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A round dance on the Montana State University campus in Bozeman, Montana. Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez / MSU News
Six students win 2021 MSU Native American leadership awards
Friday, March 26, 2021

Six Montana State University students have been selected for awards given by the MSU Department of Native American Studies and the American Indian/Alaska Native Student Success Program to honor academic excellence, community service and leadership.

“Our office, with the support of the (Native American Studies) Department, is pleased to announce we have selected six students who demonstrate a commitment to academic excellence and have represented and served our community well in such areas as scholastic achievement, leadership, community involvement, and outstanding service and ambassadorship,” said Nicholas Ross-Dick, program manager for the American Indian/Alaska Native Student Success Program.

The awards, and the students honored, are:

Danielle Antelope, a senior from Browning majoring in sustainable food and bioenergy systems, has won the 2021 Harriette Cushman Outstanding MSU Indian Student. Antelope was one of six students to win 2021 NAS awards. Photo by Avital Pelakh supplied by the MSU Office of Student Engagement.

Georgeline Morsette, a senior majoring in art education from Billings, and Max Yates, a senior biochemistry major from Bozeman, have received the Daniel Voyich Community Involvement award. The award honors Dan Voyich, a native of Yugoslavia and an MSU graduate who ran a Bureau of Indian Affairs School in Sales, Arizona, which convinced him of the need for advocacy and support for Native students. He returned to MSU and met with then-president Leon Johnson, to gain support to begin a Native student support program at MSU. He spent 30 years as director and adviser to MSU American Indian and Alaskan Native students.

Morsette, a member of the Chippewa Cree Nation, is an active member of American Indian Council and the Society of Indigenous Educators. She has served as an America Reads, America Counts tutor, has volunteered with the HRDC’s summer lunch program and the Bounty of the Bridgers food pantry and is a community assistant in MSU family/graduate student housing. Morsette’s art has been featured at American Indian Heritage Day and in MSU’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls exhibit at the Strand Union.

Yates has worked to expand MSU’s American Indian Success Center tutoring program, leading the program for three years, and has strengthened a partnership with MSU’s Honors College. A Truman scholar, MSU Presidential Scholar and a recipient of an MSU Award for Excellence in spring 2021, Yates is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, volunteers with Eagle Mount and MSU’s Voice Center.

Danielle Antelope, a senior from Browning majoring in sustainable food systems and a member of the Eastern Shoshone tribe and descendant of the Blackfeet nation, has won the Harriette Cushman Outstanding MSU Indian Student. The award honors Harriette Cushman, who was hired in 1922 to be MSU Extension’s first poultry specialist. She worked with the Blackfeet reservation for a time to establish poultry there. She also worked with MSU staff and faculty to develop an unofficial network of advocates and support staff for Native students.

Antelope was MSU’s 2019–2020 Newman Civic Fellow. She co-chairs FAST Blackfeet, or Food Access and Sustainability Team, in Blackfeet country, which was a critical and successful program throughout the COVID pandemic. She is a recipient of the MSU Award for Excellence in spring 2021. She has a son.

Nicole Barber, from Belgrade who graduated from MSU with a degree in nursing and is a member of the Oglala Lakota nation, won the Glenn Kirkaldie Scholastic Achievement award, which honors the late Glenn Kirkaldie, who was originally from the Flathead reservation area. Kirkaldie served on a health sciences advisory board to MSU and had a passion for Native students. He died while serving, and the award honors his dedication and commitment.

Barber served on the American Indian Council executive council for two terms. The mother of three young children whose husband served on active duty in the U.S. Army, Barber graduated with highest honors with a nursing degree in December.

Holly Old Crow and Allison Longtimesleeping-Reyos, co-presidents of MSU’s American Indian Council, have both won the Phyllis Berger Award for Leadership. The award honors the late Berger, who lived near Pony, Montana, and was a generous benefactor of MSU Native American programs.

Old Crow is a senior majoring in sociology from Crow Agency. She has served as AIC co- president two consecutive terms. A McNair Scholar, a Cobell scholar and a featured speaker/presenter at the 2019 Bozeman Women’s March, Old Crow also received a Women’s Center Student of Achievement award in 2020. A non-traditional-aged student, Old Crow is the mother of two young children.

Longtimesleeping-Reyos is a junior majoring in kinesiology from Browning and a member of the Blackfeet nation. She has served two terms as AIC co-president, 2018–2019 and 2020–2021. She currently serves with the GEAR UP Indigenous Mentors Initiative as a mentor. A non-traditional-aged student, Longtimesleeping-Reyos has four children.

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