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Professor Erika Young Attends Writing Retreat in Montana
(Summer 2012)

Photograph of Prof. Erika Young in Montana

With her doctoral research fresh on her mind and her dissertation looming ahead, Professor Erika Young participated in a six-week long (June 17-July 27), intensive writing retreat last summer.  Professor Young was among eight doctoral students chosen for the retreat, which was made possible by the Student to Academic Professoriate for American Indians (SAPAI) program and hosted by Salish Kootenai College (SKC), a tribal college Photograph of Salish Koontenai College in Montanalocated in Pablo, Montana. Funded by a National Science Foundation grant to the University of Montana, the program specifically targeted graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Retreat instructors were Drs. Otakuye Conroy-Ben, the first female Navajo to earn a Ph.D. in civil engineering, and Karletta Chief, an alumna of Stanford University who is also a civil engineer.  (photograph to the right is of Salish Kootenai College)

Professor Young’s days at the retreat were packed. She completed daily writing assignments, including work on her own dissertation, and she met Photograph of Kerr Dam in Polson, Montanadaily with a course instructor. Twice weekly she sat in on short lectures on topics ranging from grant writing to applying for professorships. Each week she discussed her progress with the principal investigator of the grant, Dr. Penny Kukuk. Young gave a brief presentation of her graduate research at the start of the retreat, and to show her progress, she did this again at the end of the retreat, plus she and other participants peer-reviewed each other’s writing. The real test, however, was waiting back home in North Carolina; she sent dissertation pages to her major professor for his approval and revisions. (photograph above is of Kerr Dam in Polson, MT)

No, the writing retreat was not all work. Professor Young attended several powwows, and she thoroughly enjoyed Montana’s big sky and wildlife --- black bears, bighorn sheep, elk, and pronghorn antelope. Now that she’s back “home” on the UNCP campus and amidst a busy teaching schedule, Professor Young continues to make progress on her dissertation.

Photograph of Glacier National Park in Montana

(photograph above is of Glacier National Park in Montana)

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Updated: Monday, November 19, 2012

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