At its May 12 graduation ceremony, Navajo Technical University conferred 211 degrees, certificates, and GEDs. Among those, 18 were baccalaureate degrees and the university’s third Master of Arts degree in Diné Culture, Language & Leadership was earned by Priscilla Pablo, of Whiterock, New Mexico.
Since issuing its first baccalaureate degree in Information Technology to Dody Begay in 2013, Navajo Technical University has been increasing the number of graduates with a four-year degree every year. This semester, 18 were conferred across eight of its 10 baccalaureate degree programs. The following students earned Bachelor’s Degrees: Sharon J. Nelson, B.A. Diné Culture, Language & Leadership; Kelly Chiquito, Aaron Huber, and Erin Toadlena, B.A.S. Information Technology; Clinton Desiderio, B.A.S. IT-New Media; Eric Baily and Dedrick Tolino, B.A.S. IT-Digital Manufacturing; Dexter Yazzie, B.S. Industrial Engineering; Derrick Lee, B.S. Environmental Science and Natural Resources; Sandoval Begay, B.S. Electrical Engineering; and Jennifer Cayatineto, Alyscia Etsitty, Rebecca Garcia, Kristy Mark, Autumn Martinez, Brandon Platero, Justina Yazzie, and Loretta Yazzie, B.S. Early Childhood Multicultural Education.
In addition to the 18 baccalaureate degrees and one graduate degree, Navajo Technical University also conferred 22 GEDs, 39 Associate of Applied Science degrees, four Associate of Science degrees, and 127 technical and vocational certificates, which included the first graduate in NTU’s Counseling program when Royal R. Martin Jr. of Crownpoint received his certificate.
John Gritts, of the U.S. Department of Education, served as commencement speaker at the graduation ceremony. He is the Management and Program Analyst for the Minority Serving and Small Under-Resourced Schools Division of the Department of Education and he used his experience working at the Institute of American Indian Arts and the American Indian College Fund when speaking to the graduates. Also addressing the students on behalf of the Navajo Nation was Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez, who provided the congratulatory remarks.