OMAHA, Neb. - An athlete, student leader and resident of the Omaha Reservation, Taria Wolfe has been busy. Next year, she'll add another element to the mix as she begins her collegiate career at Creighton University.
As Creighton's first American Indian recipient of the Diversity Scholarship, Wolfe will be among the few from her home reservation to attend the four-year college with a dedication to diversity and multi-cultural interests. The Diversity Scholarship, which includes tuition, fees, room and board is one of many financial aid programs designed for minority students offered at Creighton.
In a recent interview with Indian Country Today, Coordinator of Multicultural Student Services at Creighton, Tami Buffalohead-McGill emphasized the school's mission to "create an environment where people from very diverse backgrounds can learn, grow and develop into well-rounded leaders because of their interactions in and outside the classroom."
According to Buffalohead-McGill, a graduate of Creighton and member of the Ponca tribe, "Once Native American students are enrolled, Creighton makes every effort to support and retain them by creating a welcoming environment and a community of Native scholars. Creighton University is able to respond to Native American students on an individual basis, thereby personalizing the education process."
In addition to their extensive Native studies program, Creighton also works with several tribes including the Winnebago, Ponca and Omaha, in an attempt to bring training and health care services to various American Indian communities.
Buffalohead-McGill sees the increased enrollment of American Indian as an "opportunity to help transform [Creighton's] communities and create opportunities in [the] classrooms and campuses to provide a truly diverse community where students are well prepared for a global economy and environment.
"Our Native students are very committed to service and working with their communities. The typical Creighton Native American student plans to work in their communities after graduation. Their plans are an obvious outgrowth of their commitment to their communities and to each other while in college. It is evident that Creighton University is taking a leadership role in educating and building future Native leaders for their tribes and for our country."