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Education Briefs | Former Times’ reporter chosen for Cronkite/ICT fellowship

TEMPE, Ariz.

Noel Lyn Smith

Noel Lyn Smith has been selected to participate in a new graduate partnership between Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Native American Journalists Association, and ICT, formerly Indian Country Today.

The fellowship will support Smith in completing a Cronkite master’s degree while producing journalism with colleagues at ICT.

Smith, a Diné journalist whose maternal clan is Honágháahnii (One-Walks-Around Clan) and parental clan is Hasht?’ishnii (Mud Clan), will pursue her degree in investigative journalism.

Smith worked at the Farmington Daily Times for nine years, covering the Navajo Nation in San Juan County, New Mexico.

Before that, she was a staff reporter for four years at the Navajo Times in Window Rock.

Smith also completed the Hearst Fellowship program, spending two years learning from editors and reporters at the Houston Chronicle, Midland Daily News in Michigan, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Smith believes this fellowship is crucial because it could help increase the presence of Native American journalists in newsrooms, which should lead to more accuracy when telling stories in Native American communities.

“While it is great to see more interest by mainstream media in reporting about Native nations, it is important for Native American journalists to tell these stories,” Smith said.

“There is also pride from tribal members in knowing one of their own is telling the story,” she added.

“We are thrilled to have Noel onboard, learning from our talented newsroom,” said Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Diné, editor of ICT.

NAU reports largest incoming class

FLAGSTAFF – Northern Arizona University sees the largest incoming full-time class in the school’s 123-year history at more than 28,000.

NAU is also projected to have the largest first-year Arizona resident students.

The school said first-year students at NAU have the highest grade-point average in school history and Arizona first-year students.

NAU’s first-year and transfer students from Arizona and elsewhere also reflect the highest percentage of students of color in school history.

School officials also say a 32% increase in returning students who took a break from school reenrolled this year.

There are also 160 new faculty members.

New FAFSA filing season begins Oct. 1

High school seniors and college students needing financial aid for fall 2023 can file the 2023-24 free application for federal student aid, or FAFSA, beginning Oct. 1, according to KHEAA.

Even students who don’t think they will qualify for financial aid should submit the FAFSA. Rules governing student aid programs sometimes change, and students who don’t file the FAFSA may miss out on free money to help pay for their education.

The parents or guardians of students considered dependents under federal guidelines must also provide financial information on the FAFSA. This affects most students going directly to college from high school, who are typically regarded as dependent.

The FAFSA asks for information about income, assets, and expenses. The data provided determine whether students qualify for federal grants, work-study, and loans, as well as several state grants and scholarships.

Many colleges also use the FAFSA to award their grants and scholarships.

Some student aid programs have limited funds and provide awards on a first-come, first-served basis, so students and families should submit the FAFSA as soon as possible.

Courtesy photo | Carnegie Mellon University
Dorothy Redhorse of Little Water, N.M., said her niece, Lia Wilford, made day one of school on Instagram at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg. “It’s been 11 days since her mom (my youngest sister) and I dropped her off on campus far away in Pennsylvania. I know numerous Diné parents drove and dropped off their freshman students on campus across the country. We just need to support the students in their endeavors.” Lia Wilford’s parents are Ray and Cecilia Wilford, from Kirtland, N.M. Lia is a Navajo Prep graduate.

Dorothy Redhorse of Little Water, N.M., said her niece, Lia Wilford, made day one of school on Instagram at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg. “It’s been 11 days since her mom (my youngest sister) and I dropped her off on campus far away in Pennsylvania. I know numerous Diné parents drove and dropped off their freshman students on campus across the country. We just need to support the students in their endeavors.” Lia Wilford’s parents are Ray and Cecilia Wilford, from Kirtland, N.M. Lia is a Navajo Prep graduate.

 As a public service, the Navajo Times is making all coverage of the coronavirus pandemic fully available on its website. Please support the Times by subscribing.

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