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K-State Today

February 15, 2024

College of Education's Pewewardy and Berry receive awards from Indigenous higher education organization

Submitted by Patrice Scott

Two College of Education Indigenous scholars made presentations and received awards at the Oklahoma Native American Students in Higher Education, or ONASHE, conference Feb. 9-10 in Norman, Oklahoma. 

Cornel Pewewardy, professor of practice in the department of educational leadership, was presented with the 2024 Outstanding Role Model Award, which recognized his lifelong, outstanding contribution to teaching, research and community service to Native American college students. Nominated by former students, colleagues and community leaders, Pewewardy's portfolio also included significant change in Oklahoma legislation and raised awareness about self-determination in Oklahoma public school spaces. 

Kelly Berry, a doctoral student in educational leadership and Indigenous Initiatives research associate, received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award. He is finalizing his dissertation proposal, "eSports in Indian Education: A Case Study." Kelly has been active with the University Council for Educational Administration as a Jackson Scholar, as well as the American Education Research Association Indigenous Peoples of America Special Interest Group. 

"We are extremely proud of Dr. Pewewardy and Kelly for their research, contributions, and service to Indigenous People," said Royce Ann Collins, professor and chair of the department of educational leadership. "They have brought awareness — with mastery and insight — to several important issues and are both so deserving of these awards." 

At the conference, Pewewardy and Berry co-presented "Indigenous Charter Schools in Oklahoma: Recent Developments and Perspectives," "Leveraging Educational Sovereignty in STEAM Fields Starts with Us: Exploring Scholastic Gaming within Indian Country" and "The Hunt for Red Pedagogy: Infusing the Transformational Indigenous Leadership Model to Reclaim and Indigenize the Academy." 

ONASHE began as a conversation in 2007 about bringing Native college students across Oklahoma together, and the first gathering was held in February 2008. The intention was to cultivate a space for Native students to build community across institutions and build networks of support while also breaking down silos across campuses by including Native student affairs professionals and Native organizations. The impact of ONASHE is evident in its growth and testimonies of professionals and Native students who report feeling more confident in their higher education journey knowing they weren't alone and that they had support systems outside of their college campus.