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Release: Immediate

Local student attends American Indian science program

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A local student is participating in a summer program at the University of Iowa that introduces American Indian high school students to college-level science work and helps them build skills through experiences that blend native cultures with contemporary sciences.

(Name of student) of (hometown) is attending the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Summer Program in the Life Sciences, which began at the UI nine years ago. The DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund provides AISES with money for the camp. For the last three years, the UI has also received funding from the National Institute of Mental Health.

One of several programs sponsored by AISES on college campuses, the life sciences program is an intensive three-week course of lectures, laboratory work, computer experience, field trips and other activities.

Students prepare for college while exploring career possibilities and working with native teachers and role models who come to the camp from all over the U.S. Teachers this year include John Brewer from Little Wound School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Kyle, S.D., Carolyn Penning from the All Nations School in St. Paul, Minn., and Craig Brandow from the Native American Preparatory School in Rowe, N.M.

Dr. Joe Coulter, professor of neuroscience, UI associate provost and director of Opportunity of Iowa, is a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and the camp director. He says that former AISES camp participants have been accepted to colleges throughout the U.S.

"There are AISES camps all over the country--at Montana State, Minnesota, New Mexico," he says. "After the students become known on those campuses, they're highly recruited by the universities, including Iowa."

Some 40 students representing 16 tribes from 11 states are participating in this year's program. They will all be in 10th grade this fall, and they are already anticipating attending college.

Jerod Benally, Navajo from Fruitland, N.M., says although he doesn't know for sure which career he will pursue, the AISES camp is an important part of his college preparation. "I want to gain more knowledge in science," he says.

Besides a lot of hard work, the camp provides plenty of time for social activities. The schedule includes games, bowling, canoeing, horseback riding, and swimming and boating at Lake Macbride.

Megan Scott, Lumbee from Pembroke, N.C., says she also has participated in AISES camps on other campuses and, while she likes learning about science, she enjoys the other activities too. "It's fun to meet new people," she says.


EDITORS: This release contains information about a student from your area. Students' names are listed below by state and hometown.


 Tama  Andrew Jefferson
 Toledo  Tyrus Wanatee


 Ganado  Joshua Begay, Aaron Peshlakai
 Holbrook  Seraphina Wall
 Kayenta  Molly McLaughlin
 Tuba City  Claresa Bedonie, Jaclyn Begaye, Kyle Curry
 Tucson  Summer Sando


 Hoopa  Kori Robertson


 Collinsville  Michelle Smith


 Gaithersburg  Sterling Teller


 Farmington  Robert Coy
 Fruitland  Jerod Benally
 Gallup  Nyla Mulla, Erica Harker
 Magdalena  Raylon Apachito, Angela Ganadonegro, Stacey Guerro, Joshua Herrera, Crystal Monte
 Navajo  Cheyenne Jim
 Rehoboth  Natasha Clark
 Tohatchi  Raquel Burbank
 Yahtahey  Mark Franklin, Jr.
 Zuni  Rease Harker


 Fairmont  Jimmy Oxendine
 Fayetteville  Champ Goins
 Lumberton  Jason Godaire, Tashina Harris, Cory Locklear
 Maxton  Amanda Bullard
 Pembroke  Megan Scott
 Red Springs  Brice Jones


 New Town  Vicki Alberts


 Kyle  Silas Blaine, Jr.
 Porcupine  Kory Provost


 Allouez  Colette Humphrey


 Ethete  Donovan Antelope