1008. A Day in the Life: What's It Really Like to Be a Native American Diversity and Inclusion Innovator?
Donna Brown, PhD
“I was in a new faculty position, which I loved at Minnesota State University Moorhead, when out of the blue I received several emails from individuals in Belcourt, North Dakota, telling me that the president’s position at Turtle Mountain Community College was open. They encouraged me to apply. I told them that I’d look at the opportunity but immediately thought–why would I leave this position that was ideal for me, that was the best position of my career so far? Then I reflected on the last twenty years when I had won the Bush Fellowship and told the board members my long-term goal was that one day, I want to be a tribal college president because that’s where I got my start, and my life will come full circle when I do that. After much soul-searching and discussions with my family, I decided to apply. As I went through the application process, learned more about the history of the college and its community involvement, I realized that this was my true calling and that I really wanted this position. When I looked at the description of the president’s role and considered my long experience working with American Indians, and as a faculty member and administrator on a university president’s cabinet, it looked like it was written for me. I was deeply honored to be chosen as Turtle Mountain Community College’s new president and could not be more excited about our future here.”
Dr. Donna Brown (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa) grew up on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. Her professional life has been devoted to education, diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. She is currently the President of Turtle Mountain Community College (TMCC), a tribal college located in Belcourt, North Dakota. Dr. Brown is committed to service to Indian Country and Education on a local, regional and national level. She served as a member of the National Advisory Council on Indian Education, the Cass-Clay YWCA Board of Directors, and as Chair of the YWCA Racial Justice Committee.
Connecting With Donna Brown, PhD
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