said there’s a special need for such an advisor to help Native students transition from the communal life of the reservation to the competitive individual life of a campus.

“You know, that’s really important that those students know that this person is going to help them to succeed in the white world, but also to be able to hold on to their culture and that their values and their traditions are important.”

The university will be taking applications for the position through September 21. Trosper said they hope to hire someone soon after to help support students with whatever they need to succeed.

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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