Cobell Board of Trustees Announces Newly-Formed Non-Profit as Scholarship Administrator
The Cobell Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that it has selected Indigenous Education, Inc. to administer the Cobell Scholarship Program. Indigenous Education is a recently-formed non-profit corporation expressly created to administer the Program and to reduce administrative expenses by 50%. The Cobell Board intends to devote those cost savings to additional scholarship awards.
The President and Executive Director of Indigenous Education is Melvin Monette, who has extensive experience in administering American Indian scholarship programs, including five years as Director of Scholarship and Programs at the American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC). The Director of Scholarships is Bridget Ann Neconie, who also has extensive experience with American Indian students and scholarship programs. Ms. Neconie served for 20 years as an Assistant Director of the Office of Undergraduate Admission at the University of California, Berkeley and has been a Gates Millennium Scholarship Reader and Trainer for the past 12 years. The Trustees of Indigenous Education are Kelly Fayard, an Assistant Dean at Yale College and the Director of the Native American Cultural Center at Yale University; Karen Francis-Begay, Assistant Vice President for Tribal Relations and the former Director for Native American Student Affairs at the University of Arizona; and Mr. Monette.
During the Cobell Scholarship Fund’s inaugural year, the Cobell Board, with the assistance of AIGC, awarded nearly $2 million in graduate and undergraduate scholarships to almost 400 highly qualified American Indian students. The Fund was established approximately 18 months ago in accordance with the Settlement Agreement that resolved the Cobell v. Salazar class action litigation. The Fund currently receives periodic contributions made by the United States Department of the Interior. Those contributions are based upon the level of Native American participation in the Land Buy-Back Program established under the Settlement Agreement. The Cobell Scholarship Fund is required to be maintained in perpetuity for the purpose of providing post-secondary scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native students. Applications and information concerning Cobell scholarships can be found at www.cobellscholar.org.