News & Events


July 9, 2014

Native Students’ Graduation Celebration

Sixty-three attendees, including successful Native bachelor and master degree recipients in the School of Social Work and School of Public Health; their families, friends, and supporters; as well as School of Social Work and IWRI staffers, celebrated the individual and collective achievements at a delicious brunch held at the Talaris Conference Center, near the UW Campus, on Thursday, June 12. The meal was heavily native-themed, with salmon, cornbread with honey, wild rice, and other tasty items.

The keynote speaker was School of Social Work lecturer, Jill LaPointe, who regaled the audience with a traditional tale of “The Louse” in the local Lushootseed language, followed by an English translation, about balancing work and life. Following Jill’s inspiring and humorous talk, the graduating students, individually and in groups, expressed thanks to elders, mentors and families in a touching tribute to the hard work each of them put in.
Congratulations to all the Native scholars in attendance at the IWRI-hosted event:

Bachelor of Arts, Social Work:

  •  Jacob Adams (Colville, Squaxin)

Bachelor of Science, Public Health:

  • Jennifer Bethune (Turtle Mountain Chippewa)

Master of Social Work:

  • Miguel Smith (Oaxaca)
  • Eli Ellison (Zuni)
  • Twila Begay (Navajo)
  • Aimee Gone (Yakama, Assiniboine)
  • Shawn Lesch Middleton (Turtle Mountain Chippewa)

Master of Public Health:

  • Tess Abrahamson-Richards (Spokane)

We look forward to your contributions to the community and to the inspiration you provide to those who will follow in your footsteps!