|Robertjon Knapp sings a blessing during the seventh annual Native American Scholarship Luncheon at Cal Poly Pomona.|
|President Suzuki laughs as he receives a small covered wagon as a gift from Judy Moore during the scholarship luncheon.|
The Native American Outreach Committee (NAOC) held its seventh annual Native American Scholarship Luncheon on March 5 at Kellogg West. The award luncheon recognizes the efforts of Native American students while drawing attention to the opportunities available for Native Americans at Cal Poly Pomona.
The event began with a traditional blessing by Tony Cerda, tribal chairman of the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe, and Robertjon Knapp, a local spiritual guide.
Both President Suzuki and wife Agnes ? who was unable to attend the event ? were honored during the luncheon for their longtime support of Native American students at Cal Poly Pomona.
?I strongly support all the cultural centers we have here at Cal Poly Pomona and feel good about the different cultures that are part of our campus community,? said President Suzuki in his opening remarks. ?Events like this scholarship luncheon spotlight those students who come here to expand their education.?
?I also applaud the work the Native American Outreach Committee has been doing, helping to attract Native American students to campus and to make others aware of all the things Cal Poly Pomona has to offer,? he said. ?I?m hoping we can increase those numbers and that Native American students continue to be an important part of our campus community.
Five Cal Poly Pomona students received scholarships donated by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Ethnic & Women?s Studies department and the Native American Outreach Center.
Two additional scholarships were awarded this year in the name of Knapp?s mother, Tresa Callahan Pronesti. The recipients of the scholarship are students who embody the most essential qualities of Pronesti, which were dedication to family, communication and education.
The following is information on this year?s scholarship recipients:
- Jader Wong, a sophomore computer engineering major, took home a $500 scholarship from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Wong lives in South Gate and is with the Mescalero Apache tribe.
- Justin Abarca, a sophomore theater major, took home a $300 scholarship from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Abarca lives in Oakland and is with the Apache Yaqui tribe.
- Nicholas Sondhi, a sophomore psychology major, took home a $200 scholarship from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Sondhi lives in San Gabriel and is with the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo (Tigua) tribe.
- Angelica Thompson took home a $60 Melinda Howze Scholarship, named after a staff member in Admissions. Thompson lives in Ontario and is with the Cherokee-Delaware tribe.
- Naiche Lujan, a sophomore liberal arts major, took home a $100 scholarship from the EWS department. Lujan lives in Pomona and is with the Chiricahua Apache tribe.
- Colletta Cole, a junior gender, ethnicity & multicultural studies major, took home a $150 Tresa Callahan Pronesti Scholarship. Cole lives in Santa Ana and is with the Acjachemen Nation tribe.
- Mandana Jafarinejad, a senior biology major, took home a $100 Tresa Callahan Pronesti Scholarship. Jafarinejad lives in Walnut and is with the Inca tribe.
President Suzuki congratulated the scholarship winners and wished them continued success.
?It?s because of students such as these and events like this one that I feel very optimistic about the future of this great university,? he said. ?And whoever the new president is, I know they will share that same optimism.?